Should you buy a Galaxy S10+ with 12GB of RAM?

Galaxy S10+
Galaxy S10+ (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: You should not buy a $1600 Galaxy S10+ with 12GB of RAM just because you can. You will never need 12GB of RAM on your Galaxy S10+ under any normal circumstances. That's not to say you will never need 12GB of RAM on a smartphone, but most likely when that day comes, the S10+ will be old and you'll have moved on to another phone.

The most powerful Galaxy: Samsung Galaxy S10+ 12GB/1TB (From $1000)

Is too much of a good thing really too much?

There are two reasons why you might want a Galaxy S10+ with 12GB of RAM. First and foremost, you may want the 1TB of storage it comes with. I don't need a lot of storage on my phone because I don't keep movies or music on my device, but there are some folks who want to keep all of their media on their phone. A lot of people in this category will gladly pay for a full TB of storage and use a big chunk of it for movies, TV shows, a song collection and all the rest of the documents and app data we all use every day.

If you need the TB of storage, you'll have to get the "performance" model.

It's awesome that Samsung offers a phone with this much space, even if they also tie oodles of memory to it for that hefty price jump. If you need it, you're probably stoked to see it. But what about the other reason?

Think towards the future. Not the distant future where Android and Gmail and Facebook need 12GB of RAM to run, but the closer future where the smartphone becomes a link in a chain that lets you do all your stuff on one device. Where your phone can double as a desktop PC for working and playing.

We're closer than ever to that when it comes to gaming. In the words of Android Central Gaming Editor Marc Lagace:

12GB of RAM still feels like overkill at this moment, but then again so did the 8GB of RAM on the Razer Phone back in 2017. Since then, I've noticed a definitive improvement in both game stability and performance when playing highly competitive games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile on a 8GB device versus a 4GB device, where the last thing you want is your phone slowing down because it's busy processing the intense action going on around you along with managing whatever apps you got running in the background.The jump from 8GB to 12GB is probably going to be less obvious with the crop of Android games available today, but you need to consider where smartphone gaming is headed. We've got Valve and Microsoft aiming to let you stream your Steam and Xbox One game libraries to your smartphone and more and more developers porting their full games over to Android because they don't actually need to scale things back so much for mobile.


I also mentioned working; your Galaxy S10+ is already a Chromebook substitute when you're traveling light thanks to Samsung DeX. If your daily grind involves spreadsheets and forms and other horrible things that are best done with a keyboard and mouse on a bigger display, DeX makes it possible to have both from your phone in a way that other phones can't match. I think Samsung has bigger plans for DeX if Google and Microsoft can get Linux applications a bit more user-friendly, but that's not set in stone. What is set in stone is that the Galaxy S10+ is also a tiny desktop PC because of DeX.

When streaming games or even playing them from your phone, more RAM makes more sense.

Now put these two things together. Imagine streaming your Steam library from a service that lets you play in the cloud to a hotel television or 4K desktop monitor through Samsung DeX. Think gigantic framebuffers (memory used to display the things you see on the screen) and 4K stream buffers and you can see why more RAM is better.

Most of us aren't going to ever fill a TB of disk space with movies and music. Nor are we ever going to stream AAA games through a magic Steam cloud player through DeX onto a 4K hotel television. But if you think you might want to do either (or both) then yeah, the Galaxy S10+ with 12 GB of RAM is totally worth buying.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.