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Huawei faked several of its phones’ benchmark scores

Will launch a ‘performance mode’ to compensate

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Do you use benchmarks to judge phones? As the market matures, the once-lauded measurement has slowly deteriorated in integrity. Nowadays, most consumers review user experience, rather than read unquantifiable benchmarks scores. In fact, test scores have now ballooned to unintelligible hundreds of thousands.

As the benchmark nears natural obsolescence, companies have started hammering the final nails in the measurement’s coffin. Indirectly proving the test’s nearing extinction, Huawei and sister company Honor have abused the benchmark test to their advantage. Both companies have been caught faking their phones’ test scores.

Recently, tech website AnandTech has discovered the companies’ anomalies. Apparently, both Huawei and Honor have altered their phones’ responses to certain benchmarking apps. When users open these apps, the phones automatically ramp up their performance specifically to pump up the test’s numbers.

Basically, when you run a benchmarking test on these phones, the resulting score artificially amplifies how the phone really runs.

To be more specific, AnandTech proved this with popular benchmarking apps, 3DMark and GFXBench. Additionally, the affected phones include the Huawei P20 Pro, the Nova 3, and the Honor Play.

In response, 3DMark has officially delisted the phones from its catalog. The ban will remain until Huawei implements a fix for the fakery.

Surprisingly, Huawei has not denied the allegations. In fact, the company has indirectly confessed to the crime.

In a statement, Dr. Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s director of software, cites “other manufacturers also [misleading] with their numbers.” Additionally, he states that it is already “common practice in China.”

To further add evidence against their case, Huawei has announced a new “performance mode” for the upcoming EMUI 9.0. The new option will allow users to “overclock” their phones at the cost of more power. Ultimately, the company hopes that the boost will allow the phones to live up to their advertised benchmark scores.

Still, the damage remains. Like another fakery issue, Huawei has made the curious decision to puff up its high scores, despite already enjoying rave reviews.

Very likely, the shady marketing tactic will not bode well for Huawei’s perception in countries where it’s weak. Particularly, the company is still in hot water with the US government.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20: What to expect

India

How to identify counterfeit Xiaomi products

Always purchase via official channels

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Xiaomi is most popular for its smartphones, but the brand makes a wide range of other products that range from lifestyle to smart home. It has also invested in a lot of companies like Yee Light, Amazfit, Huami, and more.

Most of the quirky products are sold exclusively in its home market of China, though the brand is slowly trying to get them to other markets. Accessories like power banks and earphones are among the fastest-selling and Xiaomi is often unable to match the demand.

This has created a huge vacuum for counterfeit products. Recently, fake Xiaomi products worth INR 13 lakh (US$ 18,200) were seized by the local police in New Delhi, India. Even in Mumbai, counterfeit copies are sold widely on the streets as well as reputed offline stores.

These counterfeit products are not trust-worthy because they barely have any quality norms. Using fake copies can also be hazardous in case of powerbanks or charging bricks.

If you’ve recently purchased a Xiaomi product or intend to buy something in the future, follow these steps to ensure you’ve received a genuine offering.

  • Mi Powerbanks come with a security code that can be used to verify its authenticity. Just enter the code on Xiaomi’s website here.
  • Ensure that the packaging is original. Makers of counterfeit products are trying to replicate the original packaging, but often fail.
  • Mi Band will have no compatibility issue and will seamlessly connect to Mi Fit app.
  • Lastly, purchase products via authorised channels only. These include Mi.com, Mi Stores, and Mi Partner Stores.

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India

Vivo V17 launches with quad-cameras and Snapdragon 675

But is it better than Xiaomi or Realme’s offering?

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Vivo’s V-series has been a top-seller for a few years and the brand has positioned it perfectly in the midrange segment. The brand unveiled the phone in India today and it’ll be going up against the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme XT, and Nokia 7.2.

The phone’s unique selling point is its quad-camera setup on the rear, a punch-hole camera on the front, and 4500mAh battery. It’s elder sibling — the Vivo V17 Pro, has already been launched in the Philippines and we expect it to come to India soon.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with better screen-to-body ratio thanks to a punch-hole cutout. Other additions include a blue-light filter and a wide color gamut.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 675 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Similar to other phones in the segment, it also gets a microSD card slot and dual SIM support.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The punch-hole cutout houses a 32-megapixel selfie camera. Night mode is now supported on the front as well as the rear and other additions include AR stickers and portrait mode.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with Vivo’s proprietary dual-engine fast charge technology. For gaming, a dedicated mode has been provided that optimises the system and controls heating.

The phone is priced at INR 22,990 (US$ 320) and will be available for purchase from December 17 via all major online as well as offline retailers.

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News

OnePlus 8 Lite could be a midranger with a punch-hole camera

It’ll come at an affordable price

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OnePlus 8 Lite could be in the works if we are to believe a few leaked renders. The CAD-based renders of the OnePlus 8 Lite have been leaked by popular leakster OnLeaks and suggest the company could launch a more affordable offering soon.

We expect the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro to launch in Q2 2020 and they could be accompanied by the 8 Lite. It can be a substitute for Samsung’s S10e, a smaller phone that doesn’t cost as much as the flagships.

The OnePlus 8 Lite appears to be a serious deviation from the typical OnePlus design, moving the camera bump back to the corner. The phone doesn’t have any headphone jack but it comes with a USB-C port and a speaker grille. But, it may have an under-screen fingerprint scanner, translating into an OLED display.

When it comes to the internal specs, it’s not clear exactly how it might differentiate itself from the standard offering.

OnePlus is now a well-established brand and controls quite a huge chunk of the premium market in countries like India. Within a short span of time, it has managed to challenge Samsung’s status quo and sometimes even Apple.

The brand has been focused on making premium flagships for a few years and recently also expanded to TVs. OnePlus X was the first and last midrange phone from OnePlus and the top management has been quite vocal about not going down the path again.

However, changing times require changing strategies. The S10e has received a phenomenal response and a midrange price will make it easier for users to purchase the phone.

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