How much storage are you using on your smartphone right now?

How much storage are you using on your smartphone right now?
Smartphone storage is sometimes a hot topic. We usually have Apple stirring it up with its limited starting options on iPhones, though Cupertino has been a bit more generous in this department in the past couple of years — the cheapest iPhone XR starts at 64 GB and it's only $50 to upgrade to a 128 GB variant.

In Android land there's still the unwritten rule that you need to add microSD card slot support if you want the poweruser fans to be pleased. And smartphones there are pushing some serious limits — the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 512 GB storage variant, which also supports a 512 GB microSD card, effectively letting you store up to 1 TB of data on your phone. That's pretty insane to think about.

But, in today's age, we have a ton of cloud services helping us out manage our phone storage. Google's Photos will house all your pictures and videos in the cloud for free (if you accept that they will not be full size, but still in high quality), there are tons of cloud storage services like DropBox who would love to backup all your on-device data for a fee, as well as manufacturer-specific clouds like Apple's iCloud, Google's Drive, Samsung's Cloud, and so on.

If one makes use of all these tools and is mindful about how many apps they install and keep on their device, versus actually needing them, it's perfectly possible to use a 64 GB smartphone and not feel too limited or pressured to upgrade.

Or so we think. Let's play a game — take out your phone and check your storage information right now. How much are you using?

How much storage are you using right now?

Less than 64 GB
48.91%
Between 64 GB and 128 GB
34.25%
Between 128 GB and 256 GB
12.49%
More than 256 GB
4.34%

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54 Comments

1. domfonusr

Posts: 1085; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

The sweet spot for me seems to be 16GB internal memory + 16GB microSD. That is what I have right now. If the SD slot goes away, I will need at least 32GB of internal memory. My next phone will likely do just fine with 16GB of internal memory as well, but I am considering getting a new microSD card, since 32GB class 10 cards are now cheap and plentiful. I sense that, soon, 32GB will become the new sanitary minimum for internal memory on most new Android phones. So, I am currently sitting at half of the lowest 64GB selection, and possibly expanding up to that limit in the near future. Of the 32GB of storage I have now, I am using about 6GB on my SD card and I have about 4GB free on internal memory, after the OS and UI, the apps, and various items stored on the phone. So, I am using about 20GB of space so far... about 63% utilization.

4. Usernameisnotsowitty

Posts: 36; Member since: Oct 08, 2018

You need to pump up those numbers man...

6. domfonusr

Posts: 1085; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

My needs are small, though. They are larger than they were before, but still on the smallish end for these days. I prefer it that way... less expensive to operate that way. Until just four or five years ago, I could pretty much fit all of my files and collections within about 4GB of space, but since getting a phone that can take HD video (and going to an airshow since then), I now have 6GB of space used for my files and collections.

11. warrenellis93

Posts: 544; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

Username, you need to understand not everybody uses their phone like you.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4209; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

128 internal, 200 external. About 30% used currently.

3. caqde

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 16, 2017

As a note I selected less than 64GB, but I wouldn't buy a 64 GB device as my usage is sitting at 43GB right now and will likely hit above 64GB by the end of next year. (32GB storage + 64GB SDcard as Internal Storage)

5. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

I've tried 32GB and it isn't enough for my phone. Note 9 has 128 GB of which I'm using 46, but some programme data, all my photos, downloads and documents are on SD card, which covers another 27 GB. If there was no sd card I would exceed 64GB. My tablet only has 32gb and it is a constant battle and juggling act to manage within that. Every app that can be is moved to sd card. All programme data possible is on sd card. I've only between 2 and 3 GB free on the tablet.

7. AbhiD

Posts: 803; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

I have a 64GB OnePlus 3T. Although i would have liked 128GB variant, still 64GB is proving to be enough. Here is why - -My Music duties are taken care of by Spotify, Apple Music etc -My videos/movies/shows duty is take care of through Netflix, Prime Video etc What else is left ? Pics, Apps and 2-3 games. That are well taken care of by internal memory. 128 is more than enough and a very good spot. 256 GB is for users who like to hoard.

8. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

20 GB. (but don't ask me how much cloud storage I have at my disposal and how much of it I use every day)

9. warrenellis93

Posts: 544; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

I use about 20 gb with what the phone automatically uses included. Thats using google photos and not saving too many pics on device.

