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Comparison shows how much internal storage you actually get with popular smartphones

Comparison shows how much internal storage you actually get with popular smartphones
Which? magazine, known for its comparisons meant to help consumers with picking electronics, has published a new study of sorts that aims to debunk how much internal storage left-over you actually get with 8 popular smartphones. As many of you have come to expect, smartphones are usually marketed as carrying an option of 16/32/64GB internal memory, and yet a very sizable portion of that promise is actually taken up by the operating system itself, along with all of its fluff. As you can imagine, this is a particularly annoying issue when you get your hands on a carrier-branded model, which usually comes with an unhealthy dose of non-removable bloatware. So how much is there left for you, if you look at your typical 16GB device?

Well, according to the folks behind Which?, the answer is simple: Samsung's heavy TouchWiz gets the 'award' for the most bloated piece of firmware, and its Galaxy S4 is, accordingly, able to store about half of its advertised capacity. The rest of the smartphones on the list are fairly close together, offering from 10 to a little over 12GB of usable storage, with the iPhone 5c getting the crown, with 12.6GB of available memory.

Comparison shows how much internal storage you actually get with popular smartphones

Now, lest you cry foul, we actually double-checked some of the results ourselves, and largely arrived at the same numbers, with very little variation. The reason for this actually simple: the folks behind the blog are UK-based, so their regional models come pre-loaded with a different sort of bloatware.

source: Which

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posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:36 19

1. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


What? 8,56!! Wow Samsung lighten your skin please. And I'm surprised to see that Android doesn't really take any more space than iOS.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 11:26 2

28. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1268; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I wonder if they taken account for the carrier bloatware also. That's why I'm rocking a Nexus 4 still haha I love the pure android experience. But I'm sure you could just unlock, root, and flash a rom to your phone to get rid of those bloatware.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:21

38. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


That's got to be regional bloatware for UK...I work w/ Samsungs all day long at Best Buy here in the US & they usually have around 10-11GB of storage space available on 16GB devices not 8.5...That's just crazy...I wonder which carriers they were specifically checking those numbers on...I'm curious to see what bloatware they come w/ to have THAT little storage available to the user.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:40 12

2. MC1123 (Posts: 1240; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Ugly skin and laggy UI! Ew Samsung-dong!

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:03 16

10. ihavenoname (Posts: 1377; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Don't look at LG skin... You will throw up.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:16 11

22. tedkord (Posts: 4719; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Ugly is a matter of opinion. Laggy depends on the device. Not on the Note 3.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:32 5

23. ihavenoname (Posts: 1377; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Agreed. Note 3 is lagless, smooth and fast.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 11:52 4

31. district11 (Posts: 103; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)


Not on the Galaxy S4 either ;)

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 11:13 6

27. decent4u (Posts: 73; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Samsung's skin is not laggy on NOTE 3,and it may be ugly for u but I bought the Note 3 because of samsung's skin otherwise I would have bought Sony's Z1

Just a matter of choice,Everybody is different. :)

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:41 3

3. amansingal14 (Posts: 286; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


12.55* in my 16 GB nexus5

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:48 5

6. Chris.P (Posts: 270; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Ours too.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:42 5

4. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Ouch Samsung. For the amount of features (some gimmicky some not) that Samsung crams into their phones, 32 gigs should be their bare minimum. Nice that apples simplistic approach allows for the most user available storage..kudos apple

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:07

11. ihavenoname (Posts: 1377; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Hopely GS5 is more cleaned up. This is not good.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 11:52 2

30. Finalflash (Posts: 1720; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Hell no, as long they keep giving the SD slot it's fine, the majority of space is taken by pictures and songs/movies stored on the phone and putting those in SD is much better and cheaper (better because it can easily be swapped and moved around).

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 12:03

32. joey_sfb (Posts: 2894; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


While SD card is good I still think spec should include user usable memory of 8.5Gb out of 16Gb.

It help us make an informed choice whether to pickup the 16G or 32G model.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:24

39. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


but at the same time for the amount of features they cram in their phones it actually seems to take up less than you might think on the US models ( as it's generally only about 5GB taken up by the OS/skin/bloatware...this is based on UK models.

