Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: what can you do with 12 GB RAM and 1 TB storage?

9 min read

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes with different storage capacities: 128 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB. The 128 GB and 512 GB variants have 8 GB RAM, but the 1 TB variant is unique and offers 12 GB RAM. If you are willing to pay nearly $ 1,600, you can get a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus with 1 TB of storage, 12 GB of RAM in Ceramic Black or Ceramic White. In my unboxing video, I asked, "Is this worth $ 1,600?"

Assuming you think the answer is "yes," the next question is what you can do with it.


Android RAM management can be complex. I delved into the details of a video and an article, but to summarize quickly: when you start a new app and there is not enough RAM available, Android kills an older app to free up memory.

The 1TB variant of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes with 12 GB of RAM. At startup there is approximately 8.5 GB free and 2.5 GB reserved for zRAM swapping. Different apps have different memory requirements. A modest game like 2048 needs less than 100 MB. A casual game like Rise Up needs less than 250 MB. A big game like Fortnite or Need For Speed: No Limits needs something from 800 MB to 1 GB, or more.

If you ignore the GPU, general performance requirements, etc., devices with at least 3 GB can play the toughest games. If you are a casual gamer, 2GB still works even in 2019.

The problem with RAM is not if you can run one app, but how many apps you can keep in memory before older apps need to be removed to make room for new launches.

In the article I mentioned above, I looked at how much RAM you have really needed and concluded that 4 GB is usable, between 6 GB and 8 GB is the right place, and everything else is just a waste.

My time with the 12GB version of the S10 Plus has not changed.

To test the usefulness of 12 GB of RAM, I launched one app, registered the amount of resources used, then launched another, and so on, until the uncle killer deleted his first app from memory.

Available from 8601 MB, I have launched Ram Truth, Smash Hit and Asphalt 9. The available memory decreased by just over 1.5 GB to 7034 MB, which was expected because Asphalt 9 is a big game. Then I launched the Play Store, Stack, 2048, Temple Run 2, Real Racing and Need For Speed: No Limits. At this point the available memory dropped to 4865 MB. Real Racing and Need for Speed ​​are also memory-hungry apps.

I then launched Color Bump and the phone started zRAM swapping for 1 MB! From there, the pressure on the device began to increase to find space in RAM for the apps. Subway Surfer, Rise Up, Termux and PUBG Mobile have all been followed. The swap usage increased to 636 MB and the available RAM decreased to 3670 MB. Remember that all other apps were currently in memory, so we had Asphalt 9, Real Racing, Need for Speed: No Limits, PUBG and a series of more modest apps that were all in RAM.

The right place is between 6 GB and 8 GB, and everything else is just a waste. My time with the 12GB version of the S10 Plus has not changed.

I launched Waze, then Fortnite, followed by MS Office, Google Photos, Chrome (with 10 tabs open) and Happy Glass. Available RAM went to 2774 MB, while the use of zRAM increased to 1797 MB. Because zRAM is also part of the total RAM usage, the memory was clearly full. I then launched Drum Pad Machine, which activated the OOM killer and killed Smash Hit and removed it from RAM.

The 1TB version of the S10 Plus can therefore simultaneously contain at least 20 apps in memory, including five very large and memory-breaking games.

1 TB storage

Samsung Galaxy S10 + on which 88GB is used

Two important characteristics of the internal storage of a device are its capacity (in this case 1 TB) and its speed. When I made my unboxing video, quite a few people noticed about the "used" and "free" songs shown by Android.

After unboxing and starting the device, it reported using 88.7GB of 1024GB with 935.3GB free. 88.7GB, yes you read that right. It appears that this is a bug / function in the One UI software from Samsung (since I see the same on my Note 8 with One UI). He incorrectly calculates the total size as 1024 GB and then calculates the "used" space by subtracting the "free" space from that total of 1024 GB. The problem is what a gigabyte is? Is a gigabyte of 1,000,000,000 bytes (i.e., 1,000 ^ 3 bytes) or 1,073,741,824 bytes (i.e., 1,024 ^ 3). Technically, a gigabyte is 1,000 ^ 3 and a gibibyte is 1,024 ^ 3.

