10GB RAM to become 'mainstream spec' for Android flagships this year, but not all companies are on board

10GB RAM to become 'mainstream spec' for Android flagships this year, but not all companies are on board
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition was one of the world's first 10GB RAM smartphones

While the likes of the Galaxy S9 and Google’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL continue to prove 4 gigs of memory can be enough for a high-end Android phone to deliver satisfying power and a decently smooth multitasking experience, Lenovo seems keen to future-proof the world’s first Snapdragon 855 handset with up to a whopping 12GB RAM.

Oddly enough, this trailblazing 12 gig smartphone came before a 10GB memory count could become standard practice in the mobile industry, as only a handful of companies previously embraced the jump from 8GB RAM.

But according to “industry sources” speaking anonymously with Digitimes, 10GB RAM will be the “mainstream spec for flagship smartphones released by the Android camp this year.” Before you get too excited (or worried about an inevitable price hike in the high-end Android “camp”), it’s important to point out Digitimes doesn’t expect all major smartphone vendors to make the move to 10 gigs of random-access memory by the end of 2019.

“Several players” are likely to “promote their flagship models with more than 10GB of RAM” this year, with others to follow suit as late as the second half of 2020. For instance, Samsung may or may not go all out as far as a top-shelf 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 configuration with at least 256GB internal storage is concerned.

Meanwhile, OnePlus, Xiaomi, or Vivo are pretty much guaranteed to make 10 or even 12 gigs of RAM the new normal for their next-gen hero devices. It’s unclear where companies like Huawei or LG stand in this latest spec race, but perhaps this sort of differentiation is what the market needs to get out of its recent funk.

Granted, it doesn’t look like today’s mobile devices can actually benefit from that much memory in ways users can experience or even notice, but AI breakthroughs and the growing number of camera lenses integrated into certain phones are quoted as potentially requiring more and more RAM.

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31 Comments

1. TheOracle1

Posts: 2212; Member since: May 04, 2015

My phone has 8GB and it barely uses half of that.

2. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

For future-proofing, and for people who run much more apps than you.

3. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Other aspect of the phone will give up first, and definitely OS update support won't even near that point. Future-proofing is an easy way to (fool)market.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4095; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Apps will get more intense in terms of needing resources which the additional ram will assist with for years whereas the OS updates have less impact on the phone's ability to run those apps. I'll take the higher ram if I am someone that keeps a phone for 4 to 5 years.

12. TheOracle1

Posts: 2212; Member since: May 04, 2015

I'll have a new phone by the time that future rolls around. I have about a dozen apps constantly running in the background including 3 email accounts, a vpn and various others. Even on my former 6GB phone I always had about 2.5-3GB available at all times.

18. Fred3

Posts: 494; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

OnePluse's 10GB, 8GB and 6GB all tied in a peed teset shown in "gary explains" youtube channel so i really wouldn't be worried about future proofing. The phones would be old and you'll most likely have a new one by then

4. Aruminiumaian

Posts: 209; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Good. Android is even struggling to handle 8GB of RAM, how can any phone perform better with 10GB?

5. blingblingthing

Posts: 943; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

How is it struggling?

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4095; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Struggling? Most phones running 8gb aren't using half of it...

11. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

That is the problem, background apps are closed to save battery. And no way a single foreground app will consume that much RAM.

20. Vogue1985

Posts: 445; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

which phone are you using that has 8gb and is struggling. maybe you are out of memory storage

8. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1094; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I don't care if it's not needed, for the prices We're paying for most flagships they should put at least 8GB. I mean it's not like phones will start costing less if they provided less RAM. For $1000 starting price, OEMs should freaking provide everything (hardware) needed or not.

25. mrochester

Posts: 976; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Why would you want un-needed hardware in your phone?

9. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

What a joke. Why people are so dumb, misled by the Chinese companies? Instead of optimizing Android system and apps for smooth performance and better user experience just like Apple's iOS. Even with 2 or 3 gigs of RAM iPhones performes much better and eye pleasing than 8GB Android flagship. Constantly rising RAM wont help Android. Google and Linux Society must stop this RAM craziness.

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 2212; Member since: May 04, 2015

Yeah the Chinese also "misled" everyone when they introduced octa-core chips and multiple cameras.

10. surethom

Posts: 1661; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

With 4gb & over skinning (samsung) the phone can stutter now & again but 6gb is plenty.

14. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

I hope we get 6GB standard from this year. 4GB is getting a bit long in the tooth, and it's not enough. 6 is enough for all the tasks.

16. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

Name just one app that need more than 4GB RAM. Or an app that crashes on 4GB phone phone because there is not enough RAM to run?

21. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

So, on pixel 3, it closes background apps since HDR+ and night sight use up 2GB of RAM. Go to r/android and ask about to users as well, or just google it. 4GB actually gives lesser experience than 6. It's been proven again and again. Also, I use phones for 3+ years, and my OP3 even now works perfectly since I got 6GB RAM on it. In 2022, 4GB phone will be obsolete AF since it's showing age even now. 6GB is the least I'd get now. If I'm paying $1000 for a phone, I'd rather get flagship hardware.

15. kevin97

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 01, 2016

Imagine how badly written mobile software is today when you can run fully-fledged Windows 10 with hundreds of simultaneous processes and services on a laptop with only 4GB of RAM.

17. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

Now that's what I'm talking about. Android development is a mess. Most people are blinded by the phone specifications. And when they see 6,8 or 10GB they said "Wow I'm buying it" But when badly written app is running even on a 12GB RAM it will behave the same way just like on a 1, 2, 3 or 4 GB Android phone. Remember - the technical specifications are just a selling point.

19. TheOracle1

Posts: 2212; Member since: May 04, 2015

That's why we all have choices and Android has many. If you prefer how Apple does it then stick to ios.

22. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Windows 10 runs horribly on 4GB laptops, if you're doing anything intensive. Even web browsing is slow.

23. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

Thats a 100% lie for sure. I have several Windows 10 computers with different RAM installed 4,6 and 8GB. No difference in day to day tasks between them. In Windows 10 case , the difference in performace comes from the CPUs. But the topic here is Android phones and not Windows.

24. osterrich21

Posts: 186; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

8 gb ram better than 4gb.Period.

28. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 716; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Then how come an iPhone xs max with 4GB of ram has manage to run apps and games with no problem?

26. andrewc31394

Posts: 290; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

4GB of RAM is not enough for current Android flagships. coming from the OnePlus 6 to the Pixel 3Xl, memory management is GARBAGE on the Pixel compared to the OP6

27. andrewc31394

Posts: 290; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

4GB of RAM is not enough for current Android flagships. coming from the OnePlus 6 to the Pixel 3Xl, memory management is GARBAGE on the Pixel compared to the OP6

29. KingSam

Posts: 1425; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

My laptop has 4 GB ram. My iPad has 2gb and my iPhone has 3gb. The problem with adding more ram at the high end is developers will get away with writing memory hog apps which will degrade performance at the lower end. iPhones have 4 GB ram but that's double the 2gb on older iPhones. It's still reasonable to get an app running on older hardware with optimization. With a low end Android on 2 or 3gb a jupm to 10gb is literally 3x to 5x the amount. That's 500% more.

30. blastertoad

Posts: 40; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

To many of us our phones and computers are more then just toys. I regularly hit 90% usage of my 16gb ram on win 10 pc. Photo editing, 3d modeling, video editing, ect. Then when I want to show someone the 3d model I have created on a mobile device it can take a good chunk of memory to render hundreds of thousands of vertices. More ram, well now I can show a whole scene instead of just a couple props to a client, or I can do a real time fly through instead of needing a pre rendered video. There are use cases for these devices, and I for one will always choose the device that provides me the least amount of limitations.

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