You wouldn’t buy phones that throttle for battery life


Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

OnePlus was in the headlines for the wrong reasons last week when it emerged that the firm was quietly throttling a variety of popular apps on the OnePlus 9 Pro in the name of battery life.

The throttling saw apps relegated to using the slower Cortex-A55 CPU cores instead of the Snapdragon 888’s more powerful CPU cores. This wasn’t an issue that the vast majority of reviewers and users noticed at first, but Anandtech would later uncover the extent of the throttling.

Is this a deal-breaker for consumers though? Would you purchase a phone if it’s able to throttle performance for better battery life without a noticeable difference? That’s what we asked in a poll last week, accompanying reviewer Dhruv Bhutani’s opinion piece.

Would you buy a phone with throttled performance for better battery life?

Results

We posted the poll on Saturday (July 10), counting just over 1,600 votes as of writing. The end result? Well, it’s a landslide for the “no” camp, with almost three-quarters of respondents saying they want the hardware they pay for.

It’s easy to see why people would vote for this option too, as the device costs plenty of cash. So what’s the point of spending ~$1,000 if you aren’t actually given access to all that horsepower?

Making matters worse in OnePlus’s case is the fact that it doesn’t actually give users several system-wide performance profiles. Although you do have the ability to adjust battery-saving on an app-by-app basis, as well as access to battery saver and adaptive battery options.

Just over 25% of polled readers say they’d buy a phone that throttles if there’s no discernible performance difference. This is an understandable position too, as the vast majority of phones throttle or dynamically adjust performance according to the running app and other parameters. So if a phone can do this without affecting performance in a noticeable way, you’re getting a good balance of performance and endurance in theory.

Comments

  • Erik: I took their slogan ” never settle” to heart and returned my 9 pro within a week. I want my money’s worth. I don’t settle.
  • Jim Echols: I was shocked that oneplus and Android didn’t offer users power profiles to manipulate CPU speed. A CPU frequency overlay showed me that my CPUs on my OnePlus 7t were running only at 1/3 the speed when running my emulators. No wonder my game emulators were stuttering! I then had to go through the trouble of rooting my phone so I could put in more aggressive governors to amp up the CPU speed. Can’t believe something so basic as CPU controls are left out of these phones. And BTW, at Max frequency my phone was only lukewarm temperature. I think they overplay the risk of overheating too much.
  • Randy Phillips: The word you’re looking for is ‘hubris’. OnePlus didn’t seen to do much hand-wringing when daylight fell on its subterfuge. Just another example of nanny culture: “we know better than you, what you don’t know won’t hurt you”. Normally this kind of performance control would be included in some kind of ‘god mode’ setting. But rather than allowing its customer (me) to choose for myself, “no, no, no – baby mustn’t touch, baby might get burned.* It makes me feel stupid, which will affect my choice when next I look for a phone.
  • (•̀ᴗ•́)و : I get that they want to boost battery life but it should come as an option or a switch.
    1. Max performance.
    2. Android default battery optimization.
    3. OEM custom battery optimization.
    4. OEM custom battery optimization plus.
    5. OEM custom battery optimization ultra. Etc.
  • Chris Micallef: This needs to be rectified by one plus ASAP just got the onplus 9pro two weeks ago and immediately felt sluggish performance and jittery scrolling, this is my fourth phone from one plus and onplus 5 has better performance on Chrome and Twitter and at the price it is !!! It will surely be my last OnePlus phone ever and will never recommend again especially if we customers are ignored
  • Craig Southwick: I agree with you completely. This is a good solution, if you are transparent about it.

That’s it for our poll, thanks for voting and for leaving comments. Has this saga soured you off OnePlus completely or are you willing to buy future phones from the brand?

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