How does airplane mode affect CPU performance?

As many are aware, airplane mode even with WiFi enabled is a simple way of reducing battery usage but does it mean you can squeeze more performance? I have seen a number of claims of an arbitrary “10% performance boost” by android gamers, whilst I do believe their may be an increase I doubt it is a perceptible change.

This test was done on a Samsung S8+ with a Exynos 8895, completely fresh android 9 install, on battery and connected to 5GHz WiFi for both tests. Three tests were done for airplane mode and three for airplane mode off. For anyone who need a quick idea of the specifications of this phone:

  • 4x Custom CPU, Up to 2.3GHz
  • 4x Cortex®-A53, Up to 1.7GHz
  • 10nm FinFET Process
  • 4GB RAM (LPDDR4)

Overview

ModeSingle-Core Score (avg)Multi-Core Score (avg)
Normal3831549
Airplane Mode3891612
Geekbench 5.4.1

Whilst there is a increase is values, does this nessecarily mean the performance is higher? I don’t believe so, purely off the fact that geekbench results feel incredibly unstable. It gave me the odd score under 50 for both single-core and multi-core, which, whilst it is unlikely that only the ones with airplane mode were increased, does mean the level of uncertainity is at a point which the results can be discredited.

Scores which were obvious outliers were discarded.