Asus sets record for most RAM in a phone with 8GB model

Gelo Gonzales
Asus sets record for most RAM in a phone with 8GB model
The Asus Zenfone AR phone uses Google's new augmented reality and virtual reality platforms, thus the need for that amount of RAM

MANILA, Philippines – Taiwanese tech giant Asus set a new high for the amount of random access memory (RAM) in a smartphone with the Asus Zenfone AR. The phone, which was officially unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017), comes with 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, the highest ever for a smartphone. 

The highest amount for smartphones was previously 6GB, found in models such as the LeEco Le Max 2, Xiaomi Mi Note 2, and the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe. Many of the 6GB phones started coming out in mid-2016. A rumored 8GB phone from LeEco made the rounds in mid-2016 too but hasn’t materialized.

The 6GB configuration, however, hasn’t reached mass adoption in flagships; even the Google Pixel, the iPhone 7, and the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 had less than 6GB. In general, the more RAM, the more data a phone’s system can transport and process at a given time. But at the moment, 4GB is adequate even for power users, the extra 2GB being somewhat unecessary. 

So why the need for an 8GB model? The Zenfone AR justifies that with its adoption of new and demanding mobile virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies from Google. It’s ready for Daydream, Google’s next-generation virtual reality platform, and Daydream apps. It’s also ready for Google Tango, a next-generation suite of augmented reality technologies.

WORLD'S FIRST. The AR needs the RAM to produce smooth AR and VR experiences.
Screengrab from Asus/YouTube

Asus said it worked closely with Google in order to “deliver the best Tango and Daydream experiences” – a goal that will surely be helped along by having 8GB of RAM. To make Tango work, Asus uses a new TriCam system, consisting of a 23-megapixel (MP) main camera, motion-tracking camera, and depth-sensing camera  – all of which could slow down a phone with weak specs. 

Rounding out the Zenfone AR’s specs are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor optimized for Tango, a 5.7-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) Super AMOLED display, and a Daydream-optimized speaker system.

It also has a 3,300-mAh battery, 32GB to 256GB of storage, and microSD support for up to 2 terabytes (TB). It will ship with a version of Android 7.0 Nougat, and is expected to arrive in mid-2017.

No price has been announced. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.