The Samsung Galaxy S4 released at the end of April 2013 was a major talking point. The eye-tracking technology and special voice-activated commands for driving completely hands-free put the smartphone ahead of many others, including Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Nexus 4. However, consumers have been disappointed to learn that their phone only gets half the memory they were promised.
16GB of Memory Is Just 8.8GB
Some of those who have bought the 16GB version have found that only 8.8GB of that is useable, although the majority find that between 9GB and 9.5GB is available. This isn’t completely out of the ordinary. All phones and computer systems have less available memory than they are advertised with; memory is taken up by the software. Most other companies take up a few gigabytes of space, such as 3GB for iPhone 4S users.
This isn’t the first time Samsung users have had this problem. When the tablet Activ 8 was released, about 34GB was taken up by the software and free apps. Samsung isn’t the only company to come under fire for this either. Microsoft was recently criticized for only 23GB of its 60GB space being useable.
Eye-Tracking Technology Doesn’t Take Up a Lot of Space
The new eye-tracking technology for the phone isn’t the main culprit – the Galaxy S3 used up about 5.85GB, just 1GB less than its upgrade. The extra space is taken up by the operating system, along with other functions that the phone has to carry out. This is the same with any technological device that you buy, including computers, tablet devices and other smartphones. The operating system and software need to use up some space and it has always come from the advertised space available. It is only recently that people have started complaining about the amount that manufacturers use up with useless apps.
The problems with the phones may be due to the smaller size available. When handing computers, the amount of gigabytes available is usually in the 100s with around 10-20% taken up from the operating system and default programs.
The main issue is the ‘bloatware’ that is added to the phone before purchase. These are apps that the companies add onto their systems before they are sent to consumers; many of which cannot even be deleted. When it comes to computers, unwanted programs can be removed, but in phones, some are permanent. Some of the non-removable apps include Google Maps, the Internet and the Play Store.
Due to the amount of complaints from British users, the BBC Watchdog is investigating into the lack of memory and due to air the episode sometime next week. This is also a problem for users in the US where only AT&T will offer the 32GB version of the phone, instead of the basic 16GB one.
Decoding Science. One article at a time.