Last week LG revealed the Optimus LTE2 for Korea, the first phone with 2 GB RAM (random-access memory). Now this week we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S III headed to Japan will also feature 2 GB RAM. We don’t know when either of these models will make their way to the US, but it’s a clear signal that most high-end smartphones in the second half of 2012 will feature twice the memory of today’s flagship devices.
We still don’t know the specs of our carrier versions of the Galaxy S III, so that could end up being the first phone to see 2 GB RAM in the US. The Wall St. Journal also says the Optimus LTE2 is coming to LTE networks in America, but no partners have been announced.
So why exactly does your Android smartphone need 2 GB RAM? We have never seen an Android device with 2 GB RAM so we don’t know exactly how it will affect the user experience, but we can take a few guesses based on what we know of PCs.
Generally speaking, more RAM does not always make your computer faster, but it does allow it do more things at once. Hopefully we will see increased multi-tasking performance when using multiple Android apps. Opening multiple tabs in the Chrome browser should also be improved. Maybe web pages with Flash will not suck (yeah right). And hopefully Google can lock the home screen in memory so we don’t experience that lag as we wait for our launcher to load.
The underlying Linux kernel that Google uses for Android can surely address 2 GB RAM, but we really won’t know what to expect until we spend some quality time with one of these new devices.
My hope is that the extra memory will bring Android even closer to the true desktop experience that we have been waiting for. Android 4.0 can almost replace a PC right now and Motorola is pushing the limits with Webtop 3.0, but it’s not quite “good enough” just yet. Most users spend the majority of their desktop time in the browser, and that can still be sluggish on today’s hardware.
Google IO is just a month away and we should see new software (Jelly Bean) and hardware, so maybe more details will be revealed soon. In the mean time, let us know how you would like Google and their partners to take advantage of the increased memory.