How much RAM does your Android phone really need? We explain everything you need to know.
It has become one of the best-studied aspects of choosing a new phone, and it’s no wonder. With the advancement of mobile operating systems and the increasing complexity and resource-intensive use of applications RAM has become a crucial elementin which everything – or almost everything – looks at the world when buying a terminal. But, Is it really that important?
There are many unknowns in the RAM of our mobile devices. That is why our intention is Clarify the main doubts and answer the big questions about AMR.
What is RAM and what is it for?
Before you fully step in to answer some of the main questions you need to understand what is it really This component includes every single smartphone on the market. The random access memory o RAM memory – for its acronym in English – is a type of memory that devices – including cell phones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs – use Save data that is needed in the short term.
The RAM is ultra-fast storagebecause both read and write must be performed almost instantlyThis would be impossible using other types of storage such as those used by devices as internal storage. In addition, they are known as “random access” memories because no matter where you want to read or write, The waiting time is the same by not using sequential access mode.
Sequential or random access, what’s the difference? | When we speak of sequential access applied to computing, we are referring to a type of access that follows a predetermined order when items are accessed before they are read or written to memory. It’s a type of access that’s slower than random because getting to a specific save point requires iterating through the previous elements first.
In our Android phones or tablets, the RAM memory works as follows: The operating system – more specifically the kernel or kernel – is responsible for managing the access of applications and other system elements to the RAM memory as much as possible read or write only if the kernel allows it. Thus, these applications Save data temporarilythat they can access immediately when needed.
This means that we use our devices on a daily basis as soon as the operating system, its processes and other elements are in place uses part of the RAM They have to work, the remaining space remains free Applications can store data. As soon as the mobile phone is switched off and on again, RAM is released and the process starts again with the applications struggle to try to occupy its position in RAM.
In contrast to the internal memory, the RAM memory is “cleaned” every time the mobile phone is restarted.
It should also be taken into account that, like the vast majority of modern operating systems, Android includes built-in RAM memory managementThis is responsible for dynamically allocating the empty spaces in RAM to the various applications as needed until all available spaces are full in order to fully utilize the RAM storage capacity of our device. Hence it is commonly said that On Android, unused RAM is wasted with RAMand closing apps manually to save space is not recommended.
What does it mean that your phone has 2/4/8 GB of RAM?
Now that the most basic concepts of how RAM memory works has become clear, it is time to answer one of the most common questions asked by smartphone users: What does it mean if my cell phone has 2, 4, 6 or 12 gigabytes of RAM?.
We have already explained that RAM is a type of memory like any other, differentiated from the rest by the type of access – random – and by the speed – which by the way measured in megahertz-. Therefore, as with the rest of the memories, one of the most important characteristics is this capacityThis is exactly what these GBs refer to that I talked about earlier.
That your phone has a certain amount of RAM just means that both the applications and the operating system itself are there have more or less space when storing their data to access it later so that these phones allow with more RAM Keep more apps in the background . On the other hand, if the storage capacity is reduced, few applications can store data – the system reserves a space for its processes that the apps cannot occupy – so Data must be reloaded from scratch each time it is executedand thus access to them will be slower.
We changed there | The HTC Dream was the first Android ever to hit the market, and it had 192MB of RAM. There are already cell phones like the ASUS ROG Phone 3 with 16 GB of RAM or 84 times more than the HTC model.
If An app or process requests RAM from the operating system, but due to the low storage capacity there is no storage space available, The kernel is forced to free memory using a technique known as To deceive. There can also be the situation that the Kernel have to kill a process stored in memory to make room for a new one. These calculations are based on various factors such as: The time that has passed since the app was opened This stays in the background so killing one process to make room for another does not affect the normal performance of the device too much.
Swapping, the technique that uses internal memory as RAM When we talk about it To deceiveWe are referring to a technique based on using free space on the hard drive to store temporary data, thereby reducing the use of RAM. In Android, this data must be compressed before it is saved to the hard drive and later decompressed in order to be able to access it.
Of course there is also the possibility of on Android Free RAM. In this way, we can close the processes that keep the applications open in order to be able to access them later in the fastest possible way, leaving room for new processes. As I said before, it’s usually better Let the operating system manage memory usage by itself as you see fit
More RAM is always better, is it really like that?
Another of the most widespread doubts among smartphone users is related to this How much RAM does an Android phone really need to function well?. Given the above, it would be easy to infer from this The more RAM the better. But the reality is not that simple.
Like any component integrated in a device, RAM memory chips consume electricityand the consumption is higher as the storage capacity grows as more Update cycles. Here’s how Park Ju Hyung, one of the developers of the Paranoid Android ROM platform, explains:
A larger RAM capacity increases power consumption due to update cycles, so a larger one is not always better.
I am not familiar with how RAM boost works on OxygenOS, but when done correctly (e.g. how Google pins multiple system service related files to RAM) it can make sense. https://t.co/UAABluaBb9
– Park Ju Hyung (@ arter97) May 21, 2019
However, this must also be taken into account Applications are consuming more and more RAM There are still a few of our devices that reach more than 1 GB occupied. A table from AndroidAuthority shows how frequently used applications like WhatsApp or Spotify rarely exceed 300 MB, while the heaviest games like PUBG Mobile reach values close to 1.15 GB.
How do I know how much RAM my phone has? |: Virtually all smartphones on the market will reflect the amount of RAM they contain. However, you can check your phone’s memory, used and available space in the Memory Usage section when you access your phone’s developer options.
With that in mind, it is best Find a figure that fits the way we use cell phonesand always remember that today the 8 GB of RAM are a character who has proven capable deliver good performance in midrange and high-end terminals alike. If you are one of those people who spend hours playing some of the most resource-intensive titles, or if you use your phone or tablet almost as a computer replacement and multitasking is the most important thing, you can Choose a phone with 12GB of RAM be a good idea. On the other hand, if you don’t normally gamble or are not too demanding with the number of applications you use at the same time, 8 GB should be more than enough.
RAM memory types and their differences
Just as there are different types of cameras, processors or screens, We can find different types of RAM on the market. which generally differ between them by its speed and energy efficiency.
Nowadays, the most common type that we can find in Android smartphones is the LPDDR4X RAM, Where LP it means Low currentand DDR4 refers to Double the data rate or Twice the data transfer speed, while number 4 corresponds to the version. Finally, the X indicates that it is a derived version of LPDDR4 technology.
This type of storage offers a Data transfer speed of up to 4,266 Mbit / sThis is the same as LPDDR4 technology, but supports capacities between 8 GB and 96 GB. This is a significant increase over the 32 GB limit for LPDDR4 technology. In addition, the operation is based on a single 16-bit channel manufactured in the 14-nanometer format.
But two years after the launch of LPDDR4X, a new technology came onto the market that we saw this year in the first terminals such as the OnePlus 8 Pro or the Galaxy S20 Ultra, two of the phones with the largest memory capacity RAM on the, by the way Market. It’s about the LPDDR5 technologyFaster thanks to a speed of up to 6,400 Mbit / s, which means transfers of more than 50 GB per second, while improving efficiency and reducing energy consumption by up to 30%. Today, this type of storage is not very common among smartphones, although it is expected to gain ground in the years to come.
The phones with the most RAM on the market
As the application requirements and user requirements have evolved and increased, Manufacturers have decided to equip their phones with increasing RAM storage capacity. Currently these are some of the Cell phones with more RAM than can be bought from some of the big brands: