The OnePlus 5 benchmark scores might not be reliable! Aside from blatantly copying the iPhone 7 Plus design, it has been found to be manipulating benchmarks to show higher scores. Now we know how OnePlus 5 managed to beat the Samsung Galaxy S8 in GeekBench benchmark tests. This is not the first time OnePlus has manipulated the benchmarks to yield higher scores on benchmarking apps. The company had done something similar with last year’s OnePlus 3T.

OnePlus 5 Benchmark Tests
Image Source: OnePlus.net (screenshot)

OnePlus 5 benchmark manipulation a conscious move

Experts at XDA Developers found that the OnePlus 5 review unit they had received was “grossly cheating on benchmarks.”  As soon as the device detects a benchmark app, it uses a mechanism to increase the Snapdragon 835 processor’s performance. But the phone fails to deliver the same level of performance in daily use. OnePlus manipulates scores on almost all major benchmark apps such as AnTuTu, GeekBench, and Androbench.

While the OnePlus 5 benchmark manipulation targets most of the benchmarking apps, 3DMark was found to be an exception. XDA Developers said the cheating mechanism was “blatant,” “aimed at maximizing performance,” and was “consciously introduced.” Experts noted that the mechanism causes four out of eight cores in Snapdragon 835 to run at their maximum frequency of 1.9GHz when it detects a benchmarking app.

It artificially inflates the OnePlus 5 benchmark results. XDA Developers found that when the cheating mechanism is disabled, the said four cores run at their maximum frequency (1.9GHz) only 24.4% of the time. Bu when it is enabled, the cores hit their top speed 95% of the time. Also, the experts found that running GeekBench 4 from Play Store on OnePlus 5 gave different results from those on the site’s hidden build of GeekBench.

Notably, the hidden build of GeekBench is not packaged as a benchmarking app. That helps explain why the results on the hidden build were lower than the GeekBench app from Play Store. The cheating mechanism runs the four cores at their maximum only when it detects a benchmarking app. XDA Developers found that only multi-core results were affected. The single-core results were similar across apps with and without the cheating mechanism.

The brand new OnePlus 5 scored more than 6,750 points in multi-core tests on GeekBench from Play Store. But the phone struggled to reach even 6,470 points on the site’s hidden build of GeekBench. Th difference between the scores of two versions was 6.5%. When XDA Developers reached out to the Chinese smartphone vendor, they denied the charge.

OnePlus says it didn’t overclock the device

OnePlus said it wanted users to see the “true performance of the OnePlus 5.” So, it allowed the benchmark apps to run in a state similar to a customer’s daily usage. The company said it was not overclocking the device; it was just showing the performance potential of its new flagship. However, XDA Developers pointed out that OnePlus’ statement contradicts itself.

XDA Developers said the cheating mechanism puts the phone into a state that is “explicitly not” how it would run in the day to day usage. The device is showing benchmark performance that users “will not see in other apps” that aren’t targeted by the mechanism. OnePlus 5 is no doubt a fast and impressive phone, but it resorted to manipulating benchmarks to show that it’s more powerful than other flagship handsets.

OnePlus 5 is a durable phone

Meanwhile, Zach at YouTube channel JerryRigEverything has conducted the torture test of OnePlus 5 to see if it is durable enough for daily use. The device has an anodized aluminum body, which gives it a sturdy and premium feel. The phone uses the Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is much stronger than the previous generations of Gorilla Glass. The fingerprint scanner is made out of ceramic, which scratches at level 8 on Moh’s scale of hardness. It means the fingerprint scanner would not show any signs of scratches even if you use coins, keys or razor blades.

The bend test in the video reveals that the phone bends a little, but without any catastrophic damage. The metal design gives it a solid support. However, the device lacks any adhesives around the corners. It means OnePlus 5 is not water-resistant.

OnePlus 5 specs and price

The OnePlus 5 features a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a 3300mAh battery, Snapdragon 835 processor with clock speed of up to 2.45GHz, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone will be available in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. OnePlus 5 offers 64GB and 128GB of internal storage. It is the first OnePlus phone to come with a dual camera on the back. The rear camera setup includes a 20MP and a 16MP lens.

The phone will go on sale next Tuesday, June 27th. It has been priced at $479, significantly lower than the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8. Despite shamelessly copying the design of iPhone 7 Plus, OnePlus executives left no chance to take potshots at the flagship iPhone during the unveiling event. The device is expected to steal customers away from the iPhones and Galaxy S devices by offering similar specs at lower prices.