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Should smartphones and tablets be advertised with the _actual_ user available storage?

Should devices be advertised with the _actual_ user available storage? Lots of smartphones and tablets lose several GB to the OS. Especially the Microsoft Surface!

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21 comments

Pondlife  Dec. 17, 2012 at 18:12

Well they aren't going to be, nor consoles, laptops, sd cards..

AhmadCentral  Dec. 17, 2012 at 18:41

I like it how some manufacturers in the product spec page state that it is 32gb total storage but with 26gb user storage in brackets. Its a good way of seeing exactly how much you get.

Pondlife  Dec. 17, 2012 at 19:07

Is a better way definitely but no incentive for those worse offenders to join in.

And if we think the surface is bad, wait for the Surface pro...

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 18, 2012 at 08:38

No, there is no compelling reason to advertise actual available storage. If it has any meaning to you and you actual care about it you should be able to reclaim 6GB from Ahmad example.

I have Jelly Bean running on 293MB system partition. Would that be ~ 31.7GB available?

More pressing problem would be amount of RAM phone has. As an example: None of 512MB phones actually have 512MB available. RAM is shared with video card and camera.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 18, 2012 at 09:41

No, there is no compelling reason to advertise actual available storage. If it has any meaning to you and you actual care about it you should be able to reclaim 6GB from Ahmad example.

I have Jelly Bean running on 293MB system partition. Would that be ~ 31.7GB available?

More pressing problem would be amount of RAM phone has. As an example: None of 512MB phones actually have 512MB available. RAM is shared with video card and camera.

True, the total RAM figure on my S2 changes depending what ROM I'm using.

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 18, 2012 at 09:58

Another thing to keep in mind is extended storage - as in App2SD storage. Not actual SD Card, but your extended phone storage which shows up as internal SD Card (the one that shows up in my computer when you connect your phone to PC).
S2 has 2 SD Cards - one internal and one external. Additionally, S2 has /data partition where your actual data is stored, as for security reasons you cannot store data on extended storage. If your data partition is too small you will run out of space to store data for your apps and apps that cannot be moved using App2SD method (secure apps/banking apps).
So idea of actual available storage becomes even more blurred and meaningless.

Ideally you want to have 32GB /data partition and separate external SD Card. Having internal SD card in addition to external one is a waste of resources and a nightmare to deal with. As an example: all internal phone storage must be formatted as EXT4, because FAT is slow and inefficient. However, Windows does not support EXT4 and your internal SD card will not be accessible in Windows.

User available storage is just a meaningless number designed to get more money out of ignorant end user. Referencing Matt's rant about screen resolution - falls into same category.

From convenience point of view I prefer blackberry implementation. You are not allowed to move any apps or data to SD Card, nor do you have access to apps or data when you plug in blackberry into PC. All your pictures, music and backups are stored on SD Card.

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:15

Apple iPhone has shared storage space between entire phone. Whatever is not used by OS is ~ 100% available to the user. I think iOS 5 is around 750MB and everything else is available to end user. Nothing crazy like 6GB in previous example.

I need to look at Windows 8 RT space allocation.
From Windows 8 x64 allocation:
- Swap File (can be removed)
- Hibernate File (can be removed)
- Recovery partition (can be removed)
- Actual OS
You can get it down to actual OS size, which can be less than 5GB (with most features there).

AhmadCentral  Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:26

I was just guessing in my example. Android doesn't take up that much but I do agree that android shouldn't split app and user storage into two parts with the app bit being much smaller

Pondlife  Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:32

I have Jelly Bean running on 293MB system partition. Would that be ~ 31.7GB available?

No it would be nearer to 29.5gb available which is the OPs point.

Oh and ios lies about space left. Whenever I tried putting podcasts into the last few hundred mb of storage it starts removing music to make space.

If all that can be removed from rt why are they shipping it with so much unnecessary crap?

Pondlife  Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:39

I agree the BlackBerry keep apps and data on internal makes sense but then they couldn't make android phones with 1gb and less storage and even wp8 phones with 4gb and under. One of the frequent compromises in budget phones.
Would prefer that they stopped that and the ram compromises that aren't significant cost savers but really serve to make higher models look better with more differentiators to look at.

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 18, 2012 at 13:02

I was just guessing in my example. Android doesn't take up that much but I do agree that android shouldn't split app and user storage into two parts with the app bit being much smaller

You weren't guessing - you pulled this number from official HTC One X spec. Doubt it would be a coincidence.

AhmadCentral  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:06

Huh, believe it or not it is a coincidence. But then again I did own a one x for a short time so maybe I just subconsciously just wrote it from memory

Btw im sure 26gb is user and there was another partition for apps, cant quite remember tbh.

CTPAHHIK  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:11

Why did you get rid of it?

barrybarryk  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:18

We don't sell computers or laptops with the actual usable space on them. Hell they even use fuzzy math to come up with the marketable size of a blank hard disk

Pondlife  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:26

Was even worse with floppy discs and ibm format...

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:36

Not sure I agree with what seems to be the consensus in this thread.
Laptops 'missing' 10 - 15 % of the advertised space is a bit different to some 16- or 32-GB phones or tabs 'missing' a third or more. Especially when there IS no SD expansion, no USB-otg.

Pondlife  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:38

Don't think the consensus agrees with the status quo, but it's not going to change. Nearer 50% with rt 32gb...

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 18, 2012 at 14:43

Don't think the consensus agrees with the status quo, but it's not going to change. Nearer 50% with rt 32gb...

True.

AhmadCentral  Dec. 18, 2012 at 15:13

Why did you get rid of it?

Too many Quality Control issues. I had 3 replacements and knew of ofthers who had around 7 due to various manufacturing faults with the phone. Also when the phone first came out the battery was poor and the screen flickered and the phone overheated whilst doing basic tasks like watching a video. (with brightness on 10%).

Tried custom roms/kernals and nothing fixed the hardware/software issues.

In the end the poor battery + no micro sd card slot + other faults like the ones above made me just sell my third version on Ebay.

From what i've heard, the One X has none of these faults any more and the latest firmwares have sorted out the battery problems.

kick800  Dec. 18, 2012 at 15:53

I think it depends, people with tech experience actually know that a certain device does not have X storage, but people with no experience will actually believe the advertisement.

Pondlife  Dec. 18, 2012 at 16:41

But they are less likely to use it all anyway?

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