Earlier today, OnePlus announced its latest flagship handset, the 5. Starting at $479, the phone is packed with high-end specs, such as Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 128GB of storage.
Unfortunately, it appears that you should be skeptical when you see benchmarks in reviews, as according to a report from XDA-Developers, the device cheats to give itself a better score than it deserves. According to the report, OnePlus also did something similar with the 3T, but it used a different method.
XDA says that the phone "resorts to the kind of obvious, calculated cheating mechanisms we saw in flagships in the early days of Android, an approach that is clearly intended to maximize scores in the most misleading fashion." While the benchmark is running, all of the little cores are kept at their maximum frequency of 1.9GHz, causing it to receive scores that are even higher than Qualcomm's own Snapdragon 835 test device.
The report says that when using the "cheating mechanism", the change in score can be as much as 6.5%, with an average of 5%. Obviously, this is enough to put the 5 ahead of other devices that have similar hardware.
XDA reached out to OnePlus, and received the following statement:
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.
Of course, the way that the benchmarks are run on the device is most certainly not how it performs in day-to-day use. Naturally, this only means that you should be distrusting of benchmarks - which is generally true anyway - and if the report is indeed accurate (and it appears to be), OnePlus.
But if you're not one to go through a review and focus on benchmarks, this doesn't affect you in the slightest.