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Galaxy S4 Storage Controversy Televised, Samsung Reviews

Those who own a Samsung Galaxy S4 are sure to be familiar with the now public problems the company has been facing concerning the phone's internal storage. Users have found that almost half of the advertised internal storage of the 16 GB version is used by the phone's own operating system and installed apps. While Samsung has stated that this is due to the "more powerful features" the phone houses, and that the external storage can be expanded, the issue still remains that only the internal storage can be used for installed applications, of which there are remarkably few.

Of all the people who are upset, Anne Robinson from BBC One's Watchdog took issue with Samsung not doing anything about this flaw and decided to voice her concerns on international television. In doing so, Samsung has subsequently released a statement saying that they "appreciate this issue being raised and will improve [their] communications," adding that they are "reviewing the possibility to secure more memory space through further software optimization." Do you think that phone companies should be reprimanded for advertising misleading information concerning their product's storage space, or are customers at fault for having too high expectations and not doing their research thoroughly enough? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

  • Grandmastersexsay
    If the issue is that someone bought the 16 GB version of the S4 thinking they would have 16 GB of free space, it is not Samsung's fault they are an idiot.

    On the other hand, if the problem is that people, in the United States at least, are limited to the 16 GB version, and have no access to the 32 or 64 GB version, then that is the carrier's fault for not ordering them, not Samsung's.

    Either way, people trying to blame Samsung are just the Samsung haters. For those haters, I would like to point out there are more Samsung manufactured parts in your HTC or iPhone than HTC or Apple manufactured parts.

    Hopefully Samsung decides to do something about this undeserved bad press and brings us 256 GB base models on all future devices.
    Reply
  • greghome
    The iPhone 16GB only has 10GB of space for you to install Apps and put in Media files, while it's storage is completely non-expandable.....................
    Now tell me...........why is this not an issue with the iFone, Other Android Phones or even Windows phones?
    Reply
  • icepick314
    why is it so hard for the phone makers to allow app installation on external storage?
    at the end of the day, 8, 16, and 32GB isn't enough when you don't have 8, 16, and 32GB to begin with and you start installing your collection of apps and media...
    Reply
  • WithoutWeakness
    This is a very similar issue to what Microsoft faced with their 32GB Surface RT only giving the user 16GB of usable space after the OS and apps.

    Part of me wants to side with Samsung and agree that users should understand that a portion of the internal memory will be unavailable due to the OS and pre-loaded apps. It would be easy for a Samsung fan to point out the availability of inexpensive 16-64GB MicroSD cards and the ability to cheaply increase the amount of available storage for users who need more.

    But it's hard to look at a situation like this, look at how cheap NAND is for a company like Samsung that manufactures their own memory, and try to understand why they didn't just make 32GB the base model. The extra $5-10 per device that it would cost for Samsung to double the internal memory would avoid a situation like this outright and give them another edge over their competitors on the specs sheet. I love Samsung but this was easily avoidable and should have been anticipated after what Microsoft had to deal with.
    Reply
  • Grandmastersexsay
    10835908 said:
    why is it so hard for the phone makers to allow app installation on external storage?
    at the end of the day, 8, 16, and 32GB isn't enough when you don't have 8, 16, and 32GB to begin with and you start installing your collection of apps and media...

