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Weekly poll results: 8-12GB of RAM is the sweet spot for current smartphones

As 2023 is coming to a close, many still feel that 8GB is enough RAM for a modern smartphone, based on the results from last week’s poll. If 8GB feels tight, it’s the Android skin and inefficient apps that get the blame more often than not.

The other large voting group prefers having 12GB of RAM – some see it as the minimum, others just as future proofing as system requirements tend to go up over the years. And as we saw in a recent poll, half of our readers want to keep their new phones for at least 4 years, so some future-proofing is prudent.

Weekly poll results: 8-12GB of RAM is the sweet spot for current smartphones

Even then, there were quite a few comments saying that 12GB and more is mostly for gamers – modern AAA games are among the most demanding tasks for a smartphone, especially as developers push more detailed character models and maps. The GPU grabs part of the system too, unlike a typical desktop where it often has dedicated VRAM.

There is some interest in 16GB – yet more future proofing – but RAM capacities that are above 12GB or below 8GB are not in high demand. In fact, more people picked the “don’t care” option than those who chose “more than 16GB”.

But the low end is important to highlight too – unless it’s a cheap model, most people will balk at a phone that has only 4GB and even 6GB of RAM. Again, it’s subject to the software (both manufacturer and user-installed software), but less than 8GB is uncomfortably tight.

This brings us to the second question – more often than not, cheap phones with limited system RAM are the ones that come with bold claims of large virtual RAM capacities. It sure looks good in ads, but it turns out it doesn’t do much for users.

Weekly poll results: 8-12GB of RAM is the sweet spot for current smartphones

Only 5% claim that they have felt the benefit of virtual RAM. Many more (a third of voters) are uncertain – they have it enabled, but can’t definitively confirm that it brings any benefit. The majority of users just keep virtual RAM disabled.

Long story short, there is no substitute for actual RAM and 8GB of it isn’t too much to ask for.

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