It seems that HTC's new M8 smartphone does something similar, making it perform faster in some benchmarks and topping all the competition.
HTC's strange behavior was spotted by Taiwan-based site ePrice, which put the HTC M8 under benchmark using the AnTuTu app. It turns out that there are two versions of one of the popular benchmarking apps -- the Antutu and the AnTuTu X. The latter attempts to combat some of the "cheating" techniques and provide a more authentic measure of how a phone might perform under real-world conditions. So the HTC One M8 scored better on the standard AnTuTu rather on the AnTuTu X benchmark.
HTC's response was surprising. Speaking to Cnet, the company admittted that the new M8 enters into a special performance mode when it detects benchmarking app, but that's actually a feature:
"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."
"For those with a need for speed, we've provided a simple way to unleash this power by introducing a new High Performance Mode in the developer settings that can be enabled and disabled manually. The HTC One (M8) is optimized to provide the best balance of performance and battery life, but we believe in offering customer choice, as there may be times when the desire for performance outweighs the need for battery longevity."
HTC added that this mode is not yet available on US devices right now but will come to them shortly via software update.