What is Virtual or Extended RAM in Mobile Phones?

What is Extended RAM in mobile phones? The concept of extended RAM has been around for laptops for a while, but finally it is now available on mobile phones, specifically Android devices. Extended RAM or expandable RAM or virtual RAM, 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, Extended RAM 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 virtual – extra memory allocated to help launch apps and keep them running smoothly. It is a software partition of a phones storage memory to improve the opening and running of apps.

Extended RAM in mobile provides a performance boost to the built-in RAM
What is Extended RAM in mobile phones? How is it different from normal RAM?

Benefits of Virtual or Extended RAM in mobile phones

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, Extended or virtual RAM improves the experience for you. Hardware 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 phones

Disadvantages of Virtual or Extended RAM in mobile phones

Extended or 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.

How to use Extended RAM in Android Phones

It is simple to use. Dive into your Android phone’s Settings and search for “Extended RAM”, “Virtual RAM”, or just “RAM”. Tap on it to open the menu. Where you see the button or toggle for the feature, enable it if it is not already enabled. Once enabled, it works in the background like regular RAM. You might need to restart your smartphone after enabling it, and then all you need is to simply continue using your smartphone as usual. That’s it.

Smartphone Brands with Extended RAM for Android Smartphones

The following Android smartphone brands all now provide expandable, extended, or virtual RAM for some of their models:

  • Vivo phones (called Extended RAM)
  • OPPO phones (called Memory Expansion Technology)
  • Xiaomi/Redmi/POCO phones (called Memory Expansion)
  • Samsung Galaxy phones (called RAM Plus)
  • TECNO phones (called Memory Fusion)
  • Realme phones (called Dynamic RAM Expansion)

Examples of Phones with Virtual RAM

Vivo was the first mainstream phone maker to produce smartphone with Extended or 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 virtual 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 extended RAM. TECNO has an increasing number of smartphones with Extended RAM. They include: Phantom X, TECNO Canon 18 Premier, and TECNO Spark 8C.

Does Xiaomi have Virtual RAM?

Xiaomi has implemented virtual RAM in some recent smartphones. It is called Memory Extension in MIUI.

Does MIUI 12.5 have extended RAM?

Extended or virtual RAM has been implemented in MIUI, including version 12.5, 13, and upwards.

Do TECNO phones have Virtual RAM?

Yes; newer TECNO smartphones have extended RAM, and it is called Memory Fusion. For example, it extends the memory in TECNO Camon 18 Premier from 8 GB built-in to 13 GB total.

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 RAM expansion. The company is planning to introduce it in more smartphones via MIUI 13.

Do Samsung phones have Virtual RAM?

Samsung has introduced the feature, which it calls RAM Plus, in some of its newer Android smartphone models, from Galaxy A52s, A72, and S21 upwards.

Extended, expandable, or virtual RAM in mobile phones is a cool innovation, and we look forward to seeing more mobile phones with the feature.

References

  1. OPPO: source.

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