New memory will boost speed and battery life in 2020 flagship phones

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Some 2020 flagship phones will get a significant extra boost to both their speed and battery life. It will not come from the new Qualcomm Snapdragon or Apple Bionic processors but the new type of memory these devices will pack: LPDDR5 RAM.

As posted in the Chinese social network Weibo and reported by Gizmochina, LPDDR5 RAM will probably reach the hands of the consumers as soon as this month in the Xiaomi Mi 10 and MI 10 Pro:

(Image credit: Micron)

Xiaomi is supposed to announce the new Mi 10 line in a Thursday, February 13 streamed event which will be closed to the public because of the Wuhan’s coronavirus. The company has confirmed the flagship will use LPDDR5, touting its ‘faster performance and lower power consumption’ advantages.

What does this mean to you?

L(ow)P(ower)DDR5 is twice as fast as LPDDR4 and 20% faster than LPDDR4X in general, and 50% faster in read speeds. It’s also more energy efficient than the previous standard, consuming 20% less power.

For you this means a much faster phone and more functionality. In general, the system will room much faster. According to Micron, this RAM can handle more than 100 apps running simultaneously without breaking a sweat. 

Power—hungry apps like high performance games and 4K/8K video editing will be faster and more fluid. LPDDR5 will also allow for complex Augmented Reality games, which are heavy users of RAM bandwidth. Artificial intelligence processing, which also requires access to massive amounts of RAM using the highest possible bandwidths, will also benefit from these new memory chips.

More importantly, this type of RAM is a requirement for 100MP+ image processing, according to Micron. And we know that the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro and the Galaxy S20 Ultra both will have 108MP sensors.

As for the battery life, according to Micron, using LPDDR5 RAM will extend it by 5 to 10 percent.

Samsung will use LPDDR5 in the S20 line too

After not fulfilling previous LPDDR5 RAM rumors in the S10, the Samsung Galaxy S20 will allegedly have 12GB of these low power, high speed memory chips across the entire line — at least according to Samsung masterleakster Ice Universe.

We still don’t know if Xiaomi or Samsung will claim the “first!” title as there’s no definitive dates about when these two phones are going to reach the hands of consumers. While Micron claims that it has just started mass production of the “world’s first low-power LPDDR5 DRAM chip”, the rumor is that Samsung Galaxy S20 will probably start shipping by March 6. 

We will know for sure next week, when both Samsung and Xiaomi hold their respective flagship events.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.