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How Important is Internal Storage on Smartphones?

If you’re on the market for a new smartphone then you may spend your time checking out how many megapixels the camera is, the size of the screen or how well it can play games. But there’s another important factor that you need to pay attention to: the internal storage.
Internal storage becomes an even bigger issue if your phone doesn’t support additional storage through SD cards. Don’t just assume that yours does, even if it’s a flagship device. A lot of popular smartphones don’t have any SD card slot at all, which means that the internal storage of the device is what you’re stuck with.
Let’s assume, for now, that there’s no way to expand the storage. The internal storage, whether it’s 1 GB or 32 GB, is something you need to consider. Everything from your photos, music and apps will be stored on this space. Depending on how heavy a user you are, it’s not unlikely that the space is going to fill up quicker than you might expect. There are some hefty sized apps on the market and if your phone takes high resolution photos then they take up a fair share of space.
Photos are easy to deal with as you can just transfer these to your computer after a while. There’s probably no reason to keep all your holiday snaps on your phone indefinitely, for example. Apps, on the other hand, are a bit different. You can’t keep reinstalling and installing apps as and when you need them to conserve space. It defeats the point. The trouble is that a growing number of apps take up significant amounts of storage space. Take the Chrome browser, which could take up around 60 MB of space. Tango, the popular messaging app, takes up around 55 MB.
If you are able to expand your storage with an SD card, it comes with a caveat that not all of your apps can be moved to the SD card. Some of them have to remain on your internal storage. You’ll also probably find that your phone comes with preinstalled software, both from the phone manufacturer and the network, that can’t be uninstalled or moved to an external device. Take this into account when viewing your internal storage figure, because it can be instantly reduced by such bloatware.
You’ll also find that number reduced due to space being reserved for the operating system. Internal storage is advertised at a certain capacity, but that doesn’t mean that all of that will be accessible to you. It’s annoying and the only way to find out how much storage you’re truly getting for each is to do an online search for the answer.
Also, if you don’t have a certain percentage of internal storage free then your phone might not function as well as it should. You could find that emails won’t come through or your gallery can’t be browsed, for example.
All things said, extra storage does cost money. Some users just might not need the higher capacity models that offer storage like 32 GB. Why pay for space you’re never going to use? Also, consider opting for a better data plan instead – that way you can store things like photos in the cloud, on services like Dropbox or SkyDrive, and free up your phone’s internal storage.

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