Let it be known that the smartphones we have today – heck even the original iPhone for that matter – are more powerful than the technology that put the first people on the moon in the 1960’s. The modern smartphone can do so many things so well and so efficiently that to even fathom such prowess as recent as five years ago might have been deemed a pure pipe dream. And yet, as of June 2016 there are already two phones with 6GB of RAM inside, one of which is already on sale. Now it seems, 8GB is going to be coming sooner rather than later.
A new rumor out of China is painting a progressive picture: LeEco – which was the first company to show off a smartphone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 – is allegedly going to launch a brand new flagship in August that has not only the Qualcomm 821 SoC, but includes a simply shocking 8GB of RAM to boot. The device will be a revised LeMax 2, and possible pictures have already been produced for perusal. Truth be told however, they don’t seem to be any different from the current Le Max 2:
Before continuing with this line of thinking, it’s prudent to point out that spectacular specs and ridiculous rumors are in and of themselves, nothing new. At one point or another, Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones have been allegedly made of liquid metal, make use of USB Type-C connectivity, included 6GB of RAM, and featured 3D Touch displays. So far, none of those three suggestions have solidified into anything substantial.
To this end, let it be clear that while it’s entirely possible LeEco may indeed be making the product pictured above and with the specs listed, it’s almost equally possible the news is just a bunch of hot air to get people talking.
The Gr8 Deb8te
Assuming for a second the news is indeed true, or even in consideration of the obvious inevitability anyway, let’s consider for a second: Does anyone actually need 8GB of RAM in a phone? Heck, do we even need the 6GB that is currently finding its way into smartphones now? Consider for a second, that regardless of how powerful a smartphone SoC actually is, there is a major difference between a Snapdragon or Exynos and say, an Intel i7.
In fact, there are tons of PCs on the market that run Windows – a full-on desktop OS – and yet have an absolutely “anemic” 4GB of RAM. Heck, some might even have just 2GB. And let’s not forget that the iPhone and iPad are anything but RAM warriors.
Windows 10 – a desktop OS – works oddly well with just 4GB of RAM…
Somehow, despite the potential power having 8GB of RAM would provide, there doesn’t seem to be any currently “logical” reason to include it on a smartphone-class SoC other than for the simple ability to say “we did it first”. It’s not as if Konami is going to suddenly port Metal Gear Solid V to Android, for example, and thereby create a major need for intensive performance power. Heck, at this point even the whole 4K display business has amounted to little more than a marketing gimmick.
Sure multitasking is great and all, but considering that the Nexus 5 – which is going on three years old now – can still handle things sufficiently on Android Marshmallow, it’s probably safe to say that putting 8GB on a smartphone – or even 6GB really – is jumping the gun a bit.
Make no mistake: there are indeed people who will love the idea of a smartphone with 8GB of RAM, and no doubt there are users who could and would find ways to make use of all of the RAM no less. In the general context of things however, and considering the “limitations” of Android when compared to a non-mobile OS, the rhetorical question was raised.
What do you think? What would you do with 8GB or RAM? How would it improve your life? Do you want it, or would this just be a case of spectacular specs for the sake of spectacular specs?