Which? in the UK has compiled a list of the top smartphones available, and measured them against each other using a metric we – as tech heads – often forget to consider. When it comes to comparing specs, we’re happy to reel off that a certain device has an 8GB, 16GB or 32GB storage capacity, but that doesn’t translate to real-world use. Inevitably, phones often have a slice of that storage taken up by default apps and the operating system. So, which phone actually has the most available storage?
Unsurprisingly, it’s the devices without carrier or OEM bloatware that fare well. iPhones have always been tightly controlled by Apple and don’t allow the pre-installation of any extra services or software by carriers. Android – on the other hand – is completely unrestricted, and so manufacturers like Samsung, LG and HTC with their extensive skinning and bespoke apps and services use up a lot of that initial storage. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is particularly bad, taking up almost half of the 16GB, leaving only 8.5GB of storage for apps and media. The LG G2 and HTC One mini are pretty bad too.
iPhone 5c and 5s are both pretty generous, both with over 12GB of free storage available to use. Sandwiched between them is the Nexus 5, LG’s “Pure Google” device with no added extras.
All in all, it’s definitely something to consider when considering a new device. Expandable storage is – of course – an option with a handful of devices, but it’s worth remembering that apps can’t be stored on a Micro SD card, even if you can fit all your photos, videos and music on there.