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The 16GB Samsung Galaxy S5 Has Less Than 8GB of Usable Storage

Last year’s 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4 was found to only have 8.5GB useable onboard storage due to its operating system taking up the rest.

Now it turns out the latest 16GB Samsung Galaxy S5, announced today, suffers from the same problem but this time it’s worse, according to Android Central:

And what you can see is that on the 16GB model of the Galaxy S5, half of the on-board storage is used up before the owner even turns on the phone. It’s not quite as dire on the 32GB model of course (and remember that there’s a little bit of funky math anyway, and you never get as much storage as manufacturers say), and Samsung will quickly tell you that’s why you have the option to use a microSD card for expanded storage.

Samsung galaxy s5 storage

This time around there’s only 7.86GB of usable space on the 16GB Galaxy S5 (as shown from the press area demo unit above)—and that’s before carriers have had their chance to put on customizations, which could bring that number down further. Yes, you can insert an SD card for more storage, but really? To have more than half of the advertised storage used up by the operating system—isn’t that a bit much?

Samsung isn’t the worst culprit here when it comes to system bloat, but it reminds us of the 64GB Microsoft Surface Pro, which only comes with 23GB of usable storage.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • FragilityG4

    Micro SD is the greatest excuse to give less memory.

  • wah_gee

    I agree, but I wish the iPhone had a microSD slot. Just my opinion.

  • FragilityG4

    I can see why a lot of people would want one. Personally I don’t because it’s another thing to break, a dust collector and when I had a phone with a memory slot I hated fumbling around with them. Just my thought … My 64GB has 518MB of free space! Hahaha

  • einsteinbqat

    More than half of the storage going to preloaded software or rubbish! That is just crazy!

  • Anon

    I don’t even know why they even bother making 16GB phones. 32GB should really be the absolute min. Flash memory now-a-days is relatively cheap. Even 64GB is still low. It boggles my mind why Apple never released a 128GB 5S, yet we have a 128GB iPad 4 and Air.

  • Anon

    If you go through the Samsung Galaxy forums, you will notice there are a bunch of people complaining about MicroSD data corruption – and cards just outright dying after a few months. It doesn’t seem specific to a particular brand, as the phone seems to be killing the card. Unless Apple can design and manufacture their proprietary add-in card to avoid these issues, there’s no way it’s going to happen anytime soon. What they should do though is release a 128/256GB version for the iPhone 6.

  • Anon

    I’m pretty sure after rooting the phone and adding aftermarket firmware, like CyanogenMod, you’ll get at least 4GB of that space back. lol

  • JMCD23

    I really think companies should have to advertise usable memory. It’s also a joke that Samsung, Apple and several other companies haven’t increased standard memory sizes to at least 32gb. It’s been several years since 8gb was phased out, 16gb should have been phased out by now too. Makes me feel like these big two corporations don’t want to compete on this level as it’d increase their costs too much.

  • JMCD23

    Although there is cheap flash memory, the typical internal nand is quite a bit more expensive. Regardless, you’re right 32gb should be the bare minimum and 64 preferred.

  • JMCD23

    Well it works well when the SD slot is internal with a removable back. Personally I don’t think having a removable back is an option everyone would want to trade for that, highly overrated option that is niche.

  • hub2

    The latest Android versions are crippling external storage by restricting their use-cases (can’t run apps off it, sandbox-like access restrictions for apps), and Google’s actually enforcing it as a condition of licensing Google Mobile Services. Even Samsung, one of the few holdouts whose high-end offerings allow external storage and removable battery, is falling into line, so “we can add external storage” no longer means as much as it used to.

  • Farids

    This has always been the issue with Android and Windows phones. Windows 8.1 is even worse, The 16 gig Windows models only have 4.9 gig usable memory. The SG5 wasn’t what the fans expected and hoped anyways. Not counting one of the most gorgeous displays in the world, SG5 turned out to be a waterproofed SG4 on steroids, with Apple TouchID sensor built-in!! Heh heh, Nokia called it “Samesung” in twitter yesterday!!!

  • Peter Pottinger

    The awesome part of android is that *gasp* you gives you options. SD cards, root the phone. Only a complete newb can’t google this information.

  • wahwah

    But then at that point why bother with this particular plastic iPhone clone? Why not go with another brand who doesn’t do this crap? They’re all basically the same phone internals anyways nowadays.

  • wahwah

    They could/should, but you’d have to be insane to pay an extra 100 bucks per 16gb of storage…

  • Anon

    Actually, it’s not per 16GB. It’s by x2 increments: 16, 32, 64, 128. Yes, I’d pay $100 more for an extra 64GB over the current 64GB model.

  • pegger1

    There’s too many variables to be able to advertise usable memory. 16GB isn’t truly 16GB anyways. Companies have always portrayed this number incorrectly.
    It actually has 16,000,000,000 bytes which is 14.9GB. Which exaggerates this issue even more. But that’s the way storage has always been advertised. Even on computers and hard drives.

  • Android Developer

    I think that according to the image, the OS takes 5.28GB, which is much less than 8GB.
    Still a lot, but not what the article says.

    The rest of the storage is for installed apps, which the preview smartphone probably has in order to demonstrate its features.

  • Fast Driver

    Out of the millions(including myself) who use a microSD card, only a handful have complained about corruption. I have been using these for years on different smartphone’s and I have never had a single problem.