What is UFS 3.0? Here’s why the OnePlus 7’s new storage tech is awesome

The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro have finally made their official debut and as expected they both come with some super-swish, cutting edge hardware.

But while all the headlines may be about the OnePlus 7 Pro’s improved camera tech and speedy 90Hz display, for us here at Trusted Reviews one of the biggest upgrades has hit the last place you’d expect: the phones’ storage.

Related: OnePlus 7 Pro review

Specifically the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro’s use of UFS 3.0. We actually knew the tech was going to feature on the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro over a week ago. The news was unveiled by OnePlus founder CEO Peter Lau on Twitter on 5 May.

 

While storage tech may not have the wow factor of a new camera or 5G connectivity, it’s a pretty key spec that can impact pretty much every aspect of a phone’s performance. But with next to no other devices featuring UFS 3.0, you may justifiably have missed its unveiling. Here to help clear up any confusion about the new technology we’ve created a guide detailing how UFS 3.0 works and what is key benefits are.

What is UFS 3.0?

UFS 3.0, designed for hardware like smartphones, Chromebooks, cars and VR, has twice the bandwidth of the current UFS 2.1 standard.

The updated Universal Flat Storage standard will allow mind-blowing data transfer speeds of up to 23.2Gbps (11.6Gbps in two lanes).

Unveiled by standards body JEDEC, UFS 3.0 lowers power consumption and will make flash storage more reliable at a greater range of temperatures.

UFS originated as a way for smartphones to match the data transfer speeds of desktop PC SSDs and Samsung is among the firms who have embraced the tech.

In a press release, the standards group explains: “UFS is a high-performance interface designed for use in applications where power consumption needs to be minimized, including mobile systems such as smart phones and tablets as well as automotive applications. Its high-speed serial interface and optimized protocol enable significant improvements in throughput and system performance.”

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So what does this news mean for smartphone users? Well should this hardware make it into next-generation devices, capturing 4K and even 8K video should be possible without troubling the handset too much.

Now it’s up to smartphone manufacturers to adopt the new standard. It may take a few years for UFS 3.0 to make it into handsets, by which time a whole number of new use-cases may have emerged.

The potential within the automotive industry is also interesting, given how tech-centric our cars are becoming.

JEDEC adds: “UFS 3.0 includes two features introduced specifically for the automotive market: the ability to function at an extended temperature range and refresh operation.”

Can you envision some great use cases for those insane transfer speeds? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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