OnePlus Admits To Slowing Down Apps On $1,000+ Flagship Phones

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OnePlus 9 phone
OnePlus 9. Image credit: OnePlus.

OnePlus, a popular manufacturer of mid-range to premium Android phones has been throttling the performance of many popular apps — on their $1,000+ flagship phones. It is the Snapdragon 888-powered OnePlus 9 Pro, which is strange considering that these are high performance phones costing over $1,000. When someone pays that much for performance, they aren’t hoping to have it slowed down against their will. That’s what settings are for.

Battery life extension is the reason OnePlus mentioned for throttling performance on the phones. They referred to it as ‘matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power’. Android has several features that make it easy to conserve battery life. OnePlus could have also provided that performance suppressor as a setting on the phone, just like Windows has Eco, Balanced, and Performance modes. Why do it behind the scenes without giving customers a choice? Apple has throttled phones in the past as well. However, they were older phones with battery (deterioration) issues, but the fact remains that consumers should have been given a choice in both cases.

GeekBench was not pleased with the decision, and has delisted OnePlus 9 phones from its site, alleging that what OnePlus did is benchmark manipulation. The benchmarks of the OnePlus 9 Pro are slower than competing Snapdragon 888 phones, which is what led to these (now confirmed) suspicions. Some claim that the Snapdragon 888 consumes a great deal of power, which can result in shorter battery life. To reiterate, this could have been a setting that enabled customers to choose. This is reminiscent of the first i9 laptops that performed well below expectations due to their poor efficiency and performance throttling.