5K Store
Mobile Category

2022: What Ram Size does your phone really need?

 How much Ram does your phone really need?

Android phones offer anywhere from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. But how much RAM does your handset actually need?



With the advancement in technology, one would expect speed, proficiency, optimization and optimal outputting abilities as one of the major criteria in consideration on getting a smartphone. Hell, multitasking abilities is the bane of them all as most people are becoming tech-savvy by the day. 


It would interest you to know that long time ago technologist, pays huge attention to RAMS attached to a Personal computer system (PC). It's an undisputable reason to consider before obtaining a smartphone.


But as technology advances and with the egocentric presence of smartphone devices especially ANDROID, attention has been redirected majorly to the smartphones devices. These same people come with the prior knowledge of Computer Ram ideology into the smartphone world.


WHAT IS RAM


From previous knowledge; What is RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data in current use are kept so they can be quickly reached by the device's processor. RAM is the main memory in a computer. It is much faster to read from and write to than other kinds of storage, such as a hard disk drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD) or optical drive.


The most popular phones feature a wide gamut of RAM sizes. At one end you have ultra-premium devices as much as 12GB or 16GB of RAM. At the other end, budget phones, some of which have variants with just 4GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the middle ground is packed with lots of devices with 6GB and often 8GB of RAM.


In general, less expensive phones tend to have smaller amounts of RAM, while the premium, high-end flagships offering more. The question is, how much RAM do you need when buying a new phone? What’s the ideal amount of RAM for an Android phone in 2022? How much do you need to add a little future-proofing? Let’s find out.

FEATURES

How much RAM does your Android phone really need in 2022?

Android phones offer anywhere from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. But how much RAM does your handset actually need?


According to Android Authority; The most popular phones feature a wide gamut of RAM sizes. At one end you have ultra-premium devices as much as 12GB or 16GB of RAM. At the other end, budget phones, some of which have variants with just 4GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the middle ground is packed with lots of devices with 6GB and often 8GB of RAM.


In general, less expensive phones tend to have smaller amounts of RAM, while the premium, high-end flagships offering more. The question is, how much RAM do you need when buying a new phone? What’s the ideal amount of RAM for an Android phone in 2022? How much do you need to add a little future-proofing? Let’s find out.


RAM vs swap space: Memory management explained
Galaxy S21 running memory booster app

Every computer, including your phone, uses Random Access Memory (RAM). Your currently running programs, their data, and the OS, are all stored in RAM while the computer is working. Ten or so years ago, Android devices had 512MB or 1GB of memory. However, the average amount of RAM in devices grew quickly. In 2014, many premium devices had 3GB of RAM and during 2016 and 2017 4GB became the de facto standard. 4GB is now considered the bare minimum for a new device.


No matter how much RAM your device has, it’s a finite resource that has to be managed. When you start a new app on Android it needs to occupy a portion of the memory. Simple apps and games will use a few hundred megabytes. More sophisticated games might use up to a gigabyte of RAM, and the most demanding games can use up to 1.5GB of RAM.


With 4GB of RAM, there’s enough room for several medium games or apps, along with the OS, to reside happily together. However, at some point, there will be no more free RAM.


No matter how much RAM your device has, it's a finite resource that can run out. This is where swap space comes in.

To handle this eventuality, modern computers use a technique known as swapping. The oldest and least used pages of memory are written out to the swap storage, and the memory they occupied in RAM becomes free. If that swapped-out memory is needed later, the saved memory pages are read back from storage and copied back into RAM (swapped-in). This greatly increases the amount of available memory to store apps and data but the trade-off is that it’s much slower compared to RAM.


Desktops, laptops, and servers use external storage (hard drives, SSDs) as swap space. Android uses a slightly different technique. Instead of writing out the pages to storage, Android compresses the data and writes it back into RAM. This is known as zRAM, following the Unix/Linux tradition of using “z” to denote compression. If we assume a 50% compression ratio, 128KB of RAM can reduce to 64KB, freeing up 64KB. The Linux kernel sees zRAM exactly as it would see traditional swap space. The compressed memory isn’t directly readable, so if it is needed it must be uncompressed and copied back, just like traditional swapping-in.


