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Re: Random - switched from s4 to 5s and regretted it
Not that this is false, but I thought I would help explain a little about *why* you can only use a limited amount of the advertised space...
Originally Posted by Almeuit
First, when hardware manufacturers define a "gigabyte", they use the SI definition, which uses a base-10 system, i.e.
1 KB = 1000 bytes
1 MB = 1000 KB
1 GB = 1000MB = 1,000,000 KB = 1,000,000,000 bytes.
The problem is that most operating systems, define a "gigabyte" based on the binary definition, such that:
1 KB = 2^10 bytes = 1024 bytes
1 MB = 2^20 bytes = 1024 KB
1 GB = 2^30 bytes = 1024 MB = 1,048,576 KB = 1,073,741,824 bytes
So, right off the bat, that "16GB" that they tell you your phone has, is only recognized as "14.9GB" by the device itself.
Then, the drive is partitioned into 3 primary areas (sizes listed for S4 configuration):
/system = 2.7GB
/data = 9.6GB
/cache = 2.0 GB
(there are several other system partitions that use the remaining <1GB)
On the S4, for example, the "/system" partition is used for the OS and pre-installed apps, and "/data" is used for pretty much everything else, user-installed apps, user data, internal storage, etc. The "/cache" is like a temporary directory used by the operating system (this is also where system updates are downloaded to). So essentially the larger the OS, the larger they have to allocate to the "/system" partition, and that obviously comes at the expense of space that can be dedicated to the "/data" partition.
This is also why if you were to take your S4 and install a smaller ROM on it, such as AOSP vanilla Android ROM, your internal storage space doesn't get any larger, because that 2.7GB is allocated for the OS regardless what what you actually load onto it.
Fact is that you're NEVER gonna get the full advertised disk space to use as storage, and "fully-loaded" devices like the Galaxy S devices are gonna hog even more of that total number for their themselves. It's just too bad that manufacturers are required to advertised the "usable" storage capacity rather than the net storage capacity.
Long story short? You may want to seriously consider the 32GB model.