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How’s it like to live with 1GB RAM Android smartphone

To give you a background on what you’re about to read, I’m writing this after a month of owning an Android smartphone with just 1GB of RAM — specifically a Moto E (2nd Gen). It was a personal decision to go back to the basics of smartphone that’s affordable but can perform well in telephony. I know it’s not as basic as cheaper handsets but I hope you get my point.

As we know, Google’s smartphone operating system can be a resource hog at times. In order to smoothly run things on your Android device, it should at least have 2GB of RAM or if you can, go for those with up to 4GB. I just do basic tasks and use key apps on my phone, not really into mobile gaming that much since I have a tablet for that.


Moto E (2nd Gen) average memory used reaches 100% per day

So, how am I holding up? Here’s what I have learned.


You can’t do much without slowing down

In terms of general performance, I really don’t have any major complaint. Transitions and scrolling have been smooth thanks to the optimization of Android 6.0 Marshmallow to the smartphone. The lack of bloatware from Motorola helps too. But, once I am already doing some task that needs different apps open like Facebook, Twitter, and Inbox, I can feel the chokepoint or the limit of my phone’s memory. Switching between apps is not as easy as it seems. Also, using the phone throughout half of the day will cause it to imply a message of “slow down, please” or a more peevish thought of “I am not made for this”.

It gives you a lesson about patience

If there’s one thing that you should possess when it comes to owning such devices, it’s patience. While the sluggish performance of the smartphone, when pushed to its diminutive limit, does give me a headache especially when the task needs to be done promptly, i.e. immediate need to contact, it helps me lengthen my patience. Why? First, I have to live up to my stingy decision about my purchase. And second, being impatient about it will not speed up the phone, right?

It helps you disconnect and do more

As a result of slow loading times, limited open apps, and low expectation from what I can do with my phone, i put it down on the desk often and do things differently. I’ve always been a smartphone-centric person to accomplish a task, with the aid of a laptop for some typing, of course, so seeing my phone spending more time on the table rather than on my hand is a good thing. No more “puro ka nalang cellphone” remarks from friends and colleagues. Also, it helped me sleep better at night since I don’t use my phone for long before bedtime.


Closing recent apps or using memory managers can help ease the memory pain

Before, having an Android with 1GB RAM is something to brag about but now, it became a chore to handle every day. What more if you have a 512MB RAM with today’s super budget devices meeting the 2016 phase of smartphone usage? So, the real lesson here is this: 2GB RAM for Android should be the mandatory minimum for smartphones. Period.

This article was contributed by Daniel Morial, a film school graduate and technology enthusiast. He's the geeky encyclopedia and salesman among his friends for anything tech.

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20 Responses

  1. XY says:

    Using a LG L60 Dual(512MB RAM) from my Father’s postpaid plan which already expired, and yes you’ll learn patience. I think I almost throw this phone more than a dozen times coz of slowdown. You’ll learn to relax and take a deep breath while using this phone.

  2. simultaneous says:

    hey daniel, can i ask you something? i’m using moto e also. does your moto have a case and tempered glass? thanks..

  3. 3gb should be the least though

  4. Sean says:

    How’s it like to live with 1GB RAM Windows 8.1/10 smartphone?

    Easy, no probs. HAHAHAHA

    • Phil says:

      Same here, no probs as long as not gaming. Using Cherry Mobile Alpha Luxe (Win 8.1 Phone). If anything, I’m actually impressed at how smooth it is and the camera quality. I hate the keyboard though x.x

    • Make that 512MB for 8.1.

  5. Marcos says:

    diko alam anu ginagawa nyo sa celfone nyo, sa akin ok na ok 1gb ram

  6. kike says:

    I’m using a xiaomi redmi 1s and having 1GB RAM has never been an issue for me. It run smoothly like with a lubricant on.

  7. Well, in 2016… Budget phones that are 3K beow are acceptable to have 1gb RAM given the price

  8. Batousai says:

    Gamit ko huawei g610…ang masasav ko smoth xa sa game asphalt walang lag at smooth di gaya ng iba 2gb ram pero lag…

  9. jcode2016 says:

    yung problema ng article, ang basis is coming from flagship phone.

    • CP says:

      Kahit naman din po first time user ka ng Android na may 1GB RAM (lang,) accurate din siya. Mabagal, titirik sa mga maliit na bagay (Facebook nga lang nagha-hang, paano pa kung maglalaro na ng Goat Simulator o Asphalt?)

      The fact of the matter is, KAILANGAN ng 2+ GB RAM ang Android. Inefficient ang Linux base nila eh…

  10. sadasd says:

    for 3 years I still living in a 1 gb ram quadcore phone and I’m not having that big slowdown it depends if you know how to utilize your apps

  11. I’m still using my Samsung Galaxy J1 (old version) and yes, it makes me cringe whenever my friend takes selfies and it forces close without a notice. I really hate it whenever I was calling my mom and it freezes. I really hate this phone (because someone snached my CMOI) but because my mom bought it for me, I realized that taking care of this phone is better than buying a better one without a budget.

  12. Paul says:

    ako tinaggal ko lang FB app at messenger app tapos na ang problema ko sa ram apti battery

  13. The Emancipation of Elusive Chanteuse says:

    Primary phone ko eh ang Cherry Mobile Pulse pero naknang 1.7 octa nga pero 2k mah lang ang batt pero 1gb RAM at ang gamit ko na secondary phone etong Samsung Galaxy V na 512MB RAM lang at dito ako nagbubukas pag nagbabasa ako dito sa Yugatech at natambakan ako na babasahin so binuksan ko lahat ng articles sabay-sabay at umabot ng 60 tabs ata at ok naman. 512MB RAM lang to ha pero kaya nya yung 60 tabs na nakaopen ng sabay-sabay. :)

  14. tonythexplorer says:

    Well, kung 1GB lang naman ang ram e makuntento ka na sa fb, insta and other social apps and games na optimize or can run smoothly throughout the game. Kung gamer ka at 1GB lang, wag kang magdownload ng games na 3D kasi super lag na yan. Some 3d or heavy games will open but when you reach up to level 10, hung na ang device.

  15. DisagreeingWithTaskKillerAsAnDeveloper says:

    Heck no, never use ram killers, it will eat your CPU cycles up, and use their web version of the following apps (Facebook & Twitter for chrome works fine, maybe tinfoils for them.)

  16. deuts says:

    Remember the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are just 1GB RAM phones. #justsaying

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