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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