UPDATE: Xiaomi has responded to allegations that it is throttling the performance of its phones. The company pretty much confirmed that the allegations are true. But like Samsung, it is also claiming to be doing so in the name of thermal management.
“Xiaomi applies temperature control strategies to ensure optimal product experience, particularly with demanding applications commonly used for extended periods. In many of our devices, we offer three performance modes, enabling users to adjust the balance of performance and power efficiency. At a system level, all optimizations related to application performance weigh many essential factors, such as power consumption, performance, and thermal impact,” the official statement sent to Android Authority reads.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Samsung was recently caught forcibly limiting the performance of its smartphones while running certain apps. The company used its Game Optimization Service (GOS) to identify the apps and throttle the performance in the name of battery efficiency and thermal management. It appears Xiaomi is doing something similar as well. John Poole, founder of Primate Labs — the firm behind the popular benchmarking tool Geekbench — has discovered that the Xiaomi Mi 11 tweaks the performance based on the app running.
Poole tested the device with two versions of Geekbench — a regular app and a disguised one with the identifier of the popular battle royale game Fortnite. He discovered that the performance with the latter dropped by as much as 30 percent.
When running the regular Geekbench app, the Xiaomi Mi 11 scored 1,129 and 3,714 points in single-core and multi-core tests respectively. But the scores dropped to 791 and 3,125 respectively with the disguised version. Disguising Geekbench as other games such as Gensin Impact also resulted in a similar performance difference, Poole confirmed. Quite clearly, the device doesn’t perform at its full potential when it detects a game. Or maybe it is boosting the performance of benchmarking apps such as Geekbench to give false results. Perhaps a little of both?
Either way, it’s pretty much the same thing that Samsung did. Geekbench banned all affected Galaxy devices alleging the Korean brand of benchmark manipulation. And according to Android Police, the company will do the same with Xiaomi devices as well. The publication confirmed similar behavior on the Xiaomi 12 Pro and 12X as well. Other Xiaomi devices could be similarly throttling the per-app performance as well.
Xiaomi is also artificially limiting the performance of its devices
It’s not entirely new for smartphone makers to throttle the performance of their devices to preserve battery and keep the device from overheating. However, it usually comes as an optional gaming feature. In Samsung’s GOS case, the company didn’t allow users to disable this throttling and prioritize performance over everything else. Worse yet, it limits the performance based on the app identifiers and not app behavior.
Samsung had to face a lot of backlashes from users and a potential investigation from the Korean watchdog for this. The company has since set things right with a software update for the affected devices. Samsung CEO also publicly apologized for this mishap. But even before the dust around this controversy could settle down, Xiaomi has now been caught doing something similar. It will be interesting to see how the company reacts to this discovery. We will be keeping a close eye on this development and will let you know as and when we have more information.