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Don't buy a 32GB Android phone in 2017

A new year brings with it the certainty of new high-end phones to get all hot and bothered about. And while we're still a couple of months out from the first round of Android flagship announcements, it's time to start the new year with an important resolution: In 2017, it's time to stop buying flagship phones with 32 gigabytes of storage.

We have more stuff than ever, and our stuff is getting bigger.

The most obvious reason to insist on 64GB or more is that the stuff on your phone is getting bigger, and not all of this can be offloaded to an SD card (if that option is even available). Including data, system-level apps like Google Play Services can hog 500MB or more just by themselves. For the Google app, you're looking at around 250MB. And staple third-party offerings like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger are storage hogs too, weighing in at between 100 and 200MB. Others, like WhatspApp, come with a massive archive of what could be years of your personal chat history, photos and video, which can't be offloaded to an SD card. App caches for the likes of Instagram, Twitter and Chrome can also number in the hundreds of megabytes, even on a phone that's only a few months old.

And that trend is only going to continue as apps become more complex, better cameras and 4K-capable handsets have us taking more photos and shooting gigabytes of ultra-high quality video. You're going to be using much more, not less storage in future, even with the ubiquity of cloud storage, and backup tools like Google Photos. What's more, if you're buying on a two-year contract, consider how much larger apps will be, and how much extra stuff you'll have by the start of 2019.

Phones with Nougat out of the box need more space for duplicate partitions.

Maybe you're getting by just fine on a 32GB phone that shipped with Marshmallow. That's all well and good, but devices shipping on Android Nougat (and eventually Android O and beyond) put more internal storage out of your reach, because of the way seamless updates work.

In order to be able to quickly upgrade to a new version, a phone with Nougat out of the box duplicates many of Android's OS partitions, like the system partition and the vendor partition. To put it in less nerdy terms, that means the space taken up by the OS on a Nougat-shipping phone could be double that of a comparable model on Marshmallow. It's important to note that this only applies to phones that ship with Android 7.0 and up — upgrading from Marshmallow to Nougat won't suddenly make you lose a bunch of extra space.

More: What are seamless updates and how do they work?

Bottom line: Consider that the firmware and related stuff takes up a little over 7GB on a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. In the Nougat world that could double to around 14GB — almost half of the phone's marketed 32GB of storage. The 32GB Google Pixel is actually pretty reasonable in this respect, with all the OS partitions combined taking up just 5.4GB of space. But consider how much extra stuff other manufacturers add to Android, and how much space it takes up. It's easy to see how 2017's flagships could lose more than 10GB of space to the OS before you've loaded a single app. That's less space than ever for your own apps and media.

For this reason alone, we'd expect 64GB to become the standard for Android flagships in the new year. Phone makers know that selling a 32GB phone where half of that allowance is unavailable is a recipe for unhappy customers and bad press. Sony learned that lesson in 2015 when it tried to sell an 8GB phone which, after setup, actually left users with just 1.3GB.

Should we see any flagships, or even mid-to-high-end models with "32GB" of advertised space, you'll want to steer clear of them. Or at least dig into the settings before you buy and find out how much space you really get. But really, it's time to insist on 64GB if you're forking out a chunk of cash for a new phone with Nougat. You'll thank us when you don't run out of space.

(And in case you were wondering, definitely don't buy a 16GB phone either.)

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex is global Executive Editor for Android Central, and is usually found in the UK. He has been blogging since before it was called that, and currently most of his time is spent leading video for AC, which involves pointing a camera at phones and speaking words at a microphone. He would just love to hear your thoughts at alex@androidcentral.com, or on the social things at @alexdobie.

228 Comments
  • That's not an option when many phones double the price to increase storage.
  • this right here! All day! Drop the price down on the 64gb, or make it reasonable, and then I will bite.
  • Could we expect that 64GB would be priced like 32GB is today, and 128GB will be priced like 64GB is today? Or would it all go up by $100? 64GB stay like it is today ($100 more than 32GB) and 128GB is $100 more than that?
    Edit: actually i was wrong a little: Pixel 128GB was $100 more than 32GB since there was no 64GB option.
  • It might even out starting next year. Oneplus is already doing this. That is must likely my next phone.
  • 64GB MUST be the default in 2017 for anything $300 and up. My Xiaomi here cost me $180 (RN4) and it has 64GB.
  • Axon 7. Less than $350 and 64GB standard.
  • Axon 7 Limited Edition for $499 and it has 128GB standard.
  • Ageed, just picked one up on Swappa for $325, I'm loving the 64GB internal storage. 👍
  • What phone doubles the price? It's usually $100 to double the storage, now that in itself is a crime and it's whole other rant. So if you can get a phone with a micro sd card that will help and give you an upgrade in storage on the cheap.
  • Not for apps, though. Very few people develop apps with "how large can the chunks that get moved to the SD card be?" being a consideration. So if you move a whole bunch of tiny pieces of code to the SD card, you're still leaving a whole bunch of pointers to them - and not saving much, if any, space. Always buy a phone that has enough internal storage for the apps you're going to run in the next couple of years - or save up money until you can. Buying a phone that's going to run out of space in 3 months is a waste of money.
  • That is true of android phones that I have owned with SD cards, but windows phones allow you install apps fully on the SD card.
  • Some android phone do support adoptable storage so you can essentially move most if not all apps to the SD card, similar to Windows Phone. But sadly this feature is lacking on almost all flagships. The only one from this year that I know includes it is the Moto Z.
  • HTC 10 no?
  • The idea was to make 64gb the standard..
  • 32gb will suffice for me. I use the 64gb micro sd for my music, videos, and pictures.
