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Here’s why iPhone with 1GB RAM performs better than Android with more than 2GB RAM


When Apple announced its newest iPhone 6 models, the 1GB RAM became a laughing stock, given that many rival Android smartphones pack in around 2GB to 3GB RAM. Ever wondered why Apple hasn’t gone beyond 1GB RAM, while OEMs keep increasing the RAM packed into Android device to increase efficiency?

With Android, the logic is that the higher the RAM, the better the device’s capability at handling apps and services.  However, we don’t see a laggy performance with the new iPhones even with 1GB of RAM. On the contrary, it has even proven superior performance to some other Android devices with 2GB RAM or more. For the curious ones, the mystery is solved.

Now, Glyn Williams has explained on Quora that iOS devices beat Android devices with even double the RAM,  simply because Android uses Java and needs all the additional RAM for something known as ‘garbage collection’.


The above diagram by Williams shows garbage collectors can be ridiculously fast with four to eight times the free space, but memory constraint can restrict the performance.

Garbage collection is basically a process that starts recycling memory once an Android app is closed.

However, it requires almost four to eight times the memory you are actually using to get this job done quickly. If there is enough memory, the device will come across super-fast, but if multiple apps are running at the same time, the process slows down and eventually your device performs slower.

In other words, you need four to eight times more memory than you are actually using to be super efficient, and that’s why Android devices perform better with more RAM. On the other hand, Apple’s iOS doesn’t require these garbage collectors and so the devices manage to perform as well as or even better than Android devices running 2GB or more RAM.

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