Bloat watch: which smartphones ship with the least available free space?
Every so often, we get to talking about how much storage is available on our phones out of the box – and not the 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB on the spec flyer, but how much is actually free for us to use, after system software, OEM add-ons, and all that pre-installed bloat is accounted for. The thing is, we only pay a lot of attention to it after we first notice it’s a problem – like how Microsoft found itself in hot water when Surface RT owners noticed their “32GB” tablets only having 16GB free. What we don’t usually see is a nice breakdown, comparing the situation on a whole lot of phones. Well, the gang over at Which? Tech Daily were curious just what the reality of the situation looked like, and put together that useful chart up top.
Now, the selection of phones here may not be ideal – we miss big names like the HTC One – but a lot of that can be explained by the focus on only 16GB models. After all, a common factor like that makes comparisons a lot easier, and there’s no 16GB One around.
The results aren’t hugely surprising; Apple does well, as does the stock Android Nexus 5, but as soon as we start getting into OEM territory (with all the UI “enhancements” that go along with it), free space starts dropping off fast. If you’re a frequent Samsung user you probably know where this is all going, because the GS4 is positively the worst contender of the bunch, by a significant margin. While the 16GB Nexus 5 arrives with 76.75% of its total storage space free and usable, the GS4 starts you off with only 53.5% of its full capacity.
We’ve been saying how much we wish 32GB was the new minimum standard, and reports like this one just have us wanting OEMs to start stepping-up their storage games ASAP.