iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus: Which Storage Size is Right for You?

Sure, the reveal only happened yesterday, but already users are preparing for when Apple and wireless carriers across the world begin taking iPhone 6 pre-orders. It’s always been a good idea to head into any new iPhone buying season with a good idea of what device you want, because well, they’ll go pretty quickly. If you’re buying an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus, don’t wait until you’re forced to make a decision, it’s time to decide what iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus storage capacity is right for you now.

Why You Need to Think About iPhone 6 Storage Now

All smartphone buyers need to think critically about storage on their device. That’s not new, but in the last few years it’s become more important. Today, smartphones – including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have high-definition displays that look absolutely gorgeous. Because they can, a lot of users will load the iPhone 6 devices with high-definition movies and television shows that show off their insanely nice screen. What most people forget is that high-definition movies and television shows capable of pushing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen to their limits takes up space – a lot of space.

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iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus Photos - 10

Video isn’t the only place where storage has become essential. Users picking up one of the new devices are definitely going to be listening to music. Millions of users around the world now subscribe to music streaming services. Often, the services restrict users to playing whatever they can stream with their internet connection but more and more of them are allowing users to store music offline. This means that iPhone 6 users can listen to their favorite songs without an internet connection. It also means that users are more likely to have a huge cache of songs they need to store on their device. Naturally, this music takes up more space.

Let’s not forget about apps and games too are plentiful in the iTunes App Store. For most users, these will probably account for the largest amount of storage used on their device. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are also capable of capturing detailed memories in new ways with their rear-facing cameras. You guessed it, that means pictures and slow-motion videos recorded with them will take up more space. Don’t forget updates to the iOS operating system by Apple either.

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Media Sizes

Talking in the abstract is one thing, but it’s another to look at the hard breakdown. Today, my iPhone 5s with 64GB of storage has 56.6GB of storage that’s actually usable. That means that Apple is reserving around 8GB of storage for the device itself.

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Captain America Winter Solider is one of the latest Marvel movies to debut and it’s available for rent or purchase in the iTunes Store. The high-definition version of the film, which last’s 2 hours, would take up 4.6GB of storage if rented or purchased. Naturally, users who purchase a low-end iPhone 6 with 16GB of storage aren’t going to be storing too many high-definition videos on their device.

Run, I’m a Natural Disaster by Gnarls Barkley is a song that lasts 2 minutes and 40 seconds. It takes up a more reasonable 40MB.

Historically, 16GB iPhone users have been left with 14GB of useable storage. If its true that 16GB iPhone 6 device buyers can expect to fill up simply by adding around 350 songs that are roughly the same length as Run. They could expect to fill the device by loading around three movies that are the same length as Captain America Winter Solider.

Assuming that the 64GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has the same 56.6GB of usable storage that the iPhone 5s does, it would take 1,400 songs to fill that version. 12 movies the size of Captain America Winter Solider would fill the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Doubling those for the 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus reveals 2,800 songs would fill that device. 24 movies would fill that device too.

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus include a revamped camera that allows users to record high-definition video. According to my estimates, full high-definition video recorded at 30 frames per second – so that it looks nice – means about 10 GB of used storage. One hour of video and the entry level iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are about full. Last year’s 16GB iPhone 5s could hold roughly 2,222 of pictures it’d taken. The same should be true for the 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Storage Prices & iCloud

Storage prices for the iPhone 6.

Storage prices for the iPhone 6.

It’s good to not focus only on how much stuff you can store on a potential device. How much you’re paying for that storage should also be a concern.

The 16GB iPhone 6 costs $199.99 with a two-year contract. The 64GB iPhone 6 costs users $299.99 with a two-year contract and the 128GB iPhone 6 costs $399.99 with a two-year contract.

The iPhone 6 Plus with 16GB of storage costs $299. A 64GB iPhone 6 Plus runs $399. $499 gets users the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus. All of those prices are with a two-year service agreement as well.

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What we have is a bell curve that dips the more users are willing to spend initially. A $499 iPhone 6 Plus might sound ridiculous with a two-year contract, but in the long run users are paying less per Gigabyte of storage. In short, users who buy the 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are paying more per Gigabyte of storage.

What About iCloud?

iCloud is Apple’s online storage service. The company gives every user 5GB to start with but users can purchase more as they need it. iCloud can ease a bit of the pressure on an iPhone’s storage since users can automatically upload their pictures and video. Price range from $100.00 a year for 55GB of storage to $40.00 a year for $25GB of storage. Users who just need a little extra can pick up 15GB of storage for $20 a year. Leaning on iCloud is good and bad. It’s great because you can offload some media to Apple’s servers for streaming and free up local storage. It’s bad because, you’ll be stuck depending on that storage — and paying for it — year after year.

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Who Should Get What?

Users thinking about picking up the 16GB iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus should be relatively light smartphone users. To be clear, that doesn’t include apps, heavy app downloads will be fine with 16GB of storage provider that those apps aren’t games. Have a small music collection and only stream videos from Netflix? The 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are for you.

The 64GB iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are what I’d consider the sweet spot. Users get a ton of storage – more than enough to store short high-definition video clips, hours of music offline and some left over for video games and television shows. Those users are paying a premium, but the price is worth not having to worry about storage space.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus

128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers are users who simply want it all. That means, enough storage space to keep everything that matters to them stored offline, years’ worth of pictures, and hours of video content. In an ideal world they’d also have a very robust music collection that justifies the rather lofty price tag. 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers aren’t likely those looking to purchase a new iPhone next year either.

Read: Why You Should Pre-Order the iPhone 6

Regardless of which you choose – and really the 64GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the logical and safest choices here – remember to consider your individual needs and the things that are on your smartphone today. Regardless of iCloud, the iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus don’t have slots for adding storage. Once you’ve chosen you’ll have to live with it.