Oppo, one of the brands of giant Chinese smartphone maker BKK Electronics, has been accused of fiddling benchmark tests - and delisted by 3DMark as a result.
The fixing, of course, suggested that Oppo-branded smartphones were more powerful than they really are.
Oppo joins Huawei on the naughty step, which was sent there after eagle-eyed users spotted a 'performance mode' that enabled Huawei to claim better benchmarks for its devices than users were likely to get in everyday use.
Oppo's cheating was similar to the 'defeat devices' found in diesel cars: The handsets in question - the Oppo Find X and F7 - would note when the 3DMark benchmark tests were running via a whitelist, and go into a form of performance overdrive in response.
When we detect that the user is running applications like games or 3D Benchmarks that require high performance, we allow the SoC to run at full speed for the smoothest experience
The ruse was discovered after UL Benchmarks - the company behind 3DMark - ran the tests with an unlisted version of the app and discovered performance was considerably weaker than originally thought.
In a post summing up its findings, UL Benchmarks wrote: "The Oppo Find X was ranked #4 in our list of the Best Smartphones for 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme performance. It now appears unranked, and without a score, at the bottom of our rankings. 3DMark scores from delisted devices should not be used to compare models."
When approached by UL Benchmarks with its findings, Oppo admitted that its phones were designed to ramp-up performance when benchmark tests are being run, but claimed that this was the case with many intensive apps, and not just benchmarks.
"When we detect that the user is running applications like games or 3D Benchmarks that require high performance, we allow the SoC [system-on-a-chip] to run at full speed for the smoothest experience," the company wrote.
For "unrecognised apps", the company added, the system will "adopt the default power optimisation strategy", which is to limit performance by 70-80 per cent unless the user interacts with the app.
This cut no ice with UL Benchmarks, which says that the smartphones it tests are only allowed to boost performance in 3DMark if it's in response to the demands placed on the device by the app, rather than because the name appears on a whitelist.
"A device must run the benchmark as if it were any other application," the company insists.
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