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Samsung Considering Giving Galaxy S4 Users Their Storage Space Back

Galaxy S4 storage

When news broke that the 16 GB Galaxy S4 only let you have access to 9 GB of the internal memory, users were rightfully a bit angry. It is understood that system partitions eat into some of our space, but gobbling up half of the storage promised is cause for concern. After Samsung suggested that people used SDcards to expand that space, it seems that they may be looking for another solution to the problem. 

In speaking with CNET, a Samsung spokesperson said they are “committed to listening to our customers” and that they are “reviewing the possibility to secure more memory space through further software optimization.” There was no timetable given for this reviewing process and that doesn’t mean it will even come to fruition. If Samsung can find a way to cut down on the size of their partition, S4 users could see some storage coming back their way.


  • ferry mather

    for one, they don’t need 13mp camera. Its terrible anyways when compared to even the cheapest 2mp regular camera thats $5 on ebay. Megapixels aren’t everything. What matter is the size of the sensor, which are tiny on the phones.

  • fartigus

    just let apps go on the sd card

  • master94

    Why didnt anyone get mad when Moto gave out Droid Razrs claiming 16Gb but only giving us 8.

  • kane

    How much is taken up for the useless features and Eyesore ( Imean Touchwiz) interface? Flash memory is getting increasingly cheap. And be honest in you calculations. Use binary not decimal when calucating a gibabytes

  • Gage

    Just give us the 32gb and the 64gb versions when you launched the phone that would clear up some space we need for storage

  • FknTwizted

    I run into this all the time with my N2 where 16gb on board just isn’t cutting it anymore as these apps are getting larger.. what i would like to see is the ability (non-app or rooting) to do what is kind of done with computers per say have a .exe file on on board and the app itself on the sd.

  • All that extra software should be available as an optional app. I disable most of it anyways.

  • If Samsung follows through and gives storage back to us, There’s no doubt that i will support them even more in the future. HTC consistantly ignores Sd support and Battery removal, While Samsung gives the users what they want. This is the first time i was a little upset with samsung and once again, If they follow through i will be throughly impressed.

  • Intellectua1

    I really wanted the 64gb S4 but I got tired of waiting and settled for the 32gb, the 16gb was never on my radar..

  • chris125

    If they do this then what are people going to complain about? There will still be something, people like to complain.

  • jamie stevens

    use sd for your music etc. but the internal space is needed for most apps.

  • jb

    One of the many reasons I think camera phone’s shouldn’t have monster megapixels. A 13mp image is about 5 MB whereas a 5mp image is about 1-1.5 MB. You combine this with software that is taking multiple pictures per second, HDR images, etc., and you’re going to eat up memory quick and for pretty much no reason. If you want to print or crop your pictures or actually take pictures that are worth a damn, use a real camera. For the rest of us, 4-5mp images are MORE than enough. In fact, the first digital camera I ever had was a 2mp camera and I still have images from it that are FAR better than what I see coming out of cell phones.

  • Bionic

    When i purchase a phone one of the first things i do i hook it up to my computer and MANUALLY copy my music collection onto the SD card and i use poweramp to listen to music.

    I do use google music to back up my collection but why stream your music if you dont have to?

    • KatsumeBlisk

      I don’t use Play Music for streaming. I use it to transfer stuff to my phone. I buy something on Play Music, it’s instantly available on all of my Android devices and only takes a couple minutes to cache. Much faster than manually downloading it from store on my desktop and then transferring.

    • Spider210

      If you own a DNA you kinda have to stream it, thank god for unlimited! 🙂

  • RichFromBX

    one place where the lack of internal storage kills it for me is with the music – I easily pass 6gbs of offline music from Spotify and now with the goolge streaming that number could go to 12gb – both services really need to allow for SD card downloading…

  • Bionic

    Everyone keeps saying apps apps apps.

    I have 80 apps on my phone and it only uses 1.5 gigs.

