The power and versatility of smartphones have probably made people take for granted the fact that, unlike even laptops, they are stuck with the hardware they bought for as long as the phone lasts. With OEMs slowly phasing out microSD card slots on higher-end phones, even data storage is no longer expandable. That said, those same manufacturers are now coming up with ways to expand a phone’s RAM, and Samsung is the latest to join that train by quietly pushed a new feature that adds 4GB more RAM to a 6GB RAM mid-range phone.
To be clear, you can’t just simply download more RAM to your phone, and you should probably steer clear of any third-party app that promises to do just that. Some users might be a bit confused and presume that’s the case because this RAM Plus feature magically appeared after Samsung pushed a firmware update to the Galaxy A52s 5G. What Samsung is using, however, is a technique that has long been available on desktop operating systems and is being embraced by the likes of OPPO, Vivo, ASUS, and, soon, Xiaomi.
This RAM Plus feature is just another manufacturer-specific marketing name for what has long been called virtual RAM on older platforms. The idea is that it allocates a certain portion of internal storage to be used as more RAM for applications and the operating system itself to use.
That’s exactly what Samsung has done for the Galaxy A52s 5G, giving the phone an additional 4GB of RAM for a total of 10GB or 12GB, depending on which model you have. This is a rather sweet upgrade that goes hand-in-hand with the phone’s slightly more powerful Snapdragon 778G processor designed and tweaked for gaming. Of course, even UFS 3.1 internal storage is significantly slower than the LPDDR RAM used in smartphones, so do expect some performance hits when that expanded RAM is in use.
Given how virtual RAM needs to be integrated deeply into the OS, it should be clear that such a feature can’t easily be provided by a third-party app that doesn’t have such system-level access. Hopefully, this is just the start of Samsung deploying RAM Plus to all its phones. Even better if Android itself eventually adopts this virtual RAM model for all OEMs to use.