Oct 29 AT 4:45 PM Dustin Earley 98 Comments

Which model of Nexus 4 should you get, 8 or 16GB of storage?


Now that Google has outed the LG manufactured Nexus 4 as the next flagship phone chosen to represent Android, there’s only one thing left to do: buy it. But which model should you get? For the insanely low price of just $300 off-contract, totally unlocked, you can get a Nexus 4 with 8GB of storage. For just $50 more, you can double that to 16GB. Do you really need 16GB of storage, or would that $50 be better left spent in the Play Store or saved for the upcoming holidays?

Whether or not you need the extra 8GB of storage can be answered by taking a look a couple simple questions. One of the biggest being: Are you a gamer?

Games, especially the best looking ones, can be huge in file size now. With just a handful of games like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, NOVA and Asphalt, your phone will be completely filled. Games like Angry Birds are small in comparison, but they do still take up space. If you have no problem keeping the amount of apps and games you download to a minimum, then you might be alright with the 8GB Nexus 4. Otherwise, you’ll regret not getting the extra storage.

If you aren’t a gamer, you might also want to ask yourself how many high-resolution images and videos you plan on taking, and if so, are you committed to the cloud.

HD video takes up a ton of space. And high-resolution photographs add up. If the Nexus 4′s new 8MP Sony manufactured shooter is as good as it sounds, you’ll probably be taking a lot of both. This isn’t a big deal with a limited amount of storage, when you utilize the cloud-based services Google provides for free.

Through the power of Google +’s instant upload feature, and YouTube, you can keep your handset virtually media free. Especially if you’re using Google Music. With those three services combined, so long as you have access to the Internet, you don’t need to store pictures, videos or music on your phone. But not everyone has access to the Internet at all times. And some people are local storage nuts. If that describes you, you’re going to need the extra storage. If uploading everything online works for you, you might be alright sticking to just 8GB of storage.

If you’re not a gamer, plan on keeping the amount of apps you have to a minimum, and plan on utilizing the cloud for media storage, go ahead and keep that extra $50.

Unfortunately, not many people are going to fit that criteria. I know that $50 can seem like a decent chunk of change, especially with the holidays approaching quickly, but even if you are the kind of user that would be fine with only 8GB of storage, I’d still think about the 16GB model. Just in case.

What do you think? Know anyone that would only need 8GB of storage, or is 16 the way to go?

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex


    • iamXiV92a

      Agreed! 32GB WOULD be better, but I’m happy with 16GB

      • Mix


        16gb for this price is a done deal, 32gb for $50 more would have also been a done deal.

      • LukeT32

        32gb and LTE!!!

        • ddpacino

          You can keep that Verizon trash. I cannot wait to pay my ETF and get off of here! Tmo unlimited plans + HSPA+ 42Mbps on my unlocked Nexus 4, here I come!

          • Matt

            I hope T-Mo service is good by you.

            And the battery on the Nexus 4 is good since it’s not removable.

            And 16gb is enough space to hold all those amazing, new games you’ll download. And all those pictures you’re gonna take with the 8mp camera.

          • kazahani

            I liked T-mobile when I was with them, but their network is terrible at handoffs between 4G or 3G HSPA and their EDGE network. This means that if you are talking to someone and you leave an HSPA coverage area, the network will probably drop your phone call because it has trouble switching the call to EDGE.

            Not a problem for most people who live near a big city, but here in the suburbs of southwestern Ohio it’s a major problem.

  • rauelius

    The 16GB is barely usable on my Galaxy Nexus, so in my humble opinion the 8GB Nexus 4 is pointless. They should have done a 16GB for $350 and a 32GB for $400…At least with no 32GB version being available I have a viable excuse to hold onto my Galaxy Nexus…at least until a 32GB version is available.

    • alexspell

      Problem is, that It’s pointless for you. Not everyone need 32gb or 16gb.
      Of course it would be good to have a 32gb at $400 for everyone who wanted more than 16gb.
      I guess six months from now there will be a 32gb but both 8 and 16gb will be still available. I don’t think they will pull off the same thing of the Nexus 7

      • Jeremy

        I obsessively dump my photos onto my computer. I use Google Music and Netflix for media. 8GB is just fine for me. I don’t ever end up putting more than 1GB on my SD card and I’ve never gone past 2GB of storage on my phone. I think I’ll save the $50 and get me a nice bottle of vodka.