    • Well it does depend on the apps. Some of the apps I have on my phone are 200 megs or more. Games tend to be larger in some cases.

    • Geoff Johnson

      Are any of those games? And by games I don’t mean solitaire, I’m referring to games such as GTA, NFSMW, etc. which take up 1-2GB each?

      • Bionic

        Games is the one thing that makes sense, i agree

        • JoshGroff

          Or HD videos, but that could be put on SD, that’s the only thing I hate about my DNA, storage is terrible and there’s no expansion so I have to stream pretty much everything if I want to have games on my phone.

          • Bionic

            which is dumb because unlimited data isnt cool with verizon anymore

          • JoshGroff

            True, but I’m near WiFi pretty much all day, so I pretty much never dip into my data pool, and If I did, I could hop to prepaid GSM with it.

    • Riz Virani

      You’re talking to people who like games on their phones, too. I don’t personally have many games, but others might. The average consumer probably does.

    • Steve Trevino

      my thing is games, and I have some I love that are over 1 gig, Dragon’s lair was a arcade classic and love playing it since its crazy hard..anyway that and spotify uses nearly 7-8 gigs of offline music so you put big games and spotify together and it doesn’t look pretty when you go to settings/storage and see how pitiful it looks. My SD card only holds music/pictures/video obviously. An SD card can only do so much.

  • beyeg

    This is my biggest concern with the Verizon version of the S4. I am eligible to upgrade now, but I do not want a 16gb phone. I wish Verizon would announce if they plan to launch a larger version or not. I did not preorder hoping that by the actual launch date that we would have some answers…but still nothing.

    • Bionic

      I would be shocked if they didnt carry the bigger one as well.

      • beyeg

        I agree – but the question is when.

        • Bionic
          • Geoff Johnson

            Good luck getting your apps, app data, and Google Music/Videos to save to the SD card. The only thing my 64GB SD card is useful for is TWRP backups and photos.

          • Bionic

            I have never owned a Samsung but I assume you can go into camera settings and tell the camera to save any pics you take onto the SD card.


            If you are going to bother to save google music onto your phone, why not just hook the phone up to your computer and manually move your music collection onto the SD card? Problem solved.

            I understand the point about games, games will suck up gigs fast.

          • beyeg

            That is a great question and one that I have wrestled with. My concern is that not all apps can be moved to the sd card. With my thunderbolt had the SD card go bad and that wrecked havoc on my system.

            I am ready to get the 16gb version, because I have a 16gb Nexus 7 and have not had storage issues, and I do not download a ton to my phone….but knowing that I will have the device for 2 years, I am trying to imagine what will come coming in the future that I will need the storage for.

          • Doug Wing

            Many applications refuse to write any data to the SDcard. One of the apps I wish would is Zinio. I have ~8GB of magazines stored with Zinio and it all has to sit on internal memory.

          • Doug Wing

            Many applications refuse to write any data to the SDcard. One of the apps I wish would is Zinio. I have ~8GB of magazines stored with Zinio and it all has to sit on internal memory.

  • Bionic
    • Avery Dejuan Herron

      Umm Thats stupid! and bying it will increase the total cost of your phone which people shouldn’t have to do…….not to mention it doesn’t solve all storage issues!

    • Seriously. I don’t understand why people get so up in arms over this. I like having an SD card in the event that my phone craps out, I can just pop the SD card and move it to a different phone with no data loss.

    • Blue Sun

      This helps in no way except local storage of photos, music. There is no ability to transfer apps to SD cards.

  • Lucky Armpit

    I’m not sure why this is news. The Razr Maxx has 16GB internal storage and it too only has 8 GB available to the end-user, as the other 8GB is taken up by the OS. Solution was to buy a $15 32GB Class 10 MicroSD card. Done.

    • mcdonsco

      I’m pretty sure the RAZR maxx I had had 32gbs

    • Diablo81588

      The difference is the RAZR Maxx came with a 16GB SD card, for a total of 32GB.

