Xiaomi’s latest phones embroiled in latest throttling controversy

Fresh from covering Samsung’s controversy regarding throttling the performances of various apps on their newer devices, it seems like Xiaomi might also be doing the same shady business of making their phones score high points in benchmark tests only for the real-life performance to be throttled.

A report by AndroidPolice indicates that they have noticed a huge performance difference between various “spoofed” versions of the Geekbench app that were recognized by the system as known apps or games.

In a test in which they spoofed the Geekbench app and Genshin Impact (a popular demanding game) to be recognized by the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro as Chrome and Netflix, the single-core performance was a mere 50% of the one they got when they did not do the spoofing.

Basically, Xiaomi is throttling the performances of apps that they think do not need the horsepower while giving full beans to popular benchmarking tools and games. This exactly mirrors what Samsung was doing with their recent Galaxy releases

The AndroidPolice police report goes further to state that they also got different benchmark results when using the Geekbench app found on the Google Play Store and the corporate version they got from Geekbench’s website. The Play Store version recorded higher scores.

At the time of writing this article, Xiaomi had not yet provided a reply to the report by AndroidPolice, but Geekbench founder and president John Pool had reached out to AndroidPolice saying the company will remove all listings of the phones caught throttling app performances from the Geekbench chart.

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“It’s disappointing to see another device manufacturer mislead consumers by reducing application performance but not benchmark performance. We are investigating which Xiaomi handsets are affected and expect to start delisting Xiaomi handsets from the Android Benchmark chart later this week,” John Poole’s statement on the Xiaomi app throttling saga reads.

Should some of their phones get delisted, Xiaomi would follow the footsteps of Samsung, who got four generations of their phones delisted for the same reason of throttling app performance.

An update from Samsung tried to reverse the damage, but it was too late as once delisted from the Geekbench list there is no way back to being relisted.

At the moment, AndroidPolice points out that Xiaomi Mi13 holds the No. 3 position on the Geekbench Single-Core Charts, while The Poco F2 Pro is 2nd on the Multi-Core chart. Whether the two models also have some clever algorithm that throttles the performance will be revealed in due time, but Xiaomi stands to lose the most should they lose their rankings.

With Xiaomi and Samsung already caught in the controversy, it seems likely that most manufacturers are doing some form of app throttling to either keep phone temperatures down or to extend battery life, and more exposés will soon follow with other phone models from other manufacturers being caught in the act.

For a normal user, these benchmarking scores might not mean much, but for OEMs who stand to gain millions by claiming to have the most powerful phones in the market, it is a tricky situation that could cause them a lot.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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