Samsung Caught Throttling Performance of Galaxy S22 and Older Phones in Thousands of Popular Apps and Games

Samsung Caught Throttling Performance of Galaxy S22 and Older Phones in Thousands of Popular Apps and Games

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Samsung announced its 2022 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S22 series, featuring Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip last month. With the phones now making their way into the hands of customers, a worrying move from the company has come to light. Several users have discovered that the company has been throttling CPU performance on its devices launched in the last couple of years.

Users on Twitter, South Korean social media forum Clien, and Samsung’s Community forums in the country lament that the brand’s Games Optimization Service (GOS) throttles CPU performance for over 10,000 apps, including social media apps, resource-intensive games, and Samsung’s preinstalled apps. However, benchmarking apps such as 3DMark, Antutu, PCMark, GFXBench, and GeekBench 5 aren’t affected by GOS’ “optimization.”

Some of the apps optimized by GOS include Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, TikTok, Google Keep, Microsoft’s Office apps, (Samsung’s) Secure Folder, Samsung Cloud, Bixby, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Pass.

As a result, device reviewers, users, and potential Samsung phone buyers are being misled. The benchmark scores aren’t indicative of real-world performance because most commonly-used apps are artificially limited in performance by the GOS. Unfortunately, a quick look at the settings for the GOS utility shows that it cannot be disabled or turned off.

Samsung GOS

To ensure this is the case, Korean YouTuber Square Dream renamed the package files for 3DMark as Genshin Impact, a popular videogame, and confirmed suspicions. GOS identifies the running apps by their package name because the original 3DMark score was significantly higher than when the package was renamed. SamMobile reports that there was a 50 percent performance drop in some cases due to GOS.

Our Take

Despite Samsung’s use of flagship hardware in its Galaxy phones, the brand appears to have a compelling reason to hamstring the performance of everyday apps. It appears to be doing so to prevent thermal issues and increase the battery life. On the downside, the phones don’t deliver the benchmark-grade performance in real-world usage scenarios like gaming, multitasking, and content streaming.

The problem is reminiscent of OnePlus’ attempts to “optimize” apps on the OnePlus 9 Pro to improve battery life artificially.

Thankfully, a Naver post claims that Samsung is aware of the issue and is actively investigating it. The South Korean smartphone maker has not issued an official statement addressing the issue at the time of publishing.

Why do you think Samsung is throttling the CPU performance of several everyday apps despite having potent hardware and a fairly large battery to power it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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