How do we best explain the importance of phone RAM to the uneducated layman?
In the most basic terms, it’s sort of your phone’s workspace area, the temporary, fast-access part of the brain it uses to store the apps and stuff you’re currently using. In short, the more you have, the better and more fluid the experience.
The main benefit of having a large chunk of RAM on your smartphone, such as the 2GB of RAM in the Samsung GALAXY Note II, is simple. It means more apps can stay open in the background, reducing the endless opening/closing cycle that can make using a slower, less capable smartphone a tedious exercise in staring at a wide range of rotating “loading” icons.
Take social network use, for example. On an older, slower phone with 512MB of RAM, switching from Twitter to the Facebook app might require the phone to close Twitter completely so it has enough memory to be able to successfully open the Facebook app.
Therefore, when you’re done looking at other people’s baby photos and decide to head back to the cynical world of Twitter, the phone with the lesser amount of RAM has to completely re-open the app again. Meaning it’s slower to get going and will have lost track of where you were in the timeline.
The advantage of a phone like the GALAXY Note II with its class-leading 2GB chunk of RAM means that wouldn’t happen. Twitter would stay open in memory, meaning you could endlessly flip between the two social network apps without closing either. Life would be better.
It’s this multi-tasking advantage that makes a large lump of memory one of the key features that elevates a smartphone’s performance from average levels to become a much silkier, quicker experience.
It also mean games, which always benefit from having more memory to help them run smoothly, will work better, plus you’ll also be able to keep your play sessions alive in memory. So switching from a game to Twitter won’t dump you back to the “Press Start” screen and lose your progress.
Another area you’ll see improved is the web browser performance. Opening multiple tabs really eats up RAM on any phone, so the more you have, the more web pages you can open up simultaneously for idly leafing through whenever you get left alone long enough to do some extended reading.
You’ll also be able to pack Android Home screens with more widgets when using a phone with more RAM without impacting on the running of the phone itself. And as these active little icons are one of Android’s big unique selling points, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to have more of them on the go at any time. Just to show off with.