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.

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



44. Droiderr

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 05, 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..

34. Nabil2511

Posts: 152; Member since: Jan 27, 2014

G2 is just the best..

33. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

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

29. datphoneguy

Posts: 155; Member since: Sep 15, 2013

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

36. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

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

25. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 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.

21. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 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...

42. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 21, 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).

18. shy2papa

Posts: 336; Member since: Jan 23, 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.

16. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

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

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 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?

14. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Always buying phones with good Internal storage.

13. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 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

12. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

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

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

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

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Google em, they'll be available.

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I'm lazy, I wanted them here ;)

26. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

They should've been IMHO

41. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

7. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 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

35. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

37. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 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..

43. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

*internal memory

5. goojman

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

15. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 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.

40. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 21, 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

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 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

11. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless