As I wrote in my year-end review last year, mobile phones with 2GB random access memory (RAM) have now become quite common. Many of them are available under the Rs10,000 price barrier. Some of them cost as low as Rs7,000. Coolpad is selling its Note 3 Lite, which has a 3GB RAM, for just Rs6,999. However, I am discussing only the RAM here and not any other feature of the handset that may have been compromised to sell devices at this low price level.
There is a belief that higher the RAM, the speedier the device. This is true up to a certain level, for personal computers and laptops. However, when it comes to mobile phones, you need to have supporting processor (read raw power) as well the proper allocation and de-allocation (instructions in the operating system-OS) to get more performance out of the RAM. As you may be aware, an iPhone with lower RAM performs much better than an Android-based handset, as its iOS has no provision for residual memory. Remember, only a few devices run on core Android; most of the manufactures modify the OS as per their requirement (read: keep control in their hands and add unnecessary apps or bloatware).
According to a test conducted by YouTube channel C4ETech, One Plus3 with its 6GB of RAM was found to be falling behind Samsung Galaxy S7 that has 4GB RAM. The test report says: “The tests also found that with re-starting the test each time, the OnePlus 3 would individually load apps from scratch where the Galaxy S7 appeared to use its memory efficiently to recall the app data and bring it up again quicker. It would appear that quantity of RAM is not as important as how intelligently the hardware and software uses it.”
RAM is a memory, randomly available and accessed by the operating software as well as applications to perform various tasks. So with more memory at disposal, the OS can instruct the processor to run multiple applications and carry out many tasks simultaneously and smoothly. If you are a multi-tasker and use apps without properly closing them, it may get full and you will feel the ‘lag’ effect. In some cases, the mobile may ‘hang’.
Besides the processor and RAM, most of the devices also feature a graphics processing unit (GPU) that helps in smoother performance of apps, games or playing HD videos that require heavy graphics processing. Unfortunately, like a PC or laptop, you cannot upgrade or change the hardware in a mobile handset. This means that you cannot upgrade the device’s memory, processor or GPU. If either of them fails, the handset will most certainly become dead.
If you are buying a new handset, check the processor power, RAM, GPU and internal memory together. All these components should complement each other, to give you a better performance. If you are buying an Android mobile with 4GB RAM, make sure that it has a 64-bit processor, to give good results. But there is no need for you to lose heart just because your mobile handset has low RAM. You can always use the available memory smartly to get smoother and faster performance. One way to achieve this is not to keep multiple apps running simultaneously.
Another trick is to destroy every activity soon after your usage and also kill the foreground app. For this, you need to go to Settings>About Phone. Here, you need to tap the build number seven times, to allow you to enable the ‘developer option’. Under the developer option, check for apps. Here, you can kill or destroy the activities as soon as you leave it. Some handsets also have a feature to kill the foreground app by keeping the ‘back’ button pressed for a little longer time. For smoother performance, you can also reduce the animation scale to minimum or .5x in from the developer option. However, remember not to play with any other setting in the developer option, if you do not know what you are doing.