The size of the usable internal storage (excluding all OS partitions, etc.) On the 1TB S10 Plus is 982,984,064 bytes. That is 982.9GB or 937.4GiB. The settings menu does not actually display gibibytes gigabytes, but calls them gigabytes. This is a common problem. So 1024 minus 937.4 is 86.6, which is then represented as 86.6GB. After you have added the pre-installed apps (2.1Gib), it jumps to 88.7GB.

The 1TB S10 Plus has enough space for 40,000 photos plus 33 hours of recorded footage plus six weeks of non-stop music plus 200 hours of Netflix and there would still be more free space than the 128GB model!

The real sum must be 1000 minus 982.9, which is 17.11 GB, plus the pre-installed apps. If you know more about this subject, I will comment on it in this video.

By ignoring the difference between a gigabyte and a gibibyte, the storage on the 1TB S10 Plus is huge. Assuming that one photo (taken on the device) uses 5 MB of storage space, a minute of video (recorded on the device) takes 100 MB, a minute of music 3 MB and an hour of high-quality Netflix downloads 1000 MB, the 1TB S10 Plus has enough space for 40,000 photos plus 33 hours of recorded footage plus six weeks of non-stop music plus 200 hours of Netflix and there would still be more free space than the 128GB model!

Generalizing the overall performance of the internal storage of each device can be tricky. Flash memory has some interesting features. Writing to storage is always slower than reading. That's OK for a smartphone, because you're usually reading (loading apps, watching movies, listening to music), but writing speed is also important (download the latest posts on social media, receive e-mail, install apps, 4K- record video). The reading and writing speeds may vary depending on the size of the data. Reading a large amount of data is different from reading 500 small files. The same applies to writing.

Therefore, internal storage tests (often called input and output tests or IO tests) are often split into four: Sequential write, Sequential read, Random write, and Random read. To test the IO speed of the 1TB S10 Plus, I used an app called Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT), a disk speed test tool that runs on Android, macOS and Windows. I compared the internal storage speed of the S10 Plus with the Huawei P30 Pro and the OnePlus 6T.

These are the results, with all scores in MBps:

Device Seq writing (4MB) Seq reading (4MB) Random write (4KB) Random reading (4KB)
Galaxy S10 Plus 1TB 189.0 440.7 4.7 11.9
Huawei P30 Pro 166.9 546.9 36.3 19.32
OnePlus 6T 138.0 655.7 5.32 13.9
Typical PC SSD 399.8 508.5 54.2 37.9

In general, the IO speed of the 1TB S10 Plus is quite competitive with its closest rivals. It offers the fastest sequential write speed, but it has the slowest sequential read speed, the slowest random write speed and the slowest random read speed. It is worth noting the all-rounder performance of the OnePlus 6T 128GB here, but it is also interesting to see the random write and read speed of the P30 Pro, which is clearly in a class of its own.

I also added the results for a standard SSD drive for a desktop PC, so you can see the difference between our mobile devices and a desktop computer!

Too much?

$ 1,600 for a smartphone is a lot of money, especially if you can buy a Galaxy S10e and a Dell gaming laptop for the same total price. You could even get the 512GB version of the Galaxy S10 and still have a $ 1600 change to buy a PlayStation 4! It is clear that there is a lot of RAM and a lot of storage space, which means that the 1TB S1 Plus is very capable. You probably don't have to store six weeks of non-stop music, plus 200 hours of high-quality Netflix downloads on your smartphone.

Do you need a device that can hold Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Real Racing, Asphalt 9 and Need for Speed: No Limits in memory simultaneously with a handful of other apps? My guess is no.

There are people who spend money on expensive luxury cars or designer watches. Those people can pay for the 1TB Galaxy S10 Plus and won't even think about the price. If you are not one of them, consider getting another variant and spending the rest of the money on something else.

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Written by

Don Bradman

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