Your OnePlus Phone Can Be So Much Faster: Here's How

A funny thing happened while I was testing this year's flagship phones. I started the year by testing the OnePlus 12 and subsequently put the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Honor Magic 6 Pro through their respective paces, and I noticed something odd. While I'm not much of a fan of benchmark apps, I usually run each phone I test through Geekbench 6 as a standard way to measure where these phones all sit in relation to each other.

On Geekbench 6, the OnePlus 12 clocked 976/4,864 single and multi-core scores, but the Samsung and Honor phones checked in at 2,171/6,950 and 2,186/5,698 respectively. All three phones use the same Qualcomm 8 Gen 3 processor (Samsung has the "for Galaxy" moniker tacked onto the end for some overclocking), so why is there such a disparity in performance?

I typically use each phone I test in its default state. In buying a new phone, most users don't have the wherewithal to dive in and tweak every setting, load a new launcher, etc. Some will, and that's the beauty of Android, but most will not. OnePlus phones as far back as the OnePlus 10 Pro have all had a "Performance mode" setting that allows you to suck the most performance you can out of your processor, typically at the expense of battery life. One might assume that this performance mode takes the form of an overclock, but based on the data, it appears that is not the case.

I decided to test the difference with performance mode on or off and compare those results against other phones running the same processor all the way back to the OnePlus 10 Pro. Here's what I found.

How I tested

Going back to the OnePlus 10 Pro, there are four Snapdragon processors to test. Here are the phones I used to test each processor. For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, I tested the OnePlus 10 Pro vs the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. For the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, I used the OnePlus 10T against the Nothing Phone 2. For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, I used a number of phones including the OnePlus 12R, the OnePlus 11, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Motorola Edge Plus 2023, the OnePlus Open, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. Finally, for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, I tested the OnePlus 12 versus the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Finally, for each OnePlus phone, I tested each benchmark with performance mode off and on.

Before running any benchmarks, I made sure that each phone was updated to the latest upgrade available. For benchmarks, I used Geekbech 6 and 3DMark's Wild Life Extreme test. In each case, I dismissed all apps and notifications, rebooted the phone, and double-checked apps and notifications a second time before launching the benchmark. I also rebooted between benchmarks.