What is extended RAM for mobile or Virtual RAM for Android? How does it work? What phones have it?

Virtual RAM for Android: How Does It Work?

What is Virtual RAM for Android? The concept of virtual RAM has been around for laptops for a while, but finally it is now available on mobile phones, specifically Android devices. Extended RAM for mobile, as it is also called, is a system that allows a terminal, in this case, a mobile phone, to allocate some of its internal storage for use as extra RAM.

So, if a phone has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage, virtual RAM for Android can allocate an extra 6 GB from the 128 GB for use as extended ram, bringing the total RAM of the device to 12 GB. This is a layman’s explanation. Extended RAM isn’t really RAM; it is extra memory allocated to help launch apps and keep them running smoothly.

Samsung 16GB RAM chips

Benefits of Virtual/Extended RAM

The function of RAM, whether on a laptop, a PC, or a smartphone, is to function as a temporary memory to run apps and to switch between apps. As such, the more RAM a device has, all other things being equal, the smoother your experience of using apps will be.


Being able to extend the built-in RAM of a device means it gets better performance, specifically for opening and switching between apps. If you love to multitask on your smartphone, virtual RAM improves the experience for you. RAM is an expensive component in smartphones. Being able to use some internal storage space for keeping apps open and running means helps keep the cost of improved performance at a minimum.

vivo virtual ram for Android - extended RAM for mobile

Disadvantages of Extended/Virtual RAM

Virtual RAM is not as fast as proper built-in RAM, so while it does improve the performance of the device, it isn’t at the same optimum level as the built-in RAM. Not that most people will notice anyway. Actually, it isn’t RAM in the proper sense; rather, it is virtual memory that helps keep apps that have been opened running.

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Examples of Phones with Virtual RAM

Vivo is the first mainstream phone maker to produce smartphone with Virtual RAM. It first appeared in the V21 and V21e models, and will also show up in the Vivo X60, Vivo X60 Pro, and Vivo X60 Pro+.


Vivo V21 and V21e have 8 GB RAM built in and 128 GB internal storage. Of the internal storage, 3 GB is allocated as extended RAM, bringing the total RAM of each of these devices to 11 GB. Not bad at all; right? But Vivo is not the only brand making such phones.

OPPO is another smartphone brand that is embracing the technology. It is available in OPPO F19, as well as OPPO F19 Pro series, OPPO A74 5G, and OPPO A53s 5G [1]. The OPPO Find X2 is another, and offers the option to expand up to 3GB, 5GB, or 7GB of virtual RAM.

The first Xiaomi smartphones to get extended RAM are the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G, each of which can add 2GB of virtual RAM. The company is planning to introduce it in more smartphones via MIUI 13.


Virtual RAM Android, as seen in these devices, is a cool innovation, and we look forward to seeing more mobile phones with the feature.


  1. OPPO India: source.
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