: OnePlus gave an official statement
that pretty much says they are doing it for battery and heat management optimizations rather than some mystery nefarious purpose:
Our top priority is always delivering a great user experience with our products, based in part on acting quickly on important user feedback. 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. While this may impact the devices’ performance in some benchmarking apps, our focus as always is to do what we can to improve the performance of the device for our users.
OnePlus is known for boasting utmost device optimization in their phone marketing sprees, bragging with top performance scores and heretofore it was mostly attributed to the light and nimble OxygenOS Android overlay its phones are running, coupled with their top-notch processing and memory specs.
Recently, however, Anandtech
dug deeper into what seemed like an oddly low for a Snapdragon 888 phone browser benchmark score form the top-shelf OnePlus 9 Pro, and found out that OxygenOS is throttling the processor severely in most popular apps, including OnePlus’ own applications that came with the phone.
In other words, OnePlus seems to be sabotaging its own “So, so smooth” slogan that advertises OxygenOS. It’s not something you’d notice on a day-to-day basis, of course, as Snapdragon 888 is plenty powerful to run any app you throw at it even on its lower frequency cores but the “optimization” is there and systemwide.
This wouldn’t be a drama if OnePlus used the throttling consistently to prolong battery life and prevent overheating but for some popular or demanding games, as well as processor benchmarking services like Geekbench, said restrictions are lifted, and the phone uses the full power of all Snapdragon 888 cores.
That discrepancy is precisely what just prompted Geekbench to delist the Oneplus 9 and 9 Pro from its benchmark database
, possibly until further clarification from the manufacturer. Meanwhile, Geekbench will “test the other OnePlus handsets in our performance lab to see if these handsets also manipulate performance in the same way. If they do, we will delist them from the Android Benchmark chart
It will be interesting to follow how this throttling benchmark manipulation vs battery optimization story unfolds, especially in light of the proclaimed merger of OxygenOS with Oppo’s ColorOS on a system level.