We asked, you told us: Here’s how much RAM is good enough for you in a phone

Realme X2 Pro recents page with RAM management

Smartphones today, especially the more premium flagships, offer users oodles of RAM to compliment blazing-fast chipsets. Not so long ago, 1GB – 2GB of RAM was considered decent enough for a phone. We now have devices that can easily cross 6GB of RAM. Some even go as high as 16GB or 18GB of memory. But do you really need all that RAM in a phone? What’s the number that satisfies you? We asked and here’s what you had to say.

How much RAM is good enough for you in a smartphone?

Results

Clearly, our poll about the best maximum RAM size on a phone was very popular with our readers. Almost 40,000 people voted in our survey, and two RAM options emerged most popular with our readers.

Most of you (32%) feel that 8GB of RAM is what you’re happy with on a phone. A close 25.9% of the respondents are also okay with having 6GB of RAM on their phones. 15% said that 4GB RAM is satisfactory, while almost 10% said that they need 16GB or more RAM on their devices.

The results aren’t all that surprising. 8GB RAM has become commonplace not just in flagships but also in mid-range phones. In fact, most Snapdragon 888 flagships offer 8GB of RAM on their base variants. No wonder it was the most picked option in our poll.

What you had to say

Resuna: Any company shipping an Android device with less than 4GB of RAM is a monster, and anyone using flash for swap in normal use to cover for a shortage of RAM is living in sin. That last bit goes for you too, Apple, on your new ARM-based Macs.

Evie: I think 6GB is the sweet spot for the average person. Probably 4 is serviceable, but no harm having a little extra!

Cryio: I have 12GB RAM and I don’t think I ever managed to push it to more than 9.2GB. For most people, 6GB is more than enough.

Stanley Kubrick: My first desktop PC from Packard Bell had a whopping 4 MB of RAM…that’s 4 megabytes, not gigabytes. It cost me $400.00 to upgrade it to 8 megabytes! The wife was not happy! Boy, those were the days. 6 GB is plenty for the vast majority of people. How many apps do you need to remain open all the time? More RAM = more battery drain to keep all those gigabytes alive!

Wongwatt: I’ve been a tech user for decades so I tend to shut down stuff I’m not using, unlike the young’uns. I picked 8GB though because I think that’s the right amount for no worries smartphone use.

Jim: The truth is the average person uses around 4GB ram, So 6-8GB ram is actually plenty and anything beyond that is overkill. People try to rationalize that by saying they are future-proofing. However, seeing as though smartphones have been around since 1992 (Simon Communicator) and in those almost 30 years, the actual need hasn’t gone much beyond 4GB. That being said, I sincerely doubt that the average individual is going to hold on to a phone for almost another 30 years to be able to use those extra GBs of RAM.

Aashish: One of my android phones has 4GB ram but a fast processor. Doesn’t ever feel slow to me.

Мартин Рачев: My Note 10+ has 12GB RAM and it rarely uses more than 8.5GB. The storage thing is that I want my apps to stay open, I have enough free ram, but the phone refuses to go over 8.5GB ram and closing my apps. I don’t know how exactly the tech works, but it seems like ram is not enough to keep all apps open. For me, phones with less than 8GB in 2021 is a compromise, 6 is usable, 4 or less is a pure nightmare.

Ron Cosby: 6GB is now the bare minimum for Android now, but I recommend 8GB or more. To run smoothly and quickly 6GB is the bare minimum, even for budget phones. Any less and I will guarantee it will become an issue at some point in time. Any high-end phone worth its salt should at least carry 8GB. At least that’s been my experience for Android.

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