10. Rager722 unregistered

I have in storage 32 GB with 128GB storage for music and photos. Used to have a 64GB storage. It wasn't enough for me.

12. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1560; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Got a Note 9, set it up, still had about 90Gb of available space, that's on the 128Gb model. I still do fine with 32Gb as long as I've got an SD Card for media. Always need that free space for the camera just in case. I also don't play many mobile games, and I've got unlimited data so I don't store music on my device.

13. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

I've used 70GB of my phone's 128GB internal storage. Will be getting it a NM Memory Card soon. I have all my Apple Music albums & singles Downloaded and often Download some episodes of my favourite Netflix shows, to watch when Traveling.

14. sissy246

Posts: 7115; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

28 of my 64

15. thedizzle

Posts: 197; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

Note 9 512gb + 256gb sd card. Can save all the memes i want and never have to think about having enough space lol

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 31055; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yes sirrr. And GIFS for those Sunday NFL Facebook battles with my crew.

16. Stormrider

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

I'm able to manage with 16GB. I have hundreds if not thousands of photos and all the apps that I need, and some free space. I think the minimum nowadays should be 32GB, and that's more than enough if you don't have all your music collection on there, and you're not a 4K video producer.

17. whocar3s

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

I think 128GB is the sweet spot. But 64GB is more than enough for a lot of people out there.

18. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I went from having a 16GB iPhone SE to a 64GB iPhone X. Most I had up until then was a 32GB Nexus 6, my last Android phone. I never used all the space, especially since cloud storage became a thing. The extra space on my iPhone X is greatly appreciated though, because now it means I can download more apps and games. Currently using 44.49GB/64GB, but I’m sure majority of that space is due to the iOS software.

37. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I wish that I had a 64gb X. I have a 256 gb because it was the best deal at the time. I'm only using 12gb out of it...

19. kevin97

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 01, 2016

I never understood why people get anything other than the minimum available storage. Extra storage is the most overpriced feature of new phones, buying the higher storage option guarantees you a bad deal.

20. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 697; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Not all phones come with removable storage and not everyone uses cloud services. Besides, value is subjective, so a bad deal to you isn't one to everyone else.

24. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Spending money on something you don't need is a bad deal for anyone. Look at #21 and you will see an example of stupidity.

26. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 697; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Agreed on both accounts, but that's clearly not what I was referring to. Someone who buys iPhones or Pixels (for example) and doesn't use cloud services will have to buy a higher storage version if they use more than the base.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Google Photos is free of charge (for every user) - why chose to pay for storage instead of using the free cloud? A song is 1€, which means 1 GB of music costs 200€ that's more than 3y of streaming music - why chose to buy music when you can stream? A phone's storage should only be enough for apps and apps data; everything more is just a waste of money.

29. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 697; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

The problem here is that you're only looking at this from your own perspective. Not everyone in the world has access to fast enough internet speeds all the time to make cloud services the most practical solution. Secondly, not everyone wants to. Personal preference is a real thing.

38. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The smartphone is mainly a communication tool and you can't communicate unless you have... internet; it's a game machine and every game that counts is played over the... internet; it's an organizer (routes, tasks, schedules) and all the data syncs over the... internet; it's a multimedia player, ok, you can save a bunch of media files on the phone, but the real power lies in accessing the huge media libraries (YouTube, Spotify, Netflix etc) through the... internet. Using a smartphone without internet is like using a 2 wheel drive convertible for off-road: you can do it of course, but it's just sooo bad.

31. cmdacos

Posts: 4209; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

While I have a decent data plan amount (for Canada) with 15GB a month there is no way I'm wasting it on streaming when I can just keep the regular playlists updated on my phone with Spotify constantly updating it when I'm on wifi.

36. darkkjedii

Posts: 31055; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said. I'd much rather have my music stored, and make my playlists.

39. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

How much time do you spend a month - away from wi-fi - listening to music on your phone, 1-2h/day tops (on commute and/or at the gym)? How much internal storage would you need to listen to a different song every second of that time, if you don't want to waste 6GB of data to stream high quality (or way less for regular quality, which on Spotify sounds almost exactly like HQ)? Having 1k Kbps flac files, takes ~26GB, so I don't think you'll have a problem with any base version of a (flagship) phone.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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