If smartphone performance is important to you, the key items you need to pay attention to when picking a smartphone for use are processor speed and RAM size. Together, they decide the performance of your phone. But they do so in different ways.
The first step is to spell out what the processor clock speed and RAM size do in a smartphone. Remember that while they are complementary, each affects performance in a different way.
What is the importance of processor speed?
The processor speed is what indicates how powerful a smartphone is – and how fast/smooth it will run. The newer the processor and the higher the clock speed, the more powerful the smartphone is for heavy duty. So, all other things being equal, a 3 GHz processor smartphone is more powerful than one with a 2.3 GHz processor.
So, if you need a smartphone for gaming or for other heavy tasks, you should be looking for a smartphone with higher clock speeds.
PS: Along with procesor speed is the type of processor, but that is a much more technical aspect of this subject.
What is the importance of RAM size?
More RAM enhances multi-tasking. The more RAM a phone has, the smoother it is to launch and switch between apps. More RAM does not make your phone as a whole run faster. Let me put it differently: the more RAM your smartphone has, the better it can switch between apps and do multiple things at once.
If you are an app junkie and switch between multiple apps a lot, you will suffer on a smartphone with 2 GB RAM. I promise you. You will likely run into a lot of “out of memory” errors and/or have apps shutting down on you in the background. Definitely, when switching between apps, you will experience slower transitions.
Simply put, RAM size determines how many apps can run simultaneously on your phone and how smoothly you can switch between them. That is the importance of RAM size.
Smartphone Performance Example
So, together, the processor speed and RAM size determine how responsive your smartphone behaves, each determining a different dimension.
To illustrate this, let us compare two smartphones with different processor clock speeds and amounts of RAM (all other things equal):
- Smartphone One: Quad-core 1.3 GHz with 3 GB RAM
- Smartphone Two: Octa-Core 2.2 GHz with 2 GB RAM
Smartphone Two is the more powerful of the two because it has a higher processor speed. But Smartphone One will handle switching between apps or running multiple apps better. However, it will generally run slower than Smartphone Two. The more powerful device – Smartphone Two – will run faster and handle heavier tasks better.
If we add Smartphone Three with 2.2 GHz processor and 3 GB RAM size, it will blow both of the above examples out of the water in terms of performance because it has both the higher clock speed and higher amount of RAM.
Quick Tips For Android Users
- If you are an Android OS person, a 1.3 GHz processor is bottom of the barrel. It is low-end. For really good speeds, get 1.8 GHz and above.
- As for RAM size, if you can afford it, 3 GB is the least you should opt for on Android OS in order to enjoy decent multi-tasking.
- Also, note that the more cores a processor has, the more efficient it can run. So an octa-core processor is more efficient than a quad-core processor. See another article of mine, How smartphone processors work, for more details.
- Lastly, note that the bigger and sharper the display of your smartphone, the more powerful you need your processor to be, because the processor has more work to do than with a smaller screen. Display size and resolution are some of the factors we refer to when we say “all other things being equal“.
I hope that you understand better the factors that determine smartphone performance, so you can make better purchasing decisions.
Do use the comment section below to let me know if you have any questions or areas you need more light shed on. And do not forget to share this post with your network using the share buttons below.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.