OnePlus 5 seemingly posts misleading benchmark scores, company’s defense fails to silence accusers

While an unusually candid pre-release buzz-building campaign eliminated basically all secrets and surprises from the OnePlus 5 hardware and design equation, the little Chinese OEM that could still caught the world off guard with an “early drop” and review embargo lift on announcement day.

Yup, OnePlus is that confident of both its latest flagship’s potential for greatness and the company’s ability to keep up with demand right off the bat, even promising a swift June 27 “general sales” start.

But although we’re overall pleased with that bold new dual camera and impressed by a number of premium features delivered in a relatively inexpensive package, all this refreshing openness and transparency has also already invited criticism and controversy.

The biggest bone of contention? Unfortunately, it’s something we’ve heard about before, and hoped it would never come back to haunt either OnePlus or fellow benchmark cheater Meizu. Not because we like these tech outfits, but based on the immorality and futility of a ploy long abandoned by other important smartphone manufacturers.

Just like last time, those expert rascals over at the XDA Developers association dug deep into the new phone’s synthetic benchmark behavior, underlying OxygenOS code and various under-the-hood software “optimizations” that are frankly too complicated to grasp for the average user, this writer included.

The bottom line however is easy to understand even for someone who didn’t knew such theoretical performance-testing tools as AnTuTu, Geekbench, GFXBench or Quadrant existed.

OnePlus artificially juiced up scores in the aforementioned apps on review units, and will likely continue to do so as far as commercial devices are concerned, arguing its “unlocking” of the phone’s “full potential without interference from tampering” is perfectly acceptable and even precisely what users want to see when running popular benchmarks.

The thing is, at least according to XDA’s findings, that the OnePlus 5 heats up like crazy when pulling numbers around 5 percent larger than those of direct competitors, meaning said performance is probably unsustainable in real-world “intensive” gaming scenarios. Well, either that or users should get ready to handle the OP5 with gloves.

All in all, XDA stands by its accusations while Carl Pei appears to refuse admitting doing anything wrong. Who do you think is right and who will blink first?

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).