The entire point of benchmark scores is comparing devices on an even playing field. If scores are being manipulated by CPU boosting and other methods that change the way the device behaves in specific apps, then the scores are no longer any use. Geekbench and XDA have found that both OnePlus and Meizu have been cheating benchmark scores by detecting benchmark apps and changing the way the device runs. Specifically, the OnePlus 3T and Meizu Pro 6. Here are the multi-core test scores for the OnePlus 3T with the regular build of Geekbench and a modified build that was not detected as a benchmark.
You can see that the difference is quite big. this is due to a more aggressive CPU governor being used when the software detects certain apps. OnePlus responded to these accusations:
In order to give users a better user experience in resource intensive apps and games, especially graphically intensive ones, we implemented certain mechanisms in the community and Nougat builds to trigger the processor to run more aggressively. The trigger process for benchmarking apps will not be present in upcoming OxygenOS builds on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
Despite the reassurance that this will be changed, it seems to be a very intentional “feature.” If you’re relying on benchmark scores when buying a new phone, don’t believe everything you see because this is not the first time benchmarks have been manipulated and this is definitely not going to be the last.