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The best phones with 16GB of RAM

Get your multi-tasking on with any of these!
By
January 21, 2023
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Silver slate
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Some want the best screen, and others want the best camera system. Many will value battery life or something like performance. But those who want the ultimate multi-tasking performance will want to get a phone with the most RAM possible. Right now, the race is mainly led by phones with 16GB of RAM, and we’ve put together a list of the best ones available. Let’s learn more about RAM and look at the options to find your next multi-tasking beast.

How much RAM do you really need?

First things first, you have to wonder if you even need a phone with 16GB of RAM. In all honesty, we feel like it might be a bit overkill to get that much RAM on a smartphone. In 2019, we went deep into the topic and concluded that 6GB to 8GB was the sweet spot. Anything above that made no difference back then. Have things changed in a few years?

We ran a poll in August 2021 asking people what they thought was a good amount of RAM to use in a smartphone. The #1 answer was 8GB, with 31.7% of the votes. 6GB was the second most popular option, accounting for 25.97% of the votes. Does this mean phones with 16GB of RAM have too much random access memory? You likely won’t notice a difference in performance once you go past 10GB or 12GB of RAM.

More: How much RAM does your Android phone need in 2022?

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for one of the best phones with 16GB of RAM. It’s always a good idea to future-proof yourself, especially if you’re planning to keep a phone for years to come. Standards and resource needs evolve, so maybe 16GB of RAM won’t be considered much when apps ask for more memory resources.

We must also consider that if a phone has 16GB of RAM, it’s also likely an excellent high-end device with great specs and features in other departments. We suppose that might be the best way to go about your decision. While having 16GB of RAM is fantastic, you probably shouldn’t buy a phone for that reason alone. Make sure the rest of the phone is also excellent. That’s why we’re here to help you find the best ones.

The best phones with 16GB of RAM

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best phones with 16GB of RAM, as new devices launch and older ones are phased out.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Silver back - Phones with 16GB of RAM
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re looking for one of the best phones with 16GB of RAM, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is likely one of your safest bets. It’s getting older now, but it has all that RAM you’re looking for, and it’s still competent. Its specs, design, and features are stunning, and because it’s a Samsung device, it will likely hold its value better than the rest on this list if you ever want to sell it.

You’ll have to get the most expensive version of the device to benefit from 16GB of RAM. That means you’ll also get 512GB of internal storage. Other specs include a large 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a powerful processor, a quad-camera set-up that’s known to take amazing photos, and a sizeable 5,000mAh battery.

Not only that, but the phone is part of Samsung’s premium line-up. It’s built very well and looks gorgeous. We should mention Samsung has released the Galaxy S22 series, but those devices top off at 12GB of RAM. This is why we haven’t removed the previous iteration.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, 10, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

ASUS ZenFone 9

ASUS Zenfone 9 hero standing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The ASUS ZenFone 8 was one of the best offers for phones with 16GB of RAM, and the ASUS ZenFone 9 is following in its footsteps gracefully. There are a couple of budget versions of the device, but the higher-end model comes with plenty of power, including the 16GB of RAM.

Other specs are nothing to scoff at. Even the more affordable 8GB RAM units come with a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. You’ll also get a pocket-friendly 5.9-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Battery life is pretty good, especially for a smaller 4,300mAh unit. We also loved the audio, fingerprint reader, and camera stabilization.

We wish the phone came with wireless charging, a better camera, and more storage options, but it’s a great device if you want to save some bucks and still enjoy tip-top performance.

ASUS ZenFone 9 specs:

  • Display: 5.9-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Oppo Reno 9 Pro and 9 Pro Plus

Oppo Reno 9 Pro

Oppo is not that popular a brand in the USA, but the Chinese manufacturer knows how to make impressive devices. The Oppo Reno 9 Pro and 9 Pro Plus were launched as top-notch handsets with little to no sacrifices. Additionally, both come with 16GB of RAM.

The devices have few differences, otherwise. The Oppo Reno 9 Pro comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Max chipset, while the Oppo Reno 9 Pro Plus upgrades to a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. The Pro Plus also sports a slightly larger 4,700mAh battery, as opposed to the 4,500mAh battery on the Pro. The Pro Plus iteration also comes with an added 2MP depth sensor.

These devices are hard to find in the USA, but they can be imported, and are actually relatively affordable.

Oppo Reno 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50 and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 13

Oppo Reno 9 Pro Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,700mAh
  • Software: Android 13

ASUS ROG Phone 6D and 6D Ultimate

ASUS ROG Phone 6D Ultimate in hand
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

ASUS seems to lead the way in the world of gaming smartphones, so it’s no surprise to see them launching phones with 16GB of RAM. The ASUS ROG Phone 6D and 6D Ultimate are beastly phones. Both come with a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chipset, a massive 6,000mAh battery, 65W charging, a triple-camera system, and a large 165Hz AMOLED display.

