Samsung: We’re Wasting Half Of The Galaxy S4’s Flash Storage On Crappy Features No One Wants

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When you buy a 16GB iPhone, iOS 6 takes up roughly 1GB of space on the device, leaving about 15GB or so to spare. Buy a 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, and you get just 8.49GB!

Why? Samsung says all the bloat is because of the nonsense, half-baked “software features” they keep on baking in.

In a statement to CNET, everyone’s favorite Cupertino copycat said:

“For the Galaxy S 4 16GB model, approximately 6.85GB occupies [the] system part of internal memory, which is 1GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers. To offer the ultimate mobile experience to our users, Samsung provides [a] microSD slot on Galaxy S 4 for extension of memory.”

New features in the Galaxy S4 that are “justifying” this bloat include technology that pauses a movie when you take your eyes off the screen, or gestures that let you control your phone without touching it, and so on. I’ve tried them: at best, they’re maybe ideas for apps you’d download in certain situations; at worst, they barely function.

True, you can pop a microSD card into a Samsung Galaxy S4… but that’s only good for things like movies and music. If you want to run an app, you’ve only got 8GB of space. You’re boned.

Aren’t you glad you’re an iPhone owner? Sure, 16GBs isn’t a lot on an iPhone either, but at least they’re not screwing you for almost half of that just to justify some crummy software tweaks.

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  • johnny9167

    If they know this then why make a version with a 16 Gb minimum?

  • Adrayven

    Wasn’t aware they chewed so much space up.. It’s Microsoft all over again! :D

    Well, eventually that will catch up to them… HTC might be in same boat.. Wonder what base Android install takes up? Anyone know?

  • Christopher Clancy

    iOS 6 is a little larger than 1 GB on my 4S. Closer to 2.5 GB. It is still better, but let’s be honest.

  • Polish_ink

    This isn’t new, Android has always been like this, which is just one of the reasons why I switched to iOS.

  • Nathanhead91

    Yeah but your comparing on the iphone 15gb of storage for apps movies and videos, compared to the 8gb on the s4 that can be used just for apps( as long as you have a sd card, which you’ll definitely need) or wait till the s4 is available with larger memory

  • Xiatian

    @Adrayven, stock Android, depending on the hardware platform, can take 1.1 to 1.8 GB, including the kernel and the boot code.

    My Sony Xperia V handset has 8 GB of internal memory, and about 1.8 GB is used by the system. 2 GB is reserved for apps; apps without widgets are installed into external storage by default. 4 GB is used as storage, for photos etc. And for everything else you’re supposed to use your memory card.

    There are certain issues with this partitioning scheme though, but I never encountered them.

  • Chagner

    It’s a company trying to be innovative and create new useful things, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. As for the memory issue I hardly use mine everything is cloud and streamed now, and throw in a external ssd slot and your fully covered. Nothings perfect, you just got to choose what works best for you.

  • TangoDJVince

    Crummy software that will be loved by 10s of millions of buyers. Nice marketing Samsung!

  • Phobos

    The statement is true, but as a five year iPhone user who just jumped to the Galaxy S4, I do find it amazing. The original iPhone was revolutionary, but if you want to know what mobile computing (not merely telephoning) is like in 2013, the race is honestly not in storage space. RIP Steve Jobs – long live technical evolution.

  • TechBell

    It’s like Samsung and Microsoft got together and decided to make mobile more complicated.

  • Phobos

    In a way I agree, but on the other hand I think that Apple has started playing too safe. How long are tech savvy consumers willing to stay loyal in the name of simplicity?

    Android seems to offer a degree of integration and customization that iOS just can’t offer.

    Maybe Johnathan I’ve can contribute to this, but we have to keep in mind he is not a UI designer. Time will tell.

  • TechnoBabble

    I know it might be hard for you to get your facts straight, but Android allows you to store apps on the SD card, so no, it’s not just for movies and music, and no, you’re not dicked over for storage space if you want to download lots of apps.

  • telangana

    I don’t think you are going to buy Galaxy phone even if they are going to give you extra 16GB storage than advertised storage. Why would you worry just chill and have a beer.

