Update: Here’s the official statement from OnePlus that was shared by XDA-Developers.
“Our top priority is always delivering a great user experience with our products, based in part on acting quickly on important user feedback. Following the launch of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in March, some users told us about some areas where we could improve the devices’ battery life and heat management. As a result of this feedback, our R&D team has been working over the past few months to optimize the devices’ performance when using many of the most popular apps, including Chrome, by matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power. This has helped to provide a smooth experience while reducing power consumption. While this may impact the devices’ performance in some benchmarking apps, our focus as always is to do what we can to improve the performance of the device for our users.”
The statement confirms that this behaviour is intended indeed as it’s aimed at improving the battery life. As it stands right now, it’s unclear whether OnePlus is planning on improving or adjusting this feature.
Original story below
OnePlus was found to do some very interesting optimizations to its OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro devices, especially when it comes to various apps. OxygenOS analyzes the apps individually and it will limit the performance of the handset for what we can assume is to extend the battery life. However, this behaviour does not seem to affect any benchmarking app, which is why Geekbench has called it cheating, and therefore decided to delist it from its application.
It's disappointing to see OnePlus handsets making performance decisions based on application identifiers rather than application behavior. We view this as a form of benchmark manipulation. We've delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from our Android Benchmark chart. https://t.co/G40wmWeg7o
— Geekbench (@geekbench) July 6, 2021
Before the devices were delisted, Geekbench had commented the following “We will also test the other OnePlus handsets in our performance lab to see if these handsets also manipulate performance in the same way. If they do, we will delist them from the Android Benchmark chart.“ said in a separate tweet. 22 hours later, the latest OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro were delisted, however Geekbench hasn’t mentioned whether other OnePlus handsets were found to manipulate such behaviour.
The current hack isn’t the same as the normal ones that we’ve got used to. Instead of completely ignoring the thermal limitations, OxygenOS is running at full speed during benchmarks, while other apps are getting less power. Ultimately, it is very similar, but it’s not the same cheating mechanism.
This is certainly interesting, but not something totally new. Companies were found to manipulate their benchmark scores in the past, hoping that more customers would pick them up as a result. OnePlus has not yet commented on the issue so far, so we’ll have to wait if they have anything to say about it.
What are your thoughts about the new method and OnePlus’ strategy to get a higher position in benchmark apps? Are you surprised? Let us know in the comments!