OnePlus caught throttling performance of apps like Chrome, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat on the OnePlus 9 Pro; Geekbench delists the OnePlus 9 series for benchmark manipulation
OnePlus' woes continue. The company recently announced its merger with OPPO and has had to stave off the bad press accompanying that decision. This new development is unlikely to help the company's case in regard to public relations.
A while ago, Andrei Frumusanu of AnandTech revealed some discrepancies with the browser performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro, with the OnePlus flagship severely underperforming its peers like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. After digging, Andrei has now returned with a rather simple reason for such inconsistencies: OnePlus intentionally hinders browser performance.
It appears OnePlus intentionally throttles the performance of certain apps on the kernel level, essentially leaving those apps unable to access the high-performance X1 core, restricting usage to the regular Cortex-A78 cores. Even when the X1 cores are accessed, clock speeds are limited to under 2.3 GHz. Spoofing other apps as Chrome typically revealed about a 20% drop in performance versus what should be typical Snapdragon 888 performance.
The reason for this is as simple as one would guess: efficiency. OnePlus appears to be trying to cut down on power draw by limiting CPU performance. That, of course, means that the company isn't allowing users access to the capabilities of the Snapdragon 888—a decision particularly immoral considering performance is meant to be one of the major selling points of the OnePlus 9 Pro. The fact that this restriction applies to a slew of popular apps including Chrome, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and most of Google's mobile catalog makes it all rather egregious.
Popular benchmark Geekbench isn't taking this lightly either and has now delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from its database, citing the usage of app identifiers as a basis for performance decisions, as a form of benchmark manipulation. That's a fair take, most would admit.
It's disappointing to see OnePlus handsets making performance decisions based on application identifiers rather than application behavior. We view this as a form of benchmark manipulation. We've delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from our Android Benchmark chart. https://t.co/G40wmWeg7o— Geekbench (@geekbench) July 6, 2021