Samsung has been caught red-handed in throttling the speed of its phones, through an app called “Game Optimizing Service” (GOS). This is reported by the South Korean newspaper Maeil Business Newspaper.
GOS is an app preinstalled by Samsung on all of its phones with One UI 4.0 (i.e. Galaxy S22 and newer), which they claim will increase gaming performance as well as reduce overheating. According to the newspaper, several Korean users have found that the app does a lot more than just that.
It reduces the screen resolution, it reduces the performance of almost every conceivable application, and it is also activated long before scenarios where overheating could be a problem.
In total, more than 10,000 apps are reportedly affected by the app, and the vast majority are not games. According to the newspaper, the app’s impact on games, in general, is also undesirable among users, as it degrades and slows down the gaming experience without providing any significant gain.
Several users have delved into the source code to find out which apps are affected:
Interestingly, several users have also tested and found that benchmark apps are not affected. These are apps like Geekbench, Antutu and 3DMark, which have been whitelisted by Samsung. Therefore, GOS is invisible when the S22 phones are artificially tested and is only activated when they are in normal use. Some users have also tested whether they can change the name of the file package for these performance tests to something that GOS has blacklisted, and with this change, the performance in the tests dropped significantly.
Phonearena reports that it was possible to deactivate the service before the One UI 4.0 update, but that this is no longer possible.
This is reminiscent of previous cases where other manufacturers were also “caught red-handed” doing the same thing. OnePlus was criticized in this regard last year, and Apple experienced a minor scandal in 2018 when it was revealed that the company intentionally made older iPhone models slower. The tech giant later had to row back and add an option that allows users to turn this feature on or off.
Samsung is reportedly investigating the problem with the software GOS, but nothing has been said officially. In the meantime, customers who buy Galaxy S22 phones do not necessarily get the performance they pay for – and since these phones are equipped with top-quality Qualcomm and Exynos French fries, there is a lot of power available.