How to Increase Performance of the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3 Increase Performance

A unique kernel tweak for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T has been discovered with OxygenOS that improves performance and UI smoothness.

I generally shy away from tips that claim to increase performance for a smartphone or tablet because we all use our devices differently. Just because someone gets better framerates in one application or game doesn’t mean the same tip will help another person since they may not even use that application or game. There’s just so many variables that go into things like performance and battery life that it generally isn’t worth covering because it won’t help everyone.

And I’d rather not have a bunch of angry comments complaining about something not working for me. However, this tip for the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T seems different because there actually does seem to be something wrong with the way OnePlus has customized the Interactive CPU Governor. That’s what we’re going to be doing today so you will need to have the OnePlus 3 bootloader unlocked, you’ll need to install TWRP on the OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T, and you’ll need to have root access to the OnePlus 3.

I’ll be using the Kernel Adiutor application in my step by step guide below, but you should be able to use any kernel tweaking application you want as long as it can control the big and little CPU Governor with it.

OnePlus 3 Increase Performance

  1. Download and install the Kernel Adiutor application
  2. Launch the Kernel Adiutor application
  3. Grant it SuperSU/root access when prompted
  4. Tap on the hamburger menu icon at the top left corner of the screen
  5. Tap on the CPU option
  6. Scroll down until you get to the CPU Governor option for the big CPU cores
  7. Tap on the CPU Governor option
  8. Tap on the Conservative option
  9. Scroll back up to the top of the page
  10. Tap on the Apply on Boot toggle (optional)
  11. Press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen

Explanation

If you have ever adjusted any kernel settings in the past then this process should be very familiar to you. All we’re doing here is changing the CPU Governor from Interactive to Conservative. I know, this sounds counter intuitive for making a smartphone perform better than on the Interactive CPU Governor. For some reason though, the Interactive CPU Governor for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T just isn’t optimized properly.

It’s likely optimized more toward battery life since the current speculation is that the CPU frequencies ramp down too quickly after you stop touching the display. This was discovered by AmirZ over on the /r/OnePlus subreddit, and there were multiple tests done by Mario on XDA that show this actually does improve the smoothness (FPS) of the overall system. This tweak will only improve performance of the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T when using OxygenOS though.

OnePlus 3 Increase Performance Governor

We want to change the CPU Governor of the big CPU cores from Interactive to Conservative.

So you just need to download a kernel tweaking application of your choice. I use Kernel Adiutor as it is free, open source, and feature packed (but be sure to donate to the developer if you like their work). After opening the app, grant it root access and then go into the CPU section. This will have options for both the big and LITTLE CPU cores but this tweak will only be changing one particular setting of the big CPU cores.

We just want to tap on the CPU Governor option of the big CPU cores and then change it from Interactive (which is what it is set to by default) to Conservative. You should definitely look up what these CPU Governors mean if you’re interested (and I may do some articles covering them in the future if there’s a demand for it). For now, we just need to know that changing this setting will actually improve performance with the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.

This change will revert back to its default setting unless we also toggle the Apply on Boot option (which is at the top of the screen for Kernel Adiutor). Once that toggle is set to on, we can then press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen. From here, you can do some tests with the GPU Profiler to see that there are less frame drops than there were before.

If this tutorial helped you in any way, please consider donating at Patreon or PayPal. If you can't afford to donate then sharing this on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. will also help a lot.

About the author

Doug

I'm working to create an organized and easy to follow central repository of Android tips, tutorials, guides and everything you need to know. With a focus on device specific tutorials now, my goal is to branch out and do more universal tips and tricks that will work on all Android devices.