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BBC program to investigate the storage shortage on the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4

0. phoneArena 10 May 2013, 11:40 posted on

BBC Watchdog is a weekly show on the British broadcaster's network that does investigative reporting into issues affecting consumers. A teaser for next week's show, which ran at the end of this week's broadcast, shows that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be under the microscope next Wednesday, when the show is aired on BBC1...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 10 May 2013, 11:42 16

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

I'm still surprised that ppl. are surprised, that the system takes a good chunk off the internal storage. However Samsung advertisement is not false, a 16GB model has a 16GB NANDflash inside it.

posted on 10 May 2013, 11:59 16

4. Aeires (unregistered)

Agreed. Add to that, it's not nearly as bad as the Windows tablet that almost half the memory was used for the OS.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:22 2

34. Hemlocke (unregistered)

My S4 was less than 9GB free...that's almost half.

posted on 10 May 2013, 19:52 1

47. Aeires (unregistered)

No one believes you have a S4, we all know you have an iPhone.

posted on 10 May 2013, 21:17

50. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Go to celltraderonline or XDA and look for my username. I don't need to lie about what I own, and I definitely don't own an iPhone right now. I do own an S4 and a Z10, howeve, and I owned the One before these two.

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:16 7

14. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12979; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

It's deceptive advertising because that 16gb isn't all available. The bloat on the S4 shouldn't take up half the storage.

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:57 8

20. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

its not deceptive as the memory in the phone is 16gb its just not 16gb userable storage...if this is deceptive then is so is everything else cause no ever gets the usable storage thats advertised..i agree though that in principle this is wrong and i have always felt like this for years and hopefully that now that a high profile phone like the s4 is in the spotlight for this hopefully in the future everyone is forced to say clearly on the box how much is actually available so example on my s4 box it says 16gb but it really should have said 16gb(9.5gb usable) and hopefully in the future this is forced on everyone as samsung isnt the only doing it they just happened to imo used far too much space and if they really need to use up 7gb of space then they should have gone with a 32gb as the base model and this wouldnt even have been news but am happy it is...personally for me 9gb is plenty for apps as i dont play games like modern combat which take up like 1.5gb and more each but for people who do this will be a huge problem.

posted on 11 May 2013, 07:25

55. lpratas (Posts: 305; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

Then the LG Optimus G, in this case, the E975, not has 25GB available of 32GB of internal memory? For what it is so much internal memory reserved and used in this phone, for the system? There are phones that have in 32GB of internal memory, have 30GB available for the user.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:20 5

26. flamencoguy (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Aug 2012)

Jez! That's nothing new. When a hard drive on a laptop is advertized as 500GB and you find that only 400GB is left because of the OS and the formating takes away a few bytes, do you complain? Never heard so much griping before. It is a 16GB rom installed. Same as a 500GB HD installed when it was empty. There are useful apps in the used part and that's why it takes up room. People should just learn about these things. It just shows how dumb some people are. Deal with it and plan on buying a 32GB model and/or 32GB microsSD card. Some apps can be installed on SD card so it is.
It is only deceptive only if you don't know Sh*t!.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:07 2

31. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

like i said i dont think its deceptive but i think companies should clearly say whats actually usable..its ok when you get a 500gb hard drive and 30gb is taken up out the box but still leaves you massive 470gb but in the case of the 16gb almost half is taken up. now imagine you brought a 500gb hard drive and only 250gb was available, that would be taking the p*ss

posted on 10 May 2013, 18:59 5

43. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3108; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

Exactly, it's just hater trying to find something to bash Samsung about.

I do like that Samsung has a removable battery and a micro sd card slot, Google themselves make it very annoying because Apps cannot be installed into the micro sd card.

Samsung should have just made a 32GB model and 64GB model and charged 200 for the 32GB and 299 for the 64GB. Then nobody would have been complaining as much.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:05 3

30. tedkord (Posts: 11659; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

How much is available on the 16 gb iPhone? Answer carefully.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:23

35. Hemlocke (unregistered)

13.3 or 13.6, I believe.

posted on 12 May 2013, 11:47 1

58. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 441; Member since: 26 May 2011)

As much as I hate the fact that so much of the space gets used for other crap, they didn't say it has 16GB of user space available. That's no different than when you buy a 1TB external hard drive and you only have access to 933GB or a you buy a 32GB micro sd card and you only have access to 29.8GB. No manufacturer actually advertises how much user space is available, so if Samsung is guilty of false advertising then so is every other manufacturer out in the world selling memory hardware.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:07

