Xiaomi Addresses Allegations of Performance Throttling on Its Smartphones

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 1 Apr 2022


Chinese consumer electronics major Xiaomi was under the scanner last week after testing revealed it hamstrings the performance of everyday apps. At the same time, benchmark apps and some games are allowed to run unrestricted. This paints a misleading picture of the performance Xiaomi phones offer, much like Samsung’s Game Optimizing Service (GOS) fiasco that got its devices delisted from Geekbench.

To get you up to speed, reports based on independent testing last week found Xiaomi phones were throttling performance, possibly in the better interest of their smartphones’ thermal performance and battery life. This was discovered when the Geekbench benchmark app was disguised as Chrome, an ordinary app prone to throttling. Single-core performance dropped by as much as 30 percent while multi-core performance figures dropped by almost 15 percent due to the performance restrictions.

The test indirectly confirmed that Xiaomi uses various performance profiles to identify running apps and restrict their performance. The tests, however, could not establish how Xiaomi phones were able to identify the running apps.

In a statement to Android Authority, Xiaomi explains that performance is indeed restricted. However, several performance modes are on offer.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Geekbench co-founder John Poole previously said Xiaomi risks getting delisted just like Samsung if it is found throttling app performance. The issue with throttling performance isn’t that the hardware isn’t used to its full potential. The problem arises when good benchmark scores mislead customers, and the same performance isn’t available in other apps.

Do you think Xiaomi’s performance modes make up for the lost potential of the hardware in its smartphones? Tell us in the comments section below.