Huawei will let all phone users access ‘performance mode’ after benchmark controversy

Huawei got caught cheating on benchmark tests, and now it’s trying to make amends. Today the company announced that it’ll let users force their phone into “performance mode,” saying it respects “consumers’ right to choose what to do with their devices.” This optimizes their device to run faster, but requires more of the phone’s power. Users will be able to do so starting with EMUI 9.0, a future version of Huawei’s OS.

This week, AnandTech exposed Huawei as optimizing its smartphones to over-perform on benchmark tests, specifically the 3DMark program. As such, 3DMark delisted the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play from its leaderboards. The phones were coded to detect this software and adjusted their performance accordingly. They didn’t perform as well with a program they didn’t recognize, meaning the phones couldn’t actually identify when they needed to perform better and didn’t accurately represent a normal use case.

The fact that Huawei is opening up its performance mode doesn’t mean all that much. It’s clearly just trying to cater to users who care about benchmark tests and want on-demand access to the best performance. It could be useful for gamers who want to enable it before playing, though. Still, it doesn’t take away from Huawei’s actual cheating, although the creators of 3DMark says they’ll reinstate Huawei’s benchmark scores once it opens performance mode up to all its phones.