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Antutu bans the realme GT after it finds evidence of benchmark cheating

Antutu will also make the ban permanent if realme doesn't address it.

Published onMarch 16, 2021

realme gt yellow rear render 1
  • Antutu has called out realme for allegedly cheating on its benchmark.
  • Evidence suggests that the realme GT uses CPU scheduling and JPG decoding tricks to buff its score.
  • Antutu has temporarily removed the phone’s score and issued an ultimatum to realme to address the issue.

Smartphone companies striving for high if not truly honest benchmark scores is nothing new. The latest apparent addition to the infamous benchmark cheating group is realme, specifically the realme GT.

In a Weibo post, (h/t GizmoChina) Antutu has outed the realme GT for allegedly cheating its benchmark. As a result, it has also removed the phone’s ~750,000 score from the database. That’s considerably higher than the Xiaomi Mi 11’s score of ~708,000, per Antutu’s testing. Antutu specifically noted (via machine translation) that this figure was “not a manifestation of true strength, but obtained through cheating and other means.”

So how did the realme GT supposedly cheat? Antutu cites its performance in the multithreaded workload and JPG decoding portions of its benchmark.

Read more: Gary Explains — Why and how do OEMs cheat on benchmarking?

The phone reportedly used thread delay tactics to run the multithreaded test on its fastest CPU cores as much as possible. This, Antutu notes, resulted in a higher score. The realme GT also “modified” the reference JPG image used by Antutu. Instead of processing the image verbatim, it instead used mosaic color blocks to reduce the quality of the image. This, in turn, allowed for lower processing times.

Antutu notes that both tactics are against the spirit of the benchmark. The benchmark firm has therefore removed realme GT’s scores for three months. It has also issued an ultimatum to realme stating that if the firm won’t modify how the phone completes the benchmark, it will permanently ban the phone from Antutu.

Benchmark cheating

realme is not the first firm outed for cheating on benchmarks. Last year, several MediaTek-powered phones by OPPO and others were reportedly gaming the PCMark test. The likes of Samsung, HUAWEI, OnePlus, and Meizu have been accused in the past, too.

For companies, benchmark figures remain an easy marketing tool. Arguably, these numbers may help a buyer not completely focused on other features or specs. It also helps the realme GT to stand out as it competes against a number of other competent Snapdragon 888 phones.

They are supposed to standardize the performance of phones across a variety of common tasks. But companies gaming the system ultimately bring doubt to the figures. That’s something the likes of Antutu obviously want to guard against.

Do you care that smartphone makers still cheat in benchmarks?

1010 votes

realme responds

realme told Android Authority in an email that it believes the benchmark scores are “all accurate.” The firm also told us that it’s communicating with Antutu at the time of writing.

The company’s CMO Xu Qi Chase issued a statement to Weibo, calling the scores the “real data run under the current version” of Antutu. See the Google-translated statement above.

Do you really care if smartphone makers cheat in benchmarks? Be sure to vote in the poll above, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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