  • I think you missed the whole point of the article.
  • I have to agree on the point being missed, but then again mm185 was chiming in on his personal experience. Actually, alot of us are saying, "I don't do this, I don't do that, I'm just fine with 32, etc." That's all fine and dandy, but manufacturers are more concerned with what will appeal to the majority. Clearly stated, "And that trend is only going to continue as apps become more complex, better cameras and 4K-capable handsets have us taking more photos and shooting gigabytes of ultra-high quality video. You're going to be using much more, not less storage in future," It's about making a device capable of doing and handling things what the tech industry says we love. Chalk it up to the natural progression of technology. Better, clearer, more efficient. By saying "I don't need more than 32", one is failing to see the big picture in terms of what manufacturers are trying to do.
  • I agree. Too expensive which is why years ago they were going towards no SD card storage. I am seriously thinking about the Nextbit
  • They kill me, always fretting over storage space. My Nexus 5x with 16GB has 10.5GB usable, and only 7.5GB used. Photos and vids get backed up and offloaded automatically, and I don't use apps for anything that has a decent mobile web. Facebook, Starbucks (including barcode to scan & pay), Android Central, news sites, shopping sites... so much is available with just chrome bookmarks added to the home screen.
  • But if you're a mobile gamer then you NEED massive amounts of storage. Everyone uses phones differently and of course for some 16GB is more than enough.
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  • I agree 64gbs should be the new standard.
  • Wasn't that long ago when 32GB was pretty large
  • It doesn't seem like that long ago that 20GB was a large hard disc for a desktop, technology moves on.
  • Yep. Eventually, 64GB will look too small.
  • I remember in college, buying an ATX (?) tower with a whopping 2 gig HDD. It was from the future...and like $2,800.
  • I remember in college when we were elated to get 1.2MB DSDD drives to use on our 640KB personal computers, because Bill Gates said he couldn't conceive of why anyone would ever need more than 640KB of RAM
  • 32 gigs with the pixel and unlimited free photos storage isn't too bad. It'll work till pixel 2! But yeah I agree, if not pixel then 64 minimum
  • Agreed. I have the 32 gig pixel and find myself clearing my photos and videos (videos all 4k, so they have size). I may sell this one and go with the 128 for peace of mind
  • Curiously I'm the kind of user, and I'm sure there are plenty like me, that hardly have photos and videos stored on my phone. My phone is full of apps and games. Up to the point where I have to delete one game to install another.
    So 64GB would be great for my next phone.
  • Not one single game on mine lol. Plenty of pics and voids though. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • If you have Amazon Prime you get unlimited free photo storage as a perk for whatever phone you are using.
  • My biggest problem with the pixel was the lack of 64gb option. Since I got a 128gb I've just gone crazy, installing large games, offlining music, movies, and podcasts. I'm using 55gb. 128 is such overkill when nearly everything is cloud based now. But 32gb is WAY too small.
  • That's so they can charge you an extra $100 for something that should be much, much cheaper to upgrade.
  • Yup
  • Meh. 32 is still fine for me. I don't plan on upgrading from my pixel for a while though so maybe by the time i do I'll want more storage.
  • As an alternative, Google and the OEMs could stop filling our phones with sh*t that occupies space. I'm very eager for the EU to issue the final order that forces Google to "debundle" their apps from the OS. That'll be a first step towards decreasing the size the OS takes in.
    Whilst I understand the business model Google uses with Android, I don't agree with it and I'm glad the powers at be don't either. I should be the one deciding if I want Google apps installed on my phone or not. Not Google. And the moment all those apps and services get OUT of the OS level, its size will decrease. Of course, until that happens, more important than not buying phones with 32GB of storage is not buying phones WITHOUT microSD slots.
  • You know that by Google bundling their apps is what mostly keeps the OS free for manufacturers to use. If they decide to unbundle and charge for their OS, then phones might be 50 to a hundred bucks more expensive then they already are so I'll delete what I can instead.
  • I was just about to leave this comment.
  • I'm aware of that. I said just because I understand the business model doesn't mean I agree with it. I'd rather pay 50€ more and have an OS which is smaller in size and free of apps and services I don't use than to be forced to continuously worry about space just because the OS is filled with apps I can't uninstal (like Google's) even if I don't use them. Google can pre-install the apps and demand OEMs to pre-install them. That's fine. What isn't fine is locking the apps to the OS and make them not easily uninstallable for the common user.
  • Well that's kind of counter intuitive isn't it? You rather pay $50 more to save maybe 1gig of space from pre-installed google app that most people actually use than to pay $100 and get 96gig more space. The latter seems like a much better option for everyone.
  • Couldn't have said it better myself.
  • While I'm not opposed to your suggestion regarding preinstalled apps, I don't find Google's apps to consume much storage after disabling them. Google Play Movies & TV and Google Play Music are the only two preinstalled apps I do not use on my Pixel. After disabling them, they fill mere kilobytes of storage.
  • I am with this guy ^
  • Apple does the same thing.but I don't see the EU going after Apple over this but yeah I understand where you're coming from, but I'm fine with Google apps coming bundled with all Android phones.
  • You can fully uninstall the vast majority of apple's pre-installed apps now. Plus, isn't ios 10, like, barely over 1 gig? If android's OS was that small, maybe the bundled apps (and the need to spend extra money for more storage) wouldn't be such a big deal.
  • But you can. You can totally use Android without any Google apps. See Amazon. See various Chinese OEMs.
  • 32 is fine for me with unlimited Storage on my Pixel XL Unless @Alex you'll be kind enough to send a few pounds down the M6/M5 to subsidise the increase!
    Lol Happy New Year All!!!
