How much internal storage does your smartphone need?

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - January 21st, 2015
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Choosing a smartphone is a fun task, albeit not an easy one. With so many great models, brands and operating systems now available, you'll be spoilt for choice when selecting your new gadget.

In addition to deciding what kind of phone you want to buy, you'll also need to think about storage size. While many phones offer the option to upgrade and adjust storage capacity as you go, others - chiefly Apple branded phones - do not allow for that flexibility.

With that in mind, here is a basic guide to determining how much internal storage your new smartphone needs.

What is that storage space used for?

Modern day smartphones can do just about everything, from playing video and music to surfing the web and loading cool apps and tools.

However, in order to make use of all that functionality, you need space to store all that content. That's where your smartphone's internal storage comes into effect - the more storage space you have, the more stuff you'll be able to keep on your phone at any given time.

Different types of files use up different amounts of storage space. The average song will use a meagre 4 MB of space on your phone, while a five minute video of your favourite band rocking out will take closer to 30 MB.

An episode of your favourite TV show will require upwards of 200 MB per file, while a full length movie will need between 1 and 5 GBs, depending on definition.

As you can see, casual music listeners won't need a lot of space for their favourite Pink Floyd album or that new Nicki Minaj single. However, the numbers quickly add up if you're a media junky who wants to take the latest series of Game of Thrones everywhere you go.

Apps also take up storage space on your phone, although not a significant amount, as do some of the internal features that come stock-standard with your device.

So how much storage space do I actually need?

Determining how much storage space you need is a bit like going to a cafe and deciding between a bowl of cereal, a plate of pancakes or the full buffet breakfast.

It comes down to personal preference and budget - people with limited funds and only a small appetite for media will be fine with a more basic option, while hungry buyers with a bit of cash to splurge will rarely regret going for a bigger model.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are both available in 16, 64 and 128 GB models. The 64 GB and 128 GB versions are great if you want your phone to double as an iPod, while the 16 GB model is an option if you're looking for a more basic device (although, for a similar price, you could buy a 32 GB iPhone 5S and maybe get more bang for your buck).

If you're unsure how much storage space you're going to need, or want to leave your options open, it might be worth considering a model that allows for use of a microSD memory card.

Phones with a memory card slot can be upgraded depending on your needs, so you can easily add extra storage if you find you don't have enough space for all your games and movies. This will come at an additional cost though.

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