How to Speed Up Obsolete Android Handsets

How to Speed Up Obsolete Android Handsets
Faster AndroidWe are constantly being bombarded with advertisements for newer and fancier smart phones. The newest models have four CPUs running at frequencies in excess of one gigahertz, have 512 megabytes of memory or more and include enormous screens with a very high display resolution.

These phones don't come cheap, however. A high end model can cost several hundred dollars. When you are stuck with an older Android smart phone, how can you make it keep up with the pack?

Newer phones are more responsive because they include processors that run at higher frequencies, use more advanced architectures, have more available memory and improved graphics acceleration hardware. They need this extra horsepower in order to run multiple processes at once and to handle the demands of the newest software.
Just like you would not try to install Windows 7 on a Pentium 3-class computer, you should not attempt to run software on your older Android smart phone that is out of its league. Choosing the right program can make all the difference when it comes to smart phone performance.

– Web Browsers: Android's default web browser is sufficient, but not as fast as you might expect. It performs admirably on newer processors, such as dual-core Snapdragon SOCs. However, on an older processor, such as an 800 MHz ARM11, it may seem a little sluggish.
You are likely to see even worse performance in a browser like Dolphin HD or Firefox. Look into lighter-weight browsers, such as Opera Mini. Not only does this browser require less CPU time and memory, it is also designed to compress websites remotely for faster downloading.
This is invaluable when your phone supports older network standards like 2G and 3G, but not 4G.

Instant Messaging Clients: Avoid memory-intensive IM clients that use a lot of fancy effects. Instead, opt for a simple, straightforward client like IM+.
This program can be downloaded from the Android Market for a fee, but a free version is also available.

Reduce Background System Load: Turn off background data and updates for most applications. For example, if the Google Play store is continually looking for program updates, it will drag down your system.

Remove Unneeded Apps: Download the free app "Android Assistant". Use its "Batch Uninstaller" feature to remove all the programs you have no immediate use for. When you are done, move all the programs you can to your SD card. This will free up valuable memory on the phone itself, thus increasing performance.

Kill Unneeded Processes: Using Android Assistant, terminate all processes you do not need running. You will need to do this periodically as you open and close applications. Android Assistant will also let you kill system processes you have no need for. Use the "Quick Boost" feature to look for memory to free up.
Manage Startup: You have probably noticed that your phone takes a long time to start up. If it's taking longer than two minutes to get your phone to a usable state after you press the power button, it probably needs some tweaking. Use Android Assistant to turn off every program you do not need running at boot.

Overclock Your Smart Phone: Many smart phones' processors are able to run at a higher speed than they were originally rated for. There are numerous applications available on the Google Play market to perform this function. Look up your phone model and the processor that it uses in order to choose a program that will be compatible. Gradually increase your CPU's speed. Run some benchmarks to test changes in performance as well as stability. If the smart phone crashes, reboot it and choose a lower speed the next time.

Some warnings about overclocking your smart phone:

  • Doing so may void your warranty.
  • Increasing CPU voltage can improve stability at higher speeds. However, too much voltage can damage your phone's processor.
  • Overclocking, especially with increased voltage, can cause overheating and damage.
  • Overclocking reduces battery life.
Follow these tips and your "old" smart phone should be running like new in no time!

About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of full time nanny.
She welcomes your comments at her email id: – jdebra84 @

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