Android phones could surpass iPhone 16 in AI with this key upgrade

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

Android phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip could beat the iPhone 16 Pro when it comes to AI thanks to a new type of RAM.

Korean site Ajunews (via Wccftech) reports that the 8 Gen 4 could be the first smartphone chip to use LPDDR6 RAM, an upcoming memory standard. This will supposedly benefit from a higher data bandwidth compared to current LPDDR5, LPDDR5X and LPDDR5T standards, a key factor holding back on-device AI processing right now.

Per Ajunews' reporting, the semiconductor industry is finalizing the LPDDR6 standard, with a plan to announce it this fall. Samsung and SK Hynix are reportedly the most likely to be the first to launch chips using the new standard.

It's possible that we could be waiting for LPDDR6 to appear on chips until 2025, the report continues. However, there's a chance for the next-gen Snapdragon chip to get there first, while Apple's A18 Pro chipset will apparently miss out, using LPDDR5 instead. That's hardly going to be outdated by the end of this year, but it may not be the best option on the market by that point.

A genuine RAM advantage

Android phones have already had a technical RAM advantage over iPhones by simply having more of it in most cases. But because of the different ways that Snapdragon and Apple's A series chips are built and function, Apple can get away with using less RAM due to the way it tunes its silicon. However, the enhanced RAM speed supposedly promised by LPDDR6 could be a new factor that could impact multitasking, running demanding games, AI features or other apps.

A lot of AI features on phones right now, like the Samsung Galaxy S24 series' Galaxy AI, rely on cloud processing, requiring an internet connection to work. Being able to offload more of this to the device's own processor would make the features much more flexible and private, two things no user would complain about having.

We assume that phones like the Galaxy S25 series, OnePlus 13 and other 2025 flagship Android phones will adopt the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, and therefore LPDDR6 RAM. The chip itself will likely debut this fall, with the first phones appearing by the end of the year.

Going by alleged benchmarks, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 could outperform the A18 Pro with its CPU too. But we'll have to wait for both Gen 4-powered Android phones and the iPhone 16 Pro to arrive in our lab for testing before we know for sure.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.