Huawei Ascend P7 found to be cheating – Futuremark disqualifies it


There is a reason why we take benchmark results with a huge grain of salt and that reason is because OEMs have a history of trying to cheat the system. Basically, if manufacturers want their phone to earn more bragging rights than it deserves, they put a nice little piece of code into their product, which is always on the lookout for a known benchmarking program. Once it sees the phone running one, it automatically fires up all the CPU cores and keeps them working at full power for the duration of the test. While technically the result is representative of what the CPU's limits are, it can in no way be taken as a reflection of how the device compares in regular daily usage. The easiest way to detect such a cheat is to just rename your benchmarking app, since the code only looks for names.

Samsung, LG, HTC, and Asus have been found guilty of cheating on benchmarks before, and now – Huawei gets a spot in the not-so-honorable list. Namely – the Ascend P7 has been delisted from Futuremark's website and its results have been stripped. The reason is that it's been discovered that the device does not act completely honestly, when in the presence of a benchmarker, such as GFXBench T-Rex and 3DMark Ice Storm.

Tech blog AnandTech did some testing by running the two apps on an Ascend P7, then renaming them and running them again. Surprise, surprise – the results were noticeably different. T-Rex gave the phone a 12.3 result, when ran directly from the Play Store; after renaming, it dropped the results to 10.6. That's a 16% boost in performance, courtesy of benchmark cheating. The results are a bit more drastic with Ice Storm – with 7462 points with the stock name and 5816 when renamed, that's a 28.3% difference.

The Ascend P7 is powered by a home-brewed Kirin 910T and a Mali-450 GPU. It is a far cry from the Snapdragon 800 and it wasn't wowing us with amazing results when it hit the market, but we still enjoyed the performance of the P7, so it is kind of disappointing to see Huawei showing such lack of trust in their own device.

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