Can I add more memory to my phone?

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In summary: My apps use up 5.5Gb of that. System has reserved another 6Gb. The rest is cache and images etc.If your phone has 16Mb of storage in total, you need a new phone desperately.
  • #1

DaveC426913

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I have an ASUS X008XC (AKA Zen phone) with Android. How can I put more memory in it?
I have no more room on my phone. I've purged as much data as possible - including all photos, video, etc.

When I had to install an app on my phone necessary for air travel documents, I had to delete a bunch of my favorite apps just to make room.
It's now got 1.5Gb of 1.8Gb used.

Its also very slow now.

I'm pretty ignorant of how phones manage their storage. I don't know if I can add memory to the phone on the SIM card or what.
I know I can add an SD card, but I don't know if that will give me more memory for apps, or is it just for data like photos?

It is an ASUS X00DC (AKA Zen phone) with 2Gb memory and running Android 7.0.
 
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  • #2
DaveC426913 said:
It's now got 1.5Gb of 1.8Gb used.
That phone has at least 16GB of flash memory so deleting apps won't help with this which is a RAM problem. Can you afford a couple of hundred USD on a new phone (e.g. Samsung Galaxy M12, twice as much of everything?)
 
  • #3
pbuk said:
That phone has at least 16GB of flash memory so deleting apps won't help with this which is a RAM problem.
From a user-perspective, what is flash memory that RAM isn't?
 
  • #4
Flash memory is like a hard drive on your computer. It is storage. Some storage is already in your phone. Flash memory will remember data even without power, and is much cheaper then RAM. But is is much slower than RAM, and can't actually run programs, just store them. 2 GB is a reasonable amount of RAM for an older phone to have, but 16gb is the bare minimum for storage.

If your phone is complaining about not enough RAM, then you need to quit programs that are running. Ofloading data from storage won't help. I can't help you with the details about that because I don't use Android.
 
  • #5
Algr said:
2 GB is a reasonable amount of RAM for an older phone to have, but 16gb is the bare minimum for storage.
No, I think my phone has 2Gb of Flash memory. When I need to install a new app, it tells me it's reached its limit and I need to remove some apps until it goes under 1.8Gb.
That number doesn't change no matter how many apps I have open or closed.

Not sure how much RAM it has.

It has Dual SIM capacity. One SIM card is available. It is associated with my account.
The other SIM slot is empty. Don't know what a second SIM card would do.

Update:
I just found a screen called "storage". It shows 15.4Gb used of 16Mb.

My apps use up 5.5Gb of that. System has reserved another 6Gb. The rest is cache and images etc.Unfortunately, I'm no closer to an answer as to whether I can add memory for more apps.
 
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  • #6
DaveC426913 said:
I just found a screen called "storage". It shows 15.4Gb used of 16Mb.
If your phone has 16Mb of storage in total, you need a new phone desperately.

Even my Windows 3.1 computer had more storage than 16Mb.
 
  • #7
Buying cheap is not worth the headaches. Get something quality and it will last longer and save you time and frustration.
 
  • #8
DaveC426913 said:
Update:
I just found a screen called "storage". It shows 15.4Gb used of 16MbGb.
That is your flash memory, also called "internal storage" which is where apps are installed (as opposed to RAM which is what programs that are running use). This is what you need to free up some of to install more apps.

DaveC426913 said:
My apps use up 5.5Gb of that. System has reserved another 6Gb. The rest is cache and images etc.

Unfortunately, I'm no closer to an answer as to whether I can add memory for more apps.
You can't add more memory (either flash or RAM) to a phone, but you can add external storage (also called removable storage) by inserting an SD card. You can change the settings so that the SD card is used instead of the built-in flash storage for images and some other files, and maybe some apps too. A decent 32GB microSDHC card (SanDisk, Samsung) will be the price of a couple of beers (I don't think your phone can use the newer, faster microSDXC cards, it might be worth checking that).

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobil...e-space-on-your-android-smartphone-or-tablet/ might help.

A second SIM card would let you use another mobile provider with a different phone number, it is nothing to do with storage.
 
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  • #9
pbuk said:
You can change the settings so that the SD card is used instead of the built-in flash storage for images and some other files, and maybe some apps too.
This can be done, but I should mention that not all apps will support installation on SD card. In fact, most apps will want to be installed on the device storage instead of external storage because apps which are placed in external storage are in a disadvantageous position. The app developer has the option to specify on which storage their app should be installed. By default, the option is internalOnly. There are ways to "sideload" apps to force them on external storage, but there are high chances that they will crash.
Algr said:
Buying cheap is not worth the headaches. Get something quality and it will last longer and save you time and frustration.
I second this advice.
 
