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Most of you think 128GB storage is not enough for 2024 flagships

Two out of three readers firmly believe that 128GB storage is not enough, especially when phones are this expensive in 2024.

Published onMay 3, 2024

pixel 8 pro 128gb storage
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The first real-life images of the Pixel 9 Pro gave us a good look at the upcoming flagship, but many of us were also sticker-shocked by the paltry 128GB storage on offer. The mention of 16GB RAM added insult to injury, making it an even more confusing combination as Google seemingly decided to upgrade the RAM capacity without upgrading the internal storage.

With Android flagships becoming more powerful and feature-packed than ever, 128GB of internal storage feels stifling, even for the base variant. While it technically lowers the phone’s price and makes it accessible for more people, storage upgrades are cheaper than what the OEM usually charges the customer.

Then there’s the case of phone cameras getting better and better every year. Social media has also attuned us to take more photos, and we’re also making a gradual but noticeable shift to shooting more videos than ever before.

While most of us aren’t installing more apps per se, the apps that we do install and use keep ballooning in size. A bunch of Google’s own apps are really huge, with culprits like the Google app being 1.21GB and Play Services being 800MB. While we understand that the apps have features that could justify the amount of storage the app uses, we argue that phones should evolve accordingly to give enough room to the app and the user to use the phone comfortably. This argument is exacerbated by the fact that many OEMs now support phones for seven years, by the end of which 128GB would indeed become a very frustrating experience.

With all of this in mind, we asked you if you feel 128GB of storage is enough for a 2024 flagship. The answer is overwhelmingly “no,” with about ~70% of you feeling it is not enough. Only ~30% feel it is adequate.

The results are reasonably consistent across our polling channels, with only a marginal difference in the percentage between the website (10,000+ votes), Twitter/X (3,900+ votes), and YouTube (~12,000 votes).

We feel like a broken record at this stage. We complained of inadequate 128GB storage last year when Pixel 8 Pro rumors started, and we’re highlighting user opinion on the same once again, now with the Pixel 9 Pro in the picture. 128GB storage wasn’t enough last year, and it certainly isn’t enough this year — at least not for a “Pro” phone that will likely cost around the $1,000 mark.

Samsung has raised the base storage of its Plus and Ultra flagships to 256GB, and we think it’s high time Google and Apple followed suit. It’s what most consumers want, after all.

At the same time, it definitely isn’t what all consumers want. Several commenters mentioned that they barely use up the 128GB storage on their phones. Apps like Google Photos are great for keeping your phone storage empty, as long as you either stay within the 15GB of free online storage or pay Google for a Google One subscription for more online storage.

Users who are deeper into online storage or those who use their phones differently (e.g., more for communication and social media browsing than for media generation and consumption) will be fine with a lower storage option. A 128GB storage option lowers the phone’s starting price for these people, and we definitely appreciate that viewpoint.

It’s still important to remember that many Pro and Ultra flagships in 2024 cost over $1,000. A 128GB option would be acceptable if the phone wasn’t so expensive. However, phones are going upwards of $1,000, and storage tiers often remain an unnecessary upsell. Don’t forget that they also took our microSD card slots away from us, which would have rendered this entire discussion moot from the get-go.

We hope OEMs also get with the times and reconsider their pricing and upselling strategy.

Are you using up all of your phone’s storage? What are your use cases? Let us know more in the comments below!

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