Samsung Galaxy S24 leak claims rumored 16GB RAM upgrade isn't happening after all

Phone Arena renders of the four rumored colors for the S24 Ultra
(Image credit: Phone Arena)

The Samsung Galaxy S range has stuck to 8GB and 12GB RAM for some time, most recently seeing a shift when the S22 Ultra ditched its 16GB model. 

It seemed that 2024 was set to be an upgrade year for Samsung with 12 and 16GB units mooted, but a reliable leaker has just poured cold water on that idea and it now appears the Galaxy S24 will have a more familiar looking RAM profile.

In a post on X, the leaker Ice Universe claimed that only the Galaxy S24 Plus would benefit from an optional RAM upgrade, with 8 and 12GB models available. The S23 Plus can only be purchased with 8GB. 

The Galaxy S24 Ultra will persist with 8GB or 12 GB variants, and the regular S24 will remain 8GB only. “16GB does not exist,” he concluded.

That’s no doubt disappointing to those hoping for an upgrade from Samsung next year, especially with OnePlus tipped to be revealing a 24GB handset in a matter of days, but does anybody really need more than 12GB RAM in a smartphone at the moment?

Does phone RAM really matter?

The question of how much RAM your smartphone needs is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is. The answer really depends on what you’re doing with it, because some apps are simply more RAM-hungry than others.

Although, it’s worth noting that Samsung has a mobile phone buying guide on its U.K. site that suggests “at least 16GB” for an “uninterrupted, speedy and high-quality gaming experience.” Awkward, given Samsung hasn’t made a 16GB smartphone since the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Though frankly the whole page is a bit of a mystery, seemingly to conflate high-end PC gaming with smartphone apps (it suggests 32GB plus for large adventure games, and we’ve never seen a handset with more than 24GB. It’s cached here for posterity, just in case it’s taken down.) 

Fortunately for Samsung, 16GB still feels like wasted capacity on smartphones. Android Authority has long been conducting tests to try and assess what quantity of RAM makes a difference on Android. Its conclusion? 6GB as a minimum, 8GB for most users, but with some benefit to upgrading to 12GB if you can afford it. “At this time, 16GB RAM seems to be nothing more than just bragging rights,” the site concludes.

That puts Samsung right in the sweet spot with its S24 range. And while optically it doesn’t look great to leave this key spec largely unchanged for the fourth year on the bounce, if it really is just for bragging rights, then why not let the reviews do the talking in a few months’ time?

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Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.