    Best regards
  • I think it depends more on personal use. Maybe if you're a "power user", to the point your phone is completely, or nearly completely replacing a laptop/desktop, 32gb probably isn't enough. I currently have 17gb free on my 6P and I can't imagine what else I could install that would use another 15gb or so.
  • Yes I think your correct. I have a Chromebook and Desktop for the heavy duty stuff and work.
    I have 10gb left myself.
  • What the hell is a "power user" anyway? I want to be a power user.
  • I think it means you're not confused about how to "get rid of the Bluetooth icon"...
  • Damn, I am not one of the cool kids. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • Kinda like those cross fit people.
  • Lol these days I think that's about right hahaha.
  • According to those, apparently a power user is one that doesn't use cloud services and fills their phone up with useless crap
  • I think that is the official definition lol
  • Nailed it
  • Well, not entirely. For me, my Moto Z has a lot of .DNG files because I actually shoot in RAW as I upload some photos to websites regularly and would like those files for better editing flexibility. I also have my Spotify collection on it. While I do have a 128GB SD card, the 64GB of internal storage that it has is actually pretty darn nice. Found myself moving stuff to the card less and less. Also took advantage of the full-res Google Photos backup for 2 years (seemingly forever for the Pixel, however).
  • When I see RAW I think of meat and when I see .dng I think of ding ding ding ding ding! So I guess I'm not a power user LOL. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • And always has access to it.
  • If you store a lot of stuff like lossless music files you will run out of space quickly. In addition to 64,GB it also makes sense to have expandable memory.
  • That's correct. I have a device with an SD card slot, so I'm able to put those lossless music files on the SD card, but that isn't an option with devices such as the Pixel. I have over 32GB of lossless music files on my device.
  • Yeah, I have a 32gb Nexus 5 and I have roughly 12gb worth of music downloaded from Spotify, and that's not all I want to have downloaded.
  • what's up with all this fuss about Lossless music anyway, if you're gonna walk down the street, in the metro and crowded environment listening to them?? i'm not saying that it's bad or something but, honestly i think that a lot of people are listening lossless file music just because it makes them feel professional or superior.
  • It's an audiophile talking. Don't try to figure it out.
  • For starters you could download offline maps and not use any data when using the navigation. You could use Netflix offline downloads to store a bunch cartoons for your kids to watch on long drives. Having more storage available is always better.
  • On my 6P, photos and videos take a chunk of the space. I usually transfer videos to my PC to make more room. And o ya, WhatsApp is a major space hogger. And 32gb should be banned....
  • I agree 32gb now days is very less...my s7 edge 32 is 99% full..thats y iam switching to 128gb Axon 7...thou 128gb pearl black has launched in india ...but will wait for s8 and hope it comes with 64gb min
  • Eh, nice opinion I guess. I'm using a 32GB Pixel and have 19GB free. I'll take the extra $100 over something I don't use.
  • In replying to this on my 4gb Moto E running 5.1 with 188mb of free storage. Admittedly I only have two apps installed, Android Central and Android Authority, apart from the pre-installed apps.
  • It's a nice idea, and I'd love to see it happen so long as there isn't a big price increase, but I think there will be. If there was no SD card for pictures and video sure, 64GB minimum but my S7 on the Nougat beta right now the OS is using 8.3GB. yeah, it's a little over 1/4 of the internal storage but I still have 18GB free after putting all my apps and games on it. More storage is always better but I'm not sure phones will sell if they continue to jack up the prices. I think we are heading towards a day where $400 unlocked phones are becoming more the norm as people tire of paying $800 for a phone.
  • No problems here.
  • Sorry but 32GB is fine for me. My storage grows due to photos and videos I take with the phone. Those can go on the SD card. And there's a handy little button in Google Photos called "Free up space". 32GB is fine for 2017.
  • Fine FOR YOU. you don't speak for everybody. I think more storage is always a better option as a default. Even if you don't use it. Many people will appreciate it, perhaps even the majority.
  • My Honor 8 only has 32 gigs and I have tons of apps and still have 15 gigs free.
  • +1 same.
    I don't get this personally. Lol
    I have had my phone for months, I just remove what I don't use as a habit.
  • LG G3 (soon to be upgraded to LG V20)
    Total space 32GB
    Available 3.4GB SD Card
    Total space 59.45GB (64GB)
    Available (18.22GB) So out of a combined 96GB I have approx 22% available Apps are the bulk of built in storage use, and I could surly sit down and remove some games I don't really play anymore.
  • Tell the manufacturers to dump the 32gb..Till they eliminate the 32gb version people will buy it because it's cheaper.
  • Tell that to Apple, they're still selling 16GB devices and they only upped their starter phone to 32GB this year. I think by 2020 they will up their storage to 64GB.
  • That's probably because there's more usable storage on a 16 GB iPhone than on most 32 GB Android phones. For example, all of Apple's stock apps combined use less than 150 MB, while Google Play Services, just a single Google app, uses more than 500 MB. Then you add the rest of the Google apps, then add OEM bloatware, and also add the carrier bloatware, and there's barely any room left for the user. Meanwhile the iPhone doesn't have bloatware from a separate OEM or from a carrier, and the apps are far better optimized.
  • I don't buy this for a second.
  • Which part? The "more usable storage on a 16 GB iPhone than on most 32 GB Android phones" part was obviously hyperbole, but the rest is 100% accurate.
  • Some apps are good in storing data. E.g. While WhatsApp insists on installing itself to the phone memory, it stores all data (Media, chat backups) on the SD card - at least on the G4 plus that I have. My WhatsApp folder currently sits at 800 mb, all of which is on the SD card.
