Insight into OnePlus 9 series processor and app optimization

  1. Evan Z.
    Global Product Team Staff Member Jul 12, 2021

    Evan Z. , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Hi everyone,

    When we launched the OnePlus 9 Series in March earlier this year, one of the most important things we wanted to focus on was performance, the kind of fast and smooth experience you’ve come to expect from OnePlus phones. Recently, the OnePlus 9 Pro was reported to have performed poorly during third-party benchmarking tests. These tests have raised some questions and concerns from users and media, so we wanted to take some time to share more details about why we’ve taken this approach to deal with battery performance and heat management.

    Optimizing for a better user experience

    Smartphone processors have continued to become stronger every year, enabling software developers to develop more powerful and sophisticated apps, in turn, helping users to do more things with smartphones than ever before. In recent years, the performance of smartphone SoCs has reached a point where their power is often overkill in certain scenarios for many apps including social media, browsers and even some light gaming.

    With this in mind, our team has shifted its attention from simply providing sheer performance to providing the performance you expect from our devices while reducing power consumption and heat dissipation. To be more precise, we want to match each app with the most appropriate performance it needs.

    In the case of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, when you open apps or heavy games, the Snapdragon 888 processor, including the super powerful X1 CPU core, will run at full speed to provide the best performance. But with actions that do not require the maximum power, like reading a webpage or scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, it’s not necessary for the CPU to run at almost 3GHz to do that smoothly. The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro reduce the CPU frequency in these scenarios to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation while maintaining a smooth experience.

    The OnePlus R&D team also maintains a list of applications – based on the most popular Google Play Store apps – that we try to optimize, including some of the apps you know and love like Chrome, Twitter, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Discord, Microsoft Office plus our own apps. All of this optimization is only finalized after our testing team makes sure the actual user experience is not negatively affected.

    I hope this helps to clarify our thinking on this. Thanks for your feedback and support. As always, feel free to let us know about your own experience so together we can deliver the best user experience on the planet.

  2. Evan Z.
    Global Product Team Staff Member Jul 22, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Evan Z. , Jul 22, 2021 :
    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.

  3. Balaji2828
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 12, 2021

    Balaji2828 , via OnePlus Nord , Jul 12, 2021 :
    So you had disabled the X1 CPU core for those apps.
    But geekbench is clamibing that the app performance is slow for those apps and also to increase the 9 series geekbench score perspectivly‼️

  4. Joethefro
    Froyo Jul 12, 2021

    Joethefro , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Benchmarking apps are pretty much useless because they show 1 state at 1 time.

    Does the app work as the developer intended? If yes then what EXACTLY is the issue with throttling the CPU?

    Some will say they paid for a 3ghz snapdragon 888. Yes you did. You also paid for that CPU to not overheat (it does this on the S21 too!) and consume excess battery. So it needs to be optimised as OnePlus have done.

  5. RoyDecoy
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 12, 2021

    RoyDecoy , via OnePlus 7 , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Isn't this the way processors have always been working? Powerful cores for CPU intensive task and baby cores for tiny tasks?
    Not sure how is this impacting Benchmarks. \_o_O_/

  6. Joethefro
    Froyo Jul 12, 2021

  7. Bhaskar243
    Froyo Jul 12, 2021

  8. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 12, 2021

  9. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jul 12, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Thank you for the official statement 👏🏼
    Transparency and communication are two important things between customers and a company.

    stay safe everyone:)
    Cheers :)

  10. ady_agar
    Froyo Jul 12, 2021

    ady_agar , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Jul 12, 2021 :
    You speak like they had a choice.

  11. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jul 12, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jul 12, 2021 :
    A choice for what?

  12. Aarav Sahni
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 12, 2021

  13. MondayBlues
    Donut Jul 12, 2021

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021

  14. CasperTFG
    KitKat Jul 12, 2021

    CasperTFG , Jul 12, 2021 :
    How do I opt out of this nonsense? Given it's my investment and device, I'll make those decisions on a per app basis.

    Dear OnePlus Development,

    Issue a patch for opting out. Thanks.

    Greg Hogan , SK6664, Dextter and 26 others like this.
  15. lucifer_angel
    Honeycomb Jul 12, 2021

    Dextter, Aman1924, drmartin and 20 others like this.
  16. Vikas Sharma 7T
    Honeycomb Jul 12, 2021

    Vikas Sharma 7T , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Your team? This was always the case with processors, they use low core for less demanding apps and high performance cores for heavy games or apps. User should be the one to decide not you who controls what runs at full power and what gets throttled. OnePlus even controls the refresh rate of apps😂.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021

    Dextter, Hitzilla4, drmartin and 14 others like this.

  17. #18
    ikjadoon likes this.
  18. Liehjan
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Jul 12, 2021

    Liehjan , Jul 12, 2021 :
    Of course they had a choice... Choise between staying silent or shed light

  19. Vansh99
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 12, 2021

    Vansh99 , Jul 12, 2021 :
    This thread was needed. While I understand where the media is coming from, claiming that the device is throttling the top 500 apps, I appreciate the clarification provided in this thread which the headlines don't cover.

    I do agree that the light gaming apps and social media apps don't need the extreme power from 888 so dropping them down to low power cores should be sufficient. Heck I've been using my OP9 since the day it launched and I didn't even realize. If the performance is indistinguishable, why make an outrage. Is this wrong? No, but we definitely needed this transparency before the news headlines noticed.

    Samsung does the same with their devices out of the box but no one complains because they're Samsung, excellent for SEO. Their devices come throttled when you unbox them BUT they have a performance mode toggle. OnePlus is lacking such feature. Slapping a toggle to let the people pick the performance over the battery life shouldn't be difficult. If the user has the option to pick better battery life vs not-so-noticeable-performance-boost, I think we know what majority would stick with but this will at least calm down the outrage.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021