      • Odie

        I’d say that given the fact that they did this with the Nexus 7, there’s a chance they’ll do it with the Nexus 4 as well. Of course, it has to be an overwhelming response from users damanding more storage. Although I guess one could argue that Google is trying to push it’s cloud storage.

  • kingap

    neither, since it would mean my 32gb microsd card is going to waste :(

    • r1ch

      I sense a tinge of spite in this, makes the point kind of well, pointless.

      No-one would pass over a flagship nexus for the sake of a $10 memory card. If there was a 32GB for $400 then that microsd card would be discarded without a second thought. Or, flogged for $5 to a mate with a micro-sd’d Android. Your point, that you want a 32GB phone has already been made, lots. Patience.

  • Jay Holm

    Neither! 32GB, or 64GB!

    8 is puny!

  • GrendelJapan

    16gb makes sense for me, as I’ve got a low data cap plan and use my phone primarily for music and podcasts.

  • Laurentiu V.

    16GB of course
    Storage is a little bit short but the price is great. And the hardware really looks beautiful.

  • Chad

    I’m sure most people on here are going to say 16GB or more but I have a 8GB N7 and only use 3GB of the storage on it, I also I have a 16GB GNEX and only use 4GB of the 16GB. So I may be able to get away with an 8GB. If you are truly intertwined in the Google system all of your entertainment is in the cloud so I don’t use storage space on my phone/tablet for my 15k+ songs, 15+ books and magazines or my 7+ tv shows and movies, yet I have access to all of it with just the sapce I stated. It’s all on the cloud so I find myself using less room and needing less space. I feel 8GB and 16GB phones are enough on phones anything more then you need a computer not a phone.

    • Raja

      Streaming services drain the battery. Heavily compared to local viewing

  • Krystian Szastok

    I totally agree, 8gb is a joke nowadays. My Xperia S is 32gb and I will run out soon.

  • Clara M

    My iphone has 64 gigs, cant believe the nexus company doesnt have the technology for this

    • Bpear96

      Did you seriously just call it “the nexus company”?.. anyways, you do know apple doesn’t make the flash memory in the iphone right ? Its likely either Samsung, sandisk etc. Google is just trying to get people to use the cloud more often, bit a microsd card slot would be nice.

    • Odie

      Your 64GB iPhone 5 costs more on contract than the Nexus does unlocked and off contract, the 16GB iPhone 5 goes for $650 off contract. And it’s not a matter of technology, most people simply don’t need that much space, and so Google opted to keep it out to keep costs down. Call me archaic, but I like having my iPod for music and my phone for everything else.

    • Bozz019


    • brandnew234

      No, but hey, it preforms the same as an iPhone 5… but for half the price!

      • Bpear96

        Better than the iphone, yet half the price

        You can get a nexus 10 tablet, and a Nexus 4 phone and it would still cost less than an unlocked iPhone 5..

  • tyb82

    I sitting at 7gb used on my GNex and have ton of junk on mine… I only game on my tablet so 8gb is fine with me. I am just glad to not be spending $650 again!

    • otakonx

      Same here on my S3 but the problem is 8GB is more like 5.5GB if the Nexus 7 tells us anything. I have a 16GB S3 and its really only 11.5GB of usable storage.

  • AB

    i need at least 9 gb for all my music. that leaves me with ~6GB for other stuff. not enough i guess.

    • Bpear96

      Google music maybe?

    • SGB101

      16gb is actually 10.4gb give or take. The 8gb will be 5gb at best.

      • Ardrid

        16GB is equivalent to 14.9GB of usable/logical space. 8GB is equivalent to 7.45GB of usable/logical space. I imagine JB 4.2 will take up 1-1.25GB of storage, though someone with a stock Nexus 7 can confirm that.

        • stepquick

          Only need 8gb. Wifi makes it more than reasonable, and I don’t need music THAT much to need 16gb. I’m getting my girlfriend one too, so fun times will be had with NFC. :3

  • Nathan D.

