As Samsung’s newest flagship device starts to land in the hands of retail buyers, some of them are discovering a nasty surprise lying in wait. New owners of the 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 have discovered the device only has about 8GB of useable memory available. The other half is eaten up by the operating system and built-in apps. In a statement released in response to the criticism, Samsung says:
“For the Galaxy S4 16GB model, approximately 6.85GB occupies [the] system part of internal memory, which is 1GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide [a] high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers… To offer the ultimate mobile experience to our users, Samsung provides [a] microSD slot on Galaxy S4 for extension of memory.”
Many buyers of smartphones look for the availability of a microSD card slot when making their buying decision, which gives Samsung a big advantage with those buyers versus a device like the HTC One. However, Samsung does not permit the installation of apps onto the SD Card, only files, photos, videos and music. If a user wanted to install something like Wikipedia Offline, which clocks in at 3.6GB, they could quickly run through their internal memory. Popular games also tend to be large in size, which could force users to become selective in which apps they install.
Since the discovery of this memory limitation, responses have varied from users. Some have been extremely irate going so far as to describe Samsung’s actions as amounting to a “scam.” Others are nonplussed as they “never got close to filling the internal storage” on their previous devices.
Do you think this is a major problem with the Galaxy S 4? Would it cause you to look at other devices or wait for something else to be released later this year?