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Samsung confirms Galaxy S22 app throttling

Published Mar 4th, 2022 3:07PM EST
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Image: Samsung

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User reports showed a significant problem with Galaxy S22 app performance earlier this week. They found that an app intended to improve gaming sessions is actually throttling approximately 10,000 regular apps you’d use on the Galaxy S22 and other Samsung phones. But the functionality does not hurt benchmarking apps that are supposed to measure the phone’s performance. Needless to say, many people cried foul when they found out what was going on.

Samsung has since confirmed the behavior using language that indicates a bug might be the culprit. The company also promised the kind of fix that should have been in place from the start.

Galaxy S22 is throttling apps

As we’ve explained, phones like the Galaxy S22 come preloaded with an app called Game Optimizing Service (GOS). As the name implies, the app should improve the game performance on the phone. But instead of functioning as expected, it slows down other apps.

The fact that GOS was not throttling benchmark apps on the Galaxy S22 was an indication that the behavior is intentional. And the implication was that Samsung is misleading consumers since its S22 lineup doesn’t always deliver the type of performance that users might expect.

The Galaxy S22 phones feature the newest Systems-on-Chip (SoC) from Qualcomm and Samsung. They can’t match the iPhone 13’s A15 SoC, and we saw that in benchmark tests for both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 22. But the Galaxy S22 SoCs should still deliver a great smartphone experience.

We speculated that Samsung throttling app performance on the Galaxy S22 might indicate a problem with the SoC. The chips might overheat during regular use. And this could lead to reduced battery life. Having GOS throttle common apps suggests Samsung thinks those apps can lead to overheating issues.

We also told you at the time that reports from Korea said Samsung is already investigating the Galaxy S22 throttling problem.

Samsung confirms the issues

The Korean giant issued a first reaction to the Galaxy S22 GOS throttling problem in Korea (above). Here’s a rough translation, via xda-developers:

We would like to inform you about the Galaxy S22 GOS. We are continuously working to expand user options and provide optimal performance by collecting opinions from customers.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 series’ GOS (Game Optimizing Service) is preloaded with our app ‘ that optimizes CPU and GPU performance to prevent excessive heat 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.

That’s certainly a step in the right direction, but Samsung is not being entirely truthful. GOS should throttle game performance only on the Galaxy S22, according to Samsung’s answer. But throttling occurs in thousands of other apps, considering what users discovered.

Giving Galaxy S22 owners the choice to throttle apps is the right thing to do. But Samsung implementing GOS on phones like the Galaxy S22 implies that the company is aware of SoC issues that can ruin the phone’s experience. That the Galaxy S22 SoC can run into overheating problems even when running regular apps that aren’t as resource-intensive as games.

We’ll know more about the Galaxy S22 throttling problem once Samsung rolls out a software update to disable it. If that’s even what the update ends up doing.

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.