    I’m a heavy gamer so I have to get the 16gb model. I also lack the knowledge on how to use cloud services by Google other than Google Music of course.

  • Nik

    Guys, you’re missing the point. Google Drive, Google Music, Google Instant Upload. You’ve just stored everything you could possibly need to. 8/16GB onboard storage is there simply for apps. With today’s data plans (T-mobiles unlimited) coupled with Wi-Fi, you honestly don’t need onboard storage, unless you’re a gamer.

    I stream everything and use the Cloud. I’ve been doing this on my One S with 16gb. I don’t game however. Then again, 16GB should be more than enough. And something else about this, if you beat a game or get sick of it, uninstall. It will be saved as owned on Google play or you can keep the file on Dropbox/Drive until you need it again.

    I think the storage issue is nonexistent.

    • acey_zero

      The storage issue is not a problem for some people, but it is a major problem for others, and is definitely not nonexistent.

      Many people cannot afford to stream everything, or may live in rural areas with spotty and/or slow connections and may not have access to wi-fi very often. The full folder/file sync of Google drive is very limited. Google Music lacks features that may be important to some people. Google Instant upload does not preserve the original quality of photos if I’m not mistaken.

      Personally, I like to do custom ROMs and also full system backups which eat up space really quickly.

      These are just a few examples, but there are hundreds of other valid reasons people legitimately need local storage.

      • ionorov

        Also, you’re paying $50 for a paltry 8GB extra… when you can easily get a 64GB mSD for $45 :)

        Also also, to get more storage from Dropbox, SugarSync, etc, you need to pay $10 per month :)

        Hooray for paying more!

  • Mike C.

    Once again Google dropped the ball with Nexus phones. Every Nexus phone since the Nexus One have lacked the microSD card reader and had too little storage space onboard. If you are streaming everything then it will not be a problem. I dislike streaming. First of all, coverage is not perfect everywhere. Secondly, I do not like paying greedy carriers for streaming data when I can carry it around myself. Thirdly, most of the content I want on my phone comes from my home computer and therefore streaming is out of the question.

    Why Google? Why only cater for the streamers? Why can’t you for once bring us a Nexus device with adequate storage? Currently I have a HTC One X. I love the hardware but hate the Sense stuff. And I hate waiting for HTC to bring me software updates. I could go with a Samsung Galaxy III, but the situation is essentially the same.

    Apple seems to have discovered that some customers like loads of flash storage. With the iPhone 5 I could choose between 16, 32, or 64 GB memory. HTC have upped the memory one the One X+ to 64GB. Why can’t I have a Nexus device with adequate storage? Are these Nexus devices just developer devices useless for real world use? Or will you deliver the Nexus experience to power users with real life needs?

    • Bpear96

      ” I could go with a Samsung Galaxy III, but the situation is essentially the same”

      Gs3 has a microsd slot

    • Odie

      Well put my friend. I’ll be fine with 16GB, but I understand the need for more storage space, especially when you take into account the amount of space that gets eaten up by the OS. I get that SD card slot have been removed to decreased overall thickness of the device, but Google should offer a larger capacity. Memory is getting cheaper and cheaper, so an increase of $50 would be reasonable for consumers, while also offering a larger profit margin for Google.

    • SimonSays

      It’s clearly a ploy to move all our files to the cloud

    • Gary

      I really don’t get why people are bitching and moaning that Google should have released a phone at a higher price with more storage. People need to understand Google does not make money by selling a device at this price. They generate revenue primarily through ads and always have. By having relatively low space it will entice users onto the Google ecosystem, it’s cloud, then they can generate revenue. Samsung, HTC and the other big names are hardware manufacturers, they make phones to sell and make a profit. Google does not work like that.

      And in my opinion, just because 16GB doesn’t quite hit the G-spot it’s certainly no deal breaker to people willing to embrace the cloud or be realistic. Do you really need your *whole* music/video library on your phone at once?

