About a week ago, numerous Samsung Galaxy S22 series users reported experiencing performance throttling. The culprit it seems was the Game Optimising Service (GOS) app, which was supposed to optimise gaming performance to prevent overheating. It was alleged that Samsung throttled the performance of its flagship smartphone in over 10,000 apps, regardless of whether they were gaming or non-gaming apps. To add salt to injury, it was discovered that benchmarks apps like Geekbench and 3DMark were not affected by the GOS app.
As a result, Geekbench made an official announcement via Twitter that Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series will be removed from the performance ranking and subsequently, from the platform. Its justification was “GOS decides to throttle (or not to throttle) applications using application identifiers and not application behaviour.”
Along with the Galaxy S22 series, the last three Galaxy models, namely S21, S20 and S10, were also delisted from the platform since they were found to be using the GOS app. What’s more frustrating is that Samsung has made the process of disabling the GOS app more complicated starting from One UI 4.0 update.
But Max Weinbach from Android Police seems to suggest that the GOS app might instead be a very intelligent system based on its code he found. He says, “It’s incredibly sophisticated, balancing multiple parameters like temperature, expected battery level at different times, CPU speed, and predicted FPS benefits when determining what sorts of resources a given game gets.” Therefore, he believes that the performance numbers the phone puts out might not be the same for everyone and will change based on the processes taking place in the background.
Android Police used a modified Geekbench app that the phone would detect as the game, Genshin Impact and a real Geekbench app. The single and multi-core performance for the real Geekbench app was 1177 and 2936 respectively.
But when using the modified Geekbench app, the phone only managed a single and multi-core performance of 635 and 2111 respectively. That is a performance loss of 45% on the single-core and 28% on the multi-core. When the same test was conducted on a Google Pixel 6 Pro, it produced the same numbers within a margin of error, suggesting no performance throttling was taking place on the Pixel device.
Though the performance impact is heavy, Samsung designed the GOS app to prevent overheating when gaming. But the majority of complaints were regarding the GOS app throttling non-gaming apps like Microsoft office, Zoom, TikTok, and Netflix among others.
Shortly after the reports came in, @GaryeonHan on Twitter shared an official response from the tech giant itself, Samsung.
“We would like to inform you about the Galaxy S22 GOS. Hello. This is Samsung Electronics. We continue to listen to our customers to expand our users and options, and to provide optimal performance. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series’ GOS (Game Optimizing Service) is a built-in app that optimizes CPU and GPU performance to prevent excessive overheating during long game play. In order to meet the needs of various customers recently, we plan to implement a SW update that provides a performance priority option in the game booster lab within the game launcher app as soon as possible. We will continue to listen to consumers’ opinions and do our best for customer satisfaction and consumer protection. Thank you.”
So, it seems that a software update is coming soon that will give users more control over the performance output of their device. Samsung will add a “performance priority” option, accessible via the Samsung game launcher app. But Samsung did not talk about the reason the GOS app throttled non-gaming apps as well.
Samsung is not the only mainstream smartphone company caught doing this malpractice. Last year, the OnePlus 9 series were booted from Geekbench for a similar issue.
As of now, Samsung is working on two major software patches including one for the display glitch that users of the Exynos powered Galaxy S22 Ultra are facing.