8 GB RAM in smartphones: Massive step forward or unreasonable hardware race?

8 GB? RAM? On a mobile phone? You know, that thing that we used for the simple communication and those nifty short messages 15 years ago. And not so long ago skeptics used to say that 3 GB of RAM is enough for your desktop computer. What will those folks say to this? Is there a real need for this massive hardware upgrade or the smartphone manufacturers are in any kind of creative block?

Maybe the race they are all partaking on yearly base has taken a toll on them. So, in order to differentiate the upcoming flagships from their already amazing predecessors, they had to make a bold move. Or is it a necessity, a way to response to demanding software in the upcoming years?

It is a Shakespearean doubt, indeed. So today, we will try and give our humble opinion. An insight if you want, and answer to this question:

Is the 8 GB RAM a need or a useless overkill?


Well, we all can agree that these massive hardware updates have ambiguous nature. They can be both improvement and disadvantage. Let us start with the positive features this change will enable.

More is often better in tech world

First and foremost, the software developers will get more working space. With certain constraints they had, software coding was, occasionally, an overdemanding task. The task many of them are not up to. We all know how the Facebook app is subpar in all kind of ways. Resources hogging, instability, crashes, slow loading speeds, you name it. And instead of remodeling the app itself, they somehow managed to make it worse with every new update.

Have in mind that we are talking about a giant in its niche, world leader, and not an individual developer coding in his basement with limited funds. RAM upgrade will let them concentrate more on the performance without hardware constraints. This will speed up the software evolution with the special emphasis on innovative individuals and their impact in the app market.

In case of demanding advancements: Insert RAM

In addition, there are a lot of new technologies that are heavily hardware-dependent. First thing that crosses our mind is Virtual Reality and all advanced improvements it can utilize. Since this is still a developing technology only the sky is a boundary for its final reach. In 2017 we can expect a lot of VR/AR presence in the gaming industry and that should impact all systems, even the handheld devices.

Another technology breakthrough that should employ this 8GB RAM to some extent is Superbook. Superbook is an interesting project by Sentio developing studio. Essentially, it can change the way we combine our devices for better use and more optimized performance.

Superbook is a small laptop shell that connects with your smartphone with cable. It completely uses phones software to run its system. The phone provides the brain while the laptop shell brings out the muscles to this dynamic duo. Since this is a quite affordable project, we will probably see a lot of alternative solutions from the third-party developers like Ubuntu, Lineage, or Remix. In addition, Motorola is still working on OneCompute Moto with similar characteristics.

At the end, the Android phones may need more power to fully utilize those novelty combo features. In that case, these RAM upgrade is a foreseeing of the producers.


And now, we are moving on to the dark side of this dispute. It always takes less effort to be negative about changes, but this may prove harder than it sounds.

Heavy hardware upgrade = poorly optimized software

                                                                                Best example ever

We are all aware of the benefits for developers. They’ll have more freedom and can prioritize the performance over the RAM consumption. But, evidently, there are drawbacks that can and will impact the apps when the upgrade occurs. As the past has shown us on numerous occasions, the software optimization falls short where the hardware excels. This is just the case with vast of Android apps. The devs become careless, sloppy and tend to present unfinished products and patch them later.

For both device manufacturers and them, this seems like a win/win scenario. However, the customers are the ones that lose. Especially the ones that can’t afford to pay 700$ or even more for a smartphone. The best possible example is PC gaming. Namely, the modern games rely more on hardware than on developing structure. That way we get a game with more demanding requirements but the same or even lower quality than the 5-year-old titles. And that is just wrong.

That can be truly an issue with the smartphones, too. The availability of apps will be gradually reduced for the ones with budget phones.

But, everything runs smooth on 3 GB!

Eventually, we’ll have to ask ourselves is there the software appropriate for 8 GB of RAM? In a few years, probably. But at the moment 3 GB of RAM is quite sufficient for all the apps. Even for the most demanding, HD graphic intensive games. Then why to fix what isn’t broken? Instead of improvement, that can lead to a more bloatware and lack of optimization.

The battery, on the other hand, is something worth upgrading. We already talked about Li-Ion batteries as the underwhelming technology that needs to change. Why not address this issue rather than upgrading on already sufficient RAM memory? You won’t use your phone for complex demanding operations like some workstation PC. On the other hand, better battery life is an enormous upgrade to all handheld devices.

Additionally, with Nougat, Android introduced renewed ART (Android Runtime) feature called Just-In-Time (JIT). With this novelty smartphone boots faster, require less storage space, update faster and, eventually, optimize apps RAM consuming. So, one more reason to look at the 8 GB RAM like an overkill.


At the end, maybe the manufacturers know something we don’t and this is a reasonable move. Or they are just justifying the high prices by adding the cheapest hardware upgrades. Opinions are divided and the time will show who was right.  We hope that we managed to vividly present both points of view on the subject.

What is your standpoint? Please share it with is in the comments section.

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