  • #10
I went through this process as well. By rooting your phone and going through tedious processes, you can make the external memory be IDed as internal memory (even WhatsApp refuses to save foto's on the external location)

I bought a new phone...
 
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  • #11
One thing you can control is the memory used for images. If you upload all pictures immediately, then you can delete on-phone storage of images.
 
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  • #12
DaveC426913 said:
How can I put more memory in it?
This model phone looks to have been released in 2016, @DaveC426913, and you've noted Android v7, so I'd be more concerned about security than memory. If you're not receiving security updates, it's time for a new phone!
 
  • #13
Melbourne Guy said:
This model phone looks to have been released in 2016, @DaveC426913, and you've noted Android v7, so I'd be more concerned about security than memory. If you're not receiving security updates, it's time for a new phone!
Is 7.0 not up-to-date?
 
  • #14
If I was lucky with the googlework, then it should be an Asus Zenfone 3 Max (ZC520TL)
2GB RAM, 16GB flash
Released in 2016

By current standards, that's a very low end device if used for anything else but as a phone.
Although custom roms seems to be available (less trashware), an upgrade won't help much.

I would just get an used phone with 64G flash.
Just keep in mind that custom rom support is a good thing.
 
  • #15
DaveC426913 said:
Is 7.0 not up-to-date?
I'm taking your question at face-value, @DaveC426913, though I suspect irony, but 'no', Android v7 is well out of date!

Interestingly, being in a similar situation of considering a new phone, I note Android OEMs are increasingly noting the number of future OS versions they plan to support for that model, and often the duration of security patches.

None of them come anywhere near Apple's support, though, which I presume highlights how a vertically integrated OEM with singular control of their entire stack can plan much further ahead...and support much further behind.

And if you value personal privacy, an iPhone is the one to buy. While Apple still harvests telemetry and data, it does so in less volume than Android and offers more user control of what is harvested. Android is (slowly) catching up, but it is doubtful that sans regulation requiring them too, Google will ever dial back data harvesting in any meaningful way.
 
  • #16
Melbourne Guy said:
I'm taking your question at face-value, @DaveC426913, though I suspect irony, but 'no', Android v7 is well out of date!
No irony. It's not like I check the news to see what's the latest.
(As I've asserted about computers: "It's a tool, not a hobby".)
I just had it do a check for updates and it's still 7.0.
I take it my phone cannot be updated, otherwise it would do so.

What really toasts my ta-ta is how closely-linked my phone service is with the device I buy. One of the reasons I bought this phone is because all the others require breaking my old service commitment and starting a new one (at full cost).
 
  • #17
DaveC426913 said:
What really toasts my ta-ta is how closely-linked my phone service is with the device I buy. One of the reasons I bought this phone is because all the others require breaking my old service commitment and starting a new one (at full cost).

That may have been the case in 2016 but things have changed now in most Western countries at least. I believe you are in Canada? Walmart appear to have unlocked Samsung Galaxy A03s (64GB 4GB RAM) at CAD180, or upgrade to a 128GB A23 for CAD300.
 
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  • #18
pbuk said:
That may have been the case in 2016 but things have changed now in most Western countries at least. I believe you are in Canada? Walmart appear to have unlocked Samsung Galaxy A03s (64GB 4GB RAM) at CAD180, or upgrade to a 128GB A23 for CAD300.
I have never accepted of this concept of "unlocked" - as if the default state of a device I buy is "locked".
Sell me a phone. I've already got a service.
In fact, that's what drove me to buy this phone.
 
  • #19
DaveC426913 said:
I have never accepted of this concept of "unlocked" - as if the default state of a device I buy is "locked".
Sell me a phone. I've already got a service.
In fact, that's what drove me to buy this phone.
Since “service” is the limiting factor, you need to talk to your provider to learn what your options are.
 
  • #20
pbuk said:
That may have been the case in 2016 but things have changed
What he said.

Check the providers Dave. Service obligations are mostly a thing of the past.
 
  • #21
OK. A rhetorical question, since obvs I'll have to check it out, but:

If such obligations are mostly a thing of the past, why would I need to check anything with my service provider? Surely, I should be able to go buy a phone, no strings.

But yeah, I guess I'll check.
 
  • #22
DaveC426913 said:
If such obligations are mostly a thing of the past, why would I need to check anything with my service provider?
Apart from anything else you may need them to provide a new SIM.
 
