How Much Storage Do You Need on Your Phone?

Any device or machine we buy always seems to have considerably more space than the last one. Thirty years ago no one thought of buying computers with gigabytes. That would have seemed like a silly waste.

Look at phone storage. Without even going all the way back to when mobile phones started to become something we all kept at our sides, when iPhones first came out in 2007 it was with either 4 GB or 8GB. In 2018 their largest iPhone offered 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB. That’s a huge jump in just 11 years.

But is all that really needed? How much storage do you need on your phone?

Our Opinion

Damien reports that his current phone has 64GB storage, and he can barely finish it. His photos are taking up the greatest amount of space, so he has it set to auto upload to Google Photos and then delete the copies in the local storage. He always has at least 50% free space on his phone.


Ryan also has a phone with 64GB of internal storage, but he uses a 128GB microSD card as well. He also takes many photos and videos and has “an extensive music collection, “ as he’s not into streaming music. He likes to take all his music with him when he travels, as well as some TV shows and movies to help pass the time. He will always opt for the largest capacity microSD card compatible with his phone, and the expandable storage is one reason he chooses Android over iOS.

Alex reports, “I used to care about my phone’s storage capacity, but no longer,” as nearly everything is in the cloud, whether it’s videos, music, or photos. There’s almost nothing stored on his device, other than a large podcast archive. He finds the minimum 64GB offered by Apple to be sufficient. The prior minimum of 16GB was too small, however. He finds the 64GB to be “capacious.”

Fabio feels “the more the better.” Even if there is no way he will ever use it all, he still finds it good to know he can.

Simon says his phone has just 16GB, but he’s so light with storage data, that he often doesn’t hit the cap. He doesn’t take a great deal of photos, streams his media, and deletes any podcasts after they’ve been listened to. He adds, “I definitely wouldn’t mind more room, but I’m not tight for space either!”


Sayak reports phone storage stopped being a concern for him in the past three or four years. “Thanks to fast and efficient cloud storage apps and cheaper Internet plans, there’s no need to worry about it anymore.” He believes “64GB is enough for your daily needs even if you capture lots of photos and videos.” He’s had bad experience with SD cards and sees them as a liability. When he was gifted a Blackberry Bold a few years ago, “those cheap microSD cards ruined the experience.”

I had my iPhone 5 for four years and ran out of memory on it, even though I use iCloud for everything I can. I ran out of memory on my iPad as well. So my iPhone 7, which I’ve had for more than two years is a 128GB, but I have 86 GB available. But Apple offers weird tiers of space, so I had to make a big jump to that or take a very small GB. My iPad has the same capacity and close to the same availability.

Your Opinion

Is your phone running out of space? Or can you hear echoes through all the extra GB? Do you make do by adding SD cards to be sure you can store all your photos? How much storage do you need on your phone? Jump into the conversation in the comments and let us know.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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