Samsung Galaxy S22 might soon be as fast as it should always have been - but at a cost

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
A Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 range are supposed to be among the most powerful phones on the planet, but recently it was discovered that Samsung was artificially limiting their performance. Now though, the company seems to be addressing the issue.

Leaker @UniverseIce posted an image of a software update for South Korean models in the Galaxy S22 range, and based on translations in the replies it appears to include a removal of the CPU and GPU performance restriction applied to games.

The patch also mentions adding a ‘Game performance management mode’ to the Game Booster app, which presumably gives you the option of turning those performance restrictions back on if you’d like to.

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Samsung never officially addressed why those restrictions were in place, but it was likely to extend the battery life, so some users may decide they’d rather take the performance hit if it means a longer lasting phone.

Unrestricted performance could also lead to heat build-up, but from the patch notes it sounds like there will still be controls in place to address this, so if your phone is getting dangerously hot, it might still be slowed down. This is based on a rough translation though.

Interestingly, there’s no mention of performance being unrestricted for non-gaming apps, many of which were also found to be throttled. It’s not clear whether that’s a failure of the translation, an omission from the notes, or whether Samsung actually will still regulate performance on some apps. But then again, most non-gaming apps don’t really need all that power anyway.

It doesn’t seem as though this patch has rolled out to other regions yet, but it’s likely the rest of the world will get it soon, so keep an eye out for it if you have a Galaxy S22 (or a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus or Galaxy S22 Ultra).

Analysis: better performance, worse battery

As noted, the removal of these restrictions could cause a hit on battery life, so it will be interesting to see how much of an impact that has.

In our reviews we found that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and S22 Plus comfortably lasted a full day, but not much more. If this change means they struggle to last a day, then that could be a real issue.

Still, putting the decision of performance or battery life in users’ hands is definitely the way to go – we just might find that restricting the performance actually does provide the best balance.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.