  • deadsix

    Samsung is only doing this because the BBC outed them on a consumer protection program over in the UL

    • No mention of moving apps to the SD card,why is this not possible with the S4? Whats the point of having a 64GB SD card?

  • They’ll do this and people will still complain. No use trying
    You either buy an SD card or deal with it.

    • Bionic

      yanno whats funny? I dont have anything stored at all on my bionic internal memory, only the SD card. If you take away the apps at 1.5 gigs, it leaves 9 gigs at factory settings left for the user.

      Same “problem” but it wasnt an issue when the Bionic came out. Funny how that works huh?

      • Geoff Johnson

        A lot changes in 1-2 years, back then we still had unlimited data

        • Tim242

          You let yours go?

          • Geoff Johnson

            Still have mine fortunately, and I’m only paying $72 after tax. I’m just saying in the mobile industry a lot can change in 1-2 years. Back when the Bionic came out we didn’t use our phones for such large games.

        • chris125

          well unlimited data doesnt really have anything to do with an sd card and what is stored on it.

      • KatsumeBlisk

        Back then, there weren’t two sdcard partitions. Now, the internal memory is used as the primary sd card and the external one is separate. You can’t use the external one for caching Play Music or any other app data as far as I know. It wasn’t a problem when internal storage was only for /data, /system, etc.

  • mcdonsco

    I honestly dont understand why were even still serving devices launch with less than 32gbs…makes no sense. The difference in cost to Samsung would have been about what, $4/device max?

    At the same time (and on the other side of the coin), the 16gb would be fine for me with 9gb free as I have a 32gb phone now with everything I need on it and I’m only using around 5+gb’s…my concern when I get the s4 on vzw will be resale…wish they were launching the 32’s at the same time.

    • Bionic

      I agree, flash memory is so cheap that 32GB should be the new minimum standard.

    • Diablo81588

      Apple started that garbage. Charge $100 more for twice the internal storage, when it cost them less than $10 for the difference. Pure profit.

    • Calvin Williams

      $4*40,000,000 is quite a lot. But they make it themselves, I believe it cost the same price to make a 1gb card as a 128gb card. Open a micro sd card up and tell me what they add that could cost $80 more for the 128gb Might be a few pennies more but I think that’s it.

  • Just_Some_Nobody

    How much free space on the S4 that Google announced yesterday? That will be an interesting comparison. As will performance and battery life.

    • beyeg

      I am curious with the version that Google released yesterday, should the devs not be able to pull that version off so that rooted owners can run it as a rom?

      • JoshGroff

        Or vice versa, would like to have the option to flash between stock and Touchwiz just to change it up every once in a while.

        • Eddie Chenoweth

          Its actually more like 12.5gb with a nexus style stock os and preloaded gapps.

          • JoshGroff

            Sounds about right, my DNA is sitting around 11.5gb free space on aokp, and the system partition has another gig to gig and a half free space.

    • michael arazan

      A little over 2 GB for 4.2.2 and Pre-loaded Google apps in Nexus devices, so a 16 gb would give about 14 gb with stock android only and pre-loaded Google apps

  • zaggs

    I have a 32gb one so I’m good to go. But a 16gb micro SD sets you back what, $14 tops? Though perhaps Samsung should have included one.

    • Geoff Johnson

      Hell the Thunderbolt came with a 32GB MicroSD card when it came out

    • Bionic

      Hell, if you go on amazon you can get a top of the line huge SDXC card for less than 35 bucks

    • DanSan

      that doesn’t change it. without root you cannot install apps to the SD card and thats what people are complaining about.

      It wont affect me as i dont install any games or anything big but some people might run into trouble down the road.

      • matt_helm

        I have a ton of apps (none on the SD card), and have 7.39GB free out of 8GB. Of course I only have 6.1GB out of 64GB on the SD card, but that’s all data, no apps. Sure wish the 128GB microSD cards would ship, hate that squeezed feeling!!!