  • iOSobsolete

    Loll

    What? This isn’t even an issue unless you are stuck in 2009 and still using iPhone. There’s this great invention called flash storage cards that cost about 20 dollars for 32 GB you put in a phone

    Wow is the author living in a cave in Afghanistan to not know this? Or just using an iPhone with 3 year old technology

    They also have HD screens now unlike on iPhone with low definition screens lol

  • Paul Burt

    Loll

    What? This isn’t even an issue unless you are stuck in 2009 and still using iPhone. There’s this great invention called flash storage cards that cost about 20 dollars for 32 GB you put in a phone

    Wow is the author living in a cave in Afghanistan to not know this? Or just using an iPhone with 3 year old technology

    They also have HD screens now unlike on iPhone with low definition screens lol

    You’re an idiot. Try reading the article next time.

  • Paul Burt

    I know it might be hard for you to get your facts straight, but Android allows you to store apps on the SD card, so no, it’s not just for movies and music, and no, you’re not dicked over for storage space if you want to download lots of apps.

    The point is that you don’t have to and I’m pretty sure the majority of Android users don’t do that anyway. You can use more of the storage you’re already paying for and don’t have to shell out more money just so you can have your Angry Birds.

  • Paul Burt

    In a way I agree, but on the other hand I think that Apple has started playing too safe. How long are tech savvy consumers willing to stay loyal in the name of simplicity?

    Android seems to offer a degree of integration and customization that iOS just can’t offer.

    Maybe Johnathan I’ve can contribute to this, but we have to keep in mind he is not a UI designer. Time will tell.

    Really? I’ve never had a more integrated experience than with my iPhone. iCloud works seamlessly with it, my iPad and MacBook Pro. Android may have customization that satisfies a small percentage of its users, but Google can’t offer the same integrated experience you get with iOS. That’s a cold hard fact.

  • Paul Burt

    In a way I agree, but on the other hand I think that Apple has started playing too safe. How long are tech savvy consumers willing to stay loyal in the name of simplicity?

    Android seems to offer a degree of integration and customization that iOS just can’t offer.

    Maybe Johnathan I’ve can contribute to this, but we have to keep in mind he is not a UI designer. Time will tell.

    Really? I’ve never had a more integrated experience than with my iPhone. iCloud works seamlessly with it, my iPad and MacBook Pro. Android may have customization that satisfies a small percentage of its users, but Google can’t offer the same integrated experience you get with iOS. That’s a cold hard fact.

  • DannyDaCat

    I like that your reaction to problems on ONE model of phone (out of HUNDREDS at this point) running the Android operating system is to say, “aren’t you glad you have an iPhone”. Maybe you can find one particular Dell laptop you don’t like, and then declare that all computers running the Windows operating system are crap because of that.

    Way to understand how technology works, “technology journalist”.

  • iOSobsolete

    So I am right… Paul has been living in a cave in Afghanistan and do not know of storage cards you can put in a phone to expand storage.

    I’ll be nice..I have a lot of spare ones..tell me the cave you are in and I’ll mail you one via a drone. You don’t even have to worship me like a god for showing you this miraculous invention!

  • Xiatian

    So I am right… Paul has been living in a cave in Afghanistan and do not know of storage cards you can put in a phone to expand storage.

    I’d like to remind this person about the limits of the operating system when it comes to installing apps onto “external” storage on devices like the Galaxy S III that provide on-board storage outside of Android-standard /data partition which cannot be used as storage for photos, videos and whatever else you put on memory cards.

    Android supports external memory, and it’s normally /sdcard which is used for the app2SD mechanism, and for everything applications want to store “collaboratively”. If your device has a partition of its internal memory dedicated to user storage, as it is the case with Galaxy S III and many other devices, the truly external memory, the SD card, becomes mounted to a different point, often either /sdcard_ext or /sdcard2, etc. Android does NOT support app installation outside of the primary “external” storage, which is the 8 GB partition in the discussed device.

    This means you can NOT install apps onto the memory card, and applications that are not designed with multiple external storage devices support in mind (for example, Sygic) will NOT be able to store their data on the memory card.

    Disclosure: I have no Apple devices in my possession, and I have more than two years of experience in tailoring Android for different hardware platforms.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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