Mar 31 AT 4:50 PM Dima Aryeh 34 Comments

HTC admits to pulling a Samsung, optimizing HTC One (M8) for benchmarks

HTc one gray

About a year ago, Samsung was hit with some serious controversy over a trivial addition to the software on its flagship device, the Galaxy S4. It wasn’t some spyware or large bloat, but optimization code for benchmarks. Basically, when a benchmark is run, the software will push the hardware to its limits for the duration of the benchmark, instead of using the regular software that balances performance and battery life. This resulted in significantly higher benchmark numbers.

As you would expect, people reacted very poorly and spewed hate at Samsung for such a move. And I do agree that it’s somewhat scummy to do so, because it basically lies about how powerful the device is in comparison to the competition. But it wasn’t a big deal because benchmarks mean very little. Yet due to the hate, Samsung removed this code in the KitKat update so the Galaxy S4 now runs benchmarks normally.

HTC, apparently oblivious to the reaction Samsung received, has done the same thing with the HTC One (M8). The company freely admits that it optimized the software to run the hardware at full speed to boost benchmark numbers, explaining the high numbers the device receives. Yet unlike with Samsung, whom everyone loves to hate, HTC isn’t receiving all that much hate for this move. You know, despite it being no less scummy when a different manufacturer does it.

Benchmarking tests look to determine maximum performance of the CPU and GPU and, similar to the engine in a high-performance sports car, our engineers optimize in certain scenarios to produce the best possible performance. If someone would like to get around this benchmarking optimization there are ways to do so, but we think most often this will not be the case.HTC

No matter what, it’s still not a big deal whatsoever. Benchmarks don’t show the true everyday performance of a device, so you should never buy a device strictly on benchmark performance. Either way, let’s throw some complaints HTC’s way to show the company we don’t like being lied to.

Via: Pocket Now

Source: CNET

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • Stephen M

    Awwww are you still sore Samsung got ripped for doing this? You poor boy.
    I guess you don’t want people to also know that this is actually planned to be a key feature in future HTC software updates. You lose battery life but get theooption to actually use the cpu to it’s fullest extent.
    Guess that’s just one more thing Samsung can’t compete with.
    Now go cry some more lol

    • Burnd

      Though you’re arguing like a twelve-year-old with severe issues, you’re right about the fact HTC actually used an existing mode on the M8. It’s a developer option called “high performance mode”, which is accessible to the customer. You may call it whatever you want, but it’s not “lying” since it’s an existing feature, and the customer is free to use the M8 and actually achieve these scores.

      The only thing misleading about these benchmarks scores is the fact the phone doesn’t automatically enable this high performance mode. And I’m glad about that, because firstly in the “normal” performance mode the phone is already a beast and can run every app out there smoothly. Secondly, I care for my battery life.

  • BlazeHN

    I suppose it’s because they are anouncing it public, not doing it on secret which its seem more like dirty/bad as Samsung did.

    • Dima Aryeh

      HTC didn’t announce this, but it’s true that they admitted it without hesitation. Samsung took the low road, trying to keep it quiet. Great point, thanks for contributing!

      • 99steven

        Htc fan boys ignored that htc did it, while all along blaming samsung for doing the same thing. Much like how the m8 offers nothing new, much like the s5, but htc fan boys only look at the lack of improvements on the s5, while praising the m8, which also had very little improvement, but hey at least the S5 has a scanner and is now waterproof, I am still looking for something new in the m8, besides improved specs

    • xaml

      Publicly announcing that you are not playing fair does not make your play any more fair.

      • Dima Aryeh


  • Michael

    I am not going to get worked up over this, but I hope that people who were trying to make HTC look like a better company specially by referencing Samsung’s benchmark optimizations, feel enlightened by this experience.

    • Dima Aryeh

      Exactly my point! Definitely not something to get worked up over, it’s so unimportant. I just dislike how selective people are about loving/hating companies, and that Samsung gets so much more hate for the same things. It’s a bit annoying.

      • John in Brisbane

        No I am quite disappointed about this. It’s dodgy, dishonest behaviour designed to influence enthusiasts like us. Getting all glossy about a product is one thing but purposely skewing results to create a false impression of performance is dodgy dodgy dodgy. People have committed sepaku over much less!