Of course, you also get the gaming looks we’re used to seeing in ASUS’ other gaming devices. It also has some gaming-specific improvements, including shoulder triggers, the ASUS Armoury Crate app, and a fancy rear display for those gaming looks we all love showing off. If that’s not enough, the phone comes with an in-built-in motorized cooling vent. If that’s not enough for you, getting an external fan for added cooling is possible.

Needless to say, these are among the best phones with 16GB of RAM. There’s also a 12GB version of the ASUS ROG Phone 6D, though.

ASUS ROG Phone 6D specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 9000+
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

ASUS ROG Phone 6D Ultimate specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 9000+
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro

Here’s another gaming phone from Xiaomi’s Black Shark brand, which promises high performance while keeping prices slightly lower than the competition. These are some impressive handsets, after all.

The Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro cuts no corners, making it one of the best phones with 16GB of RAM. Specs include a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a triple camera set-up, a 6.67-inch 144HZ OLED display, and a 4,650mAh battery with 120W charging. Xiaomi claims the phone can charge from 0 to 100% in 15 minutes.

Quite the phone, right?

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,650mAh
  • Software: Android 12

nubia Red Magic 8 Pro series

Redmagic 8 Pro back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you are looking for some serious gaming hardware, you should consider the Red Magic 8 Pro or 8 Pro Plus. These are some of the best phones with 16GB of RAM, but you can get them with as little as 8GB/12GB.

These phones pack a punch. Both have Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipsets. There’s also a 6.8-inch 120Hz display, a triple camera set-up, large batteries, and super fast charging. The Red Magic 8 Pro can juice up at up to 80W, while the Pro Plus version tops off at an insane 165W.

Of course, you also get gaming-specific features, such as shoulder triggers, integrated air cooling, and a gaming design we know many of you will love.

nubia Red Magic 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, 1,116 x 2,480
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 13

nubia Red Magic 8 Pro Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, 1,116 x 2,480
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 256/512/1,024GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 13

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra face down with mug - Phones with 16GB of RAM
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Are you tired of all the gaming phones? If so, let’s move back to more traditional handsets with elegant designs and great specs. The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra deserves a spot in this list of the best phones with 16GB of RAM. It comes with a healthy spec sheet and a gorgeous design worthy of competing with the best.

Inside, you’ll find a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a capable triple-camera system, and an excellent 5,000mAh battery. The display measures 6.8 inches and features AMOLED technology and an excellent 120Hz refresh rate. More importantly, it’s a phone you won’t be ashamed to pull out during an important work meeting.

Again, the only bad news is you have to get the most expensive version to enjoy 16GB of RAM. But you also get 1TB of storage thrown in. That should be enough for all the apps you’ll be using simultaneously.

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, 1116 x 2480
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256//512/1,024GB
  • Cameras: 64, 64, and 64MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

OnePlus 10T

OnePlus 10T rear on a coffee table with some plectrums - Phones with 16GB of RAM
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 10T is a bit of an oddball, but it’s still one of the best phones with 16GB of RAM. The device has an upgraded Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. The higher-end variant comes with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The 6.7-inch AMOLED display is outstanding, performance is top-notch, and the 4,800mAh battery provides all-day usage. This is still considered a value device, so some sacrifices had to be made.

The OnePlus 10T is missing wireless charging, has underwhelming cameras, only comes with an IP54 rating (in the USA), and has pretty bad speakers. The price is also very low for a device of this caliber.

OnePlus 10T specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 12

FAQs

As mentioned earlier in the article, RAM mainly affects multi-tasking performance. It can also be important when performing resource-intensive tasks, like gaming. That said, having too much RAM likely won’t make a noticeable difference for most common users. You’ll only notice a difference when giving your smartphone heavy use, or using too many apps at once.

So far, the phones with the most RAM we have seen have 18GB. Some of the most important ones include the ASUS ROG Phone 6D series, Red Magic 8 Pro series, Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro, and the Lenovo Legion Y90.

How much RAM you need on a smartphone depends on your needs, but most experts agree that 12 GB is the sweet spot. You won’t notice much of a difference above that.


Have you realized 16GB of RAM is too much? We also have listed our favorite smartphones with 6GB, 8GB, 10GB, and 12GB of RAM. Check them out if you want to get something a bit more reasonable. Additionally, you should probably stop worrying so much about RAM and look at our list of the very best Android phones. All of them will have enough for most users.