New Samsung Galaxy S22 update lets you turn off performance throttling

Samsung Galaxy S22 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung Galaxy S22 owners will be happy to hear that the whole performance-throttling controversy is almost over. Users in Korea (via XDA) have started reporting a new update that gives them the option to override performance-throttling measures — just like Samsung promised.

It’s unclear when this update will start rolling out in the U.S. or other international territories. However, Samsung is usually pretty prompt at rolling out its updates outside Korea. That means you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get every scrap of power out of your phone.

The update adds a “Game Performance Management Mode” to the Galaxy S22’s Game Booster. The point of this mode is to override throttling, and ensure the phone is offering the best performance at any given time. Of course, the downside is that this will reduce your battery life and generate more heat as a result.

This issue first came up earlier this month, with evidence showing a piece of software called the ‘Game Optimization Service’ was throttling performance when certain apps were active. Typically those apps were gaming, though some non-gaming apps were affected in the process. Netflix, TikTok and Microsoft Word were among them. 

Samsung later admitted this was happening and confirmed that after “careful consideration” it will let owners “control the performance while running game apps.” However, the company insisted that the Game Optimizing Service software “does not manage the performance of non-gaming apps.”

Geekbench then delisted four years of Galaxy phones as a result of the throttling. The concern was that Geekbench’s benchmarking didn’t represent real-world capabilities, and Samsung faced criticism for throttling games while letting benchmarking apps run at full tilt.

This isn’t the first time phone companies have been accused of something like this. A few years back several phone companies, most notably Huawei, were caught cheating benchmark tests by deliberately optimizing performance when testing apps were open.

And phone-throttling isn’t restricted to Samsung either. Apple was caught out throttling the speed of older iPhones, with an official statement later claiming this was to help preserve battery life on aging batteries. OnePlus was also caught throttling certain apps in the name of battery life last year.

It’s almost as if phone companies don’t realize people notice this is happening, causing customers to kick up a stink. Hopefully, they’ll figure out that while throttling may be beneficial at times, they at least need to be up front about it. And, ideally, give users the chance to switch it off out of the box — not just when they’re caught.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.