Oh, oh, oh Samsung, up to their usual tricks.
Samsung phones ship with a Game Optimizing Service app pre-installed as a system app — we confirmed it’s installed on the Galaxy S22+, as pictured below. It cannot be disabled. The app’s exact purpose isn’t described very well anywhere, but its name certainly implies the app is used to improve performance for games.
However, as one Twitter user points out, with the backing of a lengthy thread from frustrated Samsung Galaxy owners in Korea (via Android Authority), Samsung seems to be using this app to “optimize” the performance of thousands of non-gaming apps. When an app is in the Game Optimizing Service list, its performance is limited, as demonstrated by a YouTuber who changed the package name of the 3DMark benchmark app to trick Samsung’s software into throttling it, and the results are pretty telling.
In and of itself there’s really nothing wrong with managing the performance of various applications in order to preserve battery life. However, it has to be done transparently and openly, so that users can easily see what’s going on and disable any optimisations they’re not interested in. This kind of obfuscation by Samsung is deception, and simply should not be allowed.
They could have avoided all this with a “game mode” toggle on the settings UI. (The one you pull down to manage Wifi and such).
Yes, mobile performance can be tuned a lot. Even regular modern CPUs will change parameters on the fly, and things like “BogoMips” no longer make sense. However if you are boosting CPU speed on benchmarks, while reducing it to save power otherwise is a pretty bad move.
I was also upset with M1 benchmarks for this reasons. Sometimes peak performance is important, sometimes it is the sustained one that is more relevant.
Side note: I think currently “Steam Deck” seems to offer the best open controls on this area.