23. Rorschach (Posts: 83; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)

If a phone states that it has 16gb of storage, all of it should be dedicated to the user. The OS and other included software required to operate the phone shouldn't interfere with available sorage and should not be at the user's expense. I'm glad BBC is taking the time to investigate this issue. Samsung,

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:15

25. Rorschach (Posts: 83; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)

should at least justify the high costs of their flimsy, cheaply made plastic devices by allotting sufficient internal memory.

posted on 10 May 2013, 20:09 1

48. willard12 (Posts: 1678; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)

Care to back up that "cheap" allegation with a fact?


posted on 11 May 2013, 03:31

53. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)

That's actually funny because when you pay for 16GB and you get around 75-80% of it, it isn't a problem. But when you get almost half of what is advertised like in this case and one of the Surface models, it's bad. And it's even more funnier that you guys attacked Microsoft for the same thing earlier, yet now when it comes to Samsung/Android you're behaving as if its ok.

posted on 11 May 2013, 07:43

56. asimo (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)

They somehow pay the price for the long lived IT industry troll that 16 billion bytes is not 16GBytes but only 14.9

posted on 10 May 2013, 11:49 8

2. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

people need to stop bitching about this thing..just buy an sd card. how much does a 32gb sd card cost ? less than 20 bucks

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:00 8

6. oister85 (Posts: 493; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

That's not the problem. When you download a game or an app some applications required to download in the internal memory. Now the problem is the new incoming apps are going to required more memory base on your Super phone.

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:26

10. tedkord (Posts: 11659; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

I have 74 apps downloaded to my GS3. A couple are really big, like 3snarl (over 130 mb), Peggle (over 75 mb), etc.

These apps, plus all their data, takes up less than half the free room on the GS4.

Of those 74 apps, there are maybe 40 I've never even used. Not once. I just cleaned out between 10 and 20 that I knew is never used.

I install all apps to internal, and put my content (documents, music, video, pictures, etc...) on external.

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:57 1

19. DRAPicard (Posts: 27; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)

I do the same thing! Install all the apps and updates and everythign like that to my internal memory and everythign else - music, movies, documents, etc. - to my external memory.
No one should have the right to complain about using external memory! It is an AWESOME feature to use it, and that is one of the reasons I chose the S4 over the competition.
"Back in the day" I remember purchasing a 512MB MINI-sd card for $100. In preparation for the S4 I pre-ordered from Verizon, I ordered a 64GB Samsung-branded micro sd card from Amazon. The cost? $62.99! That's SUPER cheap. Why wouldn't you grab that for your device?
The point is, having external storage is a gift and you should utilize the ability of the device to carry it. Having the option to add external storage (especially 64GB of it) was one of the reasons I chose to go with the S4 over the competition.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:14

32. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

the problem is if you play games like nova,asphault,gta,modern combat or any gameloft games they take up like over 1gb each and some game are like 3gb in size thats when a sd card wont fix the issue. installing maybe just 4 or 5 of these games and all internal storage is gone and chances are that future games or only going to get bigger especially if apps are made for the 1080p screen...like you this isnt an issue for me as i dont really enjoy those games on a small screen but have casual games like fieldrunner,temple run,pvz etc i have like 100 apps with about 40 of them being games and i still have over 6gb left but thats due to the sd card to as al my photos,music and videos all are on my 32gb card...like i said it might not be an issue for us but i can certainly see it being a huge issue.

posted on 10 May 2013, 19:12

44. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

If u kno u download games and apps that takes a lot of space, why on earth would you buy a 16GB phone?

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:18 3

15. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12979; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

People have the right to voice their concerns over Samsung using that much storage.

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:50 2

17. tedkord (Posts: 11659; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Who said they didn't?

posted on 12 May 2013, 12:05

59. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 441; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Don't buy their products if you don't like all the additional enhancements and preinstalled games they add to their products. When you factor in the carriers bloatware also I can see a lot of space being used up. If this was a 32GB model, I don't think this would be a topic of discussion. In any case if people are bothered by it so much, then we need to also complain about the carrier not offering the 32GB model.

posted on 10 May 2013, 11:59 4

3. ama3654 (Posts: 295; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

Bloatware from carriers and pre-installed games takes up the storage, root and use Titanium backup to uninstall them, you will end up with 12-13GB of storage.

posted on 10 May 2013, 18:38

41. Ericzhf (Posts: 17; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)

Even you uninstall all of them, you will still get the exactly same free storage.

posted on 12 May 2013, 12:07

60. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 441; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Exactly, I'm rooted and unlocked and that's exactly what I'd do if the lack of internal space was bothering me. Titanium Backup is one of the advantages of being rooted because you can get rid of the crap you don't want.