  • 32GB is more than enough with expandable storage.
  • The problem is that the iPixels that Android Central keeps trying to shove down people's throats are so "great" they don't even have a simple microSD card slot.
    That's why these articles show up. That way they make it seem like the problem is with the 32GB of internal storage instead of with devices without microSD slots like the iPixels.
  • ^ this guy knows what's up. Posted from my unlocked S7 Active/ Jet black iPhone 7+/ peerless Note 4/ or iPad Pro 12.9
  • Yep. The most in depth camera reviews I've seen online are by Pocketnow, and their 2016 top 5 has Pixel at the bottom of the list. Yet it's the darling here. /shrug
  • Hmmm...I have a 32gb HTC 10 with 64gb SD card and only have 4gb of internal left after only six months of use. I got spoiled by my 64gb Moto Turbo and just never had to worry about memory management and deleting seldom-used apps. I've put everything I can on the SD card but there it is. I'd so much rather be back in the mode of just not having to worry about it, and 64gb would do that for me.
  • When updating my 32GB Z Force from 6.0 to 7.0, it left behind this 1.76Gig Motorola Update Services data file. It would be nice to delete it if it is possible and not necessary for the OS. Anyone know how to get rid of this file if it's possible / safe?
  • Oh great my windows phone is 8gb with 4gb of system lol
  • What's a "Windows phone"?
  • My Lumia had 32GB storage in 2012, windows phones had good hardware. But the OS was total crap and it may still be the case today.
  • Windows Mobile has improved. I wanted to give WM 10 a whirl, but, Microsoft, HP and Alcatel are releasing only GSM versions of new devices. None of them have undergone CDMA certification. As a Verizon Wireless customer, that means "no dice". I picked up a Galaxy S7 Edge and it is quite the phone.
  • Yes! My (old) Lumia 535 "has" 8GB internal storage and Windows 10 Mobile size is almost 3.5GB. I got a new Moto G4 32GB and Android 6.0.1 size is "just" 6.62GB. I really miss Windows 10 Mobile.
  • And if it had an SD card you could move almost ALL apps to the SD card freeing up that limited space.
  • 32GB still plenty sufficient for me on my 6P. Says I'm using 13.31 out of 29.12. Just cleared my cached data and it dropped down to 10.84.
  • It should be a crime to sell 4gb phones. Yes they still do.
  • Go ahead and say it, It's Apple isn't it?
  • Apple hasn't sold a 4 GB phone since 2007. Heck they haven't sold an 8 GB model in a couple of years, either. And with iOS only taking up 2-3 GB that still leaves 10+ GB of usable space on their 16 GB models, which is more usable space than some 32 GB Android phones!
  • Writing this on my 4gb Moto E. This phone wasn't bad when it was new with KitKat and could partly install apps to the SD card. Since updating to lollipop though and not being able to move apps to the SD card it is only really good for the apps that were pre-installed.
  • Samsung and other OEMs that currently take up 7gb of space for the system could easily separate assets for their themes and stuff In another partition that can either a. Be updated live or b. Not have to be updated.
  • If you store all of your photos and videos in the cloud or transfer to your computer, shouldn't be a problem. Never understood why people have to keep every piece of media on their phone. Trust me, no one wants to see your cat pics and videos.
  • Because, believe it or not, not everyone wants to send their stuff to someone else's remote server God knows where.
    Some of us prefer to keep our things locally and in our possession. Period.
  • That's why I also included computer. Either way, more storage equals more money. If people are to lazy to transfer don't know what to tell them. Also, not very smart to keep everything on one device.
  • Shh, stop using your brain. Just follow along with the hoard who wants more storage because other people say they should and refuse to accept that there are perfectly workable alternatives.
  • You can still transfer them to your own computer, no one is forcing you to transfer to a cloud service.
  • I bought into the cloud thing, but quickly found out I would have to spend a whole lot of money for an inadequate amount of memory. I didn't even get to pick and choose what I wanted to send there, my system details and less important data filled up the cloud space and my work files didn't even fit without upgrading. I refused to upgrade and lost all my data. I do no longer trust this method of saving space. DVD's are much cheaper for safety or even dual one terabyte drives, using one for back up of all data for the desktop, laptop, notepads, and my HTC 526 Desire. My HTC has a small 8 Gb memory, but does have a SD slot. Also I just got a new device that is a thumb drive with both USB and Cell phone micro port on other end with 64 Gb storage. When it starts filling up just dump it into the thumb drive, unplug it and transfer to a folder on the laptop or desktop. I am an artist and like to keep a gallery of my work to show my paintings and showcase my sign work, so I can keep a special Gallery folder on the SD drive and send all other stuff to the thumb drive for uploading.
  • I got the 32gb Pixel xl and my only regret is the storage size. If I could do it now I'd pay the extra in a heart beat.
  • I have the 32GB Pixel XL on 7.1.1 and have used 12.11GB so that leaves 29.7GB free. I would have purchased the 64GB if it was available, bad choice on Google's part. Also being on Google Fi I tend to use WIFI most of the time and I am using less than 1GB of data so I get money back on my monthly bill. I have a jury-rigged USB C adapter to USB 2 port and connect external memory through the C port on my phone. That is for the 30GB of music.
    Happy New Year and a Very Prosperous one to everyone.
  • 32-12.11=29.7. We'll all get far with math skills like this. ;)
  • I just saw ( OF ) 29.7GB so now there is 17.59GB left. Thank you...
  • Agree. 64 should have been the minimum since 2013. They also need to stop advertising that there's 64 GB when it's actually only 40. Manufacturers need to give actual correct info on their devices specs instead of lying to us about what we're buying. They are flat out ripping us off. The OS should be separated from usable storage on ALL electronics.
