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Android dilemas... RAM


Mar 24, 2014
Hello everyone!

New in this forum, and still an Android virgin too.

I joined the forum after weeks of thorough research, and thought it may be worth asking people who actually know what they're talking about instead of friends who give an opinion based on their own casual experience.

Basically, I'm moving out of the iOS world at last after spending a fair amount of years using iphones. I'm bored of how limited it is.

So now I face the question everyone like me asks themselves. Which phone? There are so many options... I have checked many places before asking a question like this on a forum, but they all vary because of what's available at the time, preference and all that jazz.

If I'm 100% honest, I've had my eyes focused on either the Xperia Z2 or the Galaxy S5. But still haven't made up my mind regarding which of the two (while still looking at other options too). I like the idea of a decent size screen, a decent camera, fast processor, etc...

But when it comes to technicalities, my first question which makes me uneasy when choosing is the RAM difference. I like to think I have a good understanding of what the basic elements of the hardware do, but can't really appreciate how much of it may be overkill or not on a smartphone.

I have a casual use of my phone. Texts, Calls, browse the web, some social media crap, etc... But I work in the graphic industry, so I also love checking what's new in the world of artistic apps (specially 3D related) and do enjoy playing videogames every now and then (but lately, seem to be only an excuse to spend a couple of minutes extra in the toilet). Oh! and I quite fancy the freedom of design that Android phones offers.

So my question is: "Should I consider the 3GB of Ram an important factor to base my decision?"
I'm hoping that this new phone is going to last a good number of years, I'm currently using my iPhone 4 and still doing a pretty decent job at keeping me entertained so would like the new one to last at least 3/4 years.

Otherwise I'm open to suggestions too :) I'm looking forward to the Android adventure to be honest
Thanks for the reply!

That's what I gathered... 2GB should be perfectly fine. But I don't really know how quickly do the requirements increase in the smartphone world... Do you reckon 2GB will become a pain in the next 2 years if we still want to do fancy things with our phone?

FL Studio! I didn't know there was a smartphone version! That's exciting news :p
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Yeah, the Nexus has been on my radar too. Love the price! Haha. Thanks!

I seem to always end up stuffing my phone with "stuff" as time goes by. Music, videos, etc... I read that the main downsides of the Nexus are the lack of Storage. How's that for you? One thing that the Samsung seems to be a selling point for me is the external battery and storage support... In the long term I can see myself benefiting from that.

But then, am I right to guess that 2GB of RAM for a smartphone is still going to be holding strong for a good while then?
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I seem to always end up stuffing my phone with "stuff" as time goes by. Music, videos, etc... I read that the main downsides of the Nexus are the lack of Storage. How's that for you? One thing that the Samsung seems to be a selling point for me is the external battery and storage support... In the long term I can see myself benefiting from that.

With regard to storage, I have a Galaxy S3 which I got nearly 2 years ago. I bought the 32GB version because I store music on my phone. My over 3,000 songs now take up a substantial portion of the storage. I have less than 5 GB left. So far, I don't have a need to get an SD card, but I am feeling 32GB is getting tight.

The Nexus 5 does have a 32GB version and that is the largest amount of storage you can get on the N5. However, it does not have any way to expand the storage on it.
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Thanks again! This is all being quite helpful.

I guess it's kinda daunting moving from one side to the other (not sure which one is the dark one anymore...).

Extra storage or Battery replacements aren't necessities to be honest... My old iPhone hasn't really let me down too many times at all, but that's because I spend a lot of time outside and I taught myself to avoid unnecessary usage if I need the battery lasting longer during the day.

I expect to be experimenting with the future phone itself quite a bit in the following years so I guess that's why I'm being extra cautious as to what I get to make the most of it :p ... And I like the idea of being able to mess around with it to make the experience more pleasant for me :D Something which I find pretty exciting is being able to design my own themes/skins from scratch (which is why I guess a decent screen size attracts me too).

Thanks again :)
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As to the RAM concerns, Android and iPhone are different platforms and have different memory paradigms. Because Android runs the apps in a Dalvik VM *technical blah-blah-blah* the memory footprint is lower *more technical blah-blah-blah* and with the newer ART (Android Run-Time) *exceedingly dry technical blah-blah-blah*. So really, 2GB should be good for the foreseeable future.