I'd be very interested in a US version of this test to see the differences.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:43 1

5. goojman (Posts: 46; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


I just root & throw a custom rom on my phone & bye bye bloat.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:51 7

8. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Shouldn't need to do that, bloat should automatically be removable, especially since customizability is so highly touted.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:28 5

15. JewBakaUCFG (Posts: 173; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


As much as I enjoy Android, this is something that I agree with. Perhaps all phones should come stock android and give the users the option to download carrier/manufacturer stuff.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:42 1

17. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Agreed +1. I also own a note 3, and there's sooo much stuff I'd remove if I could, I'm just not into rooting/jail breaking my devices.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:26

40. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


unfortunately the carriers are trying to make as much money off your purchase as possible so they include bloated carrier versions of many features/apps that tend to get disabled (or just left on there to take up storage) so they can make a few extra $$ each month by trying to force you to use theirs w/o giving you access to the free version of it that most likely came preloaded in the OS/ Skin

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 07:49 1

7. buccob (Posts: 1409; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Considering that the top three phones are the only ones (besides HTC One Mini) that does not offer a microSD card option it comes at no surprises for me...

Though I would love to have 32GB internally and microSD slot

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 13:51 1

35. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


Note3 has you covered on that...starts off w/ 32GB onboard. On the US S4/S3/etc you usually get around 10-11GB of usable storage on a 16GB device when you include bloatware from the carriers...not 8.5GB like they're saying here. That's most likely just their regional carriers adding on their own huge package like he mentioned. I work in Best Buy selling Samsung so I've had lots fo time to play w/ them & troubleshoot, etc.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:17

37. buccob (Posts: 1409; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Yeah I also thought they were exaggerating... I had the 16GB S3 and it also had ~11 GB free...
My current Acro S also has 11 GB internally... and to be honest that is the minimum internal battery I would buy... thats why I never upgraded to the Xperia ZR (better overall than Z, and smaller size which was a plus for me but only 8GB internally with around 5 GB free)

Waiting for the Z1 Compact... I will stay the same with probably 11GB free... but the size, ram, processor, ip58 and cam is what im looking for...

Also just so you know, the New PadFone Infinity (A86) has 16 or 32GB variants with microSD slot... and those PadFones come with a really light Skin on top of Android, so it usually have more GB free..

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 07:32

43. buccob (Posts: 1409; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


*internal memory

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:02

9. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 739; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Shame they didn't show WP8 phones in the results, I was kinda curious about those.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:58

20. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Google em, they'll be available.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:35

24. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 739; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I'm lazy, I wanted them here ;)

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:50 1

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


They should've been IMHO

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:28

41. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


while I don't personally care for the WinPhones (the interface just doesn't appeal to me) I think they should've been included in this as well, I would've been interested in seeing the differences re: storage.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:09 1

12. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


My Lumia 1520 has 13.5 plus all bloat apps can be removed.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:12 1

13. UglyFrank (Posts: 380; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Last time I checked my S4 had over 9GB but then again it has more features than the rest of the devices and a memory card slot

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:13

14. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2606; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Always buying phones with good Internal storage.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:30 3

16. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 819; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


24GB in my GS4 as I got the GS4 32GB. :)

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:46 2

19. darkkjedii (Posts: 11131; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That's still the sum of - 8 from the total. This article is for 16 gig phones, not 32's. Did you even bother to read the article?

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 08:44 1

18. shy2papa (Posts: 206; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)


I have said b4 and i am saying it again 16gig just dose not cut it anymore all these OEM are ripping us off fact.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:01

21. samystic (Posts: 190; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


this magazine is rubbish to say the least... they do not know about Nokia / other WP8 phones... they still think WP store has 'small' no. of apps...

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 14:32

42. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


compared to Apple/Android they do...while the number itself might not be as small as most people think in comparison it is much smaller last I looked...I've found a lot of popular apps missing from WinStore that could be easily found in Apple/Android stores...until they catch up they're going to keep the stigma of a 'small apps store'...just a simple fact that won't go away until they push more development in their apps & market it some more (pun unintended).

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 09:38

25. SonyPS4 (Posts: 250; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Thats why I think 64gb should be minimum for any flagship model. Now we have 1080p (2k soon) and quad/octa core processor but why most manufacturer still using 16gb internal storage. Sure some manufacturer offer bigger storage but it also cost much more than 16gb model.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 11:51

29. datphoneguy (Posts: 140; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


Why would the 5C have more space than the 5S considering they're running the same OS and everything?

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 13:52 1

36. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


probably has something to do w/ the addition of the fingerprint scanner & it's included bloatware/software.

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 12:17

33. RandomUsername (Posts: 454; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)


I have 7 of 8 GB free on my phone :)

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 13:32

34. Nabil2511 (Posts: 149; Member since: 27 Jan 2014)


G2 is just the best..

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 03:13

44. Droiderr (Posts: 32; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


This is f*cking bulls*it. My note 2 itself has a space of 10-11 GB. Dunno what they have been testing. And it might seem below nexus and apple phones but TADA!! samsung phones do have a memory slot..

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