With a surprising development, OnePlus has been caught reducing the performance of several Android apps in its flagship OnePlus 9 series. The Chinese giant has reportedly blocked many apps, with the exception of apps for comparison, to harness the full potential of the Snapdragon 888 chipset to conserve device battery life.
The report comes from Anandtech, which lists unusually low ratings on the OnePlus 9 Pro. During the review process, Andrei Frumusanu of the publication revealed that OnePlus prevents the list of popular Android apps from using the fastest cores of the powerful Snapdragon 888 SoC. However, comparison apps like Geekbench or unknown apps get full access to CPU power.
This is the primary reason why the OnePlus 9 benchmarking results were consistent with other devices with Snapdragon 888 drive. However, when Frumusanu tested benchmarking services using Google Chrome for Android, he found that the app only uses the lower Cortex-A55 cores instead of the Cortex-X1 Snapdragon 888 core. Plus, the app ran at 2.0 GHz instead of 2.41 GHz, which is maximum device capability.
As a result, the OnePlus 9 Pro managed to score a painfully low score of just 16.0 on the Speedometer 2. For reference, Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro scores around 202.5 on the same comparison tool. Frumusanu managed to get a relevant rating of 107.0 on OnePlus 9 Pro using another web browser called Vivaldi.
While there are no clues to any official list of apps banned from using the full power of the device, OnePlus appears to have blocked more than 300 popular apps, including Chrome, YouTube, Instagram, Discord, Zoom, Microsoft Office and more, according to the report. On the other hand, benchmarking applications have full access to the power of the device.
In response to this discovery, Geekbench tweeted that he is disappointed to see OnePlus make such decisions. So the company has removed the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from its Android benchmark charts.
After development, OnePlus responded to XDA Developers, confirming that it reduces the performance of certain applications. The reason for the reduction in applications is twofold, said OnePlus. The company added that after the release of the OnePlus 9 series, user feedback suggested that battery life and thermal performance of leading devices needed to be improved. As a result, the company’s research and development team “Has been working over the last few months to optimize device performance when using many of the most popular applications, including Chrome, by aligning application processor requirements with the most appropriate power.” This enabled the delivery of the OnePlus 9 “Smooth experience with reduced energy consumption”, added the Chinese giant.
You can check AnandTechs a detailed report to learn more here about the issues that reduce applications on OnePlus phones.