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How Much Phone Storage Do You Need?

We use our mobile phones for so many purposes nowadays. We rely on them to store our photos, videos, downloads, music, apps, games, documents, and texts for us. They contain many aspects of our life, so it’s important we don’t run out of space - but how much storage do you really need?

Last updated: 5th Oct 2020 at 2:02pm

Phone storage (sometimes referred to as memory) varies depending on the model, so making sure you purchase a phone with enough space is critical for your satisfaction. If you don’t factor this in while buying, you could find yourself running out of space and having to delete items or search for alternative storage options. 

We’ll go through how much storage you need for various tasks on your phone, in both MB and GB, and how to expand your storage if you need any more. 


What does MB and GB mean?

MB stands for Megabyte, which is a unit of storage space. GB stands for Gigabyte, and is made up of 1000MB. In terms of size, a MB is a fairly small measurement whereas a GB is quite large.


How much storage do you need on your phone? 

How much storage space you need depends on what you plan to use your phone for. Below is a list of approximate amounts of memory taken up by photos, videos, music files, apps, and movies, so you can see how much storage you might need:

Type of media Amount Storage space needed

100 photos

1000 photos



Videos Recording for 1 hour

1.5GB in 1080p

3GB in 2K


100 songs

1000 songs



Android app 1 app 11.5MB (on average)
iOS app 1 app 34.3MB (on average)
Movie 1 movie 1GB - 2GB (depending on quality)


Streaming services are not included in this, as they are not stored on your phone. 


How much memory do phones have?

You can purchase smartphones with a variety of different amounts of storage. The amounts you’ll normally see while browsing range from 8GB to 1TB.

Storage capacity is dependent on how much money you’re willing to spend - phones with a smaller amount of memory (8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB) will be cheaper than phones with a larger storage capacity (128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB). 

Very few modern phones are sold with 8GB of memory, as this amount is generally not large enough for many users. 16GB may also be too little for the majority of smartphone owners. 32GB and 64Gb are more comfortable sizes, but many people today prefer to choose between 64GB and 256GB. The largest two sizes on offer, 512GB and 1TB, are for those who use their mobile phone to the absolute maximum. 

A 32GB smartphone, on average, can store:

  • 400 photos
  • 20 minutes of video
  • 400 music tracks
  • 80 apps
  • 5 movies


Expanding your memory

If you’ve purchased a phone, but discovered you need more storage than you initially paid for, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new device. You can expand your memory using an SD card.

Many phones have a microSD card slot, which you can insert an SD memory card into to expand your phone’s storage capabilities. You should check the maximum external storage your phone supports before buying an SD card, as not all devices can support the larger amounts. 

Not all phones allow you to expand your storage - iPhones, for example, do not have slots for more memory; you get what you pay for. However, Apple products can still take advantage of cloud storage.


What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a method of storing data digitally. Users send their files over an internet connection to a server, which is then accessible via the web. 

If you’ve bought an iPhone or iPad, and you want more storage, you can access iCloud over an internet connection. iPhone users can store photos, videos, files and apps on the iCloud, so that they can be accessed by all of your Apple products. 

Android users also have the option of cloud storage, by using apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Simply save and store documents on these internet-based apps, which you can access again from any compatible device. 


How to free up more space

If you don’t want to buy more storage or use the cloud, your only other option to free up memory is by deleting photos, videos and apps, or transferring them off your phone onto a computer. 

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