How a lot RAM do I want in my telephone in 2022? Now we have the solution

The most well liked telephones function a large gamut of RAM sizes. At one finish you’ve gotten ultra-premium units up to 12GB or 16GB of RAM. On the different finish, funds telephones, a few of that have variants with simply 4GB of RAM. In the meantime, the center floor is filled with quite a lot of units with 6GB and ceaselessly 8GB of RAM.

Basically, more cost effective telephones generally tend to have smaller quantities of RAM, whilst the top class, high-end flagships providing extra. The query is, how a lot RAM do you wish to have when purchasing a brand new telephone? What’s the perfect quantity of RAM for an Android telephone in 2022? How a lot do you wish to have so as to add slightly future-proofing? Let’s in finding out.

RAM vs switch area: Reminiscence control defined

Galaxy S21 running memory booster app

Gary Sims / Android Authority

Each laptop, together with your telephone, makes use of Random Get entry to Reminiscence (RAM). Your these days operating techniques, their information, and the OS, are all saved in RAM whilst the pc is operating. Ten or so years in the past, Android units had 512MB or 1GB of reminiscence. Alternatively, the typical quantity of RAM in units grew temporarily. In 2014, many top class units had 3GB of RAM and all the way through 2016 and 2017 4GB was the de facto same old. 4GB is now regarded as the naked minimal for a brand new software.

Regardless of how a lot RAM your software has, it’s a finite useful resource that must be controlled. While you get started a brand new app on Android it must occupy a portion of the reminiscence. Easy apps and video games will use a couple of hundred megabytes. Extra subtle video games would possibly use as much as a gigabyte of RAM, and probably the most challenging video games can use as much as 1.5GB of RAM.

With 4GB of RAM, there’s enough space for a number of medium video games or apps, along side the OS, to live fortuitously in combination. Alternatively, someday, there can be not more unfastened RAM.

Regardless of how a lot RAM your software has, it is a finite useful resource that may run out. That is the place switch area is available in.

To care for this eventuality, fashionable computer systems use a method referred to as swapping. The oldest and least used pages of reminiscence are written out to the switch garage, and the reminiscence they occupied in RAM turns into unfastened. If that swapped-out reminiscence is wanted later, the stored reminiscence pages are learn again from garage and copied again into RAM (swapped-in). This a great deal will increase the quantity of to be had reminiscence to retailer apps and knowledge however the trade-off is that it’s a lot slower in comparison to RAM.

Take a look at: The most efficient telephones with 16GB of RAM

Desktops, laptops, and servers use exterior garage (onerous drives, SSDs) as switch area. Android makes use of a reasonably other methodology. As an alternative of writing out the pages to garage, Android compresses the knowledge and writes it again into RAM. That is referred to as zRAM, following the Unix/Linux custom of the usage of “z” to indicate compression. If we think a 50% compression ratio, 128KB of RAM can cut back to 64KB, releasing up 64KB. The Linux kernel sees zRAM precisely as it might see conventional switch area. The compressed reminiscence isn’t immediately readable, so whether it is wanted it should be uncompressed and copied again, similar to conventional swapping-in.

Alternatively, switch area (particularly zRAM) could also be a restricted useful resource. If Android runs out of switch area then it must turn into extra competitive and get started culling apps already in reminiscence. That suggests an app you sought after to go back to could also be pressured to near, as Android should make room for the brand new app you wish to have to start out.

If Android runs out of switch area then it must get extra competitive and get started culling apps already in reminiscence.

What all this implies is that the extra RAM you’ve gotten, the extra apps you’ll stay in reminiscence concurrently with out Android killing off older apps. Much less RAM signifies that Android wishes to take away apps from reminiscence extra continuously. With that during thoughts, what’s the optimal quantity of RAM?

Trying out to search out the perfect quantity of RAM

Three Android phones running three games with a wood panel background

Gary Sims / Android Authority

To resolve the optimal quantity of RAM I examined 3 telephones: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely with 12GB of RAM, the OnePlus 9 Professional with 8GB of RAM, and the Pixel 3XL with 4GB of RAM. The Samsung and Google units run Android 12, whilst the OnePlus runs Android 11. On each and every telephone, I famous the quantity of unfastened RAM and the quantity of switch area used. I then introduced a sport, famous the quantity of RAM the sport used, after which regarded on the adjustments to the unfastened RAM and the switch area. I repeated those steps till Android was once pressured to kill off an app already in reminiscence.

See additionally: Android 12 evaluation — It truly is all about you

Here’s a checklist of the video games I used, along side the typical quantity of RAM they occupy:

  • Subway Surfers — 750MB
  • 1945 Airforce — 850MB
  • Sweet Weigh down — 350MB
  • Brawl Stars — 500MB
  • Minecraft — 800MB
  • Asphalt 9 — 800MB
  • Shadowgun Legends — 900MB
  • Elder Scrolls Blades — 950MB
  • Genshin Have an effect on — 1.4GB
  • Chrome — 2.2GB

Galaxy S21 Extremely and Pixel 3XL checks

Those two units take a seat on the extremes of the spectrum. The Galaxy S21 Extremely has 12GB of RAM, while the Pixel 3XL has simply 4GB. Under is a graph depicting how the units fared in my take a look at. Alongside the ground is the checklist of video games within the order that I introduced them. The blue line displays how a lot unfastened RAM is to be had and the fairway line displays how a lot switch area is used.


