Most users of digital devices containing some kind of storage will be aware that the quoted capacity doesn’t usually tell the entire story. But once we’ve established that 16GB does not equate to the full 16GB, why do some devices only offer 8GB of available storage out of the box, while others offer 12GB+? Well this is due mainly to the firmware (and often, considerable bloatware) that some companies like to throw in, and as is portrayed in a rather nice infographic by tech market researcher Which, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 is the worst culprit for adding extra software.
In fact, those purchasing the 16GB variant of the Galaxy S4 will find that, after Android, TouchWiz and all of the other bundled ‘S’ extras that Samsung throws in, you’re left with a miserly 8.56GB. Not only is the worst of all the industry-leading handsets tested, but it’s a full 2GB less free storage than the next biggest culprit, LG G2.
The Apple iPhone 5c gives you the most memory of the quoted 16GB, offering a very healthy 12.6GB for all of your music, movies, photos, apps and games. The Google Nexus 5, which is manufactured by LG, is in second place with a respectable 12.28GB, although the fact that it only runs on untouched Android and doesn’t have any OEM features or featurettes does help its cause.
The flagship iPhone 5s made third place with 12.2GB, which, while starting to chomp into that personal space, is still a decent amount of real estate to play with. The Xperia Z1 came in forth with 11.43GB after software taxes, while the BlackBerry Z30 (11.2GB), HTC One Mini (10.44GB), and LG G2 (10.37GB) complete the list ahead of the S4.
Of course, while Apple’s devices fare better, it’s worth pointing out that since you can expand the memory on the S4 and several of the other entrants both readily and cheaply, it’s not such a downer that Samsung packs in so much additional content.
Still, if you don’t want or need some of the bloatware, the fact that you lose so much storage to it must be of particular annoyance. I guess the solution, in the case of the Galaxy S4, at least, would be to grab the Google Edition.