Do you own a Galaxy phone? Samsung can slow it down without you knowing
If you’ve noticed that your Samsung Galaxy smartphone isn’t feeling as snappy as you’d hoped, you’re not alone. It seems that the South Korean tech giant is limiting some of its devices in an effort to improve battery life and prevent phones from getting too hot.
According to the Android Authority team, Samsung uses software called Game Optimizing Service (GOS), which has the ability to slow down the performance of around 10,000 popular video apps. Some of the services that would be targeted by the software include Instagram, Netflix, TikTok, Microsoft Office, and a number of popular games.
Interestingly, the Game Optimization Service (GOS) is smart enough to never interfere with apps that show a phone’s performance. GeekBench, for example, which allows users to see that CPU and GPU speeds on the device are unaffected by GOS. This means that when users measure the raw power available from their device, they will see the highest possible score…even if that power isn’t actually being made available to popular apps like Netflix, Microsoft Office and Games.
Samsung has yet to confirm that it is actively slowing down your apps, but numerous reports on Twitter and forums claim that the devices aren’t performing to their full potential. A Korean YouTuber has also posted a video that claims to show how serious the problem is.
By tricking the device into disabling GOS, games were able to run much faster with CPU and GPU speeds all increasing dramatically. For example, title Wild Life Extreme saw its benchmark score drop from 2618 to 1141 once GOS was activated.
It’s not uncommon for smartphone manufacturers to monitor performance, and some users might not care if it extends battery life.
However, what is concerning is that Samsung seems to have enabled GOS without telling anyone and gives no way for users to disable it. There is also some confusion as to which devices are actually affected by this change, with some reports suggesting GOS is not installed on Galaxy phones.
Samsung has yet to officially respond to the rumors, although Android Authority reports the company is investigating the matter and may issue a statement soon.
If that’s true, Samsung wouldn’t be the first to restrict apps without users’ knowledge. In 2021, OnePlus was caught doing the exact same thing with apps like Chrome, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Netflix all suffering from less than impressive speeds.
The company eventually admitted that it was throttling certain phones, with the Chinese firm saying it was to “improve device performance for our users” and “improve device performance for our users”.