Why you run out of internal storage for apps on Android mobile

Follow this scenario: a manufacturer advertises a phone as having internal storage of 8GB. On opening the phone settings, you discover only about 1.5GB is available for storage for apps and about 5GB or less for storage of your files. You have an internal storage of 8GB. But only 1GB of that is available for installation of apps. Install a few apps and you quickly exhaust that allocation, and your phone begins to display internal memory errors.

In his recent review of the Innjoo i1s, Mr Mo stated:

I did run into a problem that is common to budget devices the allocation of internal space to applications is very small – a mere 0.89GB. So, very soon I ran out of storage space for applications. While I was able to move some apps to SD card, I finally hit that point where there are no more apps to move to SDcard and the phone keeps returning an insufficient space error when I try installing some large apps.

storage for apps

What this translates to is that, of the 8GB internal storage stated in the specs, only 0.89GB is left for storage for apps. Not even up to 1GB . Some can attribute this to being one of the disadvantages of buying low end-smartphones, but then I’ll call this deliberate torture. Take a look at TECNO Phantom A and A+. For almost a period of 1 year, they were flagship phones from TECNO and sold at about N38,000. They shipped with 4GB internal storage. Out of this 4GB, 0.89GB is also reserved for apps while about 2GB is reserved for internal storage. When you install a few number of apps, you get the out of memory error.

I’ve had a few friends bring their TECNO Phantoms (with this same issue) for me troubleshoot. Moving apps to SD card doesn’t solve the problem. The only manageable way is to root, install Lucky Patcher, remove all odex files and odex all the system apps. This solution is temporary, because when you try to install more apps the problem persists. This is quite a frustrating experience both for the acclaimed geeks and noobs. The fact that one has to enter gung ho mode to be able to manage the situation is really terrible. The same issue is prevalent in the bigger Phantom A3 and Phantom Pad Mini. It seems the issue has been corrected in the new TECNO R7 and Phantom Z.

Samsung Does It Better

Most Samsung phones on the other hand are made differently. The internal storage is merged and shared among apps installation section and files/media section. What does this mean ? If you have a Samsung 16GB you might end up with 10GB (The 6GB is consumed by stock apps and Touchwiz skin). This 10GB left is used both by your apps and media. If you transfer up to 5GB of media apps to your phone, you have free 5GB for apps installation and media. If you install apps up to 2GB, you have 8GB left. If the storage is about to get filled, you have the option to delete some media or other files to free space. This is good convenience,and exactly how a phone’s storage should be.

I don’t know of any other manufacturer that implements it this way, if there are others, please tell me. This whole situation got me asking so many questions. Why do some manufacturers partition internal storage? Isn’t it easier to leave it open and shared? Or is it the price we pay for buying Chinese Androids?

Guys in case you have another solution to this TECNO storage for apps problem, feel free to share.

Chibueze is an award-winning gadget reviewer and geek. He loves research, while living and breathing tech. You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter ,OR LinkedIn

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