  • I disagree with all of that.
  • I do sort of agree. But it would be hard to tell people exactly how much they're getting out of the box since different revisions and updates can change that by a gig or two. It's best to state the total storage then maximum usable in smaller print.
  • The pixels should have featured 64Gb base storage for the entry-level price, but that would have taken away incentive to step up to the 128Gb tier, as myself and many others have done, because 33Gb with no expandable storage is not enough, for the long haul.
  • 32gb has always been more then enough for me. Hell i owned a 16gb phone and i did just fine. More memory is always better but if the 32gb version is 50$ cheaper than the 64gb you can bet i will get the 32gb one, but hey, to each his own.
  • Maybe this is true for an Android Central power users, I doubt it's true for an average phone user. I'm currently using 11Gb of my storage. My Mum is still rocking an 8Gb 1st gen Moto G without any issue.
  • This site seems to forget that regular average Joes sometimes stumble on the site and they write articles that don't take into consideration that different people have different needs.
  • I think true power users can handle 32GB better than the average user. We know how to use cloud storage to our advantage and understand how to clear the cache and other techniques to make the most out of our storage. The average user does not do those things and end up filling their storage with pictures, etc..
  • The average user also doesn't shoot in RAW or store lossless audio on their phone so they don't fill it up as much as you think.
  • That is true but.many power users don't do that either.... just photo or audio affecianatos. That is an entirely different group.
  • I see so many people that are out of space on their iphones, Apple screwed these people over with 16GB phones. It doesn't take a power user to fill up 32GB, especially when 4GB is used for the OS right out of the box. I'm sure if you never take photos or videos or store any music on your phone then you will be ok. Most people want to be able to use their device for something other than phone calls.
  • Instead let's demand that when you advertise 64gb you get 64 not 58. With partitions in Nougat they should be able to make a 16-32gb drive for just os alone.
  • This is has been an industry problem forever, computer hard drives lose a ton of storage in formatting. You never really get that advertised storage. These guys are just ******** with their OS taking up so much space. Add in an extra 8-10GB's for your OS so that people get the advertised storage. Or adjust the advertising accordingly, The phone comes with 24GB available 8GB is used by the OS. I'm surprised their hasn't been some kind of class action lawsuit over this.
  • From forever it has been that the size of the memory is the advertising feature and everyone expects the OS to be included in that space. This is true even with hard drives, dvd's, cd's, thumb drives or any media that requires formatting needed to make it work. I agree however, that a separate, isolated basic space on any media and OS should have a protected area like the BIOS to be separated from the usable space and secure from the rampage of insecurities of today using the safety of Read Only at the core and special antivirus or firewall built into the program area that needs to be interactive. Just a thought.
  • Just bought the 32Gb Pixel. I still have 12gb free on my N5 after 2+ yrs of use. I think I'll be okay
  • I agree my 32GB S7 edge have like 1 GB left and idk why when I have a 64GB card and don't feel like I have that many apps.
  • Check your storage in settings. It will give you a breakdown of what's using all your storage.
  • I agree. It's one of the reasons I wanted the V10. Just seems funny that you guys can't stop pushing the S7 edge as the greatest thing out there and then tell people not to buy a 32gig phone.
  • I will be honest though. I have a 32gb Pixel and I have about 12-14gbs of space left. I would actually have to purposely try to fill that space up.
  • We do not like honesty around these parts.
  • That's hilarious
  • You're not everyone, people fill up their phones.
  • Some people do, some people don't. Why make things more expensive for the ones that don't simply because some do? I will almost always agree with having options, but people who say that X should be the minimum are just ridiculous.
  • Next Up From Android Central: The Best 64 GB Flagship Models for 2017 (Sponsored by the companies that make 64 GB 2017 Flagship Models) I kid, I kid... Happy New Years, All!!!
  • Plus 1
  • I understand that these articles are intended for so-called "power users" & the tech obsessed, but more than once I've seen editors & article writers claim that AC is supposed to be accessible to everyone using the Android platform. Including people who can't afford, don't want, or don't need 64-128GB of storage space. AC assumes a lot about their reader base, and while I would never pick up a 32GB phone, I know people still using 8-16GB phones who are perfectly happy with them and a decent SD card.
  • It's not that they assume it's that the people in charge of what content is written want them to write what will generate the most clicks. Unfortunately the bosses have decided that the number one goal of the site is to make money. And the number 2 goal is to make more money. And goals 3-10 are all about making money. Somewhere around goal 43 is giving the reader base news and information that they can really use.
  • Well, the people who write these articles are part of AC and so presumably they do read the forums.. so they would have a fair idea of what the members want ...
  • Android Central: SD cards who needs em lol
    Android Central: Don't buy a 32GB Android phone
  • I agree with this. I recently bought a new phone with 64g because the phone I had before with 32g and enough. I had to keep deleting apps. And photos. I got tired of it.
  • This is such a stupid article!!! Instead of persuading customers to spend more money on larger storage, you should be persuading Google to stop being storage hogs and work on trimming down how much space these partitions consume straight out of the box!!!! 250mb for a system app & its data before you even touch the phone is just completely ridiculous!!!! There is absolutely no excuse for that!!! I get that it has a lot of great features and security stored in that amount of space...but we shouldn't have to double our storage because the people who write the very code that makes the device run decided to add a literal crapton of junk a majority of people don't use, need, want, or even understand how to use. There should be a way to free up space by disabling unused features, similar to how you can disable windows services and software on your computer.
