OnePlus reverses course, will add ability to turn off app throttling in OxygenOS 12

Oneplus 9 Series
Oneplus 9 Series (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • OnePlus confirms it is working on a new toggle for its "optimized mode" in response to app throttling in OxygenOS 11.
  • This new feature won't arrive until the release of OxygenOS 12, which is based on Android 12 and coming this Fall.
  • The app throttling "issues" are likely present on the OnePlus 9R along with the OnePlus Nord 2.

For the past two weeks, OnePlus has been under fire after it was discovered to be throttling the performance of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. But now, the company is said to be working on integrating a toggle for its "optimized" mode when OxygenOS 12 arrives later this year.

The problems began after a report was published, revealing that OnePlus was intentionally throttling certain apps in an effort to increase battery life. When trying to run traditional benchmarks through Geekbench, the "problem" didn't reveal itself. Instead, it wasn't until you tried to run browser-based benchmarks where its performance began to take a bit of a hit.

Part of the confusion surrounding this entire mess came when OnePlus shared the reasoning behind the decision. The majority of your graphics and processor-intensive apps and games will remain unaffected. Instead, your phone will begin throttling "with actions that do not require the maximum power," saying that with certain actions like scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, "it's not necessary for the CPU to run at almost 3GHz to do that smoothly."

Shortly after the initial report was published, there was a bit of an outcry in the Android community as to why OnePlus would be throttling its $1,000 flagship. It's not something that we have seen recently, but it's also not completely uncommon. The bigger problem is that OnePlus didn't reveal any of these potential limitations until after the fact, leading to a feeling of distrust in the community.

Earlier today, the OnePlus Nord 2 was unveiled, leading to speculation as to whether this problem really was limited to just the OnePlus 9 series and its Snapdragon 888 chipset. Speaking to Android Police, OnePlus revealed that the "performance optimizations" are also integrated into the OnePlus 9R and the Nord 2, although "to varying degrees." However, the company confirmed with AP and in a forum post that it is working on giving users the option to remove these optimizations with its upcoming OxygenOS 12 release.

Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions on this topic. Our R&D team is currently working to add an option to let you turn on/off this optimized mode.Our aim is to have this ready for one of the first builds of OxygenOS 12 so you will have better control over the performance of your phone moving forward.We just want to say, this has been a really important reminder for us to always keep our users at the heart of what we do, so thanks again for your feedback.

Adding this toggle would give the user control over whether they wanted to prioritize performance over battery life. It wouldn't operate much differently from using the different power-saving modes found in the best Android phones.

With Android 12 coming soon, OxygenOS 12 is already in development, so here's to hoping that this new Optimized Mode is available in the first beta. It's all about giving the users options and being upfront about why things may not work as well as expected.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.