14 July 2021
UPDATE (July 8th, 2021):
OnePlus has finally issued a statement on the controversy:
“Our top priority is always delivering a great user experience with our products, based in part on acting quickly on important user feedback. Following the launch of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in March, some users told us about some areas where we could improve the devices’ battery life and heat management. As a result of this feedback, our R&D team has been working over the past few months to optimize the devices’ performance when using many of the most popular apps, including Chrome, by matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power. This has helped to provide a smooth experience while reducing power consumption. While this may impact the devices’ performance in some benchmarking apps, our focus as always is to do what we can to improve the performance of the device for our users.”
Original (July 7th, 2021)
In shocking and disappointing news for OnePlus fans, Geekbench has decided to delist the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones from its platform for benchmark manipulation. The decision was taken after a recent AnandTech investigation revealed that the OnePlus 9 series delivers different performances for different apps, especially between the benchmark and non-benchmark applications.
The OnePlus 9 series is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. It is a premium chipset that also powers other major Android flagships of 2021. The report claims that OnePlus is found to be throttling performance for many of the popular apps like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google Chrome, Zoom, and YouTube. These are only a fraction of the apps that the team tested but include the majority of the commonly used apps on the Android platform.
In a browser test done using Speedometer 2.0 on Google Chrome, the OnePlus 9 Pro was found to be scoring a measly 16 points as compared to other flagships hovering around 100. A similar test was done using the Vivaldi browser where the flagship managed to score 107 points. However, it was doing so only for the first launch of the app after a fresh installation. The device was found to be throttling performance for every other re-launch.
This is simply because the OnePlus 9 series was not utilizing higher performance cores of the Snapdragon 888 chipset for non-benchmark apps. This is essentially a performance manipulation which is also the reason Geekbench is quick to take the action and delist the flagships. It is said that older OnePlus devices will also be investigated to see if they indulge in similar behavior. OnePlus is yet to comment on the situation but we will keep you posted.
It's disappointing to see OnePlus handsets making performance decisions based on application identifiers rather than application behavior. We view this as a form of benchmark manipulation. We've delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from our Android Benchmark chart. https://t.co/G40wmWeg7o— Geekbench (@geekbench) July 6, 2021