  • PaulieG

    Well I already suspected most of the hardcore HTC fanboi’s were hypocrites, it’s just being re-confirmed here. I didn’t care when Samsung did it, I don’t care about HTC doing it either, I just find it funny that’s what’s not good for the goose, seems to be fine for the gander. I used to think Apple fanbois were one eyed hyprocrites, but it seems many must have switched to HTC.

    Aaaaanyways, hater are always gonna hate… Just as Samsung and Apple will continue to make squillions of dollars no matter how much you hate on them..

    • 99steven

      So true. The htc fan boys think the m8 is such an improvement, but the truth is, Samsung put more into their s5, then htc did the m8

  • SotoXP

    Bad HTC, bad. At least they man-up to their actions like men. Unlike Samsung, who cowardly hide in their cave copying Curpentino Co.

  • Igaal

    Dimah that’s a bit petty of you! Reminds me of a kid who go and Dobbs his friends in school, it ok to be a Samsung fanboy buy not by throwing dirt on others!

    • xaml

      It’s not throwing dirt on others to demand for them to be treated equally critical.

      • Dima Aryeh

        Yeah, seriously. I said it’s scummy of Samsung to do it, and I say it’s scummy of HTC to do it.

  • Igaal

    Btw I saw you voted the M8 3rd on Phonedog after the Note 3 and the Moto X, and you call yourself an expert? Pffft what a joke

    • xaml

      Talking about petty…

    • Dima Aryeh

      Yes, I did. The Note 3 is the perfect phone for me (notice the “me” part) and the Moto X was the first truly innovative device in years. The HTC One M8 may be a great device, but it’s nothing special to me. Low megapixel camera with removed OIS isn’t exactly impressive.

  • John in Brisbane

    This kind of behaviour sh!ts me. It is dishonest, even if it isn’t at the extreme end of the scale. I will make it my business to tell everyone that Samsung and HTC lied about this to influence enthusiasts.

    As you point out, the user experience is vastly more important than benchmark numbers. Despite that, dishonest benchmarks are clearly aimed at influencing opinions and hence decisions … dodgy.

    FWIW, the HTC M7 felt snappier to use that the gs4, at least to me. Samsung still has that momentary pause when you tap the button to unlock the screen, plus other slightly laggy behaviour. Rich people problems I know but if you’re forking out decent money, it’s not fussy to expect the user experience to be superb.

    I had a Pentium 2 – 400 back in the day that was snappy with Win98. It would still be snappy today. My girlfriend loved it and bought a Pentium 3 Celeron 733 in response – big mistake. The Celeron aced benchmarks but sucked to actually use. There was a hesitation at every point. It was embarrassing because I recommended it based on reading the numbers. Ever since then, I’ve be wary of benchmarks and I am very disappointed to learn that HTC are being dodgy losers. I’ve seen them as the good guys/under-dogs to be honest. This really is disappointing for me.

  • Igaal

    And also just so you know that HTC unlike Samsung lets you boost the performance any time you want by enabling “high performance mode” so it’s not really cheating is it!

    • xaml

      That mode probably exists solely in order to support this kind of an argument. ;)

    • 99steven

      I can run samsung at full also

  • Dima Aryeh

    Wow, look at all the downvotes for everyone! Fanboys of all kind are really showing their color.

    • Paul Atreides

      HTC’s metal machines have created some little monsters. Shout out to Fred Savage.

    • Dima Aryeh

      Wow, people really turned this around. I love our commenters!

      • Dima Aryeh

        *shows love to commenters. Gets downvoted*

  • Igaal

    Dima I`m sorry for going off at you like this I have nothing against you mate

    • Dima Aryeh

      Absolutely no worries man, we cool :)

  • BlazeHN

    Hey but if you can actually turn on “High Perfomance Mode” on the M8 to get the 100% of the power (while draining more battery) just as the benchmark shows then this is not a lie.

    • Dima Aryeh

      To be fair, benchmarks automatically trigger this high performance mode and you can’t turn that off. So you can’t even get regular benchmark scores without repackaging the benchmark APK.

  • donger


  • redraider133

    I find it interesting when Samsung did it all the htc fanboys jumped down their throats, but now that HTC does it its OK since they “admitted to it”. Personally I put very little stock in benchmarks so this ” cheating” doesn’t bother me. Just funny how when its coming from the other side it suddenly becomes OK.

  • RuneChemist

    The only company I will ever truly hate is Apple. Although Android needs Apple around otherwise there won’t be any competition and thus no motivation to improve Android phones and the OS.