I'm running 4.4.2 (the latest version) using the ART on a 16 GB Nexus 4 and the battery life, ram or storage have never been an issue. After about 16 months of use I haven't run into any limitations and I don't see a new phone in my future because this one isn't up to snuff.

My old Samsung Galaxy S2 with only 1GB RAM is my backup/knock-around phone and runs just fine and dandy as well.

The trend in Android Development has been to make the OS leaner and more efficient and not feature overloaded. This means that many devices will work better on the current version than the version they shipped with.
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First Let me say Welcome to the forums. We're glad your here.

I've a Motorola Droid Razr M and its been a very fine phone for me. I do have an issue with it right now though. It keeps unmounting my SDCARD. Forcing me to reboot to remount it. Sometimes it will last over night on a mount and sometimes just a few minutes so I just took out my SDCARD and have learned to live with out it. I bring this up so that you can understand that just because a phone has an external slot for and SDCARD sometimes problems can occur that keep you from being able to access the card.

One thing you also want to make sure of is that there is a good development community for your chosen device. Even though you may not be interested in rooting the device or putting on a new rom I have found that these devices that have a good development community also have a great support community.

As far as memory I think 2gig should be just fine for a few years.
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Thanks! :D

Nice :) This has just added a different perspective to it (and given a wider focus too... Which I don't like because that means more options to decide from haha).

Where as I was mainly focusing at the new upcoming phones in the next couple of months (Z2 or S5 for example...) I'm now starting to consider other 2013 phones too! Too many options! Haha

I spent the past couple of ours reading some development forums just to start having an understanding of what I'm putting myself into haha... Rooting is something I will definitely end up doing once I feel a little more confident to do so.

I didn't think of the development community though... I would imagine that phones with recurrent upgrades (Samsung, HTC, etc...) would have a good one?

To be honest, at the moment I don't seem to care that much about some of the fancy add-ons on the new phones. The only subjects which get upgraded yearly and I appreciate is the camera and display quality (but that's probably because I work in the audiovisual industry so I became a bit of a snob...). Besides that, I mainly look forward to a phone which will give me a fun experience messing about and hassling the forums asking for tips :p
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I don't see 2GB as being a problem anytime soon either. Anyway, with a large SD card, you can root and run Int2Ext4+ and give your phone as much extra RAM as you want. My old Wildfire S runs AOKP 4.2.2 with Int2Ex4+ giving it effectively 2GB on a 16GB card.

That would actually just be swap space. Not a good replacement for RAM but better than nothing.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned the type of RAM. I'd rather have 1Gb of faster DDR3 over 2Gb DDR2. And DDR4 is coming in the future. The faster the better.
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

In the end I went for the new HTC One (M8). I felt comfortable with the 2Gb RAM in the end, and got offered the phone at a great upgrade deal from me provider.

Also, it's damn sexy.

Now all I'm having to do is start sorting it out and getting to know it. There's so many things going on! Haha
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Enjoy your One M8, its a stunning thing! 2GB RAM should be fine for quite a while, the advancement of phones is slowing down a bit, we are no longer going to see the huge leaps we've been seeing. I've had my GS4 32GB since launch and it's 2GB RAM has been more than enough especially in Android4.4.2 KitKat which has reduced RAM usage.

Storage is a major factor for me to hence the GS4 32GB plus 32GB MicroSDHC, it's awesome to have so much storage in one's phone as you never hesitate to install THAT huge game, load that large FullHD movie or get music at a higher bit rate. I'm looking to to get a Note 4 32GB or 64GB this year, I can't imagine being limited to just 32GB, nevermind a paltry 16GB in a modern smartphone.
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I saw that you mentioned 3GB earlier, but didn't realize you had any concerns that 2GB might not be enough. It is.

What I've read of the M8 makes it a very appealing phone. That they added microSD should really help sales. If I were to go with a new phone it would probably be the Samsung S5 because of the replaceable battery, but the M8 is now much more appealing.
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