When Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched last year, the Korean manufacturer was criticized for rigging the benchmark score of their flagship handset.
In Samsung's case, a code was supposedly discovered on the handset that triggers the handset into CPU optimization mode when it finds out bench-marking apps running in the background. With the brand new HTC One M8, history is repeating itself.
According to CNet, benchmark score rigging is not a one-off incident; pretty much all the Android devices (except for the devices straight from Google's den) engage in such practices.
AnTuTu, a benchmark scoring app company, claimed that the benchmark scores of HTC One (M8) trumped other market leaders' scores with its superior performance.
In specific, the "Asian" variant of HTC One M8 stood out with the highest score. The reports suggested that HTC cheated significantly in benchmarks.
Interestingly, AnTuTu has two versions of their app. The older version "AnTuTu app" was the one hoodwinked by many of Android phones with their benchmark rigging techniques last year. The newer version is named "AnTuTu X" app.
According to BGR, a Taiwanese site named ePrice compared benchmarks for an assortment of devices with both the older and newer versions of AnTuTu and found varied results on the Asian HTC One (M8) variant.
The Asian model scored a whopping 38,815 in AnTuTu, but only 27,171 in the new AnTuTu X App.
Notably, last year AnandTech criticized Android OEMs for their alleged use of optimizing techniques on their flagship handsets related to benchmarks.
This year, they found out a never seen before benchmark optimization technique when reviewing HTC One M8.
The new optimization practice targets several benchmark tests like GFXBench, BaseMark OS II, and BaseMark X, claimed AnandTech.
It is worth noting that, HTC's Developer tools settings includes a "high performance mode", which apparently allows users to run the device in high performance mode at all times, this is the mode seemingly utilized for benchmark rigging. This particular mode can be enabled or disabled manually.
AnandTech said, "I do appreciate that HTC is exposing the optimization control, the only thing missing is the ability to toggle the benchmark optimization off (not to mention that, I'd prefer if it was disabled to begin with)."
With great concern, AnandTech had some strong words to counter such malpractices employed by phone manufacturers.
Anand Lal from AnandTech said, "I fear that HTC's justification in all of this is that everyone else is doing it so why opt out. Nevertheless, the reality seems to be trending the other direction. We'll have to see what Samsung does with the Galaxy S5, but I have a feeling that HTC is going to end up on the wrong side of history with this move."
"All of our benchmarks are already immune to the optimization, so it's really a matter of sacrificing integrity for no real gain. There's nothing more to say other than I'm disappointed," the site claimed.
But HTC does not view this as a cheating technique but as a potential feature to the users, who can utilize the high performance mode as they wish.
According to the company, this high performance mode option is not available in US handsets at this point of time, but can be expected via software upgrade in future.
Handset manufacturers are increasingly finding ways & loopholes in justifying their practice. It would be interesting to see, how these benchmark testers counter such tactics in future.