Slight lag? Are you kidding?
Sometimes my droid lags for like 10 seconds. That's not slight.
I'll be the first to say that I love my Droid, and wouldn't switch it for an iPhone. But if there's one thing I hate about Android, it's the semi-frequent instability/lag.
I've found my phone permanently frozen on a screen, with nothing I can do but pull the battery. This has happened multiple times. It reminds me of the old days on Windows. Even Vista doesn't do that to me (though it has randomly rebooted).
Well you have to keep in mind the majority of the time I get 0-little lag. But I'd be lying if I told you I haven't experienced that numerous times.
No on the anti-virus. Seems pointless. And before someone asks, no custom roms. Just plain old 2.0.1.
I do have many apps installed (but not running) and running apps (according to astro) do not account for the great lag that sometimes occurs.
The iphones tend to load only the area you are currently viewing and cache the rest. If you've ever played with an iphone or itouch you will notice that if you scroll quickly you will see a checkerboard before the part you are looking at actually comes into view.
Personally I'm running HC's 2.1 ROM and even though is isn't made for the droid it runs smoother/faster for me than 2.01 did. Also since I upped the speed to 600mhz it is even faster however next to an iphone it still lags but thier SW/HW has been thru many more revisions so it should be faster. That all said I look forward to the actual VZW 2.1 release and assume it will be even better optimized for the droid than the ROM I'm using now. Whether it's faster than the iphone or not I don't really care that much...
The phone does lag a bit in areas, especially when you have a lot coming up on screen. The main issue is two things, the first being that like a computer the phone does try to load the entire content all at once, instead of piece-meal only the parts that you are currently looking at, which I actually like in some respects and hate at other times.
The second problem is that the android system is based off of Java (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system) and what comp language does android sdk use - Android Forums), which is notoriously slow and was my initial problem with wanting a droid. I do believe that some of the issues stem from them using this bloated software as their OS of choice, but I will say, I love the droid.
I have it running right now just as I would have my laptop running able to do anything I want with it. I can't say I was able to do that with the iPhone 3GS that I had for over 6 months and I would constantly search for what I could do to try and replace my laptop.
As a long time Java engineer and a developer for Android, let me set a few things straight on the lag issue.
First, Purgatory, you sadly fall into the camp of people who still believe Java is slow. It got a bad rap in the late 90s and it WAS slow back then. But in the early 2000's and especially now, it's gotten much faster. If you do some searching, you'll find plenty of cases, especially scientific equations and such where Java actually is faster than native code. As well, Java is by far the largest server side "performance" technology out there. If you've ever run any of the latest Java Swing apps using JDK 1.5 or better.. 1.6, you'll see that most things are very snappy and when you do see lag, it's for the same reason that Droid has lag. So let's be clear that java is NOT slow any longer. JDK 1.7 is going to increase that speed to almost no wait times on starting apps and a number of other goodies. To further argue that Java is not slow, I point to none other than Android powering the most advanced smart phones in the world. I know google is behind it and they are a large Java shop. But google could have done this years ago. I personally feel that they are using Java for a number of reasons, one of them being that it is plenty fast for a mobile device. If it was too slow, like back in the late 90s when the Java platform itself was undergoing significant changes, I doubt they would have gone forth with it. To me, it says something when one of the most successful and largest companies in the world place all their bets on Java on a mobile device.
Next, let's address the lag. There are two reasons any Android device is going to seem somewhat slower, and at times it seems just fine, but other times you'll see some lag. The first issue is with how Java generally is developed. Usually most developers avoid creating things until actually needed. Depending on how many "things" are needed, this can take a little bit of time.. and by little bit we're talking milliseconds.. but enough to notice it sometimes. This idea of waiting till absolutely needed to create things is probably magnified on a mobile device with limited resources. I personally have only seen the home screen lag sometimes, but most of the time it's fine. I have a couple of widgets on one home screen and it's possible those are loading when I've not used my phone for a while and been on that screen. This is the other point to this "lag". Java tries to recoup anything not being used for a while. There is more detail to this than needs to be explained, but generally, Android will "shut down" applications to make room for other running apps when there isn't enough resources. In my case, I may run 15 different apps over a period of time (not all at once), but at some point, the media player widget that is on a home screen that I am not using but it was loaded due to me going to that screen (so that it's ready to play music), may no longer be needed... so Android may determine that for one of my other apps to run, the media player needs to be killed (shut down) to recoup some memory for my new app to run. Now, next time I go to that home screen, it may take a few milliseconds for the media player widget to start up and be ready again. Hence the lag I may see.
The other reason, and this is a big one for us Java developers on android, is the lack of a JIT. For those that are not java programmers and don't know what a JIT is, JIT == just in time.. it basically is a runtime analysis native code compiler that desktop/server side Java has, and J2ME (older java mobile devices) have. For some reason, the Dalvik JVM that google provides for Android was released without a JIT. A JIT greatly increases the performance of most applications. To give you a rough idea of why it is so important, some developers have done comparisons of basic tests (loops that dont do much, etc) and older J2ME devices are 10 to 20x faster than Android on comparable hardware! So, seeing older much less evolved J2ME hardware run that much faster than Android is really upsetting for us developers. This may also contribute to some of the lag you are seeing. Now, to counter my comment to Purgatory about Java not being slow.. in this case.. on Android devices, he is right. It's quite slow comparatively speaking. BUT, it is VERY fast for a mobile device.
So all that explained (hopefully it wasn't too far out there for anyone that doesn't understand java/programming), we ALL have a few things to look forward to very soon. Right now there is indeed a JIT project in the works for Dalvik. When that is released, hopefully sometime this year, I would imagine with either a 2.5 or 3.0 platform release, we should see a very nice boost in application performance.
As well, there are some issues right now plaguing games and music apps development on Android that is hopefully sooner than later going to be updated to allow more iPhone like games/music apps being possible for Android. Right now, having done a lot of reading on game development on Android, there are a lot of hoops developers have to go thru to get a fairly decent frame rate going for games. So if/when these newer libraries are released.. I am hoping at the same time that a JIT is released, we should see a nice boost in capabilities for games and music apps, and as well all apps across the board should see a nice boost in performance.
Anywho, I wanted to try to clear that up from my developer perspective. There are no doubt other issues.. such as you may be running badly written applications that could be consuming lots of cpu time and slowing things down, have too many apps running and low on memory, etc. But the two points are the gist of why Android in particular might feel sluggish at times.
Java (software platform) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and the quote: "...they wanted a platform that could be easily ported to all types of devices." under history). What are all the browsers actually stating they do? Faster support for java, each and every update recently has been an update to say that each one decrypts java programs faster than before.
android itself is not java, but it is based off of it and this is an issue since it does have a high overhead. Too bad they didn't use C#.
I completely agree to the poorly written code as well, since this is almost always the case in things slowing down on your phone.