OnePlus caught throttling certain apps on flagship phones to improve battery life

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A few years back you may remember Huawei being caught manipulating the performance of its phones while benchmarking in order to mask what the devices are truly capable of. Now another Chinese phone maker has been caught “optimising” performance as OnePus has been found tinkering with certain apps in order to improve the battery life of its 9 and 9 Pro flagship phones.

The issues were discovered by Anandtech, as the site published its report on the performance of the devices and encountered some oddities on Chrome while benchmarking, which raised eyebrows at the time given the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro feature the beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.

Further poking and prodding by Anandtech noted that there was a potential list of apps that were being throttled by the devices in order to optimise performance. These included some resource and media heavy applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, along with some apps that OnePlus itself had ported onto the device.

The report even prompted GeekBench to remove scores of the devices from its records, stating that, “We view this as a form of benchmark manipulation.”

Since this information has been revealed, OnePlus has issued a statement on the matter, citing that it needed to take measures to improve the performance of the device’s battery.

“Following the launch of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in March, some users told us about some areas where we could improve the devices’ battery life and heat management. As a result of this feedback, our R&D team has been working over the past few months to optimize the devices’ performance when using 300 of the most popular apps, including Chrome, by matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power. This has helped to provide a smooth experience while reducing power consumption,” the company told XDA Developers.

Regardless of the intent, the fact that OnePlus chose to optimise the device at the cost of app performance surreptitiously should not be overlooked. It therefore paints the company in a less than flattering light and may even prompt some consumers to think twice when comparing forthcoming flagship phones to competitor options.

[Source – Anandtech]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.

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