Does An Extra Gigabyte of RAM Really Make A Difference? (for Android)

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When Samsung introduced the Galaxy S3 in the United States, the manufacturer announced that the S3 would feature 2 GB of RAM instead of 1 GB like its international version. Obviously, this got a lot of us tech junkies excited. And how couldn’t we? 2 GB is double of what we had ever seen before, including the recently released HTC One X. But, the question is, does the extra Gigabyte actually as big of a difference as the spec sheet would have you believe?

To test if the extra gig of RAM makes a difference, I compared the SGS3 to the HTC EVO 4G LTE. I chose the EVO 4G LTE as the competitor because the two phones have the same 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and both have displays pushing 1280×720 resolution. Simply stated, the two phones are almost identical hardware wise other than the difference in RAM.

To test the devices, I opened up a total of 16 of the same applications on each device. After opening a set of 4, I would check the task manager on both devices to see the RAM’s status. As expected, more and more RAM was being used up on both phones as I opened each new set of apps. But after opening a total of 12 apps, this changed on the EVO 4G LTE. There was actually less RAM being used. This is because it had filled up all of its RAM, so Android automatically started closing some of the other apps in the background to free up some space.

This didn’t happen on the SGS3, as it kept on opening apps and storing them in its RAM as it had plenty to spare. The result? I was able to open 16 apps on the SGS3 and have them all running in the background while only 10 or so were running on the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Why does this matter, you ask? Because by having the apps stored in its RAM, the SGS3 didn’t have to re-load any of the applications when I switched back and forth through them while the HTC did. And because of this, the SGS3 gives you a much better multitasking experience.

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.