- OnePlus 9 Pro is using the full potential of the Snapdragon 888 only in popular benchmarking apps, reveals AnandTech.
- The phone is limiting the performance of the chipset in almost all the popular apps including Google’s and Microsoft’s apps.
- OnePlus could be limiting the performance to conserve the battery.
The current flagship smartphones from OnePlus, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, feature the range-topping chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 888. Thanks to the fast chipset, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro posted chart-topping benchmark results. However, it turns out that these devices don’t perform as well in real life as they do in benchmarks. In simpler words, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro have been running at full speeds only in benchmark apps but not in other applications. In a way, the OnePlus 9 duo have been manipulating benchmark scores. In the light of this discovery, Geekbench has banned the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro from its platform. Let us have a detailed look into the matter.
OnePlus 9 Pro using full potential of Snapdragon 888 in only popular benchmarking apps
On Tuesday, AnandTech published an in-depth performance analysis of the OnePlus 9 Pro. During the benchmarks, the publication found a strange issue with the device. According to the report, when AnandTech ran a browser-based benchmark test called Speedometer 2.0, the OnePlus 9 Pro managed a score of 61.5, which is significantly lower than that of other smartphones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. As it turned out, the OnePlus 9 Pro wasn’t using the Cortex-X1 core for this benchmark. Instead, the task was managed by the three Cortex-A78 cores. Upon running the benchmark once again, the OnePlus 9 Pro off-loaded the benchmark task to the Cortex-A55 cores, which resulted in a horribly low score of 16.8.
To analyse the weird behaviour, AnandTech ran a popular benchmarking app called Vivaldi on the device. In this test, the OnePlus 9 Pro used the Cortex-X1 core and delivered a score of 107 points, which is in line with the other Snapdragon 888 powered smartphones. However, when they ran the test again, the phone did not use the Cortex-X1 core. Instead, the phone used the Cortex-A78 cores. Surprisingly, even these cores ran at 2.0GHz instead of their maximum frequency of 2.41GHz. According to the publication, the OnePlus 9 Pro uses the Cortex-X1 core in Vivaldi only during the first test on a fresh install. However, the phone used the full potential of the SoC in all other benchmarking apps including AnandTech’s own applications.
OnePlus 9 Pro limiting chipset performance in all popular apps
Upon deeper inspection, it turned out that the OnePlus 9 Pro is using the Cortex-X1 core and/ or the full potential of the Snapdragon 888 in only popular benchmarking apps. AnandTech has found that the OnePlus 9 Pro isn’t making full use of the SoC in other applications including all the popular apps that you see on the Google Play Store and the ones that many people use on a daily basis. According to the publication, the OnePlus 9 Pro is limiting the performance of the Snapdragon 888 SoC in all the applications from Google and Microsoft. It is even limiting the performance of popular social media applications and web browsers such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Microsoft Edge.
So, why is the OnePlus 9 Pro limiting the performance in the popular applications when those are the very apps that people use the majority of the time? Well, if OnePlus limits the performance of the device in the apps that you use the most, it will be saving a huge amount of battery life. That is the only logical explanation for this issue. AnandTech thinks the same. The report says “The only sensible rationale for such a decision is to improve a device’s power efficiency and battery life.” Anyway, this is a huge issue and OnePlus is yet to comment on the matter.
After this discovery, Geekbench has banned the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones from its platform saying “It’s disappointing to see OnePlus handsets making performance decisions based on application identifiers rather than application behaviour. We view this as a form of benchmark manipulation. We’ve delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from our Android Benchmark chart.” It is very much possible that AnTuTu might ban the OnePlus 9 duo as well, just like it banned the Realme GT 5G for cheating the benchmark.