  • #23
pbuk said:
Apart from anything else you may need them to provide a new SIM.
Does that upgrade the Android version?
 
  • #24
I just checked my service provider (Fido) online (and thereby tipping my hand that I'm in the market).

They have a zillion options, generally about $25/month or about $1000+ to buy outright.

Oh. Here's an iPhone 11 for $560 or $15/mo.
 
  • #25
Interesting. My phone has the same 2 GB as yours Dave. I do have quite a bit more storage though - 128 GB. Maybe Android needs more ram?
 
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  • #26
pbuk said:
You can't add more memory (either flash or RAM) to a phone, but you can add external storage (also called removable storage) by inserting an SD card. You can change the settings so that the
That is useful information.
 
  • #27
Algr said:
Maybe Android needs more ram?
Well you need to buy a phone with enough RAM, regardless if it's Android or iPhone. But the problem here is not RAM but storage, and @DaveC426913 has just 16GB of it (6GB is reserved for system, so basically 10GB).
@DaveC426913 you should check if you have an external storage slot for a microSD card (some phones have microSD storage incorporated in the second slot of dual SIM slots) and if you do just buy one with 128GB capacity (it should be around 20€, at least it was 2 years ago). This should solve your problems. Better yet, just buy a new phone with at least 64GB storage.
 
  • #28
DaveC426913 said:
Does that upgrade the Android version?
No, the SIM is solely about connection to the mobile provider. There are different form factors for different devices (the phone you have is a Micro SIM whereas most new ones use a Nano SIM).
 
  • #29
Motore said:
@DaveC426913 you should check if you have an external storage slot for a microSD card (some phones have microSD storage incorporated in the second slot of dual SIM slots) and if you do just buy one with 128GB capacity (it should be around 20€, at least it was 2 years ago). This should solve your problems. Better yet, just buy a new phone with at least 64GB storage.
I have a slot for memory. But my original question was: does that extra storage help with apps, or just with data for the apps?

I've purged my phone of as much data as I can, and still don't have much room for new apps.
 
  • #30
pbuk said:
No, the SIM is solely about connection to the mobile provider. There are different form factors for different devices (the phone you have is a Micro SIM whereas most new ones use a Nano SIM).
Yes. I contacted them the other day and they were happy to "upgrade" my SIM card, but when I asked what exactly the upgrade was providing, they said "nothing".
 
  • #31
DaveC426913 said:
I just checked my service provider (Fido) online (and thereby tipping my hand that I'm in the market).
I thought you wanted to decouple the purchase of a phone from your service provider?
DaveC426913 said:
Oh. Here's an iPhone 11 for $560 or $15/mo.
Why on Earth would you want an iPhone? I'd spend a couple of hundred dollars on a Samsung Galaxy A- or M- series and look for the best SIM only deal you can get.

OMG I've just looked at the cost of data in Canada - that's ridiculous. In the UK you can get 160GB a month for GB£20 (thats US$25 or CA$32).
 
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  • #32
DaveC426913 said:
I have a slot for memory. But my original question was: does that extra storage help with apps, or just with data for the apps?
And it's answered more than once upthread: external storage can be used for pictures, video and music, but many apps cannot use it at all. FFS just put an SD card in and you will find out (click on an app in the Apps section of Settings and it will tell you how much storage it is using and whether you can move it to the card).
 
  • #33
DaveC426913 said:
I have a slot for memory. But my original question was: does that extra storage help with apps, or just with data for the apps?
That depends on the service provider. Many of them don't allow apps on external SD cards. I suspect that there is some security reason.

But you can use external SD for images or music files. How much of your storage is tied up in those files?

I have always wanted a "date last used" information for apps. If I haven't used an app for a year, the chances of wanting to use it in the future is slim.
 
  • #34
anorlunda said:
That depends on the service provider.
Did you mean phone manufacturers / os systems? Because service providers have little to do with the apps you can install on the phone or where.

On my Samsung (Android) you can install/move the apps to the external storage.

DaveC426913 said:
I have a slot for memory. But my original question was: does that extra storage help with apps, or just with data for the apps?
It helps with freeing up space, so you can install additional apps but it won't help with the slowness of the apps (that's what the RAM is for).
 
  • #35
DaveC426913 said:
I have a slot for memory. But my original question was: does that extra storage help with apps, or just with data for the apps?

Depends a bit on the app, but in general, unfortunately, neither... Some data-gobbling apps, like WhatsApp, refuse to install the app on the external storage, but also refuse to store its data on the external storage, while that should not be a problem at all... There is a business model in there somewhere... (it is almost, just almost as if they do that on purpose...)
 

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