OnePlus 5T: Should you pay extra for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage?

Like the OnePlus 5, we once again have two distinct models of the OnePlus 5T, giving you a choice of RAM and storage options for a nominal increase in price. You can stick with the default 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which is plenty for most people and more than many other phones, or you can bump up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for just $60 more.

Which model should you buy? Here's the information you need to make a choice.

Choosing storage: more is usually better

OnePlus 5T

It wasn't so long ago that we were still arguing over whether phones should still be shipping with 16GB of internal storage, and now many high-end phones — like the OnePlus 5T — come with 64GB internally. That's a lot of storage, and probably "enough" for most people. Unless you store lots of music or video locally, you're unlikely to fill it up — as I write this, I'm using just shy of 12GB of my OnePlus 5T's storage.

If you can afford the $60 extra, your future non-frustrated self will thank you.

Then again, when it comes to storage it's always better to have more when the phone doesn't offer an SD card slot that would let you expand it later. If you plan on keeping your OnePlus 5T for a while, it's going to incrementally use more and more storage as you use and download new apps or save even more music playlists and YouTube videos.

Sure you could aggressively manage your storage so you never hit 64GB, but OnePlus is offering to double that storage for just $60 at purchase. Look at your current phone and how much storage it's using. If you're maxed out on your 32GB phone, or pushing over 40GB used on your 64GB phone, pony up the extra few dollars and buy the higher-end OnePlus 5T with 128GB of storage. Your future non-frustrated self will thank you.

What does 8GB of RAM actually do?

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus doesn't let you choose RAM and storage independently, so if you drop the extra $60 to get 128GB of storage you automatically get 8GB of RAM as well. That's 2GB more than the stock 6GB, which in itself is higher than most phones released in 2017.

It will be extremely difficult to see any difference in use with 8GB of RAM.

The value of having 8GB of RAM in a phone is rather dubious, at least at the end of 2017. Google designed Oreo (which isn't even on the OnePlus 5T yet) for its own Pixel 2 phones with just 4GB of RAM in mind, and there's no reason to think you can't use a OnePlus 5T to its fullest potential with "only" 6GB of memory inside.

Even with the lesser memory option, OnePlus is able to do some great things with its software to make sure the home screen, camera and other critical functions are available at a moment's notice, even when you're using heavy apps or games. With my typical usage, I averaged just 5.1GB of RAM usage on my own 5T, and never experienced aggressive background app closures.

Whether you have 6GB or 8GB of RAM, your OnePlus 5T has plenty of headroom to operate all of the latest apps throughout 2018 and beyond. I wouldn't recommend spending $60 for the higher-end 5T model just for the extra RAM — think of it as an extra perk when you buy the upgrade for the 128GB storage alone.

See at OnePlus

Did you choose to buy the more expensive OnePlus 5T for the extra memory and storage? Let us know in the comments!

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.