There are several factors that slow down a mobile with use, a process that happens little by little has already inspired many conspiratorial ideas in this regard. Why does a mobile become slower over time?
The mobile is full of things
Mobile phones come “empty” from the factory, beyond the system and installed applications. Fortunately, it is less and less common for a mobile to include a lot of bloatware installed, so it is normal for there to be plenty of storage space available.
One telephone you need to have enough storage space available to function at full capacity. Otherwise, the system must use resources to try to find space or it cannot efficiently use the cache. The cache takes up space, yes, but it also speeds up applications and the system.
Even if we restore all the data from the old mobile to the new one, the new mobile will seem faster despite having a good amount of data inside. There are several factors at play here, and it is that even if all the applications have been reinstalled, they will not be put to full performance until you open and configure. It is not the same to have the Facebook application installed without more than with the account started and active.
As the mobile fills up with data, the system and applications must process that extra data. It’s much faster for a gallery app to display four photos and two albums than 20,000 photos spread across 200 albums. And the usual thing is to have more and more photos and videos as you use the mobile.
The good news is that this factor that affects the slowdown of a mobile it is very easy to reverse: it is enough to restore the mobile to the factory, which removes everything that has been installed afterwards, leaving the mobile as it came out of the store. In most cases, the system will noticeably faster (in exchange for losing all your apps and data, of course).
Apps and games demand more and more
Sometimes the problem is not technically yours or your mobile, but the applications you use. Except for the occasional attempt to simplify and return to the origins, it is normal for applications to add more and more things. This causes larger and more demanding applicationswhich need more storage space and resources to function.
Google has been trying to optimize the size of APK files for a long time, so comparisons of Facebook’s APK size over time are no longer very relevant. Another thing is the size of the application already installed, which is today about 220 Mb for the latest version of Facebook. A few years ago it was around 150 Mb.
It is even worse in games, because the developers try to take full advantage of the advances in the hardware to bring better graphics, resulting in huge downloads and a good performance in recent terminals, but somewhat lame in those that have been around for a while. There is no generational leap here as in consoles, but games and mobiles advance in their requirements in a somewhat chaotic way.
One solution is to install lightweight alternatives to the heavier applications, although this is not always possible. It’s more, sometimes it is not even possible to continue using an old version of an application, as the developers have included a date check to avoid this, forcing the update.
no longer update
With few exceptions, it is normal for an Android mobile to receive updates for a couple of years, including two Android updates and several security updates. Afterwards, the mobile stays as it was, hopefully receiving security updates every few months.
A new version of Android is not necessarily faster than the previous one, although it is common for improvements to include some optimization focused on improving performance somehow. On the other hand, although security updates are primarily about that, security, sometimes they are used for small corrections, including performance problems, especially when the mobile was launched recently.
After the support period, the mobile remains a bit at your own expense and risk, without new versions of Android and also without security patches. The latter is more of a security risk than a slowdown, mind you.
For this reason, a way of give new life to an old phone is to install a ROM, especially if it is a “minimalist” one focused on offering good performance. It is not a solution for all audiences, since it involves several processes and requires a lot of patience, but the possibility is there.
The hardware has aged
So far we’ve mainly talked about software, but hardware ages too, and this can affect performance. After weeks and months of heavy use, components wear outjust like with any other device.
The most obvious wear is that of the battery, whose capacity decreases with use until the autonomy offered by the mobile a few years later will be much less than when it was recently purchased. This does not directly affect the speed of the mobile, although it will force you to charge it faster, which overheats it. The hotter the mobile is, the slower it works.
The truth is that you will probably change your mobile before wear of other components affect performance, at least with normal use. Of course, if it is a mobile that has been used quite intensely (for example, for exposure or with long sessions of very demanding games) then it could be noticed.