How much built-in memory should high end phones/tablets have?

Posted Aug 06, 2012 at 8:00 pm in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

I just recently got a 64gb micro sd card for my 32gb S3 on birthday. One of the reason I bought the S3 was because it has expandable memory and now that I have over 95gb of space to use(really more memory than I need :P)Im left wondering. Why don’t high end phones come with this much memory built in?

So here is my question:

How much built in memory should high end phones/tablets come with? 64gb, 120gb, or are you happy with 32/16gb + the option to expand?

Also, at what point does an sd card slot become useless? Call me crazy but 16gb for a proclaimed media tablet (Nexus7) just isn’t enough memory.

  • Laurel laurel25

    I agree that the 16 on the Nexus 7 is not enough. I think that for a phone or tablet that does not have expandable memory, at least 64 GB is a must. Otherwise, if there is the ability to use a micro sd card, then I think that 16 is probably fine.

    • Mix

      I agree!

      I’ve been on a few looong flights and having a few movies to pick from and watch is amazing! I would have nabbed a Nexus 7 if it offered expandable media but 16g (more like 14.5g ish after OS) is cutting it very close to load up games, HD movies and music.

      Can’t use the could when your sitting on an airplane.

      If there is no expandable memory 32g is the lowest I would personally go, but with expandable memory as an option 16g is totally fine.

      • Mix


  • pekosROB

    For a phone, I think 32 GB is fine for the majority of users. I know there will be some that want as much space as possible, but for a lot of people that is overkill. It seems like the same people don’t even fully utilize their phone anyway (apps, media, etc.).

    Plus with the advancements in mobile wireless technology, like LTE, streaming and cloud options are actually decent to good. I am a media whore but I have been finding myself to do everything via cloud and streaming these days. That being said, I still have a 32 GB class 10 card in my 32 GB S3 as well. :-D

    For tablets, 64 GB and up for built in with mandatory microSD expansion (this is why I could not have just an iPad and would rather have a Nexus 7 as my second tablet to my Prime than an iPad since I’m already deeply committed to Android with all the app purchases I’ve made, plus I like the options, choice, modding community, etc.) since some tablets don’t have mobile wireless radios in them. I would say storage is definitely more important on a wifi model than 3/4G. Especially if going on trips that may not have wifi access – you’ll want the music/movies/media with you.

  • Miss_Tech_Woman

    I put everything imaginable on my device.
    And can only seem to use up about 20% of my 16 GB.

    I don’t use my device to store countless 2 hour movies.

    I have another device for that: It’s called… a TV.
    Maybe you’ve heard of it.

    • Laurel laurel25

      You are completely missing the point – not everyone uses their tablet as you do. Many people are travelling for work/pleasure and WANT to be able to use their tablet/phone for all types of media – including tv shows and movies. Just because you don’t use it for that doesn’t mean that others won’t have that need.

      I, personally, am planning to turn my old Inc 2 over to my 2 year old for her to watch movies and shows while we’re travelling in the car. We live 17 hours away from my family and drive to see them 2-3 times per year. Being able to to put a few Disney movies and some of her favorite shows on the phone, so that she has something to keep her occupied when we’re driving will be great for her and save our sanity, as well.

    • Chris Lewis

      LOL, So how easy is it for you to put your TV in your backpack/pocket?

    • pastorello

      I do the same, i have the glaxy s3 and have about 200 apps, which some are really big, i inserted a 32 gb sdcard and of the 12 gb on the phone i have used about 2. All my music (12.000 and movies are on google music , For the movie, i watch it on my tv..

    • outlaw

      You fat fuck get off your ass and walk outside you lazy CUNT its called…exercise.

      Maybe you’ve heard of it? stupid skank.

  • redraider133

    I think as long as their is an option for removable storage 16gb is more than enough. Even on my 16gb nexus 7 I have not filled it up but I could see how some can and do fill up the devices and would rather have an sd card than rely on the cloud and needing an internet connection

  • LukeT32

    I agree. I think 32gb is plenty for 90% of the population. Even if your loading enough movies/tv shows for a 17 hour drive your not going to use more then maybe 10gb at the most….. The video files should be compressed for the lower screen resolution anyway…. I know some phones/tablets now are cable of HD, but your daughter isn’t concerned with HD quality or not.

    • Laurel laurel25

      I agree with you, but the whole point of my reply to that poster was to show that many people do put tv shows and movies on their phones and tables for very valid reasons. We’re not all sitting on our couches in front of our tvs 24/7.. While 32 GB probably is enough, 16 – without expandable memory – is not. Once you put 4 or 5 movies and some tv shows on the phone or tablet, along with any music/photos/apps you might have installed, you’re going to be coming pretty close to the limit.

    • Chris Lewis

      Not to mention if you have a netflix account. Im sure that will render extra storage even more useless.

  • M3rc Nate

    Have to agree with almost everyone. Main reason I didn’t get the nexus 7 was it didn’t have expandable memory. I wanted the Memo pre nexus version that had expandable and better basically everything.
    I think everything should have expandable, stupid when a phone/tablet doesn’t. I’m more than happy with 16GB if the device has expandable. Just bought the Transformer Infinity 32GB and own a 32GB micro sd I bought for it months ago cause it was on sale.

