OnePlus 3 tweak helps apps take better advantage of its massive 6GB of RAM

OnePlus 3 tweak helps apps take better advantage of its massive 6GB of RAM
The new OnePlus 3 is helping to lead the pack of smartphones pushing past 4GB of system memory into the 6GB space. While many smartphone users probably aren't going to absolutely need such a huge bucket of RAM, it seemed like it couldn't hurt, and at the very least that extra space should help cut down time wasted loading data in and our of memory, as users toggle between apps and open tab after tab of webpages in their mobile browser. At least, that might feel like a safe assumption, but early tests have made it look like the OnePlus 3 isn't taking full advantage of those 6GB, instead being really aggressive with memory cleanup, forcing apps to re-load more often than on even 4GB RAM phones. Today we learn both about a simple tweak that looks like it can begin improving the situation, as well as hear OnePlus defend the OnePlus 3's memory management.

The fix is a wee bit technical but if you're comfortable editing your phone's build.prop file, a configuration file that includes a ton of system settings. Buried in there you'll find a line reading ro.sys.fw.bg_apps_limit=20, and by changing that 20 to a higher number (both 36 and 42 have been suggested as good alternatives, with each showing similar performance gains), Android will allow a greater number of apps to run in the background before it starts pruning others.

After making this change, the OnePlus 3 can handle just under twice as many apps loaded into memory.

Problem is, though, this might not be the best solution when we also consider possible trade-offs, chief among them battery life.

On Twitter early this morning, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei defended the memory management system on the OnePlus 3, writing that it's set up to benefit battery life while balance performance for what should ultimately be “the best user experience.”

While supporting the way the phone's currently configured, Pei also made it clear that OnePlus has no issue with people who would like to set up their phones differently, and third-party ROM devs are welcome to fiddle with memory settings to their hearts' content.

source: XDA-Developers, Carl Pei (Twitter)

Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh



1. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

He's an idiot .. Why give users 6 gb of ram if you are going to keep killing apos and using heavy memory management?!?!?! Because you couldn't make the phone 2mm thicker to add a bigger battery?!?! OEMs these days are all about the marketing.....

3. rocketman1

Posts: 99; Member since: May 07, 2016

that camera bulge is horrible. they should have made it flush wtih a bigger batteries. do they not read comments from different phones and realize people want a decent sized battery and going from a bigger battery with a smaller one was a bad decision.

7. Oh_Juu_Eh

Posts: 22; Member since: Jun 10, 2016


8. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

thank you ! i have never heard anyone not even one person say "i want a really thin smartphone" !!! its always good design great battery , great camera , power and a good software !! sometimes it feels like these companies live in a small bubble and never go out !

14. skyline88

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

anything under 10mm is thin enough, and yet many manufacturers are trying to make phones thinner while sacrificing battery.

16. rocketman1

Posts: 99; Member since: May 07, 2016

+1 its also not comfortable to hold a thin phone for talking. it feels like it digs in your fingers. I like phones that have curved sides and a curved back. sits in the hand much better. love my moto x style and lg G4 because of this and also thought the apple 3gs was comfortable to use when talking to someone under 10mm is fine . dont need to go for the 7mm or world record. the 3mm wont be a hindrance and will be extremely appreciated for the extra 500mm extra battery.

10. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

It saddens me 1+ did this to a device that boasts having 6GB of RAM. Before tweaking the max app count is 20. 20!? Shameful! Y'all remember the OPX having issues of performance cuz they LIED of having a 801 snapdragon AB version, but really it was an AA? smh. ..

24. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Having had a first gen BLU Studio Energy with its 5,000 mAh battery as a backup phone must say insanely huge batteries are very awesome. I'd leave that phone on standby in my lunch bag and it would lose only 1% of its battery per day.

25. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Just curious, how does the sensor's protrusion of the 1+3 compares vs S6 or S7? Anyone who has or seen both devices in person.

26. Shocky unregistered

It's flush with their cases and probably 3rd party cases. Makes sense from that point of view but I agree a larger battery would have been nice.

2. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

He's an idiot .. Why give users 6 gb of ram if you are going to keep killing apos and using heavy memory management?!?!?! Because you couldn't make the phone 2mm thicker to add a bigger battery?!?! OEMs these days are all about the marketing.....

4. Unordinary unregistered

Another RAM issue for a phone with 4+ GBs of RAM lmfao. Fanboys "MOAR RAM = BETTER!"

6. Awalker

Posts: 1982; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It's not a RAM issue. OnePlus set up the phone to aggresively kill apps for better battery life. Since that's the case the 6GB RAM included with phone serves no purpose.

9. Unordinary unregistered


22. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

In other words, you might not even be using up to 3-4 GB of its ram. HOW USELESS!!

19. ph00ny

Posts: 2055; Member since: May 26, 2011

When is moar != better?

30. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

More RAM is always better is true. The point here is not been able to use it due to software tweak done by OnePlus. They basically think their App cleaner can do a better job than the default memory managment. Most cases might be true but unforture for them its not the case for their 6GB model. in other word, geek would avoid buying that phone which would cost them more to manufacture. They better release an updated ROM to address the issue.

5. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

I'm wondering what is the I/O scheduler that's being used, and the cache size if anyone knows...

11. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

"we have a different strategy for RAM management that benefits battery. We think this is the best user experience." They are talking in circles. Why the **** was a smaller 3000mah included. According to OnePlus a bigger battery wasn't needed because the Snapdragon 820 and AMOLED are efficient, thus a smaller battery than the One and Two would be fine.

12. TheHeartBreakKid

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 07, 2015

How about using few gigs of that ram for cache on storage. Its know to give a great speed boost to the internal storage speed performance. The more app you have in background, the worse for battery life. Its not rocket sci. And they actually put smaller battery than last 2 gen which is a shame. Seems like the ram is just sitting there useless.

29. Shocky unregistered

OnePlus 2 was using SD810 which has horrible battery life so in that regard they had to include a larger battery to try to compensate for it. OnePlus 3 will have better battery life even with the smaller battery.


Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

anybody could easily put a bunch of features or raw power into smartphone. but to optimize it to the maximum extent is another thing.

17. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

DOA, what a joke

18. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

This article is a complete fail calling it a simple fix and forget to mention that you need to root your phone to be able to do it and lose your warranty. Phone arena that is very very bad.

20. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Actually no. Rooting and/or unlocking bootloader on OnePlus devices does not lose warranty. OnePlus actually makes it easy and encourages it, that's why the original OnePlus One was the most developer friendly after the Nexus series.

28. Shocky unregistered

No, OnePlus devices are root friendly and they encourage it. Root will have no effect on your warranty.

21. tomn1ce

Posts: 247; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

So in order to take advantage of tgr 6GB of RAM you have to root and unlock the bootloader. I want to see a non-tinkerer dig into their phone to have this done.

23. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Its really a silly answer by carl.With this kind of ram management there is no need of 6gb ram.3gb ram is enough for this poor ram management.Instead One plus must give a bigger battery.Its good that this issue is raised early.Now user can decide whether to buy Op3 or not.

27. Shocky unregistered

The bigger question is why do SD820 devices all seem to come with more aggressive ram management? SD810 never had this issue and that was a huge battery drainer.

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