Is the smartphone RAM war getting ridiculous?

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Does it have 4GB RAM + 64 GB internal storage, 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage, 8 GB/10 GB RAM + 256 GB storage, 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage.

This is what the specs sheets of any smartphone looks like today. And it’s enough to confuse a lot of people, sometimes probably to an extent that a buyer would be put off from purchasing a new handset.

It is very similar to the smartphone camera megapixel war. For a normal user, 48 megapixels is often not needed, since the user probably does not know a thing about lighting, composition or the need for a ton of pixels.

The industry is packing phenomenal amounts of RAM and megapixels into smartphones. Frankly, in most cases, there’s nothing to gain beyond the novelty factor and the so-called thrill of possessing something expensive.

What does the normal officegoer have a smartphone for? It might be for simple, everyday business tasks like talking, texting, email, a few productivity apps and other stuff like YouTube or music streaming apps to browse. For this user, 4 GB of RAM will work fine.

It’s not about having a lot of RAM. Often, the problem is with the way the phone is being used. Several apps are left running in the background, the cache from apps is not cleared and the apps and the phone’s operating system are not updated frequently.

What to do?

If there are, say, 10 apps running in the background, all of them will use varying amounts of RAM. Compare this situation with the RAM having to handle just the operating system and the app that’s currently in use. It’s simple, really. Closing apps that are not being used is a way to free up RAM so that the phone does not become a laggard.

Secondly, the operating system and apps are frequently updated because performance improvements are being made by developers all the time. Each time a new update is out, the working of the hardware is being optimised. When an operating system upgrade is released, it could be a new feature, better battery power management or other performance improvements. Thirdly, if the smartphone’s internal memory is full, or almost full, it could affect performance.

Is a bigger RAM not required?

If the user is a heavy gamer or the phone is used for RAM-hungry tasks, it makes sense to have more RAM. But otherwise, there is hardly any sense in shelling out the extra dough.

The problem is that these products are marketed so well that the uninformed and light smartphone user falls for it and ends up spending much more than he or she requires.

Now, to the megapixel war. For the casual shooter who likes to post pictures on social media, something like a 48MP camera is not needed at all. High megapixel count is required if the photo is to be blown up and printed on a large poster.

Unfortunately, consumers are falling for this megapixel inter-company battle. The two examples are typical of what happened not long ago in the home audio system market. It’s not very complicated to figure out the hardware specifications required for an individual’s use. Reviews from reputed technology websites will usually be enough to understand what a particular handset is capable of and if it suits the individual’s needs.

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