How much RAM is required for a normal smartphone?

Random Access Memory (RAM) forms a vital component of devices such as smartphones and laptops. It is one of the few attributes that take precedence over others in terms of importance. While purchasing a smartphone, the RAM capacity influences the choice to a large extent.

There’s a wide range of options available, starting from 3GB to about 12GB. 4GB RAM mobiles are the most common among all. 2GB phones will soon become a thing of the past. And as the trend suggests, advancement in technology will render 16GB RAM smartphones a regular and feasible option in the near future.

However, the real question that arises is, “How much RAM does a smartphone generally need?” Smartphone brands offer users a higher level of RAM in their mid-range and flagship models. Is it worth spending a substantial amount of money on a device plainly based on its RAM? Let’s understand the role of RAM better to find the answer.

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RAM and its functions

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a fast-paced memory that stores temporary information. It stores the details of the applications that you have opened since you turned on your device. It can be termed as an ad hoc arrangement for saving data. This facility permits you to switch between applications without encountering any delay. Let us assume you’re watching a movie on your device.

In the midst of it, you receive a call. Once you disconnect it, you switch back to the screen playing the movie clip. RAM ensures that the resumption occurs from the point where you left. This transition can occur smoothly only when your device boasts of a sufficient RAM capacity. With an increase in RAM, you can store more applications for faster access. RAM thus contributes to the speed of the device and saves it from lags or delays. 

Some popular applications and their RAM usage

People use their smartphones for several purposes. Some of the most common usages include surfing the internet, watching YouTube, and communicating especially through calls and social media applications. All these functions utilise a portion of the memory. To get a basic idea, let’s have a look at some popular applications and the RAM they require.

  • Social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter etc. use anywhere between 100MB to 400MB of RAM, depending upon the usage.
  • YouTube, web browsers etc. consume a minimum of 500 MB of RAM. In the case of web browsers, the consumption depends upon the number of tabs that are open in the background.
  • Mobile games such as PUBG occupy a minimum of 1GB of RAM.

As mentioned above, the RAM requirement varies with applications. Some of the best mobiles under 12000 INR offer at least 4GB of RAM. With the mid-range phones, it increases to a minimum of 8GB. 12GB has become a norm in the flagship and high-end models. Some brands have also introduced 16GB models, which hints at the never-ceasing possibility of evolution in technology. When flooded with these many options, you can get confused and overwhelmed. Hence, it is vital to consider certain aspects.

When should you opt for 4GB RAM?

You can opt for a 4GB RAM mobile when you require the device for delivering normal functions. The Android Operating System gets built in a manner that it automatically takes care of the installed applications. Even if the RAM reaches its limit, it adjusts to make way for a newly downloaded application. Hence, if you’re mostly scrolling through social media applications, sending emails, capturing memories through the camera etc., a 4GB RAM mobile would suffice. Even mobile games requiring low graphics can have a smooth sail on these devices.

When to go for 6GB or even 8GB RAM?

A 4GB RAM mobile usually allows general functions without slowing down the phone. If you try to play mobile games with superlative graphics on a 4GB device, you will surely encounter issues. The gadget will eventually slow down. Incidents of the device diving into a state of complete freeze will surge. And eventually, you will have to purchase a new model. Hence, to perform advanced functions, a minimum of 6GB RAM has become a prerequisite. If you wish to edit videos, play games occupying a substantial portion of your device’s memory, multi-task with ease etc., choose a 6GB or 8GB RAM smartphone. An increase in the capacity will diminish the chances of any lags or bugs. 

Is it recommended to invest in 12GB RAM or higher?

Expensive, high-end smartphones come with 12GB RAM or more. This feature further enriches the function of multi-tasking. It empowers the device to shift from one application to another quicker than it would have managed with 8GB RAM. Thus, the waiting period reduces by a few seconds. However, in a normal smartphone, one does not necessarily require 12GB RAM. An 8GB RAM smartphone can be relied upon to deliver the goods seamlessly. That said, if you possess the budget to purchase an expensive model, you may very well go for it. 

You need to keep in mind that the RAM’s performance varies with the brand. A 4GB RAM mobile from one manufacturer can deliver better performance than a 6GB RAM model from another company. Moreover, it is essential to optimize the RAM frequently to maintain its credibility.
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