Android Speed Over Time

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:

Last year's ABC XYZ suffered from performance issues caused by software bloat, as well as generally poorly optimized software. Today's XYZ 2 thankfully does not suffer from these same problems, and this is one of the fastest smartphones I've ever used.

Sure, that's great and sounds like a wonderful update to a phone that finally got the hardware and software it needed to be a blazing fast phone. Or at least it would be great if the next year we didn't get a review the next year that says:

The XYZ 3 finally addresses the performance issues we experienced in the XYZ 2. Better software and more powerful hardware has finally made this the powerhouse we always wished last year's model was.

This is the story we see year in and year out from Android phones, and it's ridiculous. The fundamental problem with Android phones is that they are far faster when you first use them than they are months down the line. Unfortunately, phone reviewers almost always base their reviews on between a single day (AKA a glorified unboxing) and a week or two, when the phones are at their peak performance. They get slow for reviewers as well, but only after they have posted their reviews and a "final verdict" has been handed down.

I've owned numerous Android phones over the years and every single one (from Samsung to HTC to Motorola) have had this same issue. They feel great right out of the box, and then they take a deep dive off the slooooow end. It's not even that they get insufferable, they just start to feel old and lacking in that zip they had when they were younger.

This happens to a limited extent with iOS devices, but it's an incredibly minor change. My year old iPhone 6s Plus still performs incredibly well, even with 100+ apps installed and many thousands of hours of use.