      I can’t thank Google enough for selling a top of the range spec phone at such a low price. All other competitors aren’t even near to touching this price with similar specs. Yes, they may have higher storage, removal battery, LTE, etc, but as subjective as it may-be, most would prefer faster updates, high specs, shockingly cheap phone with a pure Google android experience.

  • Don Boogie

    I’m getting the N4 16GB because it is the best Android phone, period, but I would prefer at least the option for 32GB. The main issue, as you have pointed out, is not media but apps. I currently have a GSII with 16GB of internal storage, but only 2GB of that is available for apps and it’s all used up. I use all the Google cloud services, but there are plenty of times, especially with T-Mobile coverage, that I do not have data access. It’s amazing what Google is doing with the OS, and all the services and functionality that they are bringing to the marketplace, but just like battery capacity you cannot continue to expand these things while limiting internal data storage. As apps get more advanced they are going to continue to grow in size.

  • Dan13

    I’m gonna bite the 16gb. It’s only $50 more (well, only might be the wrong word) and I say its better to have more space and find you don’t need it than plain run out and regret it.

  • zymo

    What about a micro usb flash drive for smartphones? I know there are a few available, but are kinda to big. Something in the size of the Sandisk Cruizer Fit would be perfect.

  • whyzor

    8 GB is pathetic, considering no data plans are truely unlimited except wifi, especialy at the higher speeds needed to save large media files to the cloud. It should’ve been 16 GB for $300, 32 GB for $350. The difference in memory can’t be $50, especially for a wholesale supplier.

  • Booster Gold

    The 32gb or 64gb should be fine. We dont want to end up getting screwed over again like with the nexus 7!

    • ionorov

      (down votes incoming!)

      Thou shalt not critise the holy Nexus!


      • ionorov

        lol criticise!

        Holy commandment fail!

  • BigCiX

    Is this only available through the Google store?

  • acey_zero

    I would highly recommend the 16GB version if you have any interest in ever doing custom ROMs or full system backups. Those eat up space very quickly.

  • James

    I think the key difference here is that Android users are not all fandroids. We are not apple clones who just listen to what the company says and tells us what we should want. We are individuals who demand that our phones fit our needs. However, Google will endeavour to as successful as the iPhone with the Nexus range. This means that every phone must be distinctly Google despite the fact they stem from different manufacturers. This is why they have chosen low storage. Google wants you to use all their services. This appears to become a more unified experience. With google music to rival itunes. Play deeply intertwined etc.

    My preference is to have all my data on my phone regardless. I mean if I’m on an 14 hour flight, I need my phone with all its media. It is inherently useful. Equally the cloud services are not available in every country and I travel a lot.

    Anyway you can be certain that every complaint we make here Google will actually have thought about (not something you can say for all companies) and for people who don’t like it, I’m afraid they will just have to either wait for Nexus to become standardised with manufacturers submitting handsets that fit into Nexus grading or they will just have to choose another phone.

    Personally, I also believe the cloud is the way forward. But the infrastructure is not in place for me to use it as a viable alternative. If I lived purely in the US then I might.

    Google are stuck with the impossible task of creating a Nexus that can compete with the singularity and minimalism of an iPhone/Apple single channel infrastructure whilst acknowledging that all their customers want something slightly different from their phones whether it’s an SD card slot or 4G or extended battery life or pure graphical performance or an amazing camera. It would perhaps be easiest to have Nexus divided into these sorts of areas but retaining the key Nexus infrastructure/basis.

  • jamal adam

    I was thinking of the 8GB version but after reading this and thinking it though, the 16GB version the right one for me.

  • kinderdm

    If I had wifi everywhere i would consider the 8 but with none at work and most restaurants I frequent I dont think saving $50 is worth the extra cost/fees for more network access.

  • Nate B.

    16 is just fine for me. I don’t play heavy games on my phone, I don’t put movies on it (maybe one), I don’t usually keep a ton of pictures on it either (that doesn’t even take up much room if you did), and casual apps of 60+ isn’t even a gig honestly. Normally 4 gigs is already used up from 32 on my Galaxy Nexus and I have 60+ and I still have 28 gig left with nothing else on the device. 16 is more then fine. Pocket’s ready. Let’s get it.

  • Max.Steel

    Should have made a 32GB.

