The Samsung Galaxy S22 and its siblings are among the most powerful phones on Earth, but they might not always seem like it, and there’s a reason for that – Samsung is reportedly throttling around 10,000 apps and games.
This problem was reported by Twitter user @GaryeonHan and numerous South Korean users, who compiled a list of affected apps, and report that the issue is seemingly caused by performance limits put in place by Samsung’s Game Optimizing Service.
Yet it’s not just games that are affected, with Netflix, TikTok, Google Keep, Instagram, and many other apps also on the list.
Samsung created an app called GOS and used the app to limit game performance, making the gaming experience worse. However, according to what the Korean community found out today, Samsung confirmed that it has put performance limits on more than 10,000 apps... pic.twitter.com/U58AreZZooMarch 2, 2022
The Game Optimizing Service seemingly does this to preserve battery life, but it can’t be disabled, and sneakily it doesn’t affect benchmarking apps – so they’ll report higher performance than you’re actually likely to get.
Demonstrating this, a South Korean YouTuber changed the name of the 3DMark benchmarking app to Genshin Impact (a game which is throttled) and saw the app report scores and frame rates that were over 50% lower than when it was named 3DMark. So in other words Samsung’s aggressive throttling could see performance drop by 50% or more in affected apps.
According to a leaker going by the name Lanzuk and posting on a South Korean blogging platform, Samsung is now “investigating” this issue. Of course it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t know this was happening, but perhaps this means some changes will be made soon.
For what it’s worth, this problem may not be affecting your Galaxy S22, as Android Authority reports to not be able to find the Game Optimizing Service on their handsets. On the flipside though, the issue might also affect older Samsung phones, as our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra does have it.
Analysis: not the first case of smartphone throttling
While this is a very bad look for Samsung, this isn’t the first company to have been caught slowing phones down.
OnePlus though did almost exactly the same thing as Samsung – throttling numerous apps, but conveniently not benchmarking ones. And it did this on the OnePlus 9 series when they were brand new phones. OnePlus has since added the ability to opt out of this, so hopefully Samsung will follow suit.
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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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.