Poor performing SD cards to blame for smartphone lag?

Is there anything more frustrating than purchasing the latest and greatest smartphone, booting up and loading all your favourite applications only to find that performance is sluggish. You took the time to ensure that your new pride and joy has the latest dual core processor, more RAM than you could ever need and a state of the art GPU yet still certain processes show notable lag. Well according to recent research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and NEC Corp, it may well be your flash memory that’s to blame.

The research tested 16GB cards from eight of the leading flash card manufacturers using several leading Android handsets. The tests covered the use of popular applications such as WebBench Browser, Facebook, Android Email, Google Maps, App Install, Pulse News Reader and RLBench SQLite. Results showed that performance over WiFi declined on average between 100% to 300% with one test showing a shocking 2000% decrease in performance.

Hyojun Kim, a Ph.D. student in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, stated “A good chunk of time for users is spent waiting for websites to load … [and for] applications to load, why would anyone want to see a 20-second wait time on their phone, particularly if the network is not the problem,”  Kim and his team working hard to find a solution to the problem, one path they’re exploring is the use of phase-change random access memory (PRAM) to store performance critical data. On the subject of PRAM, Kim stated “We find that changes to the storage subsystem can significantly improve user experience; our pilot solutions demonstrate possible benefits and serve as references for deployable solutions in the future”

So there we have it, perhaps there is some logic to the omission of SD card expansion slots in recent, flagship smartphones. For those of you who just can’t live without that expandable memory slot, check out the test results below.


source : computerworld


About the Author: Chris Stewart

Originally from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, I'm now living in the UK's second city, Birmingham. I've had a passion for gadgets from a very young age, it all started with my Commodore 64 at the tender age of 2 years old. I purchased my first mobile phone aged 17 and it was from there the obsession began. Having now gone through 33 phones in 13 years it's safe to say my passion for phones is alive and well! My current phone is the Galaxy Nexus as I'm a big fan of the pure Android experience. I've been working in the Banking industry for the past 10 years and I'm currently working in Human Resources for one of the World's largest Retail Banks. I spend my spare time with my wonderful wife and young family and when I'm not fiddling with phones and tablets I can be found playing football (soccer for you guys in the States!), watching Mixed Martial Arts, tinkering with cars or listening to music.

  • Anonymous

    So for stupid consumers like me: which card should I buy?

    • Anonymous

      Buy a class 10 microSD card. Those are fast, and it is quite noticeable

      • Anonymous

         Damn that was fast :-) Thanks. I will keep that in memory (no pun intended). I wanna try Nemo on my N900 and it isn’t exactly fast to start with.

    • Anonymous

      NuLLnVoiDes won’t work with anything below a Class 4. The Class is an indicator of read/write speed. Buying a Class 6 is more than enough. Most phones can’t take advantage of a Class 10. There is also another factor to consider. The ROM also dictates the maximum read ahead cache which has a significant effect on the perceived speed. If you have a rooted phone, use any one of the apps similar to SD Speed Boost to change the read ahead cache from 128k to 2048k. This helps a lot with the card you have. Don’t spend a lot on a Class 10 unless you find a great deal <$40. Otherwise, stick with a Class 6 and you'll be just fine.

      • Anonymous

         Thanks to you too – now I know at least ten-fold more about SD-storage ;-) Gotta check for something like that Speed booster you mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    super true. I tried running my Nook Color from a crappy sd card and you guessed it – it sucked. But with a decent sd card, the experience is good.

  • http://twitter.com/sv0o 3@ns@y 1nc3ntv@y

    I’ve been wondering about this myself.  Also, if the phone is slower, I think there may be an impact on battery life as well.  My wife and I noticed both when we put 32GB class 2 cards in our phones: me G2 her MTq 

  • haloonweed 69

    I use a LG G3 and a transcend 16 gb sd card.
    Lately the sd card has been causing a lot of lag.
    Which speed class card should i buy if i throw my current card away out of frustration?