The Samsung Galaxy S4 is likely to be one of the biggest-selling smartphones of 2013, but prior to its release it has come under fire as a result of the way that storage space is allocated.
Plenty of manufacturers release smartphones with their own nuances, requiring the purchase of separate accessories such as SIM cutters for the iPhone and protective cases to reduce the chances of damaging a fragile big-screen device.
SIM cutters or memory card for your Galaxy
Image attributed to Janitors
However, a far more common purchase than SIM cutters is arguably a memory card, because many will find that this is the most affordable way to unlock the true storage potential of a given handset.
The base model of the Galaxy S4 range comes with an advertised 16GB of onboard storage, but almost 50 per cent of this will be filled up with software that is pre-loaded on to the handset.
Plenty of users began airing their vexation at this discrepancy between the onboard space and that which is actually allocated to owners for their own purposes. Critics were so vocal that Samsung had to release a statement to CNET in which it explained its position.
The manufacturer said that although the Galaxy S4 has a much higher resolution display than last year’s Galaxy S3, it only requires 1GB more of the internal storage for software. Samsung explained that since the Galaxy S4 has its own microSD memory card slot, it is fully expandable.
In spite of this, there are no plans to actually include a memory card in the retail package, which means consumers will need to purchase their own stick separately, potentially increasing the expense of owning a Galaxy S4.
Of course, you could argue that the necessity of large amounts of onboard storage for modern smartphones is questionable and there are a number of reasons to give Samsung the benefit of the doubt here.
Firstly, Samsung is not as prescriptive about what additions its users can make to its smartphones as rivals such as Apple. While iPhone owners may have to trim down their SIM cards and stick to using the fixed amount of onboard storage with no expansion slots in sight, a Galaxy S4 user will be under no such obligations.
Secondly, it is possible to contend that with the widespread uptake of cloud storage services, actually keeping data locally on a smartphone is no longer required.
It is easy to upload videos, photos and documents to the cloud over Wi-Fi or high-speed mobile data networking, so filling up a Galaxy S4 to its limit might be harder than it would have been in the past.
The only thing that could be a concern is whether or not there is enough room for all the apps that Galaxy S4 users will inevitably download. Apps cannot be installed on a memory card, so quite a bit of juggling may be required.
Alternatively, it may be worth investing in one of the higher-capacity Galaxy S4 models and accepting the additional cost involved.