Half the storage on the Galaxy S4? Read the full story

If you read the newspapers or watch BBC’s Watchdog programme then you’ll soon see news of the Samsung Galaxy S4 storage “issue”. Headlines scream that the S4 comes with around half the storage you expect due to pre-installed apps.

First I wanted to check this and compare it with the slightly older Galaxy S3. I don’t remember any headlines mentioning the reduced storage when that was launched, so how much available storage does it have?


My wifes’ Samsung Galaxy S3, which has 16GB of internal storage, is absolutely full of crud. It’s rammed with games, apps, pictures and videos. Here’s what the internal storage looks like…

Half the storage on the Galaxy S4? Read the full story

So the Galaxy S3 actually has 11.35GB (of the original 16GB) available for user storage. We lose some space when a drive is formatted but it still means that around 4GB of stuff has been pre-installed and I can’t move it.

Out of the 11.35GB available there’s now games, apps and pictures that my wife has added too, so there’s now 9.46GB remaining.

Now for the Galaxy S4. This is absolutely brand new. I’ve just received a loan device from Tesco Mobile. I’ve taken it out of the box, logged in and taken this screenshot…

Half the storage on the Galaxy S4? Read the full story

As you can see, I have 9.15GB of “total space” and 8.45GB available on a phone with 16GB advertised storage. That means that around 6GB (allowing a bit for formatting) is taken up by apps and enhancements. That’s about 2GB more than the S3.

I had a check around and made a list of the Samsung-specific apps that had been pre-installed. These are below and you can’t remove these. Samsung tell us that The space is consumed with apps to “provide a high resolution display and more powerful features” for customers.

To be fair, I’ve got a HTC One here and there was around 8GB consumed before I started adding the pictures and videos included below. The One has 32GB of storage but you can’t put a microSD card in to supplement that. Imagine if this was advertised as a 16GB device (it’s actually 32GB of course here), there’d be headlines about this too…

Half the storage on the Galaxy S4? Read the full story

Samsung advises that customers can, at least, add further storage with a microSD data card.

This is an issue that isn’t going to go away and isn’t just restricted to Samsung. A lot of apps won’t install on external storage and many people also fill that onboard space with hi-res pictures and videos.

As more handset manufacturers add more software features and cool extras, it’ll all get installed on that advertised internal storage unless something changes. Is separate storage just for the pre-installed bloatware apps the answer? Should external storage cards stay? Should we make more use of the cloud storage that gets offered with most phones now?

Personally, if I saw a car advertised as 200BHP but then found that the air-con and on-board computer sucked out 80BHP I’d be pretty annoyed. Shouldn’t it be that a phone advertised as having 16GB or 32GB actually has 16GB or 32GB available??

Let us know in the comments. Personally I’m still a sucker for an external microSD ;)

Adapt Sound – 7.82MB
Animated photo – 2.8MB
Beauty Face – 4.83MB
Best Face – 1.93MB
ChatON – 14.1MB
ChatON V – 21.9MB
Chrome – 8.42MB
Dropbx – 5.27MB
Flipboard – 3.47MB
Group Play – 34.52MB
Kies – 1.17MB
S Health – 83.78MB
S Voice – 26.08MB
Samsung Apps – 8.37MB
Samsung Account – 7.6MB
Samsung Apps WIdget – 1.89MB
Samsung Books – 22.58MB
Samsung Hub – 8.93MB
Samsung Link – 22.1MB
Samsung Knox – 1.99MB
Samsung Keyboard – 6.67MB
Samsung Learning – 1.96MB
Samsung Music – 5.42MB
Samsung Print Service – 2.59MB
Samsung Setup Wizard – 3.85MB
Samsung Text to speech – 2.27MB
Samsung WatchON – 13.66MB
Samsung WatchON – 24.26MB

Huawei to hold event in London on 18th June
The Coolsmartphone Podcast - Episode 46