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Huawei launches ‘Performance Mode’ in an attempt to do better following benchmark controversy

It seems passing off its smartphone cameras for DSLR quality isn’t the only controversy Huawei has gotten itself into lately, as it has been discovered that the company has been optimising its devices to perform better over benchmarks. Fortunately, Huawei has listened to the concerns of its fans’ and decided to open up its ‘Performance Mode’ to the public.

Spoofing benchmarks isn’t a particularly new practice, besetting the industry for as long as smartphones have been around. Samsung was caught indulging in the practice back in 2013, pushing its Exynos processor beyond everyday performance within the Galaxy S4. HTC held its hands up to the misleading optimisation with the One M8, reasoning that users could in fact turn it off. And more recently, OnePlus was caught with its pants down just last year with the release of the OnePlus 5.

Now, AnandTech has revealed Huawei to be the latest culprit, prompting its Huawei P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3 and Honor Play to perform better in benchmarks by detecting the software and ramping up performance. This is predominant in 3DMark and GFXBench, although it has since been confirmed to extend to Geekbench when testing with a P20 Pro.

Stating that he believes benchmarks are far removed from real world performance, President Dr. Wang Chenglu told the publication that Huawei would be at a severe disadvantage if it was to forgo pushing its devices to their utmost best when compared to competitors. Despite this, Chenglu did emphasis Huawei’s want for a more standardised test that equates to realistic score representative of how devices are used in an ordinary setting.

Alongside working closely with benchmarking companies in the future, Huawei hopes to rebuild trust by laying out its plans to get third parties to verify the firm’s claims independently. Furthermore, it will introduce the ‘Performance Mode’ used to push its devices further within the impending EMUI 9.0 update, giving the user the choice on how they want to utilise their device.

“Huawei and UL (creators of 3DMark) have held comprehensive discussions on benchmarking practices this week, and have reached a positive agreement on the next steps in working together. UL understands the intent of Huawei's approach, but is opposed to forcing the use of a ‘Performance Mode' by default when a benchmarking application is detected by the device. UL rules require a device to run the benchmark as if it were any other application,” explains Huawei.

“Huawei respects consumers' right to choose what to do with their devices. Therefore, Huawei will provide users with open access to ‘Performance Mode' in EMUI 9.0, so that the user can choose when to use the maximum power of their device.”

KitGuru Says: Although this is riddled with déjà vu, OnePlus, Samsung and other Android manufacturers have seemingly been behaving themselves following their controversies. I do have faith that Huawei will remain dedicated as a leader of change to rid this misleading practice, but only time will tell.

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