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:00 2

5. smallworld (Posts: 484; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

And this is where the taxpayer money goes...

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:05 9

7. darkkjedii (Posts: 21218; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Get em BBC

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:24 2

8. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Get em BBC? Dark, you hate Samsung eh?

posted on 10 May 2013, 16:01

36. darkkjedii (Posts: 21218; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Nope love em, but I hate that there's so much bloat ware on the device that it takes up half the internal storage. On top of that you can't uninstall it. That sucks bro, any way you slice it.

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:25 1

9. GalaxyXperiaOptimusDroid (Posts: 13; Member since: 10 May 2013)

Spoiler alert! ; if the features are consistent it takes the whole 16gb.

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:28 4

11. d_myke (Posts: 15; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

Will they also investigate HTC because the 32gb One only has about 25gb available to the user? And Blackberry because the 16gb Q10 only has about 10gb available?Lets face it, this is how it is and it might even get worse with time. The best solution would be to stop these guys from making phones with only 16gb. Minimum should be 32gb.

posted on 10 May 2013, 12:35 7

12. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

I agree. I don't think this is the biggest deal in the world, but the amount of bloatware on our phones is starting to get a little out of control. This is exactly why Samsung should have just started at 32GB. This controversy wouldn't exist.

posted on 10 May 2013, 15:16 1

33. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

the reason the htc one gets away is that 25gb is still plenty where as 9gb for many will not.

posted on 10 May 2013, 16:43 1

38. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)

Coz it is 32gb,
Samsung 32gb myt end also w/ 25gb available for users,,
Dmyke's point is all manufacturers have their own bloatwares

posted on 10 May 2013, 16:46

39. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)



posted on 10 May 2013, 12:39 5

13. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

Or make them advertise available storage. Instead of just telling you how much memory is installed. Bloatware is getting 2 be ridiculous. Should have a option to delete it without rooting

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:52

18. tedkord (Posts: 11659; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

And also them report total memory in base 2, the same way the OS reports it. Memory manufacturers have engaged in this lying forever, so toy think that memory stick has 16 gb of space, and it actually has 14.x gb.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:43 1

28. flamencoguy (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Aug 2012)

Folks. It is not incorrect. Don't blame it on lying. The chip when empty has a 16GB capacity but after it is formatted it may be 14.x GB as you say.
Different formats will require a different amount of overhead for formatting.( FAT, FAST16, FAT32, NTFS etc)

Chips are designed that way to be able to write 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 GB etc of zeros and ones. Then some of the zero and one spots are used in the formatting such as the directory and even lower level data. Addresses for chaining sectors etc. Marking bad sectors. Hopefully these red faced people will go and do some research to try to understand concepts better.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:00 2

21. DRAPicard (Posts: 27; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)

I would agree with this as well! I don't mind that there is software "pre-installed" on a phone I buy, but as the user, I should be able to choose what gets to stay on the device and what doesn't. Bloatware is awful! And anyone that doesn't believe me, go to Google Play and look for the Blockbuster App or anything else that users can't uninstall from their devices.....the reviews are terrible and people hate it!
If I was in the business of making apps, I would not risk tarnishing my brand image with being "bloatware" and having people have negative thoughts and feelings about my brand.....

posted on 10 May 2013, 18:35

40. vincelongman (Posts: 4425; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

All companies should have to do this, same as makers of laptops, ultrabooks, tablets, PCs,...

posted on 10 May 2013, 13:32 1

16. pknexus (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 May 2013)

People have a right to complain, and Samsung has a right to sell whatever they want. If you don't like it, don't buy it, and maybe Samsung will change the phone to accommodate people's wants.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:00 3

22. bittertruth247 (Posts: 36; Member since: 03 May 2013)

Like many, I'm tired of hearing people complain about how much usuable memory Samsung's S4 phone actually has so I have a simple solution-since Samsung currently uses Android OS which is through Google, how about people "google" the phone before they buy it! That way, they can't blame anyone but themselves for their lack of research!! People, everything in life is a choice-you don't like the 9gb's out of 16 the phone comes with, don't buy it! Samsung never said the phone comes with 16gb's of usable memory, it simply says it comes with 16gb's of internal memory!! No storage drive has 100% of it's full volume for use, even a 32 gb micro sd card has about 29 gb's of actual usage-get over it already!!