    Google doesn't like external storage. They want you paying for their cloud service. 64 GB works out to $5.44/month Google would be losing. Plus they love having some private data to scan to aid in their targeted advertising campaign and plans for world domination. You can literally buy a hard drive of equivalent size every month for what Google charges. It is no wonder they don't offer SD slots on their phones and removed App 2 SD support from Android awhile ago.
    Reply
  • sporkimus
    Here's the issue. Why is it so hard for manufacturers to just give the consumers what they are advertising? If you advertise 16GB, then give us 16GB (or at least something very close). If you need to install a ton of bloatware, then do it on separate partition within the memory.
    If the phone will only have 8GB of actual available storage, then advertise it as such. End of issue.
    Reply
  • 4745454b
    I know that 16GB isn't going to mean exactly 16GB. I would expect to have most of it however. But "almost half" is NOT acceptable. I could see as long as they covered themselves by saying "16GB internal/8GB usable" it would be on me to make sure I know what I'm getting. But if they say 16GB internal and I have to open it to find out I only have 8GB then there is a problem.
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    If you have less than 90% of the advertised space available to you they should let you know. Using half or even a quarter of your storage space just to run is a little ridiculous. The easy solution is to bump up the storage to 32Gb or 64Gb. I have trouble understanding how flash is so cheap and manufacturers still refuse to add any significant storage to their devices. I still have an older Archos 605 that has a 160Gb drive!
    Reply
  • becherovka
    I would expect some of the memory to be lost, tho this was not the case with all phones. One of my phones had storage for the stock rom separate to the useable advertised memory. 8 gig of apps is quite a lot, considering media can be on SD card, if you are a heavy user like that wouldn't you go with the 32gig option.
    Reply
  • threehosts
    10835894 said:
    If the issue is that someone bought the 16 GB version of the S4 thinking they would have 16 GB of free space, it is not Samsung's fault they are an idiot.
    Now you are quite harsh on people. I don't think it is OK with this at all. It's like you buy and pay for 16 gallons of gasoline but only get 8. Now, there is a long tradition of delivering less storage space than advertised when it comes to hard drives which to a large part is due to the 2^n "confusion" and also to a considerable part due to the need to reserve some of the storage space for file system data such as the MBR, partition table, meta-data etc. As an educated buyer with a lot of space for hard drives in the computer case and a wide selection of large hard drives we have learned to accept this and compensate whenever it is necessary, even though I wouldn't say this is OK either.

    This is a non-issue with chip based memory such as RAM. If you buy 4GB of RAM this is what you get (and not some stinking 3.67GB or something along those lines).

    So as with RAM, this should also apply with SSD storage. There is no problem whatsoever to add cells so that it truthfully comprises exactly 16GB as advertised. SSD storage is ridiculously small as it is when it comes to smartphones and portable media players, so any deviation from the advertised storage space is quite palpable.

    When it comes to storage space used for the operating system, Android has its own ROM so I find it hard to see why the phone would need so much of it's storage space. I guess 1 GB max would be acceptable but then again, they shouldn't advertise that the phone has 16GB of storage space when 1GB of it is reserved for the system. So even here, the manufacturer can actually add cells to compensate or simply say that it merely has 15GB of storage space. I know that Windows based phones and tablets (particularly those with WinRT and Win8) are even worse than Android based ditto, but that leaves no excuse for Samsung and their ilk to do the same.

    I think what the manufacturers do is unethical and a false advertising where they mislead people to believe that their devices are better than they actually are. I can understand that some people might feel that this is not such a big deal. But the line has to be drawn somewhere and I think that the phone manufacturers have crossed this line.

    Think about it, we're talking flagship products here and this is 2013. Do you remember when your computer had no more than about 12GB of storage space? I can tell you that it was well more than 10 years ago. If you buy a small laptop today, it comes with 2TB of storage space, that's 2 whooping TeraBytes! If you want one with a faster SSD, you can get one with 512GB without too much of a price-premium. So I find what the phone and tablet manufacturers are doing is absolutely unbelievable and unacceptable.

    You could speculate that perhaps they don't to put too much storage space as a ruse to push people towards on-line services. If they think limiting storage really will do that then they are doing themselves a great disservice. When considering the unreliability of today's mobile networks, especially when travelling, using on-line services as a replacement for internal storage is not a viable option. If you analyze the situation more carefully you will find that the more storage a device has the higher the desire for on-line backup solutions will be. So, larger internal storage space will rather increase the demand for on-line cloud based services and not decrease them. When you think further about it, even people behind real computers and HTPC systems with profuse amounts of internal storage still buy digital streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify...

    So a big appeal to those cell phone manufacturers is stop with this clownery and release devices with 100+GB plus expandable storage that deliver as advertised. Home computers passed the 100GB over 10 years ago and yet, portable devices have not even caught up even with that.
    Reply