Samsung Gives Lame Explanation For 16GB Galaxy S4’s 8GB Usable Storage


Galaxy s4 usable space

After performing a factory reset on 16GB version of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, it shows a mere 8.49GB of available storage space meaning nearly 50% of the smartphone’s space is taken up with its operating system and built-in apps. In a lame explanation sent to CNET, Samsung has said that “you’re getting more features and a higher-res display in return”. Wow, sounds like a ground breaking trade-off!

Samsung says, “For the Galaxy S4 16GB model, approximately 6.85GB occupies [the] system part of internal memory, which is 1GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide [a] high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers.”

As the source points out, it’s hard to understand how the S4’s 1080p display would impact storage that much. To cover things up, Samsung adds that in order to offer the ultimate mobile experience to our users, it provides ” a microSD slot on Galaxy S4 for extension of memory”. Funny thing is, Samsung doesn’t even let you install apps onto that card. When CNET mentioned the S4’s less-than-advertised storage to its Facebook page, many were annoyed, with some calling it “a scam and mis-advertising”.

Samsung should be selling this as an 8GB phone, not 16GB!” a commenter writes. “Price should be lower then,” another opines.

“I personally feel that if you buy a 16GB phone, it should have 16GB available for the user. When I buy a pint I expect a pint,” another succinctly writes.

Some commenters think a spot of Android tinkering is the easy way to get that storage back. “Root… simples,” one writes. Others aren’t convinced though, with one opining, “For £550 you shouldn’t have to void your warranty and potentially brick your phone, simply to have the advertised amount of space.”

So guys, what do you think of the S4’s limited storage?


  • piece of crap phone for the brainwashed consumers..

  • This is a good example of terrible marketing and labeling practices. It’s not just Samsung that does this, but usually it’s also not 50% of the advertised space that’s missing. If you’re getting 13gb of usable space on 16, you don’t feel the need to complain as much, but you’re being swindled either way. I don’t understand how this kind of crap still flies. The S4 should indeed be labled as an 8gb of storage device, and same for every other device out there. Your OS takes up 4gb out of 32? Well then you have a 28gb of storage device. And that 28 is the number that should be prominent on the box.

  • K3

    Samsung = Scamsung

  • Flaxx

    Once again, government involvement will probably be required to stop companies from falsely advertising the phone’s storage. I wish they could just be truthful. Since every manufacturer/model may use different amounts of storage, they really should advertise the available space. I for one would be really angry if my 1080p “16gb” phone couldn’t even store one high quality 1080p movie! Why Samsung even bothers with a 16GB phone is beyond me.

  • K3

    woa woa woa, so there’s another K3 around these parts is there?

  • pegger1

    This is nothing new. This has always gone on with smartphones, computers, and hard drives.
    Even that 16GB isn’t really true 16GB, it’s 16,000,000,000 bytes which is actually 14.9GB. So you’re not losing as much as it appears.

  • Yet another example of rushing for a useless update on a phone. The S4 is not much of an improvement on the 3 and you can see that they rushed it. Seriously they should taken their time and made a decent phone. The build is crap, hell the HTC is built better. And Android is one of the worse mobile OS out there in terms of stability and security. It isn’t surprising that they had to sacrifice mem to make up for the lack of flexibility in the OS to deal with some of the hardware changes.

  • xxxJDxxx

    I think it was just an attempt to cash in on the success their galaxy phones are having. Same reason we have the “note” and all the other phones that are basically just different sizes of the same design.

  • K3 x 2 = K6

  • dfer43

    No mention of how the memory can be expanded by adding up to 64GB?

  • K3

    holy heck that’s too complicated good sir! ???? ???? ???? I’m Canadian not a mathematician oh wait….

  • FragilityG4

    That’s crap … Just like Microsofts Surface … I feel bad for their customers … False advertising.

  • pegger1

    Just like every tablet and smartphone (iPad and iPhone included). The storage amount is total storage which the OS uses.

  • FragilityG4

    With iPhones and iPads you don’t lose fifty percent of advertised storage to the OS … So it’s not the same, that’s why S4 owners are complaining.

  • FragilityG4

    Not when you lose fifty percent of advertised space to the OS. It’s not the same, not at all.

  • pegger1

    It’s more like 44%. But it’s exactly the same, in all cases you’re losing space to the operating system, this happens to be more than others. In none do you get the full space.

  • John Linden

    I don’t like Usman’s articles at all. Titles are quite misleading and the content is very biased and offensive. Please be neutral if you are writing an article that everyone reads so you don’t look like some iBoy. Respect other devices please. We do not want any dominance of a single company.

  • WatDah

    And somebody down voted you? WATDAH???

  • gerry

    So the 32GB will be 16GB and the 64GB will be 32GB? I’m thinking of returning the phone after reading this article.

  • gerry

    Just like external hard drives. For a 1TB for example, you probably get roughly around 900GB due to space or whatever.

  • WatDah

    The OS is almost 7GB, so a 32GB model will have around 25GB of free space, and a 64GB model will have around 57GB.

  • WatDah

    What you’re saying is true, but I don’t understand how you can justify losing 44%.

  • chris2kari

    All the Samsung/Android apologists are desperately trying to convince people that it is normal to lose 50% of the available storage to the OS out of the box.

    It’s not normal as any one can confirm by checking their own devices.

    Really tired of the blinkered Android zealots.

  • Guest

    Have you seen the name of this site?

  • hank

    shhhhh. someone from china might “milk” samsung on this. similar to what they do to apple. file a case. easy target. easy money. no capital. business as usual 🙂

  • I call this bullshit, Samsuck!

  • It is definitely a half-baked product just like blackberry z10

  • FragilityG4

    But again you’re not losing fourth to fifty percent. You can’t compare the two. This is just like what’s gone on with Microsofts surface.

  • Dragon

    I can only say….

  • hank

    good code = less memory footprint. it’s like maximizing a single bit’s potential. that’s why i like idevices.

  • Yep.

  • elantraXD

    i think the carriers are installing their software on it…i had the galaxy nexsus before this and it was short 0.3gb if i remember correctly….i wonder if those people who root the s4, do they end up with 16gb or not?