  • Oscar Ortega

    i would say 16gb i would have loved a 32gb as i mostly use my phone storage fro music pictures and videos and some files, i would like google music to stream simply because when im on the train their isnt any connection so thats a lost.

  • Mertz

    I really wanted to upgrade my phone(galaxys4g) to this. Sadly, 16gb just isn’t sufficient :(. Currently my 32gb sd card has about 18gigs of free space remaining, which will hold out for about 2 more years :L

  • Ardrid

    This is a coin toss for me. I’m leaning toward the 16GB model, but I also only use 4.5GB on my Captivate, and that includes games I haven’t touched in months and carrier/manufacturer bloat. I think I could truly get away with 8GB but I might drop the extra $50 for the 16GB. I’ll to think it over.

    • ohhhh man

      i know what u mean i got the g2x and it supposedly have 8gb of on board storage but in reality it has 5.21gb and available space is 4.15gb so i barely use it because i have sd card so it carry most of my apps and pictures so its a coin toss for me too.

  • ohhhh man

    i’ll get the 8gb if it comes with sum cloud storage but i doubt it does so i would rather get 16gb.

  • heat361

    I’m getting the 16gb it seems like the best choice for me and the price is great

  • Ichigo

    16 gig although in all honesty, i never find myself using more than 4 gigs. but 16 to be on the very safe side.

  • DroidPower

    definitely 16gb, esp for the games that require larger space. Also, i do a lot of dropbox syncing via dropsync b/c the large screen on most android phones are fantastic for viewing pdf’s and such on the road. wish they had a 32gb or 64gb option since there won’t be a sd slot.

  • redraider133

    Maybe they will make a 32gb version for carriers like they did with the galaxy nexus.

    • Humberto H

      What if i want a 32GB model, but i dont live in the USA and dont want any contract? =(

  • Rafay Iqbal

    im going for 16gb

  • Danny Calderon

    8gb is plenty for me,I, upload the photos with Google+, use Google Music have a N7 for games and unlimited data thru Tmobile

  • ionorov

    Dammit, why is there no 4GB version? I would have loved a 4GB Nexus 4. I barely use 100KB as it is… 4GB is more than enough for me!

  • Antonio

    No way…without a SD Card, I wouldn’t have a phone under 32 GB or a tablet under 64 GB.

  • Stella

    Definitely the 16GB Nexus 4 gets my vote!

  • Holland

    If only it was dockable into another tablet… I want a padfone nexus :(

  • wizzard

    Like the nexus 7. They will get rid of 8gb version and make 16gb cheaper in a month. That’s what google doing Fxxin hell.

  • Heetskore

    16 GB might be enough, might not be enough. Fingers crossed for a 32 GB version later.

  • orangestrat

    Its a super tough call. I’m on Bell, so we have decently fast fauxG pretty much everywhere. The only time I lose signal is when I go skiing. I use Google Music and pinned tracks when I’m skiing, and that can take up a fair amount of space, I also take a ton of photos. Its not been a problem on my nexus S or my galaxy nexus, so 16GB is fine, and 8GB is pushing it. That LG is cheap enough that I could potentially spend some of the difference on an ipod and let my phone worry about the pictures and the GPS tracking. I’m waiting for reviews on the camera, battery life and radio performance, and a little time to tell if that back is as prone to shattering as I’m expecting

  • dnar56

    LG can suck clocks

  • MrMrMan

    Neither. Anything below 32 gb is ridiculous, Much worse without an sd card slot.

    • iamtpb

      Which era do u live in ?

      Everything is now cloud centric ! 16GB will do ultimately fine !

  • jmorosky

    I have a Rooted 32gb SGN and I have about 15gb free. 16gb N4 would really make me rethink my apps and storage strategy. With my current phone I have no worries about having enough storage.

  • mickjen

    How about an article about when’s the best time to buy an Android or Google tablet this holiday season? With all the new announcements, is Black Friday my best day to try to get an unlocked phone? Thanks!

    • orangestrat

      About a week later is usually better for tech

  • n25philly

    None, I’m not wasting my money on that junk. I know I’ll get slammed with negative votes for not kissing up to google, but that’s no where near enough storage to not have expandable storage, and google can take their cloud and shove it.

