Mobile Benchmark Cheating: When a SoC Vendor Provides It As A Service

Mobile benchmark cheating has a long story that goes far back for the industry (well – at least in smartphone industry years), and has also been a controversial coverage topic at AnandTech for several years now. I remember back in 2013 where I had tipped off Brian and Anand about some of the shenanigans Samsung was doing on the GPU of Exynos chipsets on the Galaxy S4, only for the thing to blow up into a wider analysis of the practice amongst many of the mobile vendors back then – with all of them being found guilty. 

In recent years however we saw a big resurgence of such methods, particularly from Chinese vendors. The one big difference here however is that there’s always been somewhat of a firewall in our coverage between what a device vendor did, and what chip vendors enabled them to do, and that’s where we come to MediaTek’s behavior over the last few years. In most past cases we always blamed the device vendors for cheating as it had been their mechanisms and initiative – we hadn’t had evidence of enablement by chipset vendors, at least until now.