512MB RAM on Windows Phone 8

Posted by
Last Updated on

A friend said to me some days ago that he would have loved to purchase the Nokia Lumia 720 but for the 512MB RAM that it is equipped with. with him coming from an Android background where 512MB of RAM is painfully inadequate for very smooth operations, I can understand his concern. According to him, he cannot use a smartphone with anything less than 1GB RAM.

Nokia Lumia 720

I have had a Lumia 720 with me for a while now, and I use it as my primary smartphone, though I also have the more muscled Lumia 920 at my disposal. Regulars here will remember that I am not a big fan of phones with big screens and would prefer a handy phone for my day-to-day activities. The Lumia 720 meets that need perfectly. It has a 4.3-inch display, is very light and usable with one hand, and guess what, has 512MB RAM! What has my experience been like?

If the Lumia 720 is sluggish in any way, nothing would make me use it as my primary smartphone, when I have alternatives at my disposal. And I do have alternatives! A quick 30-second SIM switch and another smartphone gets to attend to me daily. But the 720 is smooth and capable. It is a joy to use.

Now, there was some talk about WinPhone smartphones with 512MB RAM will not be able to run some apps because of those apps require much more to run. At that time, the apps excluded from 512MB devices were less than 0.3% of what obtains in the Windows Phone Store. This means that out of the over 150,000 WinPhone apps, only 331 are not compatible with 512MB phones. More interesting is that many of the apps hitherto unavailable to such devices have now been optimised by the developers to run smoothly. For example, the popular game, Temple Run, used to be unavailable to the Lumia 720. The developers optimised it and now it runs smoothly on the 720. Microsoft’s Fresh Paint app is another. There are a number of others like that.

What happened? I am guessing that developers, observing low-end WinPhone smartphones like the Lumia 520 sell like hot cake, saw the wisdom in optimising their apps and games further. The Nokia Lumia 520 alone has been reported as owning 27% of Windows Phone 8 market. Add up the other budget devices and you have a huge segment that no smart developer will ignore. And they are being smart. Windows Phone smartphones with 512MB RAM run smooth and well and cover all but 0.3% of available apps. Most users are more than covered.


  1. Yeah, lots of folks focus on specs just for the sake of specs.

    It reminds one of the megapixel count on mobile phones. A higher megapixel does not necessarily guarantee better pix .

    There are v6_engined vehicles that outperform v8 engines… on all fronts.

    Same with mobile phones.

    But then, unless one has a hands-on experience on a device, specs would be the only parameter to use to rank one against the other.

    But then, unless both devices run on the same platform, the spec comparison would be a waste of time.

  2. That’s interesting. Temple Run worked perfectly well on my Lumia 620, which came out before the Lumia 720, so I don’t think that was that big an issue.

    Some games like Asphalt 7 on the other hand, which not only required more RAM but a lot more internal memory space, were eventually modified to work on devices with 512MB RAM. I would suggest if anyone wants to use a Lumia as a serious gaming device, they should go for anything from the 820 upwards to avoid disappointment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *