Samsung S22 throttling spawns talk of regulatory investigation and class action lawsuit

nanoguy

Posts: 1,239   +24
Staff member
A hot potato: Samsung has chosen to aggressively throttle performance on its Galaxy S phones through something called the Game Optimizing Service, which has many fans up in arms. Now it’s facing regulatory scrutiny and a class action lawsuit in South Korea.

Earlier this month, someone curious enough to test Samsung’s Galaxy S22 performance claims found that they only held true while running benchmark apps. It turned out the company had been throttling thousands of popular apps on its flagship phones, presumably to preserve battery life and prevent them from overheating during heavy use.

This prompted the developers behind popular benchmarking tool Geekbench to ban the last four generations of Galaxy S series phones, as many users complaining on Korean social media and Samsung’s support forums said they’ve also experienced this issue on older models.

Samsung recently issued an FAQ on its Korean support website in response to the public outcry. In it, the company said its Game Optimizing Service (GOS) is designed to help Galaxy devices balance performance and battery life in a way that doesn’t affect the user experience.

The Korean giant notes the list of 10,000 apps that surfaced online is used by GOS to quickly determine if a newly installed app is a game or not. At the same time, the company said benchmarking tools are not identified as games, so their behavior ins’t managed by GOS. This is more or less an admission that it knowingly throttled popular games, something that also got OnePlus into hot water last year.

In a future One UI update, Samsung will be adding a toggle for people who want to disable GOS on their Galaxy S phone. However, The Korea Herald writes that South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is planning to start an investigation into the matter to see if the company violated advertising law when marketing its Galaxy S22 phone lineup.

Samsung’s problems don’t stop there, as a different local publication claims a class action lawsuit is brewing against it. Apparently, several Galaxy S22 owners aren’t happy over being misled about the phone’s performance capabilities, so they’re asking for 300,000 won ($245) in compensation per person.

With so many recent phones packing more compute punch than their cooling can handle, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that companies like Razer are building RGB fans you can strap to your mobile devices. Some phone makers like Nubia even go as far as integrating small fans into their handsets to ensure their chipsets offer the highest possible level of sustained performance without overheating.

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letsgoiowa

Posts: 72   +145
There just needs to be a little switch for toggling between "battery optimized" and "high performance" mode and it's fine honestly. I'd rather the phone not overheat itself or destroy my battery but if it's plugged in and getting cooled by some external accessory, that would be a good option to have.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,231   +2,775
Heck, as fast as smartphones are these days, I bet 99% would never know apps are being throttled to extend the battery life.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 886   +1,524
I'm not buying a phone to game on it....people expect way too much from a small device. Inadequate cooling will result in hardware failure.

If you want to game then get a console or pick up a handheld designed for gaming such as Valve's latest device (Steam Deck) or a gaming laptop or even better yet, a gaming desktop that's ideally designed to help dissipate heat and keep hardware cool.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,533   +5,405
There just needs to be a little switch for toggling between "battery optimized" and "high performance" mode and it's fine honestly. I'd rather the phone not overheat itself or destroy my battery but if it's plugged in and getting cooled by some external accessory, that would be a good option to have.
I have kept my s21+ in battery saver basically for its entire life. Only time I turn it off is if I get poor reception which is hardly ever
 

psycros

Posts: 4,260   +6,093
There just needs to be a little switch for toggling between "battery optimized" and "high performance" mode and it's fine honestly. I'd rather the phone not overheat itself or destroy my battery but if it's plugged in and getting cooled by some external accessory, that would be a good option to have.

Companies will always follow the "better to ask forgiveness than permission" doctrine because they still come out ahead. Those apologizing for Samsung's deceptions seem to forget how much Samsung leaned on superior specs and performance in marketing the S22. If those things weren't important then why didn't they throttle the benchmarks too?
 

human7

Posts: 51   +33
@adrian Potoroaca

Thank you for the article, just wanted to let you know that there is a teeny tiny typo (say that five times fast) in this paragraph:

The Korean giant notes the list of 10,000 apps that surfaced online is used by GOS to quickly determine if a newly installed app is a game or not. At the same time, the company said benchmarking tools are not identified as games, so their behavior ins’t managed by GOS. This is more or less an admission that it knowingly throttled popular games, something that also got OnePlus into hot water last year.

Note that "ins't" should be spelled "isn't".
 

Eldritch

Posts: 439   +710
Our Samsung heats up during Whatsapp Video calls like crazy. Just freaking video calls. It's time companies stop focusing so much on thin phones.

Putting high performance SOC on a slim phone is like putting an i9 with 3080 in a ultra slim laptop. Ofcourse performance will suffer, overheating will occur, battery may explode, throttling will constantly happen and higher chance of hardware failure will be there. Just stop making phones so thin.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 199   +183
I buy phones based on features, not benchmarks. I'm Ok with throttling as long as manufactures disclose it and provide an option to disable it, for those that need the extra performance.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,074   +1,654
Phone benchmarks were always pretty useless as app optimisation seems to matter far more. However this is quite signifcant. Imagine if Apple got caught doing the same, the haters would be singing!