OnePlus says it throttled apps to improve battery life

OnePlus 9 Pro   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is said to have manipulated key benchmarks and throttled some apps on its 9 Pro model by “blacklisting popular applications away from its fastest cores and causing a slowdown in typical workloads including web browsing”, according to tech website Anandtech.

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The “seemingly inexplicable” slow browser benchmark figures which were not in line with any other Snapdragon 888 device in the market, and received only a fraction of the scores and performances of other devices, the tech website said in a post.

The slowdown was noted in most apps in Google’s Play store, including Google’s app suite, Microsoft’s Office apps, all popular social media apps, and browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

OnePlus released the 9 Pro model in April this year, alongside the 9 and 9R models.

Throttling is the process of limiting the number of server requests sent by the application to the developer, often done to improve performance and prevent overloading of requests. Incorrect throttling can put the infrastructure at risk of accidental or malicious overload, according to software giant IBM.

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Popular benchmarking portal Geekbench has delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro models from its charts. “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,” it said in a tweet.

OnePlus responded saying it optimised device performance to smooth experience and improve battery life.

“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 many of the most popular apps, including Chrome, by matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power," the company told The Hindu.

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“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,” it added.

OnePlus is hardly the first technology company to be accused of benchmark manipulation. Tech giant Apple was fined $113 million in November last year, after deliberately slowing down iPhones to manage excess load on the ageing batteries of old devices.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 3:56:31 AM |

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