Samsung looking into ways to “secure more memory space” in the Galaxy S4

Ian Hardy

May 16, 2013 7:30 am

gs4-3-1
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is a big hit, but not big on internal storage. The 16GB flagship Android only offers users about 9GB of actual available space. This became a heated discussion after it was highlighted on the BBC TV show Watchdog in the UK. Samsung initially stated some of the storage was consumed by the “high resolution display and more powerful features” and if users wanted more they should use a microSD card.

A report today from CNET and Engadget reveals that Samsung is potentially working on fix:

“As one of the most advanced smartphones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses part of its internal memory to bring our customers its innovative and unique features. We appreciate this issue being raised and we will improve our communications. Also, we are reviewing the possibility to secure more memory space through further software optimisation. Samsung is committed to listening to our customers and responding to their needs as part of our innovation process.”

There’s no word of when the “further software optimisation” will arrive, or specifically how they’ll “secure more memory space.” Google and Samsung will be releasing a Galaxy S4 with stock Android Jelly Bean in the US on June 26th, but not in Canada.

  • Word

    “Google and Samsung will be releasing a Galaxy S4 with stock Android Jelly Bean in the US on June 26th”

    Am I reading this right? Basically a Galaxy Nexus S4 with expandable storage? I want!

    • Doug M

      How about this Samsung, just sell us a model with 32GB of internal storage!! This is a flagship device. 16GB of internal is not nearly enough for power users!

  • hoo dat

    A device using up memory is to be expected but 7GB??? And the North American version is supposed to be worse leaving the phone with precisely half of what it started with. So Samsung is basically advertising what turns out to be a fictional number and then telling you tough, get an SD card if you don’t like it. What if the device uses 10 or 12GB just to operate, would they still be able to get away with calling a phone 16GB?

    • RoboBonobo

      When you buy a PC with OS installed, it’s the same thing. You pay for a computer with X amount of GB hard drive, but the OS takes up some of that space. You’re paying for the capacity of the memory, not the free space. It’s always been this way. They didn’t advertise “16GB free space”, did they? The OS has always taken up some of the space; this isn’t new.

    • hoo dat

      You missed my point completely, I even say in my first sentence that memory usage is expected. You can’t honestly sit there and tell me that losing half of your available memory is acceptable just for the device to function. If I use your analogy and buy a computer, get it home and find it only has half the available memory then back to the store it goes. I would do exactly the same thing for a phone too. This is inexcusable.

    • RoboBonobo

      No, I’d keep it and install an additional hard drive; it’s understood that the OS and included software is going to take up some — even as much as half — of the space. If I pay for a computer with 64GB, and there’s only 32GB left after the OS and included software, what’s the problem? I got what I paid for: a computer with a 64GB drive. Nowhere is there any guarantee that you’re getting X amount of free space; you’re paying for the capacity of the drive.

      On previous generations of Android phones, it’s been common for the OS to take up well over half of the ‘advertised’ capacity of the memory. This isn’t a new thing. How about you drop $30 on a 32GB micro-SD card. It’s not even like it’s a lot of money.

    • Hugo Robitaille

      Why buy a 150$+ version of the phone when you can buy a 32gb sdcard for 30$ ?!?! Or even buy the 64gb SD at 70$

  • bob C

    Thus is why I went with the s4! Htc one will never see 4.3.

  • bob C

    Thanks Samsung

  • Max Fireman

    I have rooted and uninstalled all the Samsung junk and apps and those unnecessary ones from google and have 90 installed apps and I have 5.5GB free on the internal. I also have 6GB free on the 32gb card with 1800 songs, pictures and other stuff. The space actually isn’t a huge concern. I don’t see myself filling up the remaining 5GB on the internal drive. The S4 is still blazing fast.

  • Super_Deluxe

    I’m gonna wait for the Nexus 5 instead. No rush to upgrade from my S3. Hope it’ll be worth it.

    • mpsrent

      I bought a 64gb Scandisk card from Future Shop for $59. While I welcome at some point a software upgrade that may increase the available onboard memory, I really don’t have a “space” issue.

    • Sak Hus

      Not when you have many apps using multi gbs of space and the problem is sammy not allowing apps to move to ext-SD card. On my 16gb S3 with about 11gb available on stock, i have barely 5gb internal space left even with class 10 32gb card in it. I have maps, navigation software couple of multi gb games. If i move to s4 i’d not hv space for all my apps. I’m not going to use some tweaks from random dev to show SD as EXT SD. I’ve heard stories of people losing their SD data by mistake thinking they are formating EXT SD.

    • GNS

      Same here. Holding onto my iPhone 4S until then. After seeing the S4′s SAMOLED screen compared to my ancient 4S, the iPhone’s screen is still superior even with the S4 in Movie Mode.

      Also, Samsung’s antics and mismanagement really turn me off

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Since nobody has mentioned it yet, there is also the problem (new to Jelly bean) that you can’t move apps to SD. Therefore the SD card is useful for pics, videos, docs, etc but cannot be utilized to expand the internal for apps i.e. if you are a gamer and fill up the initial free space you are done as it’s no longer possible to move app to SD. So the advantage of having big internal memory (64 GB) is here now not tomorrow. I think in light of this that Samsung mis stepped with minimum physical memory that phone shipped with. I think that it would have been easier to justify a price increase for larger standard memory than the road they are now heading down now.

    • impunity

      you can move apps to SD on Jelly Bean (as long as you are rooted) also you can move the often large data files from games to the SD card as well to save precious internal storage space. Neither of these facts changes the issue with free space on the S4, but at least there is an option for people who may require it.

    • Tim3Tripp3r

      That’s all fine & dandy for rooted users (I’m one) but doesn’t help the stock out the box experience for the overwhelming majority of GS4 users, it seems a lot of people are reluctant to void warranty to root. Also slightly off topic but I have always wondered why memory/battery is poor stepchild to cpu cores/screen size in marketing department. Nothing comes free but I’d sooner have quad core with more memory than octa core with less memory.

    • Sak Hus

      It’s not as simple as using an app like app2SD. It requires some trickery into fooling system into thinking SD is EXT SD. Also risky and can get your device bricked.

  • Chuck Lee

    What clock/weather app is that?

  • RoboBonobo

    Don’t tell me I’m missing the point. You’re missing the point.
    Not only don’t their ads say 16GB “free space”, but they also don’t even mention “16GB” at all. The device just happens to have 16GB capacity of memory. Your cellular carrier is who sells you a capacity of memory when you buy the phone.
    And if you’re going to get the 32GB version instead, you’ll pay over $100 more for an additional 16GB of memory built in; or you could pay $60 and get a 64GB micro-SD card. Do you even math bro?

  • daftchemist

    Give us the option to delete all those useless apps we don’t use on our galaxy devices! And have a place where we can download them if we want them back again. I hate preinstalled apps that can’t be deleted.

  • GNS

    Samsung always manages to crap up their products. The technical expertise and manufacturing power is there, but the marketing and leadership are right out of preschool.