The Galaxy S4 is hitting the stores these days, and that means my Galaxy S II is outdated by yet another model number. I honestly don’t feel like it is though, as there’s not much on it that I feel is missing, with one exception: RAM.
2GB is becoming the standard for Android devices now, and I envy that. The S II has 1GB of RAM, and while that is enough for most people, the truth is that the amount of customization I run on my phone does hug a lot of memory. It’s things like background processes for my smartwatch, widgets running in Overlays, WidgetLocker, and AppWidgetDisplay, background processes like LMT Launcher, and a ton of other small things that add up.
Right after I reboot, things are fine. Apps do like leaking memory though, and as time goes by, each process sucks up more and more memory, until I have to kill stuff constantly to keep above 200MB, which I’ve noticed is when the phone actually starts showing signs of slowing down. That basically means it’s time for a reboot, giving me a few days until that starts happening again.
Obviously this is one of those things I brought on myself with all my customization, but at the same time, those things are why I feel my old S II is far, far superior to a stock S4. Samsung can throw hardware and software at people all day, but it still won’t match what you can do on your own. There is of course a certain level of irony to having the things that make me uninterested in new phones be the things that push me towards an upgrade the most.
Despite this little hiccup, however, I still have no intention of upgrading. It would be nice to just go nuts with running background processes without paying any attention to how much RAM they use, but at the same time, it’s still very manageable. I also have to point out that I wouldn’t have this issue if 90% of apps out there didn’t leak memory like their life depended on it, and it’s a bit annoying to see an app’s RAM usage drop 80% by force closing it and restarting it.