However, swap space (especially zRAM) is also a limited resource. If Android runs out of swap space then it needs to become more aggressive and start culling apps already in memory. That means an app you wanted to return to may be forced to close, as Android must make room for the new app you want to start.


If Android runs out of swap space then it needs to get more aggressive and start culling apps already in memory.

What all this means is that the more RAM you have, the more apps you can keep in memory simultaneously without Android killing off older apps. Less RAM means that Android needs to remove apps from memory more frequently. With that in mind, what is the optimum amount of RAM?


Testing to find the ideal amount of RAM

To determine the optimum amount of RAM I tested three phones: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with 12GB of RAM, the OnePlus 9 Pro with 8GB of RAM, and the Pixel 3XL with 4GB of RAM. The Samsung and Google devices run Android 12, while the OnePlus runs Android 11. On each phone, I noted the amount of free RAM and the amount of swap space used. I then launched a game, noted the amount of RAM the game used, and then looked at the changes to the free RAM and the swap space. I repeated these steps until Android was forced to kill off an app already in memory.


Galaxy S21 Ultra and Pixel 3XL tests

These two devices sit at the extremes of the spectrum. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has 12GB of RAM, whereas the Pixel 3XL has just 4GB. Below is a graph depicting how the devices fared in my test. Along the bottom is the list of games in the order that I launched them. The blue line shows how much free RAM is available and the green line shows how much swap space is used.


The 12GB Galaxy S21 Ultra provides textbook memory management and can hold loads of active apps at once.

Things were quite different on the Pixel 3 XL. It was able to hold three games in RAM simultaneously: Subway Surfers, 1945 Airforce, and Candy Crush. When I launched Brawl Stars, Subway Surfers was killed off and removed from memory. As we expected, this smaller amount of RAM means swap space is required with far fewer apps, and only a handful can be held in memory at once.


OnePlus 9 Pro test

The OnePlus 9 Pro used for testing has 8GB of RAM and includes the company’s RAMBoost feature found in many of its devices. RAMBoost tries to make memory management smarter. It analyzes your usage and tries to keep apps you use frequently in memory and kill off the apps that you don’t use often. It will even try to preload certain apps if it determines that you will use them soon. To properly test the OnePlus 9 Pro, I tested it with RAMBoost on and RAMBoost off.


So, how much RAM do you need on your Android phone?


With Android version 12 Few OEMs like XIAOMI, SAMSUNG, ONEPLUS etc have added VIRTUAL RAM into their software update which clearly adds 1GB-4GB of Virtual RAM to the phones default RAM by fetching storage space from the phones internal storage. Take for example your phone has a 4GB RAM when you add lets say 1GB of Virtual RAM, this same phone would now have 5GB of RAM. I hope it's clear?


Clearly, 4GB isn’t really enough for an average amount of multi-tasking. Only the most recent three or four games will remain in memory. Productivity apps tend to be smaller than games, so you should be able to run five or six smaller apps together before some of them reload when you switch back to them. 6GB of RAM will help to alleviate this issue


12GB on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is very robust and well managed. At least 15 games, including some big ones, can remain simultaneously in RAM, including Google Chrome active pages. I doubt that any user would have a reason to complain or to be disappointed by this level of multitasking capability.




8GB-12GB RAM is ideal, while 16GB seems to be nothing more than just bragging rights.

While the OnePlus 9 Pro is aggressive in its RAM management, long-term use of RAMBoost should help Android make better use of its 8GB. But my assumption is that 8GB on other devices will be utilized better than on the OnePlus.


Based on the results, our recommendation is to aim for 6GB of RAM when buying a budget expensive smartphone. For upper-mid-range or high-end devices, 8GB will provide a good multitasking experience plus some future-proofing. What became clear in our testing, though, is that the 12GB RAM on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is clearly a sweet spot and should provide a great overall experience to even the most demanding power users. At this time, 16GB RAM seems to be nothing more than just bragging rights.

Ask Your Questions/Drop Your Comments Here!

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post