Faster, bigger, lighter, stronger…as technology gets better and better at a faster and faster rate, we expect faster processors in our mobile devices, more memory, a bigger battery, a better camera, more of everything but surely we’ll come to a point where you start to wonder when is enough, enough.
It seems Chinese company Vivo believes that there shouldn’t be a limit. The company has announced the Vivo Xplay 5 — a smartphone that will be packing a whopping 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM! That’s the biggest RAM ever integrated into a smartphone. The Xplay 5, running Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, will be packing more RAM than most computers.
But, do you need 6GB of RAM?
RAM, (Random Access Memory), can be thought of as a computer/device’s short term memory. It’s called random-access because this memory is volatile and will not stay saved in a system — it “forgets” as soon as you switch off the power. In a traditional computer, RAM helps with multitasking and the more RAM there is, the more (and more complex) processes a computer can handle.
On a desktop/laptop system, a lot of RAM is needed to keep everything running smoothly because we usually use our PCs like workhorses — having multiple applications and browser tabs open at the same time uses RAM. The more RAM you use, your PC will start to slow down and the easiest way to speed things back up again is to either close some tasks to free up memory or completely reboot the computer.
This is very much the same case with your smartphone (which is basically a computer that can fit in your palm) so the more RAM your device has, the more processes it can do at one time making it faster and smoother. It will also be able to handle more apps running simultaneously, whether it be in the foreground or the background.
By that logic, more RAM is always better and this is true…to a certain extent. You see, to run the current applications that are available for smartphones — even the most intensive games and apps — 3GB of RAM will, in most cases, be more than enough. Even the highest of high-end smartphones today come with 4GB of RAM because that is more than enough to run anything you can throw at it in most cases.
6GB in a smartphone though is bordering on the excess. Would your smartphone be better with 6GB of RAM? Sure! Do you really need 6GB of RAM to keep your phone running smoothly? Maybe not.
If anything, I think Vivo are cramming 6GB of RAM into their smartphone for nothing more than bragging rights — after all, when the Xplay 5 launches, it will likely be the first smartphone ever to sport 6GB of RAM. And who doesn’t like to be first?
That said, having the most RAM does not necessarily equate having the best performance. The key is optimisation. A good example would be Apple‘s iPhone 6S Plus which, we found out recently, beats down pretty much every high-powered smartphone out there on AnTuTu.
And the iPhone 6S Plus did so with only 2GB of RAM.
In fact, too much RAM could potentially be worse for you as a customer because more RAM usually equates a higher price. That means you will likely have to pay waaay more than necessary just so you can tell your drinking buddies that you have a phone with 6GB of RAM.
Also, more RAM means your phone will using more battery. In fact, battery drain has been a limiting factor to why phones don’t come with bigger RAM already. That means you’ll need a bigger battery to run bigger RAM, which also means additional cost and bulk.
So, do you need 6GB of RAM? Let us know in the comments.