The smartphone industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. However, given how smartphone technology has matured so far, its not surprising when we see manufacturers bringing in new features every year.
Take one specification as an example, the RAM. Seems like it was only yesterday when phones came out with 1-2 GB of RAM. This was back in 2013. Fast forward to 2016 and companies like Vivo and Oneplus are already introducing phones with a massive 6 GB of RAM.
It is highly likely that companies will continue this trend this year as well with more phones with 6 GB and even 8 GB (!) of RAM coming out. ASUS’s Zenfone AR unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 featured 8 GB of RAM.
Is the rising amount of RAM on phones bordering on overkill? Or is there agreement that more GBs means better performance on your phones?
4 GB is “Good Enough”
Some of the major smartphone makers seem to disagree with following this trend. One of Huawei’s top executives Lao Shi, is amongst the vocal opponents against more RAM on phones.
In his recent post on Chinese social media site Weibo, he argued that 4 GB of RAM is good enough to run a phone smoothly. He added that Huawei’s phones would actually run better on 4 GB rather than 6 GB of RAM and that the most important thing for smartphone companies is to optimize the OS for efficiency.
Mr. Lao mentioned Apple’s example with iOS. Apple’s iOS is optimized well enough and does not need huge amounts of RAM to run smoothly. He said that adding more RAM also increases the cost of the smartphones “exponentially” and its not worth expanding on this side of smartphone hardware.
There was a time when people considered 1 GB of RAM in a PC too much or having a 120 or 250 GB HDD ludicrous. As phones improve over time an increase in RAM capacity is also inevitable as even Apple had to move from 1 GB of RAM to 2 GB in the iPhone 7. This is not to say that certain scenarios don’t exist where bigger numbers work, as long as the hardware and software can make full use of the added specs.
Will we see more phones with 8 GB of RAM this year? Would others follow Apple or Huawei’s trend of not increasing the RAM capacity? Only time will tell.