Does the OnePlus 3 use its full 6 GB of RAM after the update?

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OnePlus 3 is the first widely-available handset with 6 GB of RAM. However, the company was criticized by smartphone fans worldwide for having an operating system, which aggressively closes background processes, effectively not making full use of the 6 GB of random access memory. Tech-savvy users resorted to using manual tweaks in order to jump over this hurdle, while the company took note and promised that it will improve memory management with the latest OxygenOS 3.2.1 patch. Now that it's out, we decided to test for any observable improvements by comparing system performance before and after installing the update.

Before the 3.2.1 update

Our setup was simple — start with a freshly rebooted OnePlus 3, with no apps loaded in the background. Then, we started some common apps, such as Google Play Music, Facebook, YouTube, and Chrome, with the desktop version of loaded into it, and added in three resource-demanding games — Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, and Mortal Kombat X. Then, we took another lap to check if everything was still properly frozen in the background, instead of being completely restarted.

When we ran the test before the update, the phone was able to keep all apps and games open, without restarting. We had to open a total of 5 tabs of PhoneArena articles in order to see the handset start closing background processes. Indeed, while Play Music, YouTube, and Facebook were still ready to be opened from the point we left them, the three games were all back to their initial loading screens, and Chrome had a hard time keeping all 5 tabs pre-loaded into the memory.

At this point, we downloaded the update and tested again.

After installing OxygenOS 3.2.1

The test went well for the first lap, and we were pleased to see that after opening 5 tabs of the PA website in Chrome still didn't cause the OnePlus 3 to close anything in the background. It was time to up the ante – we went ahead and opened 5 more articles, for a total of 10 desktop-version websites open in the browser's tabs. We went through every one of the tabs, just to make sure they are all loaded, and went for a third lap through the apps and games — they were all still open.

When we reached 15 tabs, we could see the OnePlus 3 having trouble keeping all of the websites open, as it was reloading some of them as we tapped them, and there was a heavy tearing in animations present. At this point, we thought that some of the background processes should surely be closed by now and we went for another lap. Surprisingly, Play Music was still ready to play from where we left off, Facebook was still on the page we left it at, YouTube was still paused mid-way through a clip, and all three games were ready to be picked up from where we left them.


It was time to call the experiment over. While we sure could torture the OnePlus 3 more and add more games in the mix, realistically, in daily use, one would hardly need to have 3 games, 3 apps, and 15 webpages open on their handset all at the same time, right? Well, just in case you do – the OnePlus 3 looks like it can handle it now.

Of course, one is left to wonder whether this will have a negative impact on battery life. But, for that, time will have the answer.

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