  • This was my first thought reading this article, but AC seems to be representing manufacturers and Google these days more than the consumers. Why not advocate for more elegance in coding rather than just accept that the OS and third party apps will keep doubling in size? First we're supposed to accept phones without microSD cards because there's the cloud. But then we need to pay for more storage on our phones because neither apps nor their data can be stored up there after all. It seems Nextbit has managed to solve this conundrum though. At least until Google closes some loophole(s) in the OS in their next "upgrade" to Android.
  • I'm a "power user" who uses cloud storage. Imagine that LoL
  • Actually I'm a Google Gangster so whatever.
  • I would like to join your gang. (Throws G sign up)
  • I had to downgrade to a 32 G when I bought the Droid force. When I went to Verizon all they ever had was a 32 even though they advertised the 64. Even now they don't have a 64 GB storage model available. I think having 96 GB difference between your models is a little ridiculous. Your choice is 32 or 128? Get real
  • Why is 32 GB even still offered in flagships? I had a Nokia N900 that came out in 2009 and it had 32GB maximum. That was 7 years ago the only difference between now and then is the memory has gotten faster. By now we should be on the way to 512GB phones.
  • Hahaha, Apple just upped their flagship phone to 32GB this year!
  • Sole doesn't need as much storage as android. My iPhone 4 with 8gb has more apps installed than my 16gb HTC which is forever telling me I do not have enough space to update the apps I have installed.
  • 64 should be the base, but my 32 gigs on my 6p and Pixel have been great for me. So, will see what they do with Pixel 2 or 3.
  • Samsung had it right with the s7, 32gb base and sd slot. Hopefully next year if they get rid of SD slot they will start base memory at 64gb like the oneplus phones.
  • Why would they get rid of the sd slot? They tried that once and had to bring it back because of the outcry.
  • A major problem is that people put crappy slow or old SD cards in the phone, it performs poorly, and the customer blames the phone. Another is potential for piracy. Of course, they could just stick more flash in their and charge the ten bucks it costs and simplify the decision. SD slots can also affect form factor like thickness.
  • don't buy a phone without expandable memory
  • don't buy a phone without expandable memory unless it meets your needs.
    ftfy
  • That means that in about a year you will have almost no choices.
  • I really don't think Google should have sold a 32GB Pixel. Might be enough now for some users but I suspect many will be running out of space if they keep the phone for 2 years plus. My next will now be at least 128gb. I hate having only 32gb. I can't install many things I want.
  • I love my 32gb Pixel so I'm glad they made it
  • 32GB is fine as long as your phone has expandable storage but for Android phones without expandable storage, 64GB should be the bare minimum and OnePlus understood this right away hence why the 3T base storage is 64GB.
  • photos and music are stored virtually. why does anyone need 64-256GB of storage?
  • http://www.geekwire.com/2017/analysis-rethinking-cloud-architecture-outa... That is why. Clouds go down/become inaccessible. My company was affected & we don't even use AWS directly (a lot of our third-party services do).
  • Luckily, I brought my new phone with 32GB internal storage but most phone in our house is 16GB so I guess they will retire soon.
  • Yup hopefully Samsung releases a 128GB model for the S8. My experience with having SD card hasn't been very pleasant. Having to transfer large files, apps, games and pictures to the SD card is a hassle. Also apps like Rhapsody don't download music to your phone on the SD card by the fault, so you have to go into the settings and change it. Yes I know that's easy but the average consumer does not event know how to such thing. And OEM's like Samsung have understand that, and make it easier for consumers. Like giving you the option of having adoptable storage.
  • I have the Galaxy S6 active 32gigs. And I ordered this phone for the Galaxy S4 I had a and the Galaxy S6 over the phone and we both phones they told me at least with the Galaxy S6 active they told me that only comes 32 gig and then you can expand the memory of 128 G which they lied. And now they're saying that the Galaxy S7 active it supposed to be able to only have 32 gigs but you can expand them gigs with an external memory card up to 228 gigs. Is there any truth to that does anybody know? And what about the Galaxy S8 active are they going to have an external memory card to where you can expand it up to two hundred twenty eight gig all so??
  • I have an S7 Active. I have a 200gb as card in it to go along with the 32gb built in storage.
  • I'm interested what is to become of the Active line. Does anyone know if the S7 Active can be used with VR? Before the Note 7, there was much coverage about QC issues with the S7 Active in regards to water resistance and screen durability. IMO, I love the Active line (especially the 6) but it was plagued by issues. If Samsung is stepping its game up in terms of build quality and testing, I expect the S8 Active to be near indestructible and the most water resistant device.
  • 32GB works pretty well for me. The prices for most 64GB phones are enough to give me a heart attack! In saying that, I would like to get a OnePlus phone, and their 64GB variants are quite reasonably priced.
  • Hmm. My nexus 6 has 32gb. I've loaded it with apps, taken loads of pics and videos, and I'm a little over halfway full. So no, doesn't seem necessary with all the free or nearly free cloud storage around. When phone makers stop charging hundreds of dollars for ten bucks worth of flash, I might consider it.
  • For a limited phone like the Pixel or iPhone, I'd agree. My S7 Edge, however, takes a huge SD card for photos and videos. Nothing else on my phone takes much space. I've still got 50% of my 32gb free.
  • 64 GB is the new standard. And thank you LG for having the foresight and offering up Nougat out of the box with the new standard on the V20. You guys knew all this already, hence the reference to 2015 and Sony. Gave rave reviews to Google's own Pixel ( short on the new standard). Gave them just a tiny thumbs down for offering 128gb for $100 more. So all you Pixel bandwagon jumpers bought into their money grab. Bought the V20 for the same price as the pixel and a 64GB card cost me $18 from my supplier on sale. I won't even mention the Biggest fingerprint magnet Samsung has produced.
