Xiaomi’s latest phones face Geekbench delisting amid app throttling controversy

Following reports that Samsung has throttled the performance of several apps and games on its flagship phones (and even recent tablets like the S8 series), other manufacturers have come under scrutiny for their own behaviors. performance adjustment. While testing Xiaomi’s latest lineup with the popular benchmarking app Geekbench, we measured a noticeable performance difference between various “spoofed” versions of the app that were recognized by the system as known apps or games. . According to Geekbench, this behavior will cause the affected phones to be removed from its benchmark charts later this week.

We tested several modified versions of the Geekbench app that were supposed to trigger all app identification performance profiles on the Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12X. We’re still investigating the mechanism behind how Xiaomi’s Performance Tuning works (and we’ll update if and when we learn more about it), but our preliminary numbers indicate that Xiaomi is giving apps it recognizes as games or Benchmarks a better performance profile and performance throttling for other applications. This confirms the differences in benchmark scores for modified versions of the Geekbench app:

Business Geekbench Parody of Genshin Netflix Parody chrome parody Play Store Geek Bench
12 Pro 738/3148 1119/3468 733/3065 737/3071 1201/3394
12X 712/3049 807/3314 708/3020 710/2973 978/3289

Geekbench results for the 12 Pro and 12X compare versions of the app modified to look like other apps on the system (i.e., which have been “spoofed”).

The specific results of our tests varied by model, but generally indicated that the phone used multiple performance profiles in apps. Checking two recent 12-series phones, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered 12 Pro is more affected by performance throttling than the Snapdragon 888-powered 12X.

Versions of the Geekbench app that the system recognizes as Geekbench or Genshin Impact achieved benchmark results with up to 50% better single-core performance on the 12 Pro compared to versions of the app that the system believed to be Netflix or Chrome – a substantial performance penalty. Even the 12X was affected to some degree, with a similar but smaller difference in results that was nonetheless larger than any expected margin of error.

Interestingly, performance varied even just when the application identified correctly like Geekbench. The Play Store-distributed version of the app scored higher than a slightly different enterprise version of the app, which was throttled. The Xiaomi 12X also saw a bigger difference between gaming and benchmark performance, which didn’t seem to be present on the 12 Pro. This could indicate a more complex throttling system or different performance profiles depending on the base hardware or phone model, as the chipsets vary between the two devices.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro (first) and 12X (second).

Again, we haven’t been able to dive into the technical inner workings of how Xiaomi’s performance profiling/throttling might work yet, but based on these findings, it looks like Xiaomi is charging just different profiles based on application identification details such as package names. , with games and benchmarking apps getting top performance, while other potentially less demanding apps get a limited performance profile.

Xiaomi has engaged in similar “optimizations” in the past, with the Xiaomi 11T Pro using different performance profiles for different apps, in this case adopting a faster performance profile for apps it believed to be games. Although we haven’t tested “sustained” performance on our devices (we don’t have an established standard for “sustained” testing at Android Police, and we don’t know what standard Anandtech benchmarks might be) , the 12 series could have similar behavior.

We reached out to Xiaomi for more information, but the company didn’t immediately respond to a list of questions. Geekbench Founder and Chairman John Poole provided us with the following statement:

It’s disappointing to see another device maker fool consumers by reducing app performance but not benchmark performance. We are investigating the affected Xiaomi handsets and expect to begin removing Xiaomi handsets from the Android benchmark chart later this week.

A specific timeline hasn’t been set, and we don’t know how many of Xiaomi’s phones might have this sort of selective throttling behavior – which Geekbench has previously told us it considers a form of benchmark manipulation – but phones that have been shown to be affected will be removed from the company’s Android benchmark charts later this week. Previously, Geekbench delisted four generations of Samsung phones for similar behavior. While a recent update may have adjusted this behavior, Geekbench’s policy as of now is that once a device is deregistered, it remains deregistered (although this may change).

Right now, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is #3 on the Geekbench Single Core charts and the Poco F2 Pro is #2 on the Multi-Core chart. If either phone is shown to be affected, they could lose those crowns.

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