    Overall I avoid anything that doesn’t have expandable memory slot, especially when it’s base is 16GB and it’s $100 more for the 32GB version.

    • Chris Lewis

      The bummer about Nexus devices is that they will never support expandable memory, Google has made that very clear. My only compliant with that is: if you are not giving us the option to expand, then give us the option to buy a table/phone with 32gb+ memory.

      I would jump on a $300 32gb nexus tablet!!

  • fathom614

    I say the more memory the better.

  • Jaydude

    Really guys, I am with you with the storage. I watch a lot of shows and movies on my devices, and it is really convenient to have a big drive to put all of that in. I just downloaded a season of a 1080p show, and the whole folder is a little over 22 Gigabytes. Now, if I could fit all that in the device in one step, yes it is awesome. But I really don’t mind switching media through my computer. My Nexus 7 gets a little less than ten hours of continuous video playback, and the whole season is longer than 10 hours. Seriously speaking, switching videos from time to time is not a big deal for me, but I am in my house almost everyday and don’t travel much. There are people out there that go on long trips and have a tablet-desktop configuration and they won’t be able to switch media files as easily as me. So, to kill the issue, devices should have large physical storage capacities (I think that 32Gb is the sweet spot at the moment).

    However, Google is pushing cloud computing really hard right now. Ever since the play store and all the “Play” apps came along, Google has been downsizing hardware. They want the users to buy their content and have in their account for streaming in any device logged into the specific Google account. That is one of the advantages of the cloud. One good example that justifies this would be someone like me. I have a Nexus S 4G and a Nexus 7, and let’s just say ,for the sake of the argument, that transferring about 22Gb of data over USB 2.0 takes around an hour and ten minutes. I would have to do that for both my devices, and that is almost 2.5 hours of data transfer.

    So you see, both sides have advantages and disadvantages. If you are a torrenter and you have days worth of video in your computer, the physical storage is your pick. If you are however a user that has many Android devices, and still want access to your media, you might lean towards cloud services a little more. Also, prices play a major role here. A bigger hard drive costs more (duh) and it raises the produce price. Look at the Galaxy Nexus (Unlocked 16Gb ~ $350 vs 32Gb $420). Some people just don’t have money for the extra storage. A microSD slot helps here, but you need to buy a card if you don’t have one already.

    What everyone should understand is that Google makes money from purchases at the play store, and that also fights piracy. This hurts the user a little, but I think it is clear what side Google will pick.

    I think that we should all thank Google though. They make Android for anyone to use, and that’s why there is pretty much a device for everyone. Not like Mr. Ipad

    Point is, if you want more, pay for more. If you don’t need so much, buy a less expensive device. This is why I love the Android ecosystem. Please feel free to reply. Go Google :)

    • Chris Lewis

      I see what you are saying about having to transfer 22gb to two devices, however the flip side to that argument is this:

      1. Streaming video requires a data/wifi connection and that drains battery much faster. Also, you may not always have a connection to the cloud.

      2. 2.5 hours is a fraction of the time it would take to upload 22gb to the cloud (In this hypothetical situation). Sure once its there it streams to all your devices, but my experience so far with the cloud has required a lot of time uploading.

      But like you said, the beauty of android is that we have many choices and can go with 8, 16, or 32gb with expandable options, or not. Thats why we love Android!

      • Jaydude

        Yea and one more thing… once Google fiber rolls out, that won’t be a problem ;)

        • Chris Lewis

          lol I wish. Isn’t that only rolling out in Kansas City for the time being??

          • Jaydude

            Right now yea. But if the word gets out about the HUMONGOUS speed, then it’ll spread like wildfire

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    128gb for high end phones.

  • RX-78-7

    32/64GB for phones, tablets should be 64/128GB.

    • SGB101

      I want 1tb,in my tablet, for those long plane journey /road trips.

      A man can dream, can’t he?

  • Franklyn

    I’d love more memory yet I opted for the nexus 8GB for 2 reasons. 1. Just thought $50 more for just 8GB more sounded unfair. 2. I’m really into cloud. That said I got the SG2 with 16GB & multiple cards in needed plus extra Anker batteries got road trips. 32GB should be standard. As for me, I’d prefer better batteries.

  • SGB101

    I had a 32gb (27) one X, and was constantly running out of space, I now have a note2 16gb (12) and a 32gb sd card.

    Because the Google services lance here, I now keep all my stuff online, so haven’t touched the sd. The only issue I do have now is now apps to sd, that may become an issue in the future, with growing apps and games.

    Usually I’ve rooted in the past, within a week, but felt the need with the note.

  • yankeesusa

    I think 16gb is enough for most people. for a developer or an app junkie it should be 32gb. So they should just have 2 variants fo every phone that doesn’t carry memory card slot… 16gb and 32gb. This way you have the chance to pay less if you don’t need that much memory. I know a guy who has 16gb and has lots of apps and several backups from titanium backup that are pretty big and he has around 4gb left which also includes tons of pictures. So most people are good with 16gb including me. On my note 2 I have no memory card and i have over 12 games and 0ver 10 apps, tons of pictures and I still have around 4gigs left.