• What is RAM and How Much RAM Does My Smartphone Need?

    By Samantha Watson , February 11, 2019 - Leave a comment

    What is RAM?

    RAM quite literally stands for Random Access Memory and in simple terms, is a place to store data for a short period of time. Unlike within hard drive memory, content is not stored permanently within the RAM and can be recalled very quickly in comparison to internal storage.

    RAM is thereby used to place data where it can be reached quickly and easily. The more RAM that your device has then the more app data that it can store for very quick access. As such, switching between apps and opening apps is a much faster experience.


    What is RAM in a Smartphone?

    Smartphones need memory that is instantly accessible in order to multitask, i.e. switch between a number of apps that do not have to reload each time they are reopened. If a certain device is particularly good at multitasking, that’s due to its RAM capabilities and how much RAM it has.

    As such, the RAM in your smartphone is used to store data for apps that are currently running or run frequently. The more RAM that your smartphone has, the more files and applications it can run behind the scenes without slowing down the overall performance of your device.

    When the data for an app is stored within the RAM, you’re able to access it from where you left off without it needing to reload. This also means that when you open an app up again, it will boot up far more quickly. RAM is significantly faster than your internal storage memory and loaded apps will stay there until your RAM is full and will remove something in order to create space for something else.

    If your smartphone came equipped without any RAM, then each of your applications would fully close when you flipped between them, which would therefore mean they would have to fully reload every time you wanted to use them.

    As the capabilities of smartphones increase, so do the number and variety of tasks that we perform on it. As such, more RAM is needed for efficient performance, in theory enabling more processes and thereby more applications running at once.

    Now, hypothetically, your device’s main internal storage could be used to keep those apps running in the background. Again, this is noticeably slower than RAM capabilities and so even if you had the fastest chipset in the world, your phone will feel painfully slow without RAM.

    RAM: Android v iOS

    If you’re an Android user, then chances are your device will require a little more RAM storage than iOS.

    As you can anticipate, Apple have a lot more control over their iOS ecosystem since Android work with a number of different manufacturers, whilst Apple’s devices are the only ones that will ever run Apple’s operating system. As such, they can make strict decisions according to this.

    In essence, when available RAM storage runs out, Android’s system simply stops apps running in the background in order to clear the space for a new app. In this way, apps essentially use as much storage as they want until there is no more and the space is freed.

    In comparison, iOS automatically allocates and deallocates RAM storage as is required, which means that you’re able to use and load more applications until you’re finished with them. Apple’s system basically freezes apps when they aren’t in use and so less RAM is needed overall.

    As such, you will tend to notice that Android manufacturers generally include more RAM in their phones than Apple do.


    How much RAM do I need?

    The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with 10GB RAM

    At the end of 2018, many manufacturers were releasing phones with huge amounts of RAM storage. For example, the OnePlus 6T Limited Edition McLaren Edition was fit with 128GB of internal storage and a whopping 10GB of RAM.

    In reality, the amount of RAM that the average smartphone user will use a day is far lower than this; even many laptops don’t feature that much.

    It’s claimed that the average user accesses approximately 30 different applications a month and around 9 a day. This means that your daily RAM usage is unlikely to be a huge amount more than 2.5-3.5GB and so 8-10GB of RAM may not make for a huge amount of difference.

    Indeed, GiffGaff report that the optical RAM needed for Android is 4GB, whilst that for an IOS device is 3GB.

    That said, in theory the more RAM that you have, the more applications that you can use and at an improved speed.

    How can I clear RAM on my smartphone?

    If you want to clear the RAM on your smartphone, then there are number of really simple ways to do this.

    Firstly, in order to stop apps running in the background, it might be beneficial to manually close or uninstall apps that you aren’t regularly using, if at all. Rather than simply swiping away these applications, click on ‘apps’ within your phone’s settings and select the application that you would like to close. From here, you should be able to view how much RAM the selected app is using and can ‘Force Stop’ it to free RAM storage. This is only a short-term fix and may need to be force closed on more than one occasion.

    Alongside this, it’s also wise to avoid live wallpapers and limit widgets where possible. These tend to refresh constantly throughout the day, with many updating via the internet every few minutes. Similarly, some are continuously active which, coupled with constant refreshing, work to consume a lot of available RAM.

    Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities also constantly look for devices to connect to in the background and so if these aren’t being used then it may be beneficial to turn them off. So too, every time that you load up your text messaging app, your application will load every text that you have saved. Deleted old messages will therefore contribute to the freeing up of RAM storage.


    Which devices from Clove Technology feature the most RAM?

    OnePlus 6T 

    The OnePlus 6T runs it’s custom OxygenOS based on Android 9.0 Pie and has received rave reviews. The operating system offers unparalleled smoothness of interaction and focuses on improving the core experiences that a smartphone is supposed to offer, rather than filling your phone of apps that you don’t need.

    The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset is currently the best on the market, and coupled with either 6GB/8GB RAM, depending on the variant that you choose, makes light work of even the most demanding tasks and games.

    Alongside this, the OnePlus 6T comes with a super speedy under-screen fingerprint scanner, as well as a dual rear 16/20MP camera setup and 16MP front camera.

    OnePlus 6T | Mirror Black, Midnight Black & Thunder Purple | 128GB & 8GB RAM | £569 inc-VAT


    Honor View 20

    In a similar vein, the Honor View 20 – as well as being visually striking – runs Huawei’s top-of-the-range Kirin 980 processor. This allows for fast interaction when you need it and is paired with 8GB of RAM to ensure that you can load apps and play demanding games without any lag or stutter.

    The Honor View 20 is the first device of it’s kind to come fitted with a cut-out O-shaped notch for the front camera, which gives the phone a whopping screen-to-body ratio and looks absolutely dazzling. A 48MP lens is also featured on the rear that comes with incredible AI software to enable perfect photos every time.

    Honor View 20 | Phantom Blue | 256GB & 8GB RAM | £599 inc-VAT


    Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro

    The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro comes equipped with all of the latest features, including a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 AIE processor. This is coupled with 8GB of RAM and is thereby perfect for gaming and high-intensity applications, as the device is able to cope with increased frame rate and enhanced image details.

    Alongside this, the device has a really unique transparent titanium colour scheme that shows of the device’s internals. Even if they are dummies, this is one of our favourite designs of 2018 at Clove!

    Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro | Transparent Titanium | 128GB & 8GB RAM | £499 inc-VAT


    Other devices of note include the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Huawei Mate 20 X, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, LG V40 ThinQ and Pocophone F1.

    Samantha Watson


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