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Do flagship Android phones have too much RAM?

Galaxy S20 Ultra And S20 Plus Grey
Galaxy S20 Ultra And S20 Plus Grey (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

In 2020, smartphone specs are better than they've ever been. Displays with 90 and 120Hz refresh rates are becoming more common, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 is an absolute beast of a chipset, 5G is much more accessible, and camera technology continues to improve.

Just about every component of your phone tends to get better with each new year, including the amount of RAM that manufacturers decide to use. 4GB of RAM was seen as a lot just a couple of years ago, but we now live in a world where phones with 8, 12, and even 16GB of RAM are a reality.

Those numbers are impressive on paper, but do they serve any real purpose beyond bragging rights? Some of our AC forum members recently got to talking about this, saying:

I think for now it's just for bragging rights. 12GB is still a bit overkill today as it is.

Mooncatt

When you have more than enough RAM already you won't see a difference as far as lag. The only difference you'll see is how many apps more RAM can keep running in the background.

Mike Dee

Heck, 6 gigs is still getting the job done nicely.

BergerKing

What say you? Do flagship Android phones have too much RAM?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

10 Comments
  • Until I upgraded my computer about 7 months ago I had the same amount of RAM (8GB) on my Oneplus 7 Pro that I had on my computer. Yes, I'd say it is overkill.
  • Well my smartphone is my computer so...i say bring it on.
  • 6 - 8GB of RAM isn't. It is over kill when some started adding 12GB.
  • Yes 12 and 16 seem to be overkill especially since these phones will have only 2 years of major is updates.
  • The gaming PC I use part-time for video editing has 16GB. So maybe having the same amount in the device I use for texting and Instagram might be overkill.
  • You can never really have to much RAM, only to little.
  • 4GB is too little for me, 6GB is the minimum I'm comfortable with for a daily driver - I can actually feel the difference between 4 and 6GB. 8GB leaves you room to grow and I never feel like I am lacking in memory (my current daily driver OP6 has 8GB). 12GB might make sense for those who hold onto their phones for several years, and 16GB does seem like overkill for the next few years. Perhaps heavy multi-taskers and gamers might make use of 16GB sooner than that?
  • Too much RAM? No such thing.
  • I guess you would need more ram since with every android update every thing needs more ram to move quick. Then apps are getting developed that take more advantage of ram use. Better to have more than less.. Just to keep up with "advancements"... I've had 2gb and 3gb phones and they were too slow or lagging. 4 gb seemed to be the sweet spot for a S7 or lg g6 back then.
  • 6 to 8 is the sweet spot for Android. There is future proofing, but phones with 12 gigs of RAM today will be obsolete before 12 is not enough. Don't forget that extra RAM uses battery power 😉