The repercussions of the MediaTek scandal are growing. Now, UL Benchmarks, a known benchmarking platform for PCs and smartphones, have delisted handsets from Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Sony and Realme that feature the MediaTek processor.
For those unaware, MediaTek was recently accused of cheating on benchmarks. According to AnandTech, the chipmaker pushes its chipsets to unsustainable ‘Sports Mode’ during benchmarks. This improves the scoring of the smartphone, which displays inaccurate scores. The tampering of the scores could potentially act as advertising if it is greater than the competition and could also be misleading.
Thus, UL Benchmarks (previously known as Futuremark) have delisted every smartphone in their platform that runs a MediaTek processor, especially the newer generations. This is not the first time the firm has resorted to delisting, as back in 2013, the company had also delisted HTC and Samsung smartphone for cheating. The names of chipsets blacklisted by UL Benchmarks include MediaTek’s Helio G90, G70, P96, P90, P65, P60, P20, and A22.
The official reasoning given out was in two parts. First, the discrepancies in performance numbers found by AnandTech was confirmed by UL Benchmarks. Furthermore, the latter has its own benchmarking rules and called quoted MediaTek’s statement which practically confirmed in its misleading practices for benchmarks.
Oddly enough, MediaTek still stands by its benchmarking scores and practices, and is firmly convinced of no wrongdoings. Interestingly, the chipmaker also offers OEMs the option to enable the cheat, so its discretion is also subjective. Thus, the argument falls in a slightly gray area, since whitelisting applications for performance boosts is universally frowned upon, but also depends on the OEM that is using the processor.
It’s not to the MediaTek smartphones will be removed, but rather unranked without any PCMark for Android scores. With that, the selected delisted devices aren’t able to be compared with other smartphone models temporarily. How MediaTek managed to bypass the benchmark scores is by using a hidden mechanism commonly known as “Sports Mode” (or anything similar), which artificially boost the phone’s performance while running the public PCMark for Android app. This is not an accepted industry standard by UL Benchmarks.
Below is the official list of delisted MediaTek chipsets:
MediaTek Helio G90
MediaTek Helio G70
MediaTek Helio P95
MediaTek Helio P90
MediaTek Helio P65
MediaTek Helio P60
MediaTek Helio P20
MediaTek Helio A22
By all means, UL Benchmarks isn’t condoning optional performance modes but as long as it’s allowed under the current rules and guidelines, and disabled by default. Therefore, any benchmark scores that use a hidden mechanism (Sports Mode) and settings enabled by default do not accurately reflect a device true performance in daily usage. The company hopes that the delisting will somehow persuade MediaTek to change their way to adopt benchmarking best practices.
UL Benchmarks take benchmarking manipulation seriously. So if you happen to discover a smartphone with a suspicious score, please do share the details with them and the company will investigate right away.