samsung galaxy s4 quick air view aa

Anyone who owns a smartphone must have noticed that there is a difference between the advertised internal storage of the device, and the free space actually available to the user. The difference, which varies from device to device, is because of the installed Android OS, and other pre-installed apps and features that the device manufacturer packs the smartphone with. Considering the extensive features list of the Samsung Galaxy S4, you know where this is headed.

According to Geek, and people I’ve spoken to who’ve already got their hands on the Samsung Galaxy S4, only 8.82GB of internal storage is available to the user, which is just a little more than half the advertised space. Granted, the latest iteration of the Android OS itself takes up about 2GB, and loading a device up with features and apps is going to cut down on the available storage as well. But it certainly raises eyebrows when you’re missing almost 45% of the internal storage right out of the box.

galaxy s4 space

Of course, microSD expansion is available up to 64GB, along with various cloud storage solutions, which you can use to store all your pictures, music, and documents. This doesn’t really help though as far as app storage is concerned, since not all apps can be stored on the microSD card. If you’re an avid gamer, just a few titles that require at least 1GB of space, like The Dark Knight Rises, Asphalt 7, The Amazing Spiderman, NFS Most Wanted, and Iron Man 3, together is more than enough to use up all the available space. Even without HD games, it’s quite easy to fill up 9GB of storage.

Another obvious solution is to pick up the 32GB or 64GB version of the device. This gives rise to another issue. For some reason, these versions aren’t available anywhere yet, with only the 16GB Galaxy S4 being released in worldwide markets for now. It’s great to be an early adopter, and one of the first few to show off the “latest and greatest” smartphone, but if device storage is a big concern for you, I’d recommend holding off till the versions with higher storage capabilities become available.

For the more technologically-inclined, another way to get around this is to root the device, but is a process that is definitely risky and difficult, and isn’t for everybody. That being said, rooting the device will remove all the bloatware the device is pre-loaded with, and should free up a lot more space for you to play around with.

You can check out some of the features that is taking up so much space in our hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 here –

When I got my first Nexus device, which I followed with the HTC One X, it didn’t take too long to get used to life without microSD expansion, so this isn’t something we can’t get used to as well. But some difficult questions do arise, that I’ll leave to you, our readers, to answer.

Is it okay for device manufacturers to use up almost half the advertised internal storage for their own bloatware? When there is such a big difference, should OEMs now tell us what the actual available space is? Is it deceptive to advertise 16GB of storage when only a little more than half is available? Is almost 8GB of bloatware really necessary? Sound off in the comments section below!

Ankit Banerjee
My primary profession lies in the Network Design Engineering field. I have always been passionate about the latest trends in mobile communication advances around the world.
  • Bradley Larcher

    That’s why I always choose nexus devices first. Prefer that pure Google experience and as much space available

  • I believe manufacturers should tell consumers how much of available space is on the device (so put 24 GB in the S4 and advertise it at 16) that is something I have never understood. No 8 GB is horrible amount of bloatware, even with 2 GB for android that still leaves almost 6 GB of bloatware I don’t want. Here is an idea make all you bloatware apps available on the app store and if we want to download them then WE WILL.

    I really wish that android from any manufacters came as stock android, then manufactures make launchers (skins) just for their smartphones or at least allow us to disable the skin like you can in HTC First (the Facebook phone).

  • My note2 has 10.4GB left, so this nothing new but getting to a silly state now. Like others have said, should state free space after OS and features. I wouldn’t call it all bloatware.

  • Cole Raney

    I know on the Galaxy S3, you can’t store apps at all on your SD card unless you root and modify your device. If Samsung wants to put that much on their device, they need to make the 32 GB version their base model.

  • God bless customs roms

  • MasterMuffin

    CUSTOM ROM ♥ I bet I could have ~13Gb with custom rom (cache and ota take ~3Gb!)

    • kascollet

      3gb is indeed the space taken by the OS on the only two bloatware-free platforms : the Nexus and iOS devices.
      This fact should be better known.

  • olbp


    I’ve been telling people for YEARS that 16GB isn’t enough.

    At this late date I am about to switch and start telling people that 32GB will shortly meet the same fate.

    • Atleast it has a Micro SD, that means 64 + 9= 73 GB
      My Note 2 has 64GB Phone memory…
      It’s simple.. I am using 64 GB Micro sd on my Note 2 and just using a hack you can turn the Phone memory in Micro sd and Micro sd be used as Phone Memory… Root needed ofcourse…

      • i would have happily installed micro sd but i have too many games and games don’t support micro sd , yaa i know you can use app link2sd but why so much hassle for to play a games.

        • you can transfer the data from the apps to the microSD card the microSD is not always slower than internal memory, if the microSD is class 10 the ifference between speed wont be really big

      • Quryous


        As most people know, a MicroSD card is FAR from an adequate solution to this problem. I know, I have a large one.

        Further, rooting is NOT the solution to the majority of users. It just isn’t going to happen.

    • Simon

      I have the 8GB Nexus 7 with a little over 5gb storage out of the box. It’s more than I could need. And I only play games on my tablet, not on my phone.

