Samsung Galaxy S5 Storage Surprise Could Frustrate Buyers

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.

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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 S5 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.

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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 S5 model similar to Apple.