While Android users are swimming in devices with 2GB of memory, and most iPhone users not being far behind when it comes to RAM, Microsoft’s mobile platform does a dandy job at 512MB of memory.
Most new flagship Windows Phone 8 devices now come with 1GB of memory, but there is still a major portion of users that are still using devices with half the amount of memory. Two of Nokia’s latest affordable smartphones, the Lumia 520 and the brand new Lumia 625 make do with 512MB of RAM.
But does this seemingly limited amount of memory lead to a subpar experience?
The short answer to this is no.
Considering just how optimized the Windows Phone platform is, smartphones that have 512MB memory have little to no performance issues. Gaming is one area where this low amount of RAM creates some hiccups, but the overwhelming majority of apps run fine on 512MB devices.
In fact, All About Windows Phone, a community website that covers Microsoft’s mobile platform has done a bit of work in this regard recently in order to track how many Windows Phone apps are incompatible with 512MB smartphones.
And the results are quite reassuring. Out of almost 150,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store, only 331 have been found to be incompatible with low-end handsets — translating to a 99.76 percent compatibility rate.
Games, as expected, make up the bulk of this list. But even then, only 0.36 percent of games are said to be incompatible with smartphones with 512MB of memory.
Sure, there are several popular AAA titles that require higher amounts of memory. Games like N.O.V.A 3, Mass Effect: Infiltrator, and the just launched Halo: Spartan Assault. But several of them receive updates down the line that makes them compatible with low-end devices.
Temple Run recently got such an update, and Halo: Spartan Assault is set to get one next month.
But on the whole, if you have been thinking about getting an affordable Windows Phone 8 device, one with 512MB of memory, there is not much to worry about when it comes to operating system performance — Windows Phone 8 runs smoothly, as do the majority of the apps.