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

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.


source: LaoShi (via weibo) via AndroidAuthority

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71 Comments

1. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1817; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

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

13. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

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

20. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Which is worse?

29. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 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

55. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

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

46. sgodsell

Posts: 7209; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

52. audibot

Posts: 600; Member since: Jan 26, 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

67. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 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.

68. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 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.

43. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

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

2. Joms_US

Posts: 200; Member since: Oct 02, 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.

6. keithtae

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 25, 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"

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 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.

57. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

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

30. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

71. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 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...

12. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

32. jove39

Posts: 2145; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

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

60. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 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.

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

5. keithtae

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

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

8. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

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

17. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 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.

19. Z.....

Posts: 355; Member since: Feb 01, 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.

27. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

34. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

45. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

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

58. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

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

7. surethom

Posts: 1662; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

35. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

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