Samsung Galaxy Smartphone Game Optimizing Service (GOS) Throttling Investigation
Certain models of Samsung Galaxy smartphones may have software known as Game Optimizing Service (GOS) which works to limit or throttle performance of thousands of popular apps. This is done without the user’s knowledge. The throttling also does not affect benchmark apps which are used to measure performance and compare one device with another.
By excluding benchmark apps from GOS throttling, measurements of phone performance which are used in marketing claims, may not reflect real-life use. People who purchase Samsung Galaxy phones pay a premium for enhanced performance and may not be getting the value that they paid for.
Samsung Galaxy Game Optimizing Service
Smart device performance enhancement software is usually intended to improve battery performance and lifespan. Samsung Galaxy’s Game Optimizing Service (GOS) is reportedly intended to reduce the heat generated by high-resource apps like gaming.
The GOS limits or throttles down activity of many of the most popular apps, not just those for gaming but also others like Instagram, Netflix and even some of Samsung’s own apps but does not affect benchmark apps which measure performance. This may leave users unaware of the cause of certain issues and in the current setup, Samsung does not allow users to opt out of or turn off any of the GOS features.
Samsung Galaxy High Performance Phones
Samsung Galaxy is the flagship line of Samsung smartphones and is often hundreds of dollars more than other competitors. Many Samsung Galaxy purchasers pay a premium for a high-performance phone with advanced features, particularly those in the “S” line.
Models of Samsung Galaxy that are reportedly affected by the GOS throttling issue include:
- Samsung Galaxy S22 (all models)
- Samsung Galaxy S21 (all models)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 (all models)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 (all models)
Users who paid a premium for their top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S-series phones may not be getting value for their money.
Apps Affected by Samsung GOS
In a statement released to tech media company, The Verge, Samsung has said that the Game Optimizing Service only affects gaming apps. Other reports indicate however, that the GOS throttling issue may extend far beyond just gaming.
Users and tech experts who have examined the phones have found that about 10,000 apps may actually be affected by GOS throttling. This includes popular apps such as:
- Instagram and other social media
- TikTok and other video apps
- Netflix and other streaming apps
- Google services
- Microsoft Office apps
- Samsung apps including Secure Folder, Pay, Pass and Cloud
Benchmark Apps Excluded from Samsung Throttling
Samsung Galaxy GOS throttling has been shown to have excluded benchmark apps which are used to measure and compare a phone’s performance. Leaving out the benchmark apps from the limiting process may show that Samsung is aware that the throttling will have a negative impact on user experience and premium phone value. By choosing to exclude benchmarking apps such as GeekBench, 3DMark, Antutu and others, comparisons between Samsung and other devices will be inaccurate and may show Samsung phones as better performers than they actually are.
Several notable tech expert groups and apps have been highly critical of the problem and some like GeekBench have delisted the Samsung Galaxy S10, S20, S21, and S22 from its service. This is similar to past delisting actions for other manufacturers who were found to have committed “benchmark manipulation” including the OnePlus phone which was delisted in 2021.
Complaints to Samsung
Thousands of complaints and reports have been posted in tech forums and social media sites like Twitter, including pages of discussions on Samsung’s Korean forum. Though the issue has been ongoing for some time, Samsung did not respond directly to requests for comment from notable tech media until early March 2022.
The company issued a statement to The Verge:
“Our priority is to deliver the best mobile experience for consumers. The Game Optimizing Service (GOS) has been designed to help game apps achieve a great performance while managing device temperature effectively. GOS does not manage the performance of non-gaming apps. We value the feedback we receive about our products and after careful consideration, we plan to roll out a software update soon so users can control the performance while running game apps.”
Tech experts have asserted that despite Samsung’s claims, the GOS throttling actually does impact non-gaming apps and exclusion of benchmark apps from the process indicates intentional misrepresentation. As the company has not specified when the update will occur, users are still unable to control or eliminate the throttling.
People who purchased a Samsung Galaxy S10, S20, S21 or S22 smartphone, may have paid a premium for their device which did not function as described, and may be eligible for compensation.