  • Humberto H

    I Cant live with 16GB, it is just not enough space for my needs. I’ll wait for a 32GB NEXUS 4

  • jenskristian

    I would probably be just fine with 8GB, but why take the chance and risk the hassle of having to delete stuff all the time? I’m getting the 16GB model to be on the safe side. It’s only $50.

  • Adrien C.

    You live far away, can’t use data, etc, etc, etc? It’s so f* simple.
    Buy a Optimus G, it’s the same hardware. Why argue so much?

    You really want a nexus? Use a freaking usb OTG cable and copy stuff to a mini 32 or 64 Pico C pendrive and carry it around. The end.

    I went backpacking in europe and was doing backups on the go this way and it went pretty fine. No data available most of the time.

  • adifferent

    32 gb? Isn’t that like a pipedream with the last Nexus. I remember people wishing for the Galaxy Nexus and then waiting to sell their phones and all sorts of nonsense.

    Google Marketing just wants you’re money and nothing more.

    And I bet Verizon will have this next year as LTE. Sprint almost eventually gets the current Nexus phone based on history

    These idiotic carriers always love playing mind games with customers.

  • Camel Man

    I won’t be getting the LG Nexus,

    But if I get it it’ll be the 8 GB, as I keep my multimedia in my laptop.

  • Noel

    Not even close…hands down the 16GB. Henceforth Google should make Nexus devices in three option (16/32/64GB) if they are not gonna include SD card slots… which i thing they should, They will then realize the 32GB and 64GB models will be the huge sellers. By popular demand…Google please give us Nexus devices with ample int storage, SD card slots and removable batteries.

  • Alex

    NONE. Wait for a 32GB + external MSDHC slot…or else, look somewhere else. These devices are no longer “just phones”. I have a GN with 16GB on board and a 64GB MSDHC (yes, the Note can use the 64GB) and still it’s not enough for all the music, videos, photos and docs I have on there. I may be an exception (IMO, an exceptional power user;)) but there really is no reason why we cannot have AT LEAST 64GB of on-device storage space at the same prices we are currently paying for the typical 16GB high-end device.

  • smeghead68

    should of had 32gb.

  • kaleph

    For $50 you could get a decent 32 gb class 10 micro sd card at Best Buy. I got one for my GS3 and at 30mbs it is not allowing the device down at all.

  • aranea

    16gb without any hesitation. I would get 16gb even if it had microSD card slot.

  • mitchell

    do we know if you can take the battery out?

  • AA


  • Reinaldo Solares

    Why do we take it » The Nexus 4 is pretty amazing right? I was so excited for this phone that I called in sick for work, set up multiple browsers on auto refresh, and spent 6 hours with the most disappointing e-commerce experience of my life. It was all worth it in the end though, when I finally got through! Wrong! A couple days later I received an email letting me know that I canceled my order. Huh? When I contacted support, I was greeted by a friendly voice explaining that Google never makes mistakes, and it had to be my fault. I went back in forth with them for a day hoping that someone would help, or at least look into the issue. Well… I was met with more nice passive voices letting me know that I can definitely have a Nexus 4 in 6-7 weeks if I order it today. I am 27 years old, and I already miss the days when a company had to care about their customers.

  • romio

    i think that 16gb aren’t enough for many 3d games . google should have made a 32gb version or enabled a sd card.

  • suhas chinnu

    You can easy adjust 8gb of storage on nexus 4 ,
    If u plan to use ur phone like this:-) :-)
    -Total space -7.6gb

    -Ttl left for usage -5.6gb
    So adjust like this

    -All photos, videos-2gb

    -Music -300mb (hope u agree wit me)

    -Low end and mid
    Games. -1.5gb

    -High end games. -1.5gb

    -Cache and temp -250mb
    Files. -250mb

    • suhas chinnu

      So u can adjust fitting all kinds of files in ~5.7gb free space on nexus 4 (8gb)

  • suhas chinnu

    So u can adjust fitting all kinds of files in ~5.7gb free space on nexus 4 (8gb):-) :-)