Geekbench removes OnePlus 9 Pro from its Android benchmark charts after app-throttling scandal

OnePlus always used flagship specs in its devices, even when its phones were undercutting the price of the competition. The days of the “flagship killer” are long gone, but the company still picks up high-end processors every year. In theory, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro should make it some of the fastest phones you can buy today — in fact, our review says basically the same thing — but it turns out that many apps keep them from reaching peak performance. are left behind.

A new report from AnandTech takes a deep dive into determining whether the OnePlus 9 Pro’s benchmarks match up to real-world usage, and unfortunately, the answer doesn’t seem to be a hard one. While OxygenOS allows benchmarking apps to reach full performance using its Snapdragon 888, OnePlus has included a blacklist of popular apps from the Play Store, all of which are prevented from taking full advantage of the phone’s power. . The report speculates that this is an attempt to deliver better battery life – a failure, if our review is anything to go by.

CPU Frequency Scaling Tracking Test, comparing the fake Twitter and Chrome app with an anonymous app (image via AnandTech).

Which apps are affected by OnePlus’ manipulation, unfortunately, seems to be widespread. AnandTech tested dozens of the most popular apps in the Play Store, ranging from social networks to Microsoft’s Office suite, with a number of popular third-party browsers, and pretty much everything limited. Even pre-installed system apps were restricted. It didn’t take long for a pattern to appear: If you recognize the name of an app, it’s probably being throttled by OnePlus.

Of course, there are some exceptions. Vivaldi was a browser that was found not to be artificially limited, and games such as Genshin Impact could be played at full display. The analysis also discovered some strange outliers. Uber and Uber Eats both ran at low speeds, but Lyft and Grubhub performed as well.

While one could argue here not to rely on benchmarking apps – a lesson we have learned over and over again – this specific issue is reminiscent of Apple’s throttling controversy a few years ago, which ended with a rare apology from the company. . We’ll have to wait to see if OnePlus removes or eases these app restrictions in response to this report as it is undoubtedly not taking advantage of the full power of the Snapdragon 888. Until then, you should check out the full investigation at AnandTech. Really a pretty deep dive into benchmarking, kernel code and app spoofing.

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