Do we really need Force Touch, 4K displays and 4 GB of RAM?

Do we really need Force Touch, 4K displays and 4 GB of RAM?

Smartphone manufacturers go to great lengths to make their products stand out and sell them in large volumes. This year we've seen the first smartphones with 4 GB of RAM, the first smartphone with a 4K display and the first device to employ Force Touch technology. But is this what Android fans really want?

sony xperia z5 premium vs samsung galaxy s6 edge plus display
The 4K Sony Xperia Z5 Premium (left) and the QHD Galaxy S6 Edge+. / © ANDROIDPIT

4K Dismay?

As you may have read during the past 12 months, QHD resolution displays are yet to become really useful on smartphones. The natural distance we hold a phone from our face means that we can’t detect the individual pixels of the thousands on these small displays.

Though 4K displays may be important for virtual reality content – when they are much closer to the eyes – it’s claimed to be impossible to see the difference in pixels between QHD and Full HD displays at arm’s length.

4K smartphones are going to be excellent for VR technology, but aside from this use-case, such technology seems unnecessary when it costs more, and requires more battery power. 

4 GB of SHAM?

The Nexus 5X has just arrived with 2 GB of RAM and running the latest Android version, Marshmallow. If this is manageable, and performs well, with only 2 GB of RAM, what is the benefit of 4 GB of RAM seen on the likes of the OnePlus 2 and Asus Zenfone 2?

Switching between apps quickly is cool, but it's not really a huge benefit to most users. Of course, the video above does not display the full range of benefits that higher RAM provides. Indeed, more RAM is important to future-proof devices, but even for the next couple of years, 4 GB might be more than is really required.

Forced Touch?

Personally, I think Force Touch will be great. But it’s going to take a while to get to this point. Like Android Wear, the first round of devices to feature this technology may fail to provide a "must-have" function. 

We have seen examples of how Force Touch technology can be use for things such as turning your smartphone into a scale for weighing small objects (demonstrated using 3D touch on an iPhone, but the same could be applied to Android devices). But for me, this does not provide a compelling reason to purchase a Force Touch enabled phone.

In the future though, when other third-party developers start using it to build apps, perhaps it will deliver something special.

androidpit force touch 1
Force Touch can be used to zoom closer into photos by pressing your finger harder on the display. / © ANDROIDPIT

Are you excited about the new possibilities that Android's 2015 "innovations" present? Or do we need less innovation and a larger focus on the core Android elements like battery life? Give me your thoughts in the comments.

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  • 4K is unnecessary but 4GB of RAM and Force Touch are awesome. 4GB gives your phone a multitasking speed that allows the device to keep up with the user and Force Touch adds a new way to interact with your phone that app makers will ultimately use for huge jumps in the user experience. People's arms simple aren't long enough to make 4K necessary on a device that is under 6 inches and the battery suck of powering all those pixels is tragic.

  • I think 4K should be for TVs and PC monitors not phones. 4GB ram maybe in another 3-4 years.

    I think what manufacturer should invest in is battery. this is an area where all the phones are lagging. invest more in battery technology.

  • ok,4k display on an android device that is around 5 " display is useless,at that small size display it is impossible to see the difference between 1080p and 2k and 4k,so if u buy a phone for just that,then u r more stupid than most of the ppl,the most stupid future is the new forced touch,as usual,iOS comes with the most stupid innovetions that r worthless,pfff,they can keep it on their devices

  • there should be no bloatware and no touch wiz (pure stock) and not even 1 gb ram will be used and battery life should be the key element

  •   31
    Deactivated Account Nov 15, 2015 Link to comment

    we are all using more and more data..... it's progress, in a couple of years 5gb of ram will be flagship standard, whether we need it or not it will seem like it's necessary and we are gonna buy into it...
    I never hold my device at arms length and I can definitely tell the difference between 300ppi and 400ppi and I can definitely appreciate 500ppi especially on a 6" screen.... a better screen is something I'll take whether I need it or not!

  •   46
    Deactivated Account Nov 15, 2015 Link to comment

    Ram is essential to the smooth operation of ever more advancing software. Especially with high resolution screens and gaming apps. The ram also help with multi tasking on a phone.

    Anything over 2k is just way over kill on a 5 to 6 inch screen. I was looking at TVs the other day with 2k and 4k side by side on 65 inch screens the 2k looked better to me on everything except a still shot. anything with motion looked better on the 2k because of the faster refresh rate. 4k on a phone give me a break. some say you need it for virtual reality well if I want that I will buy a dedicated device, for having something I slide my phone in seems half ass approach to me.

    As far as forced touch or 3d touch screens I would need time to play with both to make that decision.

  • i think so that the force touch is and will be great and its a cool innovation of 2015 its actually more usefull than an edge display but if we talk about an edged screen so it has its own place and i love it
    and right they must focus on the core elements like battery life and other things

  • Luka Nov 14, 2015 Link to comment

    I think that 4 GB of RAM is if not essential, then at least desirable for new Android devices. I have a Galaxy S6 with 3 GB of RAM and it's almost always at 80-85%. Apps are getting heavier. A few years ago, even 2-3 GB of RAM were unimaginable on a smartphone (I don't say they couldn't make it, but it was unnecessary), but here we are almost in 2016, and we can see that Android is lifted to another level, so yes it is needed. Force touch, I'm not really sure, but if it doesn't affect image quality or anything, then why not. I'm not sure if they are going to succeed in the first generation, like fingerprint sensor on S5, but it was "a gimmick" then, and now look, every flagship has it. One may say that heart rate monitor on S6 is unnecessary but there it is, and it's great, even though I don't use it very often. As for 4K, it's something different. First, we can't really notice the difference. Personally I find S6's display nicer than Z5's (it's not because I have it but that's what I think. I like sAMOLED). But, if they make a better kind of battery (like those oxygen-lithium we could see a few days ago), then absolutely, why not. Improvements are the reason we have new phones every year, and each year they get better. Can't wait to see what will 2016 bring.

    • what the hack u have loaded on ur mobile to be that full ram?,geez,i don't even have 1 gb of ram on my phone and ist around 70 % empty,pfff,for sure u need to install another booster cleaner coz u have the worst possible

      • Luka Jan 9, 2016 Link to comment

        If you're asking me, I have much less apps than an average user would. Weather, twitter, instagram and a few more. It's mostly bloatware... Ask any S6 owner, or check it out on XDA. However no performance problems. Ever.

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