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You told us: Most of you don't use virtual/extended RAM on your phone

A fair amount of readers don't actually know if they have the feature on their phones.
By
April 19, 2022
Vivo X60 Pro Plus extended RAM 1
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The virtual or extended RAM feature has been available as an option on smartphones for a while now, using a portion of your storage as virtual memory of sorts. Some of the more prominent manufacturers offering this feature include OnePlus, Oppo, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

Is this something you actually use, though? That’s what we asked in our standalone poll article last week, and here are the results of that survey.

Do you use virtual/extended RAM on your phone?

Results

More than 7,200 votes were tallied in this poll, making for a massive sample size in the process. It turns out that 44% of respondents said they didn’t use the extended RAM feature on their phones, making it the most popular option.

We can see why some people wouldn’t use the option, as storage is much slower than RAM. So you might not see any noticeable performance benefit by enabling extended RAM. Another reason mentioned in the comments is that some surveyed readers simply don’t have the option on their phone (e.g. Pixel phones).

More reading: Virtual memory explained — How Android keeps your apps running smoothly

Meanwhile, 31% of polled readers said they do indeed use extended RAM on their devices. Some respondents in the comments noted that their Samsung phones enable the feature by default and only allow you to tweak the size of the extended RAM (e.g. 2GB, 4GB, etc) rather than turning it off completely.

Finally, 25% of surveyed users said they didn’t know whether they used extended RAM or not. This suggests that the feature is either buried for many users or that it wasn’t important enough for some people to make the effort and find.

Comments

  • Yaqoob Jamal: I use it at 8gb capacity, my phone does feel faster but also could just be a placebo effect. I wouldn’t swear by it
  • Debra RightIntwo Boykin: Apparently I do. No idea until I checked. Sitting at 4gb. Note 20 Ultra 5g on One UI 4.1
  • roaduardo: I can’t imagine what would happen during my normal day to day use of my mobile phone where I’d need to use something like this. Where I’d be low on RAM at all?
  • Raymond Marx: How would you know if you were or not?!?
  • BobBob: It’s on by default for some phones and you can’t easily disable it, so not sure what sort of responses you were expecting.
  • HelloThere: Why not? It doesn’t affect me in any way if I use it.
  • Lcd1701: Seriously though, why use it on any phone as an actual optional extended mode? Transfer rate is what, about 3GB/s max even for UFS 3.1? What’s the point when lpddr5 can reach up to 51.2GB/s (per Samsung’s page on lpddr5)?
  • Konrad Uroda-Darłak: Enabled by default, but i don’t see any difference.
  • Brun0₂: Just realise it’s on by default on Samsung, so I change it down from 4gb to 2gb (there’s no “off” option). Will report back if I see any difference in performance.
  • Lex1020: I don’t see an option for it on the Pixel 5, which is ok because I don’t really need it anyways. I’m not doing anything all the RAM intensive so 8GB is more than enough
  • Khairul Islam: Don’t have it on my Pixel. Didn’t even know it was a thing.