Samsung Promises Furious Galaxy S22 Owners A Throttling Fix

Samsung Galaxy S22 owners have been furious over the performance of their favorite apps being throttled in the last week since the release of the S22 series, courtesy of the Game Optimization Service (GOS) app which has been pre-installed on many Galaxy phones. Thankfully, Samsung is looking to address the throttling issue, by giving users the option to prioritize app performance.

According to a report from XDA Developers, Samsung announced that it is working on a software update that will add a performance priority mode to the Game Launcher app – which is found in the game booster lab – and implement it as soon as possible. Along with the announcement, the company explained that the GOS app is supposed to optimize GPU and CPU performance to stave off heating issues during extended mobile gaming sessions. It didn't specifically mention the throttling issues users have been experiencing, but said that it will "continue to listen to consumers' opinions and do our best for customer satisfaction and consumer protection."

Poor app performance, angry users

Because some people are mobile gamers, installing the GOS app is a standard practice for Samsung, as well as other phone companies, to prevent the phone from dying of heat stress every hour players sink into their mobile games. But users of the Korean tech forum Meeco noted that the GOS app has been throttling the performance of not only mobile games, but also other entertainment and social media apps within the Galaxy S22 series phones. 

One of the users, @GaryeonHan, tweeted a list of 10,000 apps they and the rest of the Korean community claim that Samsung have "blacklisted," including popular titles like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft Office, and the popular RPG game "Genshin Impact." Clien users also noticed a difference in benchmark scores when a benchmark app, such as Geekbench, is renamed to an app on the blacklist. Usually Geekbench is granted the full power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, but if the Galaxy S22 identifies it as something other than Geekbench, it immediately slows down its performance.

Korean YouTuber 네모난꿈 (translation: Square Dream) shared a video testing the performance of "Genshin Impact" and 3D Mark. When they changed the name of the 3DMark app to "Genshin Impact," it scored 1141 points on the Wild Life Extreme test, primarily because the frame rate was dropped down incredibly low. The original version of 3D Mark scored 2618 points, seemingly proving that the GOS app only allows what it recognizes as benchmark apps to run at full speed.

What Samsung is doing

The Galaxy S22 is not the only Android phone to experience throttling issues. Last July, OnePlus was caught secretly slowing the performance of its OnePlus 9 phones. Users called out the throttling as criminal, because the company intentionally hid that fact from them and didn't give them a means of fixing the problem. Like the Galaxy S22, benchmark apps were spared from performance throttling. 

OnePlus eventually confirmed that it throttled the phones to improve battery life and heat management. It later offered users the option to toggle the optimization mode on or off, allowing them to better control the performance of their phone. However, it made that feature available exclusively for OxygenOS 12 with Android 12, and users had to be aware that the optimization toggle exists in order to go looking for it to switch off.

Based on a post from Korean blog Naver, Samsung is conducting an internal investigation into the fallout from the throttling issue and the controversy around it. That could end up changing how the company handles situations like this in future, in an attempt to bypass the bad PR.