Chinese Android phone makers have been known for heavily modifying Android user experiences, but they have been less aggressive about those changes in recent years. Of course, they still have modified systems and custom apps, but, admittedly, some of those bring true value on top of vanilla Android. One of the most recent trends among these companies is extending RAM capacity by appropriating data storage (ROM) space. This RAM Expansion technology is coming to some of OPPO’s phones, like the flagship Reno 5 series, but only in select markets.
We first heard about this RAM extension strategy when Vivo introduced its new OriginOS late last year. The technology eventually made its way even to international Vivo phones running Funtouch OS, like the Vivo X60 Pro we reviewed last March. Models with 8GB of RAM ended up with 11GB, while those that started out with 12GB had a total of 15GB of memory to play with.
OPPO is taking that one step further by allowing owners of certain phones to add up to 7GB of RAM. All that users need to do once the update is available is to make a simple change in the phone’s settings. Without going into details, the company says there will be three levels of adjustment available hinting users can select how much RAM they want to be added.
They will most likely want to manage that, considering the feature doesn’t exactly come for free. RAM+, as OPPO calls it, doesn’t get more RAM out of thin air but actually utilizes a portion of the phone’s internal storage to be used as additional RAM. The more extended RAM you set, the less room there will be to actually store your data.
RAM Extension does come with the benefit of having more space for running apps to use, thereby increasing a phone’s multitasking capabilities. It isn’t exactly new technology, though, even if it’s new to Android users’ ears. It is similar to Windows’ virtual memory and Linux’s swap, and more seasoned users on those platforms can testify about the performance implications of keeping RAM data on slower flash memory.
Still, it’s a feature that OPPO phone owners will most likely appreciate, especially since they’re being given the freedom to choose whether to use it or not. RAM+ will be available on the Reno 5 series, the OPPO A94, and the OPPO A74 starting June this year. The only catch is that it is being rolled out to the Middle East and Africa first, with no word on wider expansion to global markets.