    Let the LG bashing continue. I'm happy, and good for the next two years. Or maybe LG will convince me to jump on the G6 when that day comes.
  • Yeah with the Pixel 2 next year, I might consider the 128gb option only because 4k video chews up storage like crazy. I knew it would but I thought I'd just use 1080p video, but found myself liking 4k quite a bit. And yes, apps are now taking more and more space as well.
  • Nice cross sell OP but I'll pass. I"m sporting the base XL and I'm doing fine. #clickbait
  • Agreed. 32 has become the new 16 imo. Even 64 gigs for me is just too little.
  • I'm still carrying around a 16 GB which hasn't been an issue at all for me (not a gamer, don't carry many apps and I don't use the camera much) so I always opt for the least amount of memory. This article has me a little worried though as my MX Pure should be getting Nougat soon.
  • No worries. Just throw in a microsd card and use Expandable Storage.
  • I disagree, I think you should be able to manage with 32gb and expandable storage for the until 2020 which is around the time you'd probably look for an upgrade if you hadn't already. Basically all media can be stored on expandable storage, and for what's app I don't think most people event want to have years of conversation being stored (or maybe it's just me). But you would probably just about manage, so the sorts of people who use this site should really consider 64gb. Good article.
  • I'm good with 32...
  • 32GB is fine if you don't install a load of crappy apps you never use and don't feel the need to carry your entire digital life around with you. I bet 98% of people that cram their phones full of data only ever use 5% of it. (cue all the replies of "How dare you! My data is all very important and crucial to me and I have to have the ability to watch 24 hours of movies, TV and also 24 hours of music on top of the 9 hours of work I do a day all on my phone, not to mention needing the ability to show any of the 34000 precious vacation photos from the past 10 years to no one who is interested in the slightest! Did I tell you how important I think my data is?")
  • Agreed.
  • The forums here are full of ppl complaining about runnings out of storage in their devices....
    No way I'd go lower than 64Gig!
  • Exactly. I have a 32GB phone and if it wasn't for the sd card slot I'd be screwed. Before I got my sd card I had to continuously delete apps I didn't use regularly which was annoying or manually go through and put pics on cloud storage. Sometimes you dont always have WiFi or a good signal depending on your carrier to get fast access to pics or music you want which I dont understand the people saying 16gb and cloud storage is enough. The article makes a good point at pointing out the ever increasing size of apps because of updates and cache needs. Many people dont realize that this is what starts causing your phone to perform slower over time and starts causing system freeze up s and lag.
  • This means every android phone will be an iphone in terms of price..
  • The only reason larger storage versions are expensive is profit. They could easily double the size of the base model and it would cost them very little in actual cost to do so.
  • When I bought my Galaxy Nexus in 2012, it came with no SD card, and 32 GB storage. It seemed like it was from the future. When I bought my Nexus 6 in 2015, it came with no SD card, and 32 GB storage. It seemed like it was created with ancient technology.
  • 5 terabyte is what I'm talking 'bout!!!
    Thank-you
    Super hard-core power user
  • My G4 is doing just fine with 32 gb and Marshmallow. Still have 17gb on phone plus another 8 on the card. Not worried about it. Anyone heard anything bad about the OnePlus 3t?
  • It's also not an option for people who can only afford budget phones,midranger I have an honor 5x (only 16gb,I'm in a little financial problem) and could barely afford it but no less my family with 8gb Samsung coreprimes :C
  • Completely agree with this which why I don't understand why Google would put out the pixel with a 32GB version.... it makes no sense to me AT ALL.
    I ordered a pixel but paid the extra $120 for the 128GB version as I knew 32GB would NOT be enough... Google of all people should know this too! I'm a big Google supporter, but I DO NOT understand why they would put out a 32GB pixel phone that ships with Nougat on it! This was a very bad move on Google's part!
  • 32GB is more than enough for most. If it isn't then you have the 128GB model.
  • .Yeah I'm using a massive 19GB on my 32GB G4. The 32GB SD card is still empty. If I had a bit of a tidy up it would be maybe 16GB used.
  • While testing the Nougat beta on my Tmo S7 Edge, The "new" system consumed twice the space vs. Marshmallow. 32GB primary storage is really simply a dead end. Considering the direction of phone specs (camera + 4K) and the dual OS partition method of Nougat and beyond, 64GB is the ABSOLUTE minimum.
  • I think that the Pixel with 32G is just fine, you just have to manage what apps you download and every once in while, back up photos and videos.
  • That's a bloat
  • "64GB OR GTFO ." Classy, a real inducement to connect with the concepts. . . AC sounding more and more like an old Canal Street hawker.
  • Or just buy a sd card for your phone 200gb is cheap enough
  • I partially agree with phones that come with sc card slots but not all android phones have them. On top of that I cant count how many times that for whatever reason my sd card has had issues and had to be reformatted because x-app is having issues or data has become corrupt.
  • Or just read the article where it explains why that is NOT a solution.
  • I think it's lazy development of apps, especially google apps. Is it possible to get the same results, with leaner code? And what's with apps like allo/duo, that re too big for what they do. They need to get the app sizes smaller, and do the same work, as if they're bigger. Some apps need to be on a diet.
  • Nope, you've got it exactly backwards. How about single SKU for phones at 16gb internal, but they all come with SD card slots (like Android did in the beginning) and adoptable storage. Really, it's the ONLY thing that makes sense.
  • Yes 16GB of ultra fast flash storage backed by SD card would do a fine job.
  • I have 32GB and haven't filled it, the only time it becomes even a slight issue is when I'm flying somewhere and want to put some movies or tv shows on it.
