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Galaxy S22 throttling fix is out – here’s how it works

Published Mar 10th, 2022 7:31AM EST
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Image: Samsung

Galaxy S22 users discovered a few days ago that an app installed on the phone to optimize game performance is throttling various apps that shouldn’t see such behavior. Absent from the list are benchmarking apps, which prompted Geekbench to remove Samsung’s phones from its service for cheating. Samsung has half-heartedly acknowledged the Galaxy S22 throttling issue, promising a fix via a software update.

This all happened very quickly, with the latest update from Samsung coming a few days ago in the form of answers to frequent questions about the app throttling issue. At the time, we had no idea how long Samsung will need to roll out to fix. But the update is already available in Korea. That means Galaxy S22 series users in others regions should get the fix soon.

Like any computer, phones can reduce the CPU and GPU performance in apps that consume plenty of resources. This allows the phone to cool down, protects battery consumption, and ensures the user can still get a decent experience.

What is app throttling on Samsung phones?

Game Optimizing Service (GOS) is the name of the preloaded app that handles app throttling on the Galaxy S22 and other Samsung phones. It’s not an app that Samsung devised for the 2022 flagship models. The app should only work in games, not regular apps. But Galaxy S22 users found the phone has a list of about 10,000 apps that GOS can throttle.

Samsung said in its FAQ section that the app list is there so the phone can determine whether an app is a game or not. However, benchmark apps are exempt from throttling because they’re not games. That comes from the same Samsung FAQ answer.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus color options. Image source: Samsung

This is a form of cheating in benchmarks, and Geekbench has already banned the Galaxy S22 and older flagships from its service. It’s unlikely they’ll be allowed back now that Samsung rolled out an update to fix the Galaxy S22 throttling issue.

Geekbench ban and fix aside, Galaxy S22 users are already considering suing Samsung over the throttling issues in Korea.

Separately, Korea’s antitrust watchdog will investigate a complaint related to the Galaxy S22 throttling issue. Issuing a software fix will not make that go away. The complaint claims that Samsung violated advertisement law when promoting the Galaxy S22 as smartphones that will deliver the “best performance ever.”

The Galaxy S22 software updated that will fix GOS

A Galaxy S22 owner from Korea posted a screenshot that shows the software update that will fix the GOS app throttling on the new flagship.

The update will let users enable a performance mode that will not throttle the CPU and GPU in games. However, there will also be a game performance management mode that users will have to deal with. It’s unclear what this is. But we still expect some form of throttling to happen on the Galaxy S22 even after the fix is applied. That’s because the phone will still have to prevent overheating during extended gaming sessions.

While it’s great to see Samsung fix this big Galaxy S22 throttling controversy, it’s unclear when the update will roll out in international markets. Moreover, the GOS problem might also impact older Samsung hardware, like the Galaxy S21 and previous-gen flagships. Those phones will need updates of their own.

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 closely follows the events in 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.