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

BBC program to investigate the storage shortage on the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4
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 next aired on BBC1. BBC Watchdog will be taking a look at the current controversy surrounding the amount of storage that owners of the device have to use on the 16GB variant of the current Android flagship model.

The international version of the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4 has about 9.5GB available for users. On models available through U.S. carriers, that figure is less than 9GB. While the phone does offer a microSD slot, not all apps can be installed on a microSD card. And if you're asking what Sammy did with the unavailable storage, just think about all of the features on the device. While fans of the phone consider them "cool," others have called features like Air View and Smart Pause "gimmicky". The former allows you to hover your finger above the display to open email messages without touching the screen, while the latter stops a video as soon as your eyes move away from the screen, restarting it where you left off once your eyes return to the display.

BBC Watchdog will be shown on BBC1 at 8PM (GMT) on Wednesday May 15th.

source: YouTube via Clove

Related phones

Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)



1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

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.

34. Hemlocke unregistered

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

47. Aeires unregistered

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

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.

14. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

20. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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.

55. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 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.

26. flamencoguy

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 04, 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!.

31. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

30. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

35. Hemlocke unregistered

13.3 or 13.6, I believe.

58. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 593; Member since: May 26, 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.

23. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 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,

25. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

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

48. willard12 unregistered

53. No_Nonsense unregistered

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.

56. asimo

Posts: 41; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

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

2. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 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

6. oister85 unregistered

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.

10. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

19. DRAPicard

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 05, 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.

32. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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 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 i said it might not be an issue for us but i can certainly see it being a huge issue.

44. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

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

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

17. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Who said they didn't?

59. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 593; Member since: May 26, 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.

3. ama3654

Posts: 295; Member since: Nov 27, 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.

41. Ericzhf

Posts: 18; Member since: Nov 27, 2012

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

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