Lenovo is the first company to announce a smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 processor, but odds are that we’ll see a bunch of flagship phones with that chip next year.

What really sets the new Lenovo Z5 Pro GT apart is that it will also likely be also the first phone to feature support for up to 12GB of RAM when it starts shipping in January.

That’s three times more memory than you’ll find in a Google Pixel 3 and fifty percent more than you get with a Razer Phone 2.

We have seen a handful of 10GB phones from Xiaomi, Nubia, and OnePlus — notably all Chinese companies. But Lenovo is the first to go beyond that. Why? Honestly… probably just for bragging rights.

While additional RAM generally helps with things like multitasking and resource-intensive games and other applications, there aren’t really any Android applications that need that much memory and phones with substantially less memory already handle multitasking like a champ. Increasing the RAM, meanwhile, could take a small toll on battery life.

Anyway, the rest of the phone’s specs look pretty decent. The Z5 Pro GT features a 6.4 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, 16MP + 24MP rear cameras, 16MP + 8MP front cameras, an in-display fingerprint sensor, USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC support, and support for up to 512GB of storage.

The front cameras, by the way, are hidden behind the screen. The phone has a slider-style design that has you pull the screen down to reveal the selfie cameras.

The phone goes up for pre-order on January 15th and it will come in a few different configurations:

  • 6GB/128GB for $390
  • 8GB/256GB for $500
  • 12GB/512GB for $650

The Z5 Pro GT joins the existing Z5 Pro in Lenovo’s smartphone lineup — that phone has a similar design but it’s a cheaper model that’s powered by a Snapdragon 710 processor, has “just” 6GB of RAM, and comes with 64GB or 128GB of storage.

Lenovo is also introducing a new budget model called the Lenovo Z5s, which has a waterdrop-style notch in the display, three rear cameras, a Snapdragon 710 processor, and support for up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Z5s goes up for pre-order in China today and ships December 24th. Prices range from about $200 for a 4GB/64GB version to $290 for a 6GB/128GB model.

It’s unlikely that any of these phones will widely available outside of China. They have limited support for US wireless networks, and Lenovo tends to sell phones internationally under the Motorola name (the company acquired Motorola from Google about four years ago).

via GSM Arena and Lenovo Mobile (weibo)

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11 replies on “Lenovo put 12GB of RAM in a phone because… why not?”

  1. Can it run Windows?

    That’s gonna be my go-to from now on when I see this ludicrously useless spec for a phone.

  2. So now that new OnePlus 6t-McLaren is basically unusable… thanks Lenovo!

  3. Why don’t they just add Page Filing (virtual memory) support for android, and just add an extra 8gb eMMC module dedicated to that?

    Basically, the need for more RAM in Android is fueled by Android’s decision to not use virtual memory to save exact states of Apps when it runs out of RAM.

    Android sends an alert to the app being terminated, and allows it to save critical data, but this doesn’t provide a seamless experience, and not all apps do this.

    Their reason for doing this instead of saving the exact state of the app (seemlessly bringing you back as if nothing happened) is likely because it would be lots of wear and tear, and emmc only supported a limited number of writes.

    However, now that we’re adding so much more RAM that it is accounting for an extra $20-50 of a phone’s BOM, I think it’s time to reevaluate.

    A $5 8gb eMMC module could be dedicated to virtual memory, and since it will be its sole purpose, it doesn’t entirely matter if that module reaches the end of its lifespan, as its not integral to the operation of the device.

    1. Sounds like a good idea, however, iPhones do this and they have decent SSD storage inside.

      Android devices with Snapdragon 635 (or lower) represent around 80% of the market (<US$200). And so a US$8 is a lot of money to throw at it. However, I see no reason why the likes of Nokia 7, Xiaomi Mi/Mix, OnePlus, LG, Samsung, Huawei higher-end models don't do this. Those could afford to upgrade the module, like iPhones, in order to make App transitions faster.

      Unfortunately, this requires Google to do some legwork, and they've grown rather incompetent of lately, so it won't come anytime soon.

      1. The last time I was familiar with this aspect of iOS, they also did not do this. They have a similar concept to Android: when you run out of RAM, the app can nominate some data to be saved, and if the app designer is willing, they can design the app to relaunch the saved data to make it appear seamless, but the OS does not save the entire “app state”.

        Also, iphones don’t have SSD storage. They use the same eMMC flash storage that Android devices use.

  4. Bet it will still lag with more than 2 apps open at the same time. Android sucks at that…

  5. I wish there was a way to re-purpose old phones into Linux machines considering how much ram and internal storage the last couple of years’ crop has and that they become obsolete once the manufacturer stops pushing updates. Unfortunately, flashing a linux destro and getting the drivers is nearly impossible.

  6. the phone will be obsolete before 12GB is useful… but when you cannot make a better camera than competitors, add more ram (like one+)

  7. What needs remembering s it is phones that have pushed arm CPU the most. Large memory ability is a investment in the future.

  8. Some of us want to run Slack on our smartphone. What’s wrong with that?

Comments are closed.