Understanding storage can be hard.Every smartphone comes with a set amount of storage but the amount varies between devices. Some smartphones can have additional storage added via micro SDcards, whilst others can’t.
There’s no exact answers on how much storage different types of apps and media will take up on your smartphone,either. Trying to work out how much storage you actually need, and how much storage the phones you are looking at buying actually have can be confusing.
I wanted to create this blog tohelp clear up any confusion any of you may have. If you want to buy a new smartphone but don't know how much storage you need, read this blog and by the end of it you should have your answer.
The Typical Storage Options
Every smartphone has a set-in-stone internal storage space. On top of this, some, (but not all), smartphones have additional storage space which can be added through microSD cards.
Typically, these are the different options available for internal storage in your smartphone:
8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
This amount of space doesn’t account for the amount of space the system files take up. This means you'll have roughly 5-10GB less space than these advertised numbers when your smartphone is powered on for the first time.
128GB and 256GB smartphones are more expensive and are aimed at heavy usage scenarios. If you have to snap a photo of everything you see, or download every last one of your favourite albums, a 128GB or 256GB option would be worth considering.
64GB is the middle ground - you will be able to do a lot with 64GB, but it may reach a point where your memory hits a limit, especially if you’re frantic with the camera shutter.
For more casual users, 16GB and32GB options are often good choices. If you plan to take a few photos here orthere, save a few albums for offline listening, and download a few apps, either of these options have you covered.
Because some space is taken up bysystem files, I’d highly recommend avoiding any 8GB smartphones unless the smartphone is only going to be used for basic texting, web browsing, or calling. Alternatively, if an 8GB smartphone has a microSD card slot, you’ll beable to bypass this problem by purchasing a microSD card for additional storage.
Looking At Your Usage
Not all smartphones have the same storage options. Before you look into what storage is available on different smartphones, you’ll need to look at your usage to work out how much storageyou’ll actually need.
Below I’ve categorised some of the biggest culprits for eating up storage space. Choose a data usage scenario from each category below, then add it up at the end to get a rough estimate on how much storage you actually need.
Please note that these numbers are estimations, the exact file size for photos, movies, music, and apps will always vary.
The average size of a photo canvary drastically, depending on the quality of the smartphone camera, the settings used within the camera app, and also the level of detail of the image that’s being taken. On average, however, images on modern day flagships are often upto 5MB in size.
Usage Pattern 1: What’s A Camera?
1GB of storage for 200 images
For those that rarely ever open the camera app.
1GB of storage space will net you roughly 200 images.
Usage Pattern 2: I Want To Catch The Important Moments
5GB of storage for 800-1,000 images
For those that want to catch the important moments in life.
5GB of storage space will netyou roughly 800-1,000 images.
Usage Pattern 3: I Must Capture Everything!
30GB of storage for up to 5,000 images
For camera fanatics. 30GB of storage space
will give you room for roughly 5,000 images.
We can’t forget video recordings from the camera app! Video recordings can take a surprising amount of space on your smartphone. You can change the settings in your camera app to limit the quality of your videos to save space. However, for this example, we’ll beusing the highest quality (UHD) video recordings as a base line.
Usage Pattern 1: I Won’t Record Anything
5GB of storage for 10 minutes ofUHD video
Doubt you'll record videos? 5GB of storage space
will give you roughly 10 minutes of UHD video just in case.
Usage Pattern 2: Videos For Special Moments
30GB of storage for at least 60minutes of UHD video
If you’d like to have enough spaceto capture the special moments.
30GB of storage space will give you an hour or more of UHD video.
Usage Pattern 3: Lights, Camera,Action!
100GB of storage for at least 4hours of UHD video
If you can’t go without taking daily videos.
100GB of storage space will give you roughly 4 hours of UHD video.
These days, streaming services arethe most efficient and popular platforms for listening to music. Apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, and TIDAL account for combined hundreds of millions of users across the world.
Usage Pattern 1: Just A Few Songs For The Car
1GB of storage for 200 songs
For those unlikely to save anything other than their favourites.
1GB of storage space will net you roughly 200 songs.
Usage Pattern 2: I Know My Music Tastes
5GB of storage for 1,000 songs
For those who are big music fans.
5GB of storage space will give you roughly 1,000 songs.
Usage Pattern 3: I’m A Human Jukebox
30GB of storage for over 5,000songs
For those who listen to everything.
30GB of storage space willgive you room to download over 5,000 songs.
Apps vary in size, but they’re not much of a storage hog unless you’re playing big 3D games.
Usage Pattern 1: I Just Need The Basics … And Maybe Candy Crush
5GB of storage for apps and a few games
If you’re a casual smartphone gamer,
but would like to download apps and a game or two without restriction.
5GB of storage space will be enough for your usage needs.
Usage Pattern 2: I’m An App Store Window Shopper
10GB of storage for dozens of apps and games
If you want to be able to download dozens of apps and mobile games
on your device without hitting any limits,
10GB of storage space should give you the space you need.
Usage Pattern 3: I’m Addicted To Mobile Games
50GB of storage for 200+ apps and large games
If you want to be able to download hundreds of apps,
are a fan of 3D mobile games,or don't want to say goodbye
to your apps after installing them, 50GB of storage space should set you up for life.
Streaming services like Netflix are often the way to go for watching movies and TV on your smartphone, but if you want to be able to buy and download movies or other media for offline viewing,you may need to set some storage aside.
Usage Pattern 1: A Movie Or Two Will Do
5GB of storage for 2-3 movies
If you only want space for two or three movies,
5GB of storage will be enough.
Usage Pattern 2: I Purchase A Lot Of Movies For Offline Viewing
30GB of storage for up to 20 movies
If you’d like to have a selection of movies to choose between.
30GB of storage will give youup to 20 movies
from the Google Play Store or iTunes store.
Usage Pattern 3: I Don’t Have To Delete These Right?
100GB of storage for roughly 50-60movies
If you want to build an offline movie collection, 100GB of storage
will give you enough space for 50-60 movies, depending on their length.
Once you’ve read through this last section, you should now have picked out a usage pattern for the following categories:
Because file sizes often vary, andto allow space for additional files and system software, I’d always suggest adding an extra 25% to your total usage.
As an example, if you were to pick usage pattern 2 from each of the six categories, you’d end up with 90GB. (112GB after the additional 25%.)
Any 128GB smartphone would be perfect for this scenario and you’d have room for the following:
Over an hour of UHD video footage
Dozens of apps and games