Today's new smartphones offer greater amounts of storage than ever, but how much do you need? It's a particularly important consideration when you consider the cost implications. For example, upgrading to the highest possible capacity can add as much as $500 to the price of a new iPhone.
So, will 128GB suffice, or should you spend hundreds of dollars more to get a range-topping 1TB of storage? How about entry-level models with capacities lower than 128GB? And what's the deal with phones with expandable storage? We take a closer look at how many GB of storage you need for your brand-new smartphone.
Smartphone GB Storage Capacities
Most of today's current-generation smartphones get a storage capacity of 128GB by default. That includes entry-level models like Google's Pixel 5a
and costlier handsets such as Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
Thankfully, largely gone are the days of smartphones with capacities of 8GB, 32GB, and, for the most part, even 64GB. Some lower-capacity handsets also include the option to increase their storage with removable memory cards. The same applies to certain flagship models
, too, although it's becoming less and less common.
Samsung's wildly successful Galaxy smartphones have long been available with SD card slots for expandable storage, including the popular Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
. Yet, newer models, like the Galaxy S21 Ultra
, buck this trend, now available solely with a fixed capacity topping out at 512GB. Apple’s iPhone also offers fixed storage.
The Reality of How Much Storage You Need
When it comes to smartphone storage capacity, the reality is that very few people are ever likely to fill up a flagship model's 1TB of storage. Even those who use their phones professionally and capture tremendous quantities of video footage are unlikely to hit this volume throughout a handset's life. Of course, there are exceptions. However, most people should find that even 128GB is perfectly adequate.
When an individual regularly captures large amounts of high-definition footage or uses their smartphone for other storage, upgrading to 256GB may be pertinent. Much beyond that, though, costly 512GB and 1TB models are very unlikely to prove cost-effective for the majority. The next section provides examples concerning average usage to demonstrate and hopefully alleviate any worry about not paying for enough storage at the outset.
Average Smartphone GB Storage Requirements in 2021-2022
While the debate surrounding how much smartphone storage is really needed will undoubtedly go on for the foreseeable future, more and more definitive answers continue to come to light. A perfect example is a PhoneArena.com poll
conducted last summer. Ultimately, the mobile technology media outlet found 256GB to be the sweet spot, although only just ahead of 128GB.
Of approximately 650 people polled, over 30 percent said 128GB was the perfect amount of storage for them. Meanwhile, just under 35 percent said they were more likely to require 256GB. By contrast, fewer than 13 percent suggested that either 512GB or 1TB was a necessity, with the same number also reportedly happy with 64GB of storage.
What to Do if You Run Out of GB Storage on Your Smartphone
You're unlikely to run out of space on your new phone. However, if you do, or you've found yourself out of space on an older handset, there are a number of easy steps you can take to remedy the issue. Backing up images and videos to a computer or cloud storage solution is one of the most straightforward ways to free up space. The same applies to any downloaded movies and music.
Deleting old apps, clearing any temporary files, and wiping cached content will free up further space. Yet, it's pictures and videos that take up the most room, along with any other large files stored on a handset for one reason or another. So backing up or otherwise saving these and then deleting them from a phone's memory is arguably the number one way to claw back some of those precious gigabytes.
Remember to Regularly Back Up Your Smartphone
Regularly backing up any smartphone is always advisable. This ensures that you’ll have backup files of all of your data if your phone fails. In addition, smartphone owners should pair their smartphones with an extended warranty.
With that, customers' precious smartphones are protected from drops, liquid spills, and any number of other mishaps. Moreover, Upsie is affordable, comprehensive, and straightforward. In addition, Upsie costs just $9.99 per month and has an industry-low cracked screen deductible of $0.
Purchase an Upsie warranty for your used or new smartphone today.
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