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Huawei executive: No more than 4GB of RAM is needed on a smartphone

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Huawei executive: No more than 4GB of RAM is needed on a smartphone
Last year, the first smartphone to ship with 6GB of RAM was launched, and since then we have seen manufacturers like OnePlus include 6GB of RAM on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. But as you might expect, not every phone manufacturer believes that 6GB of RAM is needed. For example, Huawei executive Lao Shi recently noted on his weibo page that 4GB of RAM is enough on a phone for it to scroll smoothly. Mr. Lao also added that many Huawei phones work better with 4GB of RAM than they might with 6GB of the stuff inside.

RAM, which is an acronym for Random Access Memory, is used to store parts of active applications so that they can quickly be accessed by the processor. It is considered volatile memory which means when the power goes off, nothing is saved in RAM. Consider it a place for very short term storage, which allows you to multi-task with your phone. Compare this with your device's native storage, which stores complete files and is much slower than RAM.

To prove that more than 4GB of RAM is unnecessary, Mr. Lao points to the Apple iPhone 7. The Huawei executive notes that the iPhone works as smoothly with 2GB of RAM (3GB on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus) as any Android handset sporting 4GB of the stuff, thanks to optimization with iOS. The executive says that piling on more than 4GB RAM on a smartphone does nothing more than needlessly jack up the price.

We should point out that this thought could change in the future. Back in 2014, Huawei's chief of consumer business, Richard Yu, said that 2K resolution screens were unnecessary. Yu said that people could not tell the difference between FHD (1080 x 1920) and QHD (1440 x 2560) on a smartphone. But that changed in April 2016 when Yu said that Huawei would start producing phones with 2K resolution. Sure, Yu said that it was necessary because of upcoming VR capabilities, but the point is that something did happen to make Yu change his mind.

Perhaps some feature that is unknown to us now will eventually require smartphones to carry 6GB or more of RAM in order to work right. The bottom line is that even if there doesn't seem to be a reason right now for a certain technology to become more powerful, you never know when that additional power will be needed.

Huawei executive Lao Shi's weibo posting says that smartphones don't need more than 4GB of RAM

Huawei executive Lao Shi's weibo posting says that smartphones don't need more than 4GB of RAM


source: LaoShi (via weibo) via AndroidAuthority

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posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:39 7

1. Mreveryphone (Posts: 1268; Member since: 22 Apr 2014)


Phones like the Note series could benefit from extra ram but other than that 4gb should be enough... Optimization is everything...

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 17:54

13. Khyron (Posts: 295; Member since: 28 Sep 2015)


What kind optimization people praise s apple's optimization but the optimized is the ram management aka ram compression and data swap

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 18:09 1

20. kiko007 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Which is worse?

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 18:52 4

29. Khyron (Posts: 295; Member since: 28 Sep 2015)


The same android and IOS
I think android is more optimized than Ios
Android works in differents oems socs storage resolution several configurations
Android apps are multithreaded do more on background
Ios apps are single threaded do less
on android processes services syncing ocurrs in main thread
On Ios the UI has an specific thread
multitask ln just a switch between active app on display and inactive app on foreground the only use a smarter solution than the google

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 23:01

55. therealestmc (Posts: 457; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


So you are going against every developer in saying that Android is more optimized than iOS.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 20:24 4

46. sgodsell (Posts: 4754; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Android apps work differently in comparison to iOS apps. Android is using a virtual machine. But putting that aside. Android is running multiple apps simultaneously, whereas iPhones with iOS are not. Plus Android has had something like Continuum for years. So if one app uses 1.5 GB of ram and another app uses 2 GB of ram. Now that system is using all the ram, especially when the system uses a minimum of 512 MB of RAM for a number of other system tasks.

So to say that Android phones don't need more than 4 GB of RAM is just stupid, and limiting it's OS future. As time marches on OS's evol or die. There use to be Android smartphones with only 512 MB of RAM, and people said back then an Android app would never use 512 MB of RAM. Just look at the iPhones only started to put 2 GB of RAM starting with the iPhone 6s.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 22:45

52. audibot (Posts: 158; Member since: 26 Jan 2017)


its not that its the fact that apples os is 1 layer vs android that is just stuck into the handset with no real optimization then a os skin on top of unoptimized android so its stutters and delays with animation just like apples if you turn off all 3 animation delays and use it its ok for about 2 mins then its all over the place

posted on 07 Mar 2017, 08:16 2

67. juandante (Posts: 660; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


Every year, same marketing tactic. Blah blah blah is useless so the CEO can sell his outdated junk expensive and make people buy again the next year when he will 'magically' change his mind.

Don't fall in the traps folks.

posted on 07 Mar 2017, 08:18

68. juandante (Posts: 660; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


Every year, same marketing tactic. Blah blah blah is useless so the CEO can sell his outdated junk expensive and make people buy again the next year when he will 'magically' change his mind.

