Enlarge / The Galaxy S22 Ultra. It has a pen. (credit: Samsung)

Samsung is once again in hot water over how it treats benchmark apps. This time, the company is accused of throttling 10,000 Android apps—but not benchmark apps. It sounds like the scheme OnePlus was caught running last year. Instead of boosting the SoC speeds when a benchmark app is running, Android OEMs are now turning down phone performance any time a benchmark app isn’t running. It’s like benchmark cheating but in reverse.

Samsung’s throttling app is called the “Game Optimizing Service.” Users of the Korean message board Clen.net found wildly different benchmark scores depending on whether benchmark apps had their original names or not. By changing the package names of popular benchmark apps—thereby making the “Game Optimizing Service” treat a benchmark app like a normal app—scores dropped anywhere from 13 to 45 percent on the Galaxy S10, S20, S21, and the new S22. Normally, the throttling behavior is not user-controllable, but the users are tricking the service by modifying apps.

John Poole, the lead developer of Geekbench, was able to reproduce the wild performance changes based on whether the S22 thought it was running a benchmark or a game. Poole changed Geekbench’s package name to that of Genshin Impact, a popular game, and saw benchmark scores plummet. The Snapdragon Galaxy S22 dropped its single-core score 46 percent, while the multi-core score was down 35 percent. Poole confirmed that this behavior exists on the Exynos S10 as well.

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