Part of a smooth user experience on a smartphone undeniably lies with the applications processor and GPU. What’s any good computer without a processor, right? But with modern computers, multitasking is a vital part of the experience that relies on RAM. All that said though, these spec lines seem to be treated with brute regard — the bigger the number, the better it appears to the junkie’s eye.
China seems to be home to a lot of those junkies and they have been the fuel for the younger, more aggressive smartphone brands in the country. But unlike Xiaomi and OPPO, old-timer Huawei has been more conservative on the RAM front — its first major 6GB RAM phone was the recently released Mate 9. That sits as nearly excessive to one company executive.
In a Weibo post, the purported COO overseeing the Huawei P-series releases said that the Kirin 960 processor paired with 4GB of RAM has been a reliable one and allowed for the manufacturer to limit the physical and financial footprint that the disk needs. He understands that some of the more hardcore users in the community have been testing and pointing out comparisons between 4GB and 6GB phone models.
But he goes on to call the achievement of an 8GB RAM phone as a “Cold War-era […] arms race” of sorts that may only placate people as a numbers placebo while serving to drive up overall device costs.
The conversation about how those gigabytes of RAM are utilized comes into question at this point. The OnePlus 3, with 6GB of RAM, was initially tuned to kill apps off with a relatively low workload compared to phones with 4GB of RAM. It’d be arguable to say that OnePlus’s single spec option for RAM makes for one intended experience, — nevermind the OnePlus fanbase — whereas phones with multiple RAM SKUs provide some form of buy-in to a more fluid experience.
But what do you think? Is unused RAM really “wasted RAM”? Is it okay to really need that fifth or sixth gigabyte in rare occasions or does it need to be used frequently to justify the pay grade? Is 8GB just too much?