Not so long ago, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S20, the minimum modification of which is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, and the maximum one offers 16 gigabytes. The new Xiaomi Mi 10 also offers 8 gigabytes of RAM. But why do smartphones need so much memory? I will try to answer this question in this article. Earlier, my colleague Ivan Kuznetsov wrote a material in which he considered such an amount of RAM unnecessary, but I hold different views.
Why a lot of RAM is good
I am writing this article from a laptop with 4 gigabytes of RAM and am not experiencing any issues. How is it that my budget Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is equipped with 6 gigabytes, and the new flagships even offer up to 16 GB of RAM?
Taking PC as an example, we usually use 1-2 applications at the same time. While playing Counter-Strike, we hardly want to minimize the game in order to open another application for some purpose. The same goes for working with the browser. As a rule, a user, when working with a computer, simultaneously uses no more than two applications. We can run Telegram in the background while we use Chrome, and today 8 gigabytes of RAM is quite enough for such purposes. Note, this is not about advanced computer use.
Now let's take a look at how people use smartphones. As a rule, many do not close applications at all through the multitasking menu. In addition, when using, for example, a browser, we may receive a message from VK, by opening VK, a message arrives in Telegram, we open the 'cart', and then we see in the notifications a new response to a comment on YouTube – we, of course, open YouTube . And this is quite a standard case for using a smartphone – for each service we need a separate application that consumes resources. So, Twitter, for example, consumes 400 megabytes of RAM. And that's just one application.
In the case of a PC, all interaction with services usually occurs through the browser. For YouTube we use a browser, for VK we use it too. He became the main entry point when working with services. This is why smartphones need more RAM.
In addition, with the growing popularity of foldable devices, the need for more RAM will increase, since the same Galaxy Fold is able to simultaneously display 3 applications on the screen in split-desktop mode.
Android less optimized
Android likes RAM
Another reason a lot of RAM is needed Android is that smartphones are bad optimization. Android as an operating system is not ideal for speed and smoothness. It requires powerful hardware to work, which cannot be said about iOS. For example, iPhone 11 Pro Max is equipped with 4 gigabytes of RAM, which is enough for it. My Mi 9 Lite with 6GB of RAM and no apps running consumes 3GB. Where do they go? Unclear. Even Windows 10 with a bunch of background processes and auto-update consumes only 2-2.5 GB.
Everything can change in the future
First, Google is working on a new microkernel operating system that should be more optimized and less hardware-intensive than Android. Secondly, with the growing popularity of PWA applications based on web technologies, the phone's RAM may not be clogged so much, since such solutions are less demanding on hardware and are a wrapper over the browser. In simple terms, if you launch two PWA applications, it will be the same as launching the Chrome browser with 2 tabs. Therefore, launching one PWA application will be ineffective, however, if you launch 3-5 such applications, the difference in comparison with conventional Android applications will be very strong.
How much RAM does a smartphone need?
16 gigabytes, I think, will be enough for the next couple of years. But again, in the future, the need for RAM against the background of the popularity of PWA solutions and next-generation operating systems will not be so obvious. Hype and race will be a thing of the past.
Do you hold different views? Then share your opinion in the comments and do not forget to join our Telegram chat.