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Galaxy S22 overheating might not just be Samsung’s fault

Published Apr 14th, 2022 8:07PM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Image: Samsung

The Galaxy S22 series has been a big success for Samsung so far. But the company has also had to defend itself against a massive scandal. Early buyers discovered the controversial fix that Samsung implemented to prevent overheating on the Galaxy S22 and preserve battery life.

It turns out that Samsung might not be entirely to blame for the Galaxy S22 throttling scandal, though. It’s not just Galaxy S22 phones that experience overheating, but all current flagships.

Why is my Samsung Galaxy so hot?

If you’ve ever wondered why your new Galaxy phone runs so hot in recent years, you’re not alone. Many people complained about Galaxy phones overheating, especially Galaxy S22 predecessors running on Samsung’s previous Exynos System-on-Chip (SoC). The company vowed last year to correct the issues, acknowledging the critics.

Almost a year later, the Galaxy S22 throttling scandal surfaced. Samsung used an app on the S22 that’s also preloaded on many Galaxy devices. That wasn’t unusual. All phones throttle performance to reduce overheating and save energy, not just the Galaxy S22. But customers found that Samsung was cheating in benchmarking apps, as the phone would not throttle performance when those apps ran.

That behavior is misleading, as buyers might think the phone can offer the advertised performance for more extended periods. But the phone’s throttling system would kick in, preventing top performance.

Samsung reacted quickly, issuing a fix for the Galaxy S22 throttling in Korea and Europe. Moreover, the Korean giant apologized to shareholders for the mishap. In the weeks that followed, Samsung announced plans to overhaul its SoC design for Galaxy devices like the Galaxy S22.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra color options Image source: Samsung

Galaxy S22 overheating worries

Some worried about overheating issues in the months preceding the Galaxy S22 launch, given recent history. When the throttling issue arrived, insiders pointed to Samsung’s purported cost-cutting decisions. The Galaxy S22 might feature inadequate cooling, which can lead to overheating issues without a program that reduces the SoC’s clock speed.

The processors themselves might have issues, especially the Exynos 2200 that powers Galaxy S22 phones in Korea, Europe, and other regions.

Samsung denied cutting costs during the same shareholders’ meeting where it addressed the Galaxy S22 throttling.

Fast-forward to mid-April and a report from Business Korea provides an additional explanation for the Galaxy S22 overheating worries.

The current ARM chip design that Qualcomm and Samsung use for their flagships might be causing performance and overheating problems in various phones, not just the Galaxy S22.

“At present, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Samsung Electronics’ Exynos application processors are in use in most flagship Android phones, and these phones are problematic in terms of heating, performance, and power consumption,” an unnamed industry source told the blog.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white, with stylus. Image source: Samsung

The iPhone is safe

“The application processors have been designed by ARM, the same problems have been confirmed in both of those manufactured by Samsung Electronics and TSMC, and thus it can be said that the cause is not the manufacturers but the designer,” the person continued.

Other experts told the blog that the overheating result from various factors., listing manufacturing processes, application processor design, peripheral components, and smartphone performance. But they also said the iPhone custom chip, which is also an ARM-based processor, doesn’t experience similar issues.

That’s not to say that your Galaxy S22 will start overheating during most smartphone-related activities. Or that other top 2022 Android flagships will be hotter than usual. And it doesn’t absolve Samsung for its behavior regarding throttling. But it’s one thing to keep in mind about this year’s flagship Android experience.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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