On some OPPO phones, you can now expand your existing RAM by up to 7 GB. So a smartphone with 12 GB of RAM will have 19 GB available. How did OPPO do that, and how does it work? We explain.
Update 21/07/2021: OPPO has officially announced the RAM expansion technology and also announced that OPPO phones are eligible. We have updated and republished this article.
The working memory of a smartphone is used to perform the tasks of apps. When an app is inactive for a while, your smartphone knows exactly where you left off because the data is stored in the available RAM. If you perform too many tasks at the same time, your working memory may fall short and apps will be restarted. That is the importance of working memory in a telephone. As smartphones have become more mature and powerful, Android apps have also become more demanding in terms of the amount of RAM.
Why this lesson about working memory you may be thinking? That’s interesting to understand a new feature of OPPO phones. With a new update for its ColorOS 11 shell, OPPO now allows users to expand the working memory on their phone. If you look in the menu ‘Info about phone’, you will see ‘+7.00 GB’ next to his amount of RAM. Androidworld reader Ronny let us know in a tip to our editors. He can optionally expand the 12 GB of RAM of his Find X3 Neo with 3 GB, 5 GB or 7 GB. So, in theory, the phone can have up to 19 GB of RAM.
Internal storage comes to the rescue
But where does OPPO get that working memory from and why is the full capacity not active by default? In fact, that extra 7GB isn’t about extra RAM that was hidden somewhere, but about some of the internal storage being freed up. When the 12 GB RAM of Ronny’s Find X3 Neo falls short, that extra memory can be used.
It is important to discuss that internal storage is less fast than working memory. So, as soon as the phone gets started with its extra RAM, apps could load a bit slower when multitasking. Fortunately, the Find X3 Neo, like many other OPPO devices, uses the fast UFS 3.1 storage. That already helps.
But is this a genius new technology from OPPO? No, not that. In fact, internal storage is already used anyway to help if there is a shortage of working memory, and in principle it is also something you want to avoid. Just because of that reduced performance. The solid 12 GB of Ronny’s Find X3 Neo will also be more than enough to keep the phone running smoothly for the life of the phone. This function is therefore mainly interesting for telephones that have a somewhat smaller working memory. In short, the only really special thing is that OPPO lets users choose how much of the ‘extra RAM’ is used.
We do hope that OPPO and other manufacturers that work with such functions will continue to make the distinction between the actual working memory of a phone and the internal storage that is used. If manufacturers later market their phones as devices with 19 GB RAM, it will become confusing, and you could also call it deceptive.
The possibility to expand the working memory is available from the menu ‘About phone’ on a select number of OPPO devices with ColorOS 11. The following OPPO phones can immediately use the function as soon as the latest update is installed.
- OPPO Find X3 Lite
- OPPO Find X3 Neo
- OPPO A74 4G
- OPPO A74 5G
- OPPO A54 5G
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Thanks for the tip, Ronny!