Don't fall in the traps folks.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 20:03 2

43. UglyFrank (Posts: 1930; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


I'd say give them a year and they'll change their minds like they did with QHD

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:42 11

2. Joms_US (Posts: 194; Member since: 02 Oct 2016)


"To prove that more than 4GB of RAM is unnecessary, Mr. Lao points to the Apple iPhone 7. "

What a retarded explanation. iOS does nothing but just snapshot of the current app so it has FAKE multitasking hence less memory demand. The only things that work in the background are music, gps and downloading, the rest are frozen in time.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:51 5

6. keithtae (Posts: 539; Member since: 25 Mar 2015)


Trust me, even the iphone will increase its ram real soon. They always claim that 1gig ram is enough for the iPhone, the prob is, when a new update is released, the older iphones tend to lag and crash.

Tech is all about future proofing, not what is "enough for now"

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 17:58

14. trojan_horse (Posts: 4647; Member since: 06 May 2016)


"Tech is all about future proofing, not what is "enough for now""

Couldn't agree more!

Besides, the iPhone does not run on Android, so that was a lame excuse from the Huawei CEO.

Absolutely pathetic for a CEO of an Android OEM, as he definitely should know how the Android OS operates more than the average consumer.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 23:03

57. therealestmc (Posts: 457; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


Says the person who get a brand new flagship every year.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 19:00

30. krystian (Posts: 423; Member since: 16 Mar 2016)


Sure, but the future may require new hardware all together to use features . So you're basically paying extra for nothing. It's like taking a supplement and peeing it all out.

posted on 07 Mar 2017, 14:31

71. razmahtaz001 (Posts: 347; Member since: 11 May 2013)


my ipad 1, 2, and 3, and ipad mini 1 was rendered basically useless when it updated to a certain ios version...nothing but hardcore lag OMG...wouldve the extra ram help? just wondering...

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 17:54 3

12. krystian (Posts: 423; Member since: 16 Mar 2016)


Don't be silly. You don't even know how memory optimization and cpu schedulers work. Mobile OS's are created to use as little memory as possible. Android used to be really inefficient but now it's gotten great and Nougat is extremely optimized. There is no need for more than 4gigs at this point in time. Maybe in the future sure. But we haven't reached a point where anything would require more memory. The OS would have to add features that use it. Even a PC can do decent with 4 gigs. Mine has 8 gigs and I can have everything open, over 20 tabs in browser, game perfectly. Only really hardcore tasks like pumping databases into memory or loading high res textures for editing would require more on a PC.

And just so you know. Android uses caching on the flash memory to help with launching apps quicker.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 19:07

32. jove39 (Posts: 1967; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Sometimes fake multitasking is good...iPhones don't have wakelock!

posted on 07 Mar 2017, 00:32

60. piyath (Posts: 999; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)


Well that's a lie. iPhone doesn't just show a screenshot, it holds every App in the RAM and so runs smoothly. Android can't just do that well and it's no one's fault but Android optimization. It's all about how the code has been written.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:48 4

3. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Samsung phones require extra ram for all of the unnecessary bloat Samsung piles on their phones.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:48 1

5. keithtae (Posts: 539; Member since: 25 Mar 2015)


Lol. Its like when they say 2k screen is pointless, the next thing they did is released a 2k screen phone. Lmao

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:56 1

8. maherk (Posts: 4820; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Not just that, they are already offering 6GB of ram version of their flagships and also charging more money for them lol

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 18:03

17. trojan_horse (Posts: 4647; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Which us pretty hypocritical.

Them already selling a smartphone with 6GB RAM to the consumers, while simultaneously telling the use consumers that they do not need it.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 18:09 1

19. Z..... (banned) (Posts: 355; Member since: 01 Feb 2017)


That's like saying my car can go 170mph when hardly no one goes more than 130mph, or I've got 300lp torque but typical cars come with standard 200lp of torque.

From his point off view he does not like the extra. Suits him not us.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 18:44 2

27. Mixkhata1 (Posts: 141; Member since: 26 Feb 2017)


The ONLY reason they developed 2k screens is because of ignorant fans wanting it more and more. They developed 2k screen just 4 the sake of satisfying ignorant fans who misguide average joes into NOT buying Huawei just because it doesn't have 2k screen. Just take Apple as an example. It still has 750p and 1080p for their models YET every year they improve display quality. Similarly, 4gb ram is MORE THAN ENOUGH. I mean, what're we even supposed to do with 6gb ram? Tell me ONE app that runs smoothly on 6gb and not on 4gb? Just like the MP war is over, the resolution war also needs to STOP. Users complain that 4k is necessary 4 VR but at what cost? At the cost of battery life? 1080p is MORE than enough.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 19:11 2

34. tedkord (Posts: 13863; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Every year Apple does improve display quality, and every year their display is very good. But every year (since at least 2014) their display has been one of the best, but not the best. The best has invariably been a 2k display.

Is not about ignorant customers, it's about customers wanting the best. The ignorance comes from know it all fools like yourself who think they know what's best for everyone.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 20:18

45. Awalker (Posts: 1676; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


I don't think an LCD screen needs 2K but an amoled screen does.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 23:06

58. therealestmc (Posts: 457; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


It's still pointless. I am still rocking a 1080p and probably will next year if the new iPhone still has 1080p

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 16:55

7. surethom (Posts: 925; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)


Once you get past 2gb It's much more about the software not releasing the memory or limiting the memory per app, that's the problem android & the same with Chrome on a Pc, memory hungry.

posted on 06 Mar 2017, 19:13 1

35. tedkord (Posts: 13863; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Android isn't memory hungry, it's designed to run with the ram filled, and release more as needed.

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