  • Leon Ras

    “only the 16GB Galaxy S4 being released in worldwide markets for now”

    I’m typing this on my 32GB S4, the only version released in South Africa.

  • technology

    HTC one with much less features has 26GB of 32GB, So 1GB difference? Buy a microSD card.

  • Balraj

    Just 8.8 gb of free space is worry only for mobile gamers or who install apps (size of 1gb+)..for others it’s just doesn’t matter…
    But 8gb is f****** retarded -.-
    My 16gb tab 2 had around 11gb !!!

  • Guy De Vos

    Bloatware should be optional. Simple as that.

  • This is why I like a hardware race. Give me the best hardware you can cram in and I’ll decide what ROM to run. For the nexus argument, it’s just being lazy. Android enthusiasts will be flashing their own ROMs anyways. When you buy a phone, software changes. Hardware doesn’t.

  • as long as no games 16gB (9Gb available) is fine. Music can all be moved to an external card so can external movies video camera recordings etc.

  • Danny Solon

    Root , download root uninstaller, uninstall all of these silly bloatware apps, enjoy the storage!

  • lil bit

    9GB is not so bad for apps and games, what bothers me is that i dont need any of the samsung crap, reviewers will not admit that they do not work well and are not very useful, but they dont need to tell me since i had a Note 2, i know what all these “S” apps are all about. If there was anything good using up all that space then ok, but none of it is any good.

    Hoping for a 32GB Xperia flagship with card slot in Q4, by far the best android experience, clean beauty that is not forcing bloat down your throat. The 7 months i used Note 2 made me lose respect for Samsung, except from battery life the S4 has nothing useful to offer, the build and design and UI are so .. retarded.

  • Biavela

    Half the 16gb its too much, and at least with my s3 i have to keep 1 gb free otherwise it freezes and overheats.

  • taz89

    Was disappointed when I heard there was only 9gb but then I went to check how much I used up on my 16gb s3 I realised I used only about 4.5gb of my internal storage.. The sd cards used up about 10gb filled with photos, music and videos.. I’ll admit I don’t have huge games like modern combat or nova etc on my phone but that’s because i feel those games personally for me are not enjoyable. On a small screen and play them on my Nexus 7 instead as there’s a bigger screen and onscreen button is just about usable as it doesn’t really block the view.. In saying that I would obviously had liked more but I think for me 9gb should be fine with sd card support.. Hopefully 32gb becomes the minimum storage size for high end devices.

  • demon

    it’s time to sue samsung. i’m really i win some.

  • 16gb isn’t enough on a phone 32gb should be minimum with 64gb and 128gb also available at much smaller price increments than present

  • jusephe

    Everyone got 16 GB, maybe if you have a good friend at samsung you could get 32 GB and 64 GB is a myth.

    So wait for 3 or 4 months for 32 GB ? Or try hunt one of a few hundreds of 64 GB`s that will be made after half a year from now ?

    This, ehm disappoints me… i know, maybe there are few hundreds of features that i will use one, or two times in my life… but they take off half the memory.

    Maybe this year an 32-64-128 GB phone will come out, i will definitely get the highest capacity no matter what and i will be fine for two years.

  • Tommy Crosby

    This have been the same for other phones like my HTC One S…
    Why all the noise about this one? At least it does have an SD card – unlike the One S.

  • visitor

    ooooh yeaaa my Note 2 got 10gb too. they should stop saying its 16gb !

  • Ftlum

    Perhaps it won’t work, but I started a petition on

  • hayfolks

    ftc suit , consumer suits, california lawsuits by attoney general,ny,pa,ma. nationwide suites for these bandit actions of samsung trying pull a bait and switch on comsumers .
    The carriers who sell such misleading products at such high prices should also be charged and sued as well unless they fix this in 48 hours. THIS IS HOW to get thing done in America correctly . Everybody else should
    also bring private civil law-suits to send a message to samsung .
    That way the lawyers will at least get the monies that company would have got . ergo .. these acts by Samsung do shock the Conscience and are considered by the jurys everywhere to be Despicable … posted by
    unhappy overcharged consumer ..

  • I and my friends are also using S4, but not entirely 16G, but I think it does not matter

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  • Give me the best hardware you can cram in and I’ll decide what ROM to run. For the nexus argument, it’s just being lazy. Android enthusiasts will be flashing their own ROMs anyways. When you buy a phone, software changes. Hardware doesn’t.

  • remaz mohamed

    The case is worse here…i bought note 10.1 with a 16GB.a couple of weeks ago..but am so disappionted …i only downloded 5 pdf books and wrote 2 notes and whenever i click on gallery the “no enough space” appear….the device is totally empty donot know what to do

  • anonymous

    This is why some still prefer apple better. Should have known about this before i bought s4. What i heard and saw isn’t what i got. The phone is superb but the Memory bothered me so much

  • two juegos

    Memory is never enough. if the 8gb is outside the box, it actually only 6.5 gb. if the 16GB, 14GB only reality. it is very urgent to me. ugly truth