Last year, OnePlus found themselves in trouble when it was revealed that they were artificially throttling performance of their OnePlus 9 series smartphones even in normal usage, and only allowing peak performance during benchmarks. Well it seems as though they weren’t the only one doing so, as Samsung has allegedly been caught doing the same via their Game Optimizing Service app.
The app itself is apparently designed to balance heat output and performance, letting your game run at full potential if it’s below a certain temperature threshold before dynamically lowering resolution to lower heat output. At least, that’s what its Galaxy Store page says it does. A Korean YouTuber by the name of Square Dream decided to test it out, and found that the Game Optimizing Service app was throttling performance by quite a bit. To prove it, he ran a 3DMark benchmark as normal, and then renamed the benchmark package to make the system think it’s Genshin Impact. You can watch the video here (it’s in Korean), but the TL:DW seems to be that Samsung—or at least, Game Optimizing Service—is throttling over 50% of performance in games.
Except that, it’s apparently not just games that Samsung is throttling. Following more investigation by a number of Korean users, they found that not only are games being throttled, but also regular apps such as YouTube, Microsoft Office, Netflix and more. They’ve been compiling all of the apps that are being throttled, and claim that over 10,000 apps have had performance limits placed onto them by Samsung’s Game Optimization Service. However, benchmarking tools like 3DMark, PCMark, Antutu and Geekbench 5 aren’t on the list.
For what it’s worth, I can’t find Game Optimizing Services installed on my Galaxy S21 FE, and though it is on the Galaxy Store trying to install it gets me a pop up saying that it’s incompatible with my device. We also couldn’t find it on our Galaxy S21 Ultra too. However, we do have two other “optimisation” apps pre-installed with the device, namely Game Booster and Game Launcher, the former of which kicks in automatically when playing games. Some users on Reddit have previously claimed that these apps are hurting performance too, but so far nothing can be verified. If you do use a Samsung smartphone, you can look for game Optimizing Services on your own device and let us know in the comments below if it’s there.
In the meantime, we will need to wait for Samsung to make a statement. A post on the Korean site Naver from someone alleging to be an internal source says that Samsung is aware of the issue and is looking into it. There would be some incentives for smartphone manufacturers to throttle performance outside of benchmarks of course; when OnePlus was caught doing so they claimed that this was to optimise the user experience with power consumption to increase battery life. Whether or not Samsung is doing so for similar reasons or if it’s just a bug with the Game Optimizing Services remains to be seen.