        • DanSan

          yea i really dont think its going to be a problem especially for normal apps. feel like people are blowing it up

      • Daistaar

        Who cares about installing apps on the SD card? The apps themselves are usually a few MB and app data gets put on the SD. While a game like Asphalt may be 1.8 GB, only a few megs are on the internal partition. The additional game data gets put on your SD card.

    • DaManfittyGrand

      Ok, How did you get the 32gb one? Verizon only has the 16gb Pre-order one. And I believe all of the other carriers do too. I’m going to buy one outright so that I can keep my Unlimited data plan…..

      • zaggs

        Sorry, I meant SD card.

  • this is why system and storage memory should be separate units.

    • faganm24

      Agree. At least label the device with how much will be available for storage, not how much actual memory is on the device. They could have labeled this device as 9 GB or give it more memory so that it actually has 16gb of usable space.

      • And the DNA as 10gb.

      • ImmaDroid

        They should make it where you get the full 16GB, and have their own dedicated memory for system. Or stop offering small amounts of memory. 3-4 games these days would eat that 9GB right up.

      • Troy Smith

        and the htc thunderbolt should have been labeled as 2 gigs…..NOT 8. it’s a very poor practice.

    • That’s a good idea, at least in theory. However, if they’re physically separate, you could end up running into problems if the system size grows too big through the course of updates, etc. You also end up with wasted space if the system is smaller than the maximum size.

  • maybe they should consider loading phones with 32 gig instead of a paltry 16 gig – memory is still cheap, isn’t it?

    • DanWazz

      32 GB should be the minimum. I don’t know people survive with just 8 or 16.

      • Google should listen to their customers.

        • This is Samsung’s phone… not Google’s

          • Are you stupid? I was referring to how Google doesn’t know how to give users storage.

          • socalman

            Unless you’re talking cloud storage, the only one stupid is you Tyler. Google has nothing to do with how the phone is made.

      • JoshGroff

        I can’t do 8, but with streaming, 16 is doable.

      • I can do 16GBs with an sd card slot. 16GBs internal only doesn’t work.

      • okungnyo

        I own a Nexus 4 8GB and am currently only using 4GB.

        How, you ask? Well…
        I delete all photos immediately after they get uploaded to Google+ Auto Backup.
        I stream all my music, movies, and books from Google Play.
        But I mostly browse the Web.

        If you don’t pirate, you don’t need 100GB of storage.

  • Ryan

    They should leave out some parts of the UI like air gestures. IMO its a gimmick to buy and show off to people but not practical.

    • On my note I actually came to find them useful at times

      • Avery Dejuan Herron

        I wasn’t aware of the fact that the note had air gestures or even the note 2 which I have and can’t seem to find it on………

        • Fozzybare

          yeah…idk what that guy is smoking. we have airview on our notes but not gestures.

          • JoshGroff

            It’s like I’m just hearing about air gestures now… That’s a thing? (Sounds like an interesting feature) I haven’t paid much attention to the S4 so pardon my ignorance.

          • Tim242

            We do have some gestures. Wave to take a screen shot, and wave to see status.

          • Avery Dejuan Herron

            Did I or did I not say air gesters?

          • Tim242

            Ummm those are air gestures…..

          • Avery Dejuan Herron

            Don’t see a wave to screen shot only a slide my hand over the screen “While touching the glass”

          • Kevin

            I think he was referring to the generic term “some parts of the UI” implying that he finds some of those features some people find extraneous to be useful. Probably not specifically referring to air gestures.

        • It doesn’t. That guy is smoking something.

          • Tim242

            It does have some.

        • Tim242

          The Note 2 does have gestures, just not as many. It has the status checker and wave to screen shot.

          • Fozzybare

            you have to physically touch the screen to take a screen shot. there isnt air between your hand and the phone so how in the hell could that be an air gesture?

