The OPPO Find X Is the First Phone to Field 10 GB of RAM
China’s regulatory site TENAA has disclosed the existence of a new version of the Chinese Oppo Find X. The Find X has been in the news before for its innovative approach to the camera notch first debuted by Apple with last year’s iPhone X.At the risk of being “That Guy,” there’s no real evidence that Android devices need this much RAM in them. Devices like the Galaxy Note 9 now field 6 GB of RAM (with an 8 GB option if you buy a device with 512 GB of storage), but there’s no sign that these boosts deliver any kind of real benefit. True, having more RAM might allow you to multi-task more easily or switch between applications more quickly. But past experience has shown that these behaviors on Android are often impacted by multiple settings.
. Instead of using a notch, Oppo went for a pop-up camera that only appears when you need it and claims an impressive 93.8 percent screen to body ratio. With 8 GB of RAM, the base phone was already fielding quite a lot of RAM, but now we know there’s an even larger 10 GB device coming down the pipe.
True, having more RAM might allow you to multi-task more easily or switch between applications more quickly. But past experience has shown that these behaviors on Android are often impacted by multiple settings.
Taking full advantage of a large RAM pool isn’t just a matter of having one, as the device has to be programmed to use it effectively as well. But there’s another concern: Adding more RAM is going to chew through additional battery life
Exactly how much isn’t something we can calculate, but JEDEC did offer some projected figures on what LPDDR 4 memory power consumption would look like in various configurations and speeds a few years back:
. But past experience has shown that these behaviors on Android are often impacted by multiple settings. The S6 and S6 Edge ran into trouble post-launch because they shipped with poor memory management and would aggressively clear applications from memory once closed, even though the phones had more than enough RAM to keep the relevant pages open.
But with RAM counts edging up this high, and the benefits of lower process nodes and silicon improvements dropping every product cycle, I’d honestly consider opting for less RAM, when and if you can get away with it. Unless you know you’ve got an Android usage model that actually consumes this much memory, you’re likely burning power with little benefit. The actual amount of lost power might be small, but if the benefit is nonexistent, what’s the point?
This chart doesn’t offer us any data on how much power more RAM draws per GB, but larger RAM loadouts require a higher number of ICs, and more RAM ICs typically means more memory channels and higher levels of power consumption. The degree of overall optimization and the base RAM clock both matter as well, and LPDDR4 from different manufacturers may have different performance characteristics. In some cases, it may be possible to defray the impact of a larger RAM loadout by using more advanced memory built on a smaller process node, particularly……
if the RAM has a lower operating voltage. The exact details of how all these factors play out depend on the manufacturer and the design of the device, but all else equal, a device with more RAM will use more RAM than a device with less..