The smartphone manufacturers are running behind increasing the RAM capacity of their offerings in 2016. The Vivo Xplay 5 is the world's first smartphone to feature a 6 GB RAM that is the highest RAM available on smartphones.
Following the Vivo offering, many smartphones have come featuring 6 GB RAM in them and the list includes the Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe, OnePlus 3, and LeEco Le Max 2. We can expect more such devices to be launched in the coming months.
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But, the big question over here is, do you really need 6 GB RAM in a smartphone that is mainly used to make and receive calls, access social media, send messages, and browse the web to some extent.
Get to Know About RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory) stores the operating system, applications that are running and the temporary data needed to run the software. The reason that RAM is used for this purpose is that it is usually faster than the internal storage capacity of the device. Eventually, the data stored on the RAM can be accessed quickly.
What's with the Number?
Usually, there was a constant update in the amount of RAM used by the Android smartphones. Last year, the flagship smartphones featured 4 GB RAM that was a reasonable upgrade from 3 GB in their predecessors. The low-end devices came with 2 GB or 3 GB RAM instead of 1 GB.
Why Android Phones Need More RAM?
Even computers run just 4 GB or lesser RAM, so why should your smartphone use 6 GB RAM. Well, Microsoft has released a documentation that the Windows 10 OS needs just 1 GB RAM for the 32-bit version of the OS and 2 GB RAM for the 64-bit version of the OS. This applies to all the Windows 10 devices be it a desktop, tablet, laptop or convertible PC.
Also, the iPhone models come with a maximum of 2 GB RAM only and they do not suffer any lag or clutter. This prompts the question of why the Android devices need more RAM?
The reason is that there are differences between the iOS platform of Apple and Android OS. The Android apps use Java programming language that relies on the recycling of the memory after using an app. This process is known as garbage collection. On the other hand, the iOS apps are written in a different way that does not require this process.
Apart from this, there are different issues in the software on each smartphone brand. For instance, the Nexus 6 uses 1.2 GB of RAM with no apps running and OxygenOS uses 1.39 GB RAM and Galaxy Note 5 uses 1.7 GB RAM. If there are background services that are running on the Android device, it will consume more RAM.
If you have an Android smartphone with just 1 GB or 2 GB RAM and use a lot of apps that run in the background, the OS will flush the memory constantly and refill the data for the app you are using. This process will eventually slow down the performance of the device resulting in clutters.
Amount of RAM Actually Needed
Above, it is mentioned that without any running apps, the devices are prone to use from 1 GB to 2 GB of the total RAM. So, if there are many apps that you have downloaded from the Google Play Store on your Android device, you might need more RAM. But, there are not many apps that can make use of 4 GB in a smartphone.
Having More RAM is Beneficial
Though 6 GB is not needed for a smartphone, having a higher RAM is not going to cause any harm. The Android platform works in such a way that it expands itself as per the RAM amount that is available to it. If there is more RAM, the device will handle more data and apps in the background enabling faster switching between the apps and giving users the ability to open and leave more apps running without stopping them.
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A lot of RAM in your phone is a way of future-proofing. Given that the apps and games are set to utilize the powerful hardware to a greater extent in future, your phone will be capable of handling the apps and games smoothly without any glitches if there is a higher amount of RAM.
Should You Upgrade to a 6 GB RAM Smartphone?
If you are looking to upgrade your smartphone for any reason other than just RAM, you can consider the 6 GB RAM devices available in the market such as the Le Max 2 or OnePlus 3. A few more are soon to be launched in the country. This is a way to future-proof your smartphone.
Of course, you will see some incremental improvements resulting in a better user experience with these phones, but you shouldn't expect a significantly better performance all of the sudden.