Once a cheat, always a cheat. That seems to be the perfect way to describe the Chinese manufacturer after it was found to have tampered with its latest phone, as it did with OnePlus 3 and 3T.

OnePlus has been caught in tempering with the software on the OnePlus 5 to help it secure higher benchmark scores. As has been found, the OnePlus 5, when it detects a benchmark, unleashes the Snapdragon 835 to clock at its highest speed of 1.9 GHz.

This, the Chinese manufacturer believes, will help it emerge on top of the heap of other Snapdragon 835 powered flagships. The said arrangement does not amount to overclocking of the chipset but the thermal throttling mechanism does get disabled.

No wonder, the handset reached almost 50 degrees Celsius temperature on the outside when pushed to the extreme on the benchmark. At that temperature, the device is simply too hot to even touch, let alone to hold and operate.

What is also worth noting is that the device didn’t tend to heat up that quickly with CPU benchmarks as it did with the GPU benchmarks. The said tweaks aren’t expected to make a world of a difference compared to other handsets featuring the Snapdragon 835 chips. Rather, it would just be a 5 percent improvement in performance compared to its peers though the same will help the OnePlus 5 to be seen as the fastest handset featuring the Snapdragon 835.

The OnePlus 5 software is designed to respond differently with the following benchmark tools:

  • AnTuTu
  • Androbench
  • Geekbench 4
  • GFXBench
  • Quadrant
  • Nenamark 2
  • Vellamo

OnePlus responded to the allegation saying they wish to see users have a taste of the true potential of the OnePlus 5 handset.

“People use benchmark apps in order to ascertain the performance of their device, and we want users to see the true performance of the OnePlus 5. Therefore, we have allowed benchmark apps to run in a state similar to daily usage, including the running of resource intensive apps and games.

Additionally, when launching apps the OnePlus 5 runs at a similar state in order to increase the speed in which apps open. We are not overclocking the device, rather we are displaying the performance potential of the OnePlus 5.”

What is even more disturbing is the fact this isn’t the first time that OnePlus has been found to tamper with their handsets to make them appear better performing on benchmarks. It has just been a few months back that the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T were found to have emulated something similar. However, the anomaly was then attributed to the merging process that the Oxygen and Hydrogen OS teams were in at the time.

None of that applies to the OnePlus 5 as the Oxygen OS team should be matured enough by now to not have overlooked such a lapse on the handset. Unless of course, it is a deliberate move, which is what seems most likely. At least, the official OnePlus statement post the discovery points to that.

If anything, it is the brand image that has suffered and it will be interesting what the company’s next move will be to wriggle itself out of the mess.

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