Samsung, suspected of “throttling” on its mobiles. In the benchmarks, yes, they were at full speed

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Samsung has been accused of do ‘throttling’ in no less than 10,000 Android applications. The technique automatically (and without the user’s knowledge) slows down performance in order to save power and extend battery life. Apple and Samsung itself they’ve been caught—and fined—for something like this in the past.

Various analyzes seem to confirm that Samsung has made use of the “Game Optimizing Service” (GOS) application to activate this ‘throttling’ depending on the application. Of course: if it was detected that it was a benchmark, the performance was again maximum. The impact could be huge, and analysis reveals that affected apps—and even the home screen— ran 13% to 45% slower on the Galaxy S10, S20, S21 and the new S22.

Drops of up to 45% in performance

Signs that Samsung was throttling performance on its smartphones began to appear on Twitter and the South Korean user forum clen.net. There it was shown how when running a benchmark, this gave a very different score if the user changed the name of the benchmark by that of any application or game.

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For example, if Geekbench was run without further ado, the score was high, but if the name of that app was changed to ‘Genshin Impact’ —a well-known video game—, the result was much worse. The lead developer of that benchmark himself, John Poole, reproduced the problem in a Galaxy S10 and in a Galaxy S22and for example the performance in the latter fell by 46% in single-core and 35% in multi-core.

One of the Korean forum users, called ‘squiny’, public the entire database applications affected by this throttling, and the performance reduction of that “game optimization” tool affects games and normal applications. In fact, there are far fewer games (about 3,200 on the list) than conventional applications (approximately twice as many).

The tool also works with Samsung’s own applications. Your Messages, Contacts, Calendar, Phone, Samsung Pay, Camera apps appear in the list. and even your own home screen. Google apps (Maps, YouTube, PlayStore, Chrome, Gmail) are in that database, as are other hugely popular ones like Netflix, Disney+, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon.

Which ones are not? The benchmarks. Geekbench, 3D Mark, PCMark, GFXBench, Antutu, CPDT and Androbench, for example, are not part of that list, which suggests that indeed Samsung only activated the maximum performance of its phones with benchmarks.

Apple and Samsung itself have already been criticized for doing something like this in the past, and up to Qualcomm had many overheating problems his Snapdragon 810 and it also applied this system to try to relieve them, but that was not enough and at least one “big client” ended up discarding that chip.

It is the user who should activate the performance modes

In certain scenarios these throttling techniques are interesting since they allow to extend the autonomy of the battery, but that a manufacturer activates them without notice and without saying anything is highly debatable. In fact, the option may actually make sense in intensive scenarios such as games, but the user should be able to activate this mechanism or not, which will logically make the game less fluid.

Activate this option by default in all types of applications, including those that are widely used on a day-to-day basis and that are not particularly demanding, for example in the graphic section It is certainly something surprising especially when you invest a lot of money to access mobiles from which you expect exemplary performance at all times.

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One would expect that at least on your home screen and in such popular tools as social networks, mail or messaging everything should go as smooth as possiblebut the indications seem to reveal that Samsung “coats” the performance with the probable objective of extending the battery life.

in Xataka we have contacted with those responsible for Samsung in Spain, and they have offered us the following official response in which they give more details about the GOS app, although they do not mention anything about the application throttling problem:

“Our priority is to provide consumers with the best mobile experience. The Game Optimization Service (GOS) has been designed for gaming applications to achieve great performance while managing the temperature of the device effectively. GOS does not manage the performance of non-game apps. Of course, we value the feedback we receive on all of our products, and after careful consideration, we plan to release a software update soon so users can monitor performance while running game apps. “.

Update (3/4/2022, 2:36 PM): We have included the statements of those responsible for Samsung.

Samsung has been accused of do ‘throttling’ in no less than 10,000 Android applications. The technique automatically (and without the…

Samsung has been accused of do ‘throttling’ in no less than 10,000 Android applications. The technique automatically (and without the…

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