How much storage do you need?

How much storage do you need?

With the impending launch of the Google Nexus devices, specifically the Nexus 4 there are a lot of complaints about the lack of storage/expandable storage on the next line of the Nexus devices. First: Google Nexus devices do not and will not have expandable storage on them! Get over it, if you want a phone with expandable storage then a Nexus device isn’t the one for you: you’re after a flagship OEM device

Now thats out of the way lets take a look at what you can actually store on a Nexus device and break down what you can store on this supposed ‘limited’ storage

So the storage you get ‘on the tin’ says it’s 16GB/8GB on the Nexus 4.  In reality around 3GB of that is used up on system storage leaving you with 13GB/5GB respectively

This is my maths on averages for the three main types of files you are going to store on a phone being music, pictures and movies

This is by no means scientific and please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is what I have worked out you can get with one gigabyte of storage

MP3s @ ~3.5MB each high quality file around 3.5 minutes long = 300 songs | ~17.5hrs of music
JPGs @ ~2.5MB each = 400 pictures 
.wvm [Transformers Dark of the Moon from the Play store] @ 850MB 154 minutes = 2.5hrs HD video 

So if we have 3GB of storage we could store all that on our devices, quite a lot right? Who in their right mind will be listening to music throughout the whole day or need 17hrs of music sat on their phone, no one is going to use all of that are they? I can’t vouch for everyone’s listening habits but there must be a large chunk of those MP3 files on there that are redundant and never get used

Then we come to the pictures, unless you are a professional photographer 400 photos is probably a couple of months worth of pictures, now can anyone say that they use those pictures every day and that those pictures being on their phones are a necessity? Don’t think so, the problem is that you want them on there so you can show someone else when you need to

And movies, well like I said previously it wasn’t a scientific where I worked out bit rate and encoding, all I did was download the Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie from the Play store and took a look on my storage to see how much the file used. In reality when you have watched a movie once the likelihood of you wanting to watch it again is pretty low, so more space on the storage being taken up incase you might want to watch that two and a half hour film, again.

I’m not sure if it’s a kickback from the days of the HTC Desire where internal space was woeful and space was at a premium or if it’s just peoples natural hoarding instinct

There are a lot of ways to manage the memory on your phone, one way is to not manage it at all, and that works for me. Another way would be to use cloud services, there are a ton of them around right now but the main ones Google Drive, DropBox and Box all have syncing services so you can save videos music and pictures to them either on the move [if you have an unlimited data sim plan] or when you get home via the wifi.

In closing Google have it right with minimising the amount of data that can be kept on a device, now this won’t suit everyone but Google wanting all their users to utilise their cloud services could be one of the reasons, also if you lose your device or it is corrupted then all your data is still safe on the cloud. Losing a phone isn’t such a big deal then, apart from the financial loss a lot of the time the contents of the phone are worth a lot more than the hardware.

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  • Abe

    Did I really just read this? You may have a lot of time on your hands but most people don’t want to spend half the day deciding which pictures, music, video they’ll have with them that day and then deleting and copying everything over. As for doing it on the fly, most people have 500meg mobile data plans which would be eroded in 1 video sync from the cloud. I guess they’ll be bored watching that same video for 30 days until the data allowance renews and slightly annoyed there’s no data for browsing or emails. Genius.

  • H

    You haven’t taken into account games which often run into well over 1gb in data. A few games and other multi media soon eat into memory.

    I have long commutes into work and watch a lot of TV series on journey in and out of London and prefer to carry series on my phone as I don’t have the time to organise the memory on my phone.

    I had a HTC One S which had 10Gb in memory available to the user and I was forever juggling multi media and other items on the phone just to free up memory which I found extremely annoying.

    Now I have S3 and the 64GB card is only half full but now I don’t have to worry about deleting stuff just to make way for other items. I’m not a hoarder and don’t carry all my music with me but anything equal to or below 16GB isn’t enough for everyone.

    Some people don’t have unlimited data and cannot stream their music via the cloud and don’t forget the data is also subject to network availability, you simply cannot stream music when you’re using London Underground to get around.

    It’s different strokes for different folks but for me access to bigger memory is a plus for me.

  • Robbie Adams

    You forgot to factor in Applications. Especially games.
    Phones with no SD expansion should have a minimum of 32 gigs of internal memory for the fact that there is no SD expansion.

  • Martin

    If manufacturers are not going to add an SD slot then they have to offer different versions of the device. 16/32/64, oh and not rip people off for the priviledge of having a larger capacity device as well please? Memory is cheap, 32gig for £20, so no charging £50-£100 for it!

  • Trevor

    Considering the relatively low cost of memory (microSD cards at least) there’s no excuse to reduce storage or remove the option of users expanding with a card. I’ve been suffering with non-expandable storage on my WP7 device and I tried coping with streaming, but when you’re not at home or in the office and relying on 3G in the UK, streaming doesn’t provide a great user experience. I am sooo looking forward to WP8! I don’t know what music I’ll be in the mood for when I’m commuting – it depends how good or bad my day is! ;-)

  • Anonymous

    I like the new Nexus 4 in its looks. This phone has too many short comings to appeal to the average phone buyer unless the buyer is not a tech type of person. The short comings are: no SD slot for expanding memory, offering only 8/16 GB options where the average user is using 32-64GB on their smartphone purchases; no LTE support.
    Google has always try to usurp the desire of the individual and try to convert that person into Google’s philosoply of the cloud! I can see it can be useful for backing up your data; but not for continuous access of your data since there will be times that you will not have access to wi-fi or that your cellular time is up to the limits.
    They need to re-think this smartphone before the 13th and offer at least a 32GB option; like they did with the updated Nexus 7!