Smartphone manufacturer Huawei has been caught cheating on benchmark tests by programming their phones to over-perform when running specific benchmark apps. The deception has led to UL, the company behind benchmarking app 3DMark, to delist four of Huawei’s phones: the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play.

Designing a phone that beefs up its performance during serious load times is perfectly acceptable. Engineering them to do so only with specific apps, so as to give the impression that they’re more powerful than they are on a typical basis, is a different matter, because it doesn’t reflect the phone’s usual performance.

UL discovered the con when they ran an internal version of 3DMark. The phones didn’t recognize that app, meaning they didn’t boost their performance as they had with other versions of 3DMark that they did recognize. This suggested two things: one, the phones were specifically designed to perform well when running the 3DMark benchmarking app and two, the phones failed to compensate for the high-performance demands of the unrecognized version of 3DMark. Neither of those things look well for Huawei.

This has led to the delisting of the phones from UL’s leaderboards, as well as an explanation that Huawei didn’t play by the rules. This is especially bad timing for the company, as they were recently caught trying to pass off a DSLR photo as a photo taken with one of their phones.

Don’t think that Huawei are the only ones who have tried to pull the wool over our eyes, though. Last year, OnePlus was caught doing the exact same thing, as was Samsung back in 2013. It’s also worth noting that Huawei didn’t deny that their phones are designed to perform differently when running different apps, but the fact remains that they broke UL rules. Cheater cheater, pumpkin eaters.

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