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:10 2

24. Androider01 (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 May 2013)

Everything is OK. Think about its functions, that beat all other phones.

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:33 3

27. flamencoguy (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Aug 2012)

Seriously, BBC is acting like they are the consumers' champion. They are acting on ignorant consumers behalf. Too many of these wannabes don't know squat about technology.
There is no deception or false advertizing here. It just is what it is.
It is a 16GB ROM chip. They never claimed it was entirely free for you to use. Just like memory slots available for expansion on a laptop or PC desktop. What percentage of people knew that they could not expand the factory installed 1 GB memory if all slots are used with lower capacity SIMMS/DIMMs. Unless you replace all of them.
This kind of stuff does not require deep knowledge. Just get some sense ok.!

posted on 10 May 2013, 14:57

29. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

this is understandable to most of us but to a regular joe 16gb should not need a paragraph to explain on where the other half of storage goes... is fine if you dont get 16gb but to have half only availlable is the real issue....

posted on 10 May 2013, 16:22 3

37. febzz (Posts: 11; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

It is just me or do T-mobile Galaxy S4s indeed have 9.62GB of Internal Memory available to users? Mine has 9.62GB usable memory.

And yes, people who play games whose sizes are 1-2GB each will definitely find themselves with a little memory left. I don't play those games on my Phone and to me, with this much memory left, I can live with that.

posted on 10 May 2013, 18:38 1

42. donronaldlim (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

With this complaint.... I'm pretty confident that Galaxy Note III will no longer use the 16GB storage... It's going to be 32GB/64GB. It's good that sometimes good OEMs will get criticisms so they get to improve on their next unit =)

posted on 10 May 2013, 19:17

45. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

I could b wrong, but ppl here they complain about their memory eating apps n games. Here is something i dont get. If you kno u use a lot of memory for your games and apps, why on earth would you go for 16GB? even a joe at the street who loads lots of songs and pictures knows something or two about memory on their devices. I have a teenage lil sis who knows nothing about tech stuff, but she understands how memory on her phone works, cos she got lots of songs and pictures on her phone. What yall r complaining about, just sounds like fanboys attacking samsung. Yall here kno how this works, with so many features on an S4, wat did yall thought?

posted on 10 May 2013, 19:41

46. JunBringer (Posts: 137; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)

lol try having an 8GB Nexus 4!

posted on 10 May 2013, 21:07

49. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

8, 16GB memory should'ev been discountinued®

posted on 10 May 2013, 21:24

51. lyndon420 (Posts: 4373; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Pretty sure this will start new policies going forward. Wether its a phone, computer, external hard drive or sdcard, if it states a size of storage on the product or box it came in, that needs to be made available to the consumer.

posted on 10 May 2013, 23:52

52. voxmarc (Posts: 332; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

BBC is Sexually Harassing Samsung....Investigate your Pedophile first.

posted on 11 May 2013, 05:37

54. locoboy808 (Posts: 53; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Never mind about all that bull we should be talking about how much radiation this device has . seems like the more you put in to a phone the more radiation and has.and they also made it available so that they can but more radiation in a phone I think its dumb why should we all die just for having a cool gadget I'm sticking with my old school flip phone I don't need to upgrade and have a high bill paying for Internet texting and all these features that just don't make sense just have something plain and simple to make and receive calls just get up tablet or a home computer to do all that stuff lol

posted on 11 May 2013, 16:33

57. razmahtaz001 (Posts: 116; Member since: 11 May 2013)

this is not a samsung only problem. all computers/laptops/netbooks/tablets/smartphones, etc...does not come with its advertised internal storage. so why is the BBC targeting samsungs s4? why not change the heading/title to something more universally appropriate? i have a verizon lg intuition that has a 32gb internal storage, only 25gb usable...that is 7gb used by the phones os and other features...which is the same amount that the galaxy s4 is using.

the bigger the internal storage (32 or 64), the usable storage then isnt really a big deal. that is why you should know how much storage you plan on using so you can buy the appropriate default storage of that smartphone...is that so hard to grasp??? i myself dont play/download games, so a 16gb smartphone would suffice, but i got the 32gb just incase ;o)

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