Why HTC Android Phones Are Stingy On Internal Memory

Why HTC Android Phones Are Stingy On Internal Memory

If you’ve ever owned an HTC Android smartphone, you’ll know that HTC is pretty tight-fisted when it comes to internal storage, especially when compared with similarly-specced phones from manufacturers such as Motorola and Samsung. What gives?

For example, while the incoming Motorola Atrix and Samsung’s Galaxy S II both come with a standard 16 gigs of storage, the recently launched Desire S and Incredible S come with just 1.1GB of internal memory. Although you can increase storage capacity with an SD card, there are still many apps that need to be installed on internal memory to function properly, including Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter. Widgets – one of Android’s defining features – also don’t work on the SD card.

My old HTC Desire came with a measly 512MB of internal memory and was a headache even after I had rooted it to remove Telstra’s crapware. Once the internal memory dipped to 15MB, it would stop receiving emails and SMS messages, forcing me to uninstall apps and continually clean the cache. On my new Atrix, this isn’t a problem. I have 16GB of internal storage as well as an 8GB SD card to store apps, photos and videos. I never have to move apps to the SD card, and where the apps end up hardly matters.

While this is a problem that will eventually go away as more and more third-party developers rewrite apps to work on SD cards, we still want to know why HTC lags so far behind the rest when it comes to internal storage capacity.

I posed the question to a HTC spokesperson who said that the 1GB limit is due to a few considerations, including hitting the correct price point (which makes sense considering the Desire S is $649 outright, while the Atrix is more expensive at $840 and the Galaxy S II even more so at $899), and giving users the flexibility of having a microSD card. The spokesperson conceded that the original Desire had capacity issues, but believes that with the later versions of Android, 1GB is more than enough.

Perhaps that’s partly why HTC’s decided to unlock bootloaders – instead of spending money on more internal memory, the Taiwanese manufacturer will give users the power to root and move apps you normally wouldn’t be able to?

Republished from Gizmodo


  • The WP7 ones aren’t a whole lot better – I’m thinking about buying a Mozart but the mere 8GB of memory is not encouraging, especially since it cannot be expanded. I have a 16GB iPhone 4 at present and can quite easily fill it up.

    • I have the HTC 7 Trophy and with a dozen games on I’m sitting at about 2 GB free. A year ago I’d have told you 8GB is plenty now I’m pretty sure that 16GB is unsufficient. Especially to hold all those XBox Live quality games. They’re all resource hogs.

    • If you are going to buy a WP7 phone, wait for the second gen WP7 phones with Mango already installed or 7.1. These phones will certain have more memory/disk space plus they shoudl take advantage of the MicroSD cards as well.

      On the HTC Trophy, love it, works great and the NoDo Update went on without a problem. Currently the WP7 phones cannot connect to hidden Wi-Fi and doesn’t (at least on HTC devices) for you to see the MAC address if you are trying to connect to a Wi-Fi locked down by MAC Addresses. I’m hoping this is fixed with 7.1 or Mango version.

  • Why don’t HTC release a standard and Pro version of all their phones. The standard can come with 1GB of internal storage and the people that want the extra space can buy the Pro version with 16GB of internal storage. I’ll never buy HTC while they stick with 1GB. 8GB (even 4GB) I’ll consider, but not 1GB.

  • I’ve only had my Incredible S for a couple of weeks.

    It only had 1GB on board, but came with 16GB microSD out of the box.

    I’ve loaded a heap of stuff on and has barely touched my on board memory, so for now everything is going to my mSD.

      • Same here. I’ve got more than enough apps and widgets on my Incredible S. All my media gets stored on the SD. Maybe the phone is not suitable for people who like to install a gazillion apps (like iPhone users)… 🙂

  • I don’t particularly want to root my phone. But since I use an alternate facebook app, and don’t want the trialware in car navigation software and a few other things – the available memory on the desire HD just doesn’t really leave me with an option. Installing 3 games filled my device memory to capacity.

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