          • Tim242

            I don’t have to touch mine for it to work. Even on the S4, you have to be within a centimeter, it’s not like you can just freely wave. I like how you dismissed then other gesture I mentioned. Definitely no touch needed for that.

          • Fozzybare

            you must be high. i turned it back on and was trying to get it to take a screen shot without touching the screen and guess what? IT DIDNT WORK.

          • Tim242

            Mine does. Nice job dismissing the other one…once again.

          • Fozzybare

            i have never used it so i cant comment on it.

          • Fozzybare

            i want a video of you waving your hand, above the screen, and it taking a screen shot because it doesnt happen. i tried it on my note 2. i tried it on my friends s3. neither phones do it.

          • Avery Dejuan Herron

            He won’t be able to give you one lol

          • Fozzybare

            they were talking about air gestures up there anyways. learn to read. no crap the note 2 and s3 have gestures but not air gestures.

        • Note 2 does under gestures ladies

    • It would be nice if, in addition to disabling features, you could remove them altogether. I imagine this would require using some kind of management software on your computer too, at least to recover disabled features.

    • mcdonsco

      Actually the gesture to turn the screen on to show alerts etc is quite handy…admittedly though, that’s the only one I find useful thus far.

    • I use the gestures all the time and love them. These ‘gimmick’ features are what nakes this phone what it is, which is simply the number 1 selling phone on the planet.

    • It’s easy. Go to settings and just turn them off.

      • Diablo81588

        The software still takes up space whether its enabled or not..

        • Bionic

          but it takes up less space than if enabled

  • Bionic

    Ummmmm. SD card?

    • Neil Ostrander

      Ummmmm, SD card does no good for app storage.

      • Frank Fiorta

        Ummmm move app to the SD card?

        • justincase_2008

          Not all apps can move to sd. Google music is the number one app I use that takes up 5 6 gbs by itself. Making a skin take up so mich space is the issue.

        • Neil Ostrander

          No way to do that in natively in Jellybean.

        • You can’t on the Samsung phones.

      • Geoff Johnson

        Or additional app data, or Play Music downloaded files, or pretty much anything other than self-loaded files.

      • Bionic

        You are gonna fill up 8 gigs of free space with apps? I have something like 80apps installed on my phone and im only using 1.5 gigs.

        • Andrew Roth

          NOVA 3 (1.9GB), Modern Combat 4 (1.9GB), The Dark Knight Rises (1.8GB), Dungeon Hunter 4 (918MB), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (1.4GB), Order and Chaos (1.3GB), etc. Have you heard of games besides Angry Birds?

          OOPS! I just used up my 9GB available on my brand new Galaxy S4 in SIX APPS! I didn’t even look for the largest apps possible just ones I had on my S3 (before moving to a 64gb iPhone 5).

          Now i’m getting a Verizon S4 in a week because I love Android but thinking 9GB is enough for app storage these days is just silly.

          • Bionic

            I agree, but at 199 what do you expect from them?

            Looks like you are gonna need a bigger phone then huh?

          • Andrew Roth

            What options do i have for a “high end” phone on Verizon? just iphone or razr maxx hd right? that’s not helpful to me…

          • Geoff Johnson

            More like $649. And it wouldn’t be a problem if the carriers actually carried this in 32GB/64GB variants, all they ever get is the 16GB version.

          • Andrew Roth

            I expected what a lot of people expect, make the base model 32gb by now…what is the difference in cost to them? $4 someone said. Even after 20 million phones sold that’s $80 million. That’s a drop in the bucket to Samsung…

          • Avery Dejuan Herron

            Just so you know the phone from them is not $199 its alot closer to $700 just because the phone company charges $199 doesn’t mean thats what the phone cost full retail duhhhhhhh!

        • JoshGroff

          Spectral Souls with the extra install is ~1.2GB, Bard’s Tale with HD package is ~3-3.2GB. It’s not hard to fill up space with high quality games. That being said, most people shouldn’t need that much space, and if they do, they should buy the 32GB model.