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Samsung Galaxy S5 Storage Surprise Could Frustrate Buyers

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 ships with almost half of the storage on the 16GB Galaxy S5 unavailable to users thanks to Samsung software and pre-installed apps.

At the Samsung Galaxy S5 event we discovered only 8.65GB of storage is available to users that buy the 16GB Galaxy S5. This is similar to the Galaxy S4 which offered user access to about 9GB of storage space in 2013.

One thing to keep in mind is that these devices may not represent a final software build and carriers can add their own apps, so the Galaxy S5 storage availability may change by release.

Samsung just announced the Galaxy S5 in 16GB and 32GB models. We are waiting to learn the Galaxy S5 price, but the 32GB model is likely $50 more than the 16GB model.

The Galaxy S5 available storage is just a little over half of the 16GB model.

The Galaxy S5 available storage is just a little over half of the 16GB model.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 available storage is limited mainly by System Memory and Miscellaneous files on the device. The list below shows what is taking up space on the Galaxy S5.

  • System memory – 4.51GB
  • Used space – 589MB
  • Cached data – 14.33MB
  • Miscellaneous files – 2.25GB

This leaves 8.65GB of internal storage available to users. In addition to TouchWiz on top of Android, Samsung includes a number of S-Apps like S-health, S Translator and others which could account for the lack of user accessible storage.

See what is using so much Galaxy S5 storage space.

See what is using so much Galaxy S5 storage space.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a Micro SD card that supports up to 64GB of added storage. This is helpful for storing photos and hopefully it is capable of storing the 4k video that the Galaxy S4 is capable of shooting.

Users can store photos and files on a Micro SD card app, but unless Samsung dramatically changed what apps are possible to move to the SD card, many Android apps will not store on the Micro SD card. Additionally a Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update brought Micro SD card limitations thanks to a change on Google’s end. It is not yet clear if that same issue is present on the Galaxy S5, but the phone is also running Android 4.4.2.

A recent comparison from Which examined the storage space available on 16GB smartphones from popular manufacturers and by comparison the Galaxy S5 is still at the bottom of the list.

The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5s and Google Nexus lead the pack with nearly 4GB more storage than the Galaxy S5. These devices don’t offer a Micro SD card to store photos and videos on, but they do offer more room for apps off the bat.

The Galaxy S5 offers much less available storage compared to other top phones.

The Galaxy S5 offers much less available storage compared to other top phones.

This is a big reason why Samsung includes the Micro SD card slot, but with Google’s increased push to use internal storage there are certainly some users that wish Samsung would offer a 64GB Galaxy S4 model similar to Apple.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

10 Comments

  1. Jeff Jones

    02/28/2014 at 6:33 am

    The customer is always right :-) and this customer would like 128GB storage minimum out of the box. Then I could live with 10 or 20 GBs for the OS and apps from whomever. Plus a SD Card slot for another 128GB that can be used however I like. It seems so easy when you put that way. So logical and so reasonable. I know that I am the first customer to dare to dream that either. OK, wake up, back to reality now.

  2. shahzad

    03/09/2014 at 6:30 pm

    Im using samsung gs4 and its not even close to iphone 4. Phones are about how much longer they can stay alive while u r away from home, samsung sucks big time with battery life. And android is not a stable operating system as ios. I so f***king regret changing my phone.

  3. Bryan

    03/09/2014 at 8:26 pm

    Apple iOS 7 is killing iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s the WiFi can not be turn on And battery problems cuz apple want people to buy new phones cuz sumsung cut their sales big time beware of apple fraudulent behavior

  4. victor

    03/13/2014 at 11:54 pm

    Amazon has bigger batteries you can swap out for your galaxy devices and more than double your battery life.

  5. USCTrojan4JC

    03/20/2014 at 9:10 pm

    It looks like this article wasn’t proofread. There are multiple instances of “S4″ where the writer probably meant “S5.”

  6. bachka

    03/26/2014 at 11:36 am

    idont have it but it lok nice

  7. Mark

    04/01/2014 at 7:55 am

    @shahzad
    Comparing S4 to Apple 4 is not really fair. S4 has better battery life than 5S for instance. Also Android is way more stable than iOS (http://gigaom.com/2014/03/28/study-shows-ios-apps-crash-more-than-android/)

  8. bachka2

    04/10/2014 at 8:26 pm

    thanks bachka, i’m sold!

  9. Randall Lind

    04/11/2014 at 4:06 pm

    Sorry to say with 50GB free storage for 2 years from dropbox space is really not an issue for most users. Dropbox you cab upload photos from camera.

  10. Arive

    04/14/2014 at 11:53 am

    Cloud storage services iare for cuckoos. I tried using them and discovered that while my phone is busily exchanghing (what?) to the cloud, which it seems to do most of the time, I am unable to use skype or other services which worked perfectly well before. And then I discovered, whenever I needed to access the cloud to get at my data, more often than not it was so aggravatingly slow I almost pulled my hair out.

    If manufacturers deny us the choice of using SD cards, then I think we need to vote with our feet. Don’t buy their stupid phones.

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