  • 16gb of actual available space is good for me. Store pics and video on Google photos and keep only music and necessary apps. When they say 32gb, system takes almost 10gb, so people are working with just more than 200 . I still have more than 10gb available even with backups on my phone storage. Use cases vary.. So keep the prices reasonable for storage upgrades and give users choices.
  • In terms of music I decided just to put just my top fave 25 albums of all time on my phone. That way I always have around a days music that I love rather than having to worry about 600+ CDs worth of which 90% would never get played in the life of that phone.
  • I am SO trying to get that mentality. But I get twitchy when I don't have all my songs with me. It's a problem.
  • I keep phones for 3 years, and learned long ago, 32 GB was never enough to begin with. Internal memory is like living in the city...
    Many like the benefits of urban life, everything is nearby, convient. (non upgradable storage.)
    Others, don't like the drawbacks.
    Such people often just visit or live in the suburbs, etc. (external memory options.)
    I prefer the SD card slot (living outside the city), because dealing with traffic (low memory), having to take a bus, taxi, pay to park, rent, etc., everywhere (data plans and no data connection... ), make city living unappealing to me, if even possible at all.
    Urban sprawl (the need for more and more storage/resources) will always be an issue.
    Cellphones will keep cannibalizing more and more tasks, and "cities" can only grow so big (better phone memory/innovation techs) and offer so much (more cloud, hardware coverage techs and data plan options.) All balanced by supplys and demands.
    One day 64 GB will likely be to small, and on, and on...
    Google and hopefully more phonemakers supporting alternatives is always good, in the long run.
  • It's early 2017 and I still can't fill a 16gb phone so just saying. On my 32gb nexus 6 I have about 22 gigs left. I think I'll be fine.
  • I think the article should be "Why Shouldn't buy Android Phone with 16GB Storage in 2017".
  • Then how much space have you filled out of that 32 GB? Just curious? And with what?
  • Os files + apps get me over 16gb. Do you have a flip phone?
  • who cares, Apple is the only company to get people to buy devices with locked storage, Google tries but fails, why Apple sells I don't know - a lot of these devices are overpriced lmao ....hm hmm hmm...why do they do a 32gb....umm the same reason the iphone can cost over 1 grand
  • That's clearly not true, plenty of people buy Android devices with finite storage. Granted, the top sellers generally have SD expansion but that's pretty much only any good for photos. To guarantee the performance required when recording in 4K some devices insist on using internal storage.
  • Shouldn't need to worry about that too much. With phones like the Note 7, OnePlus 3, and Axon 7, 64GB becoming standard won't be much longer. And if not, eh. There will be plenty of options anyways.
  • Good article.
  • From my experience of 'Power Users' I would say a Power User is basically someone who is stuck in their ways and won't grasp smarter ways of working. Often using the wrong device for the job too.
  • I disagree, I would describe myself as a power user. My definition of such a user is someone who takes full advantage of everything the software and hardware have to offer. People who use tasker and/or root to better their experience. That is who I am
  • i completely agree with this article. i have a LG V10 and have used nearly 30GB of the 64 is has. 12.5GB is system data alone. Nearly 3GB is cached data and apps take nearly 10GB.
  • I've never purchased anything but a 32GB phone. And i've never once felt crunched for space. And thats from someone who travels a lot. Oh well...to each their own.
  • That's fine. Everyone uses their device differently. I don't game so I don't need the extra space. I don't VR so there's no need for extra apps or files. I don't shoot 4K video or use my phone as my primary capture device. But wait....its not about me. Its about the masses. Its about what the industry is doing to provide better quality video and images, more immersive games and VR content, desktop capabilities. For just one minute...I need to stop thinking about what I want. Its like me holding a flip phone and saying, "That's all I need." Sure, but I'm not streaming and definitely not saving for offline viewing, running apps and streaming music.
  • I always went with 32 GB with my phones. My current 6P has 32GB but it's running out of space. Audio is taking 4.81 gb so that's probably why. This is the first time I'm having this issue. haha
  • Doing just fine with a 32gb Pixel I have loaded with everything I would want and have 54% storage left. Never been a hoarder and never plan on being one.
  • As long as it has a sd card slot, I'm good.
  • 2.5 months ago AC didn't seem to have a problem with 32 GB phones -- from the article by Daniel Bader "Moto Z Play review: The best phone you'll probably overlook:" 'Speaking of future proofing, the combination of 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, plus microSD expansion, should suffice for most people. Again, I noticed no major performance difference between this and the Moto Z, and that should speak volumes to both Qualcomm's and Motorola's commitment to optimization.' "The Bottom Line: Buy It." And I did buy the unlocked US version, with that article helping me feel confident in my purchase decision (and after a month now I can say that it is indeed a great phone, certainly an excellent upgrade from my first-gen Moto G which was also a nice phone in it's price range, back in the day.) So I have to say that this "don't buy 32GB" article is a bit off-putting and confusing -- it completely contradicts the advice of the first article. What;s up with that, editors?
  • It's simple. It's all part of the commercialization of this world. By what's hot now but next time you look it's antiquated and not adequate. The tech sector itself has this art perfected into a science.
  • "That's less space than ever for your own apps and media." Well, no - it's not. :)
  • I've had my Note 3 along with 2 Galaxy Tablets since day one. Just recently purchased a like new to me Note 4 that was barely used. All four Galaxy units up and running without issues and I can't see going to another product. The pen capability and just the overall phablets themselves cannot be touched as far as user friendly on many applications. The Note 7 took a hit but the other products are still on top of any other brand to date. This didn't effect my opinion in anyway towards Samsung....
  • Awesome! Guess Samsung isn't as bad as some people say. Maybe I ought to give them a try.