As you’ll see, the S21 Extremely provides a virtually textbook instance of reminiscence control. As the quantity of unfastened RAM decreases, the quantity of switch area used will increase. With 12GB of RAM, the S21 Extremely was once in a position to carry the entire video games in reminiscence beginning with Subway Surfers, then 1945 Air Pressure, proper on thru Minecraft, Elder Scrolls Blades, and in any case Genshim Have an effect on. No apps have been killed off. To push the S21 Extremely to the edge, I began up Chrome and once I had opened 12 tabs and Chrome had used 2.2GB of reminiscence, Android was once in any case pressured to kill Minecraft. Fairly spectacular. A deeper research of what came about may also be discovered within the video.

The 12GB Galaxy S21 Extremely supplies textbook reminiscence control and will dangle numerous lively apps directly.

Issues have been rather other at the Pixel 3 XL. It was once in a position to carry 3 video games in RAM concurrently: Subway Surfers, 1945 Airforce, and Sweet Weigh down. After I introduced Brawl Stars, Subway Surfers was once killed off and got rid of from reminiscence. As we anticipated, this smaller quantity of RAM way switch area is needed with a ways fewer apps, and just a handful may also be held in reminiscence directly.

Having a look again: The historical past of Android — the evolution of the most important cellular OS on this planet

OnePlus 9 Professional take a look at

The OnePlus 9 Professional used for checking out has 8GB of RAM and comprises the corporate’s RAMBoost function present in lots of its units. RAMBoost tries to make reminiscence control smarter. It analyzes your utilization and tries to stay apps you employ continuously in reminiscence and kill off the apps that you just don’t use ceaselessly. It’ll even attempt to preload sure apps if it determines that you’re going to use them quickly. To correctly take a look at the OnePlus 9 Professional, I examined it with RAMBoost on and RAMBoost off.


The very first thing to notice in regards to the take a look at with RAMBoost on is the spike in unfastened RAM when Sweet Weigh down is introduced. This passed off as a result of Subway Surfers was once killed off, although there was once nonetheless numerous unfastened RAM and switch area to be had. I restarted Subway Surfers and persisted. Brawl Stars began with out factor, as did Minecraft. When Asphalt 9 was once introduced, Android killed off Sweet Weigh down and 1945 Air Pressure.

The OnePlus 9 Professional is rather competitive in its reminiscence control, terminating apps whilst there are nonetheless unfastened sources.

With RAMBoost switched off, Android behaves in a different way. I used to be in a position to start out the entire apps, from Subway Surfers to Minecraft, with out anything else being killed off alongside the best way. After I introduced Asphalt 9, Subway Surfers was once killed off.

What’s bizarre about each checks run at the OnePlus 9 Professional is that apps are killed off when there are nonetheless unfastened sources. The OnePlus 9 Professional has 4GB of switch area to be had however simplest round 1GB is used when apps get started being got rid of. It kind of feels that the OnePlus 9 Professional is rather competitive in its reminiscence control, particularly in comparison to the opposite telephones I examined.

So, how a lot RAM do you wish to have to your Android telephone?

Galaxy S21 using split view

Gary Sims / Android Authority

Obviously, 4GB isn’t truly sufficient for a mean quantity of multi-tasking. Handiest the latest 3 or 4 video games will stay in reminiscence. Productiveness apps have a tendency to be smaller than video games, so that you will have to have the ability to run 5 – 6 smaller apps in combination sooner than a few of them reload whilst you transfer again to them. 6GB of RAM will assist to relieve this factor.

12GB at the Galaxy S21 Extremely may be very tough and neatly controlled. A minimum of 15 video games, together with some giant ones, can stay concurrently in RAM, together with Google Chrome lively pages. I doubt that any person would have a reason why to whinge or to be dissatisfied by way of this degree of multitasking capacity.

8GB-12GB RAM is perfect, whilst 16GB appears to be not anything extra than simply bragging rights.

Whilst the OnePlus 9 Professional is competitive in its RAM control, long-term use of RAMBoost will have to assist Android make higher use of its 8GB. However my assumption is that 8GB on different units can be applied higher than at the OnePlus.

In accordance with the effects, our advice is to attempt for 6GB of RAM when purchasing the cheap dear smartphone. For upper-mid-range or high-end units, 8GB will supply a excellent multitasking revel in plus some future-proofing. What was transparent in our checking out, even though, is that the 12GB RAM at the Galaxy S21 Extremely is obviously a candy spot and will have to supply an excellent general revel in to even probably the most challenging energy customers. At the moment, 16GB RAM appears to be not anything extra than simply bragging rights.

Up subsequent: The most efficient telephones with 12GB of RAM — what are your very best choices?

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