Is Built-In Storage Important?

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Ed Hardy, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    When I'm reviewing a new smartphone or handheld, or talking to someone from a company that makes them, a topic that often comes up is internal storage. Specifically, how much is enough?

    Like many people, I have picked up the habit of comparing all new devices to the Apple iPhone, so I tend to think every high-end device should have at least a couple of gigabytes of built-in storage, and ideally 8 GB or more.

    This gives the user lots of room to hold everything from additional applications to documents for their job. And I'm not forgetting about audio and video files, which can quickly eat up storage space.

    But I can see the other side of the coin, too. Most new models can work with memory cards that offer many gigabytes of storage. And these can be swapped out, allowing the user to easily upgrade their smartphone's or handheld's memory in jiffy.

    So, dohigh-capacity removablememory cardsmake significant amounts on internal storage capacity unnecessary?

    I've been debating this over and over in my head and haven't come to a firm conclusion, so I've decided to toss the questionout as a topic of discussion for the Brighthand community.

    What is the minimal amount of internal storage you require in a mobile device? What do you think a standard amount ought to be?

    Is the amount of built-in storage important to you at all? If a device has little or none, but has a memory card slot that can handle cards with gigabytes of storage, is that good enough? Or do you actually prefer it this way?

    Taking the long view for a second, will online storage replace both internal and removable storage?

    Please chime in with your thoughts in the forum.

    Storage Not RAM

    So that there's not any confusion, this discussion is about the portion of a device's memory devoted to long-term storage, not for holding currently running applications, typically referred to as RAM.

    How much RAM a handheld or smartphone has is important, but it's a completely different topic from the amount of storage capacity devices have for files.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2015
  2. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    I would say if a device as built-in storage, it should at least be able to contain a couple of CDs worth of MP3. 128Mb or so I think should do to start with.

    As far as adding memory cards is concerned, SDHC should be the minimum nowadays. I also feel the OS on the device should natively allow this storage to be accessed from your desktop PC (DriveMode, anyone ?) as well as allow this to be used as swappable memory space for the OS itself (storing programs).

    I never have (and probably never will) been fond of online storage. Too many factors at play possibly preventing you from accessing that oh so important info when really needed. Also, being in Europe, the required high-speed dataplans are way to expensive to really use this to its full potential.
     
  3. BrentDC

    BrentDC Perspective is everything

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    I'm not familiar with to many devices, but know that memory cards are slower than the builtin NVFS on my Palm TX. I would think that if this is a common occurrence among a wide range of platforms, having a adequate amount of internal memory is something that is important. The amount of internal storage required is not a fixed amount, and in my opinion would also depend on the number of external card lots, and if these card slots are SDHC capable. Having said this, in this current day and age - where memory is almost insultingly cheap - I would think that 2GB would be a minimum, and certainly it couldn't hurt a device to have more.
     
  4. Nine

    Nine Ooh NO, missus...

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    2Gb. Enough room to swap large-sized files between removable medias. And - sounding a little old-school without actually wearing a tinfoil hat - I don't think I will ever personally endorse online storage. I simply cannot be convinced of its security, safety and reliability.
     
  5. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Mobile Deity

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    I'm still running Windows Mobile 2003, Second Edition (WM2003SE), so I have BIS as a separate entity, which is not available for other uses, so I might just as well fill it up. Therefore, I install all my applications to WM2003SE BIS. I install all data to SD or CF cards.

    I realize that WM5 and WM6 have a different memory model; however, I would probably continue to install applications to memory rather than to an SD or CF card. I also realize that WM5 and WM6 likely have greater demands for memory themselves, so that would need to be taken into consideration as well.

    In any case, my X50V (running WM2003SE) performs quite well. Here is a current map of the memory stores:

    [​IMG]

    Ideally, a minimum of 256MB internal with dual card slots (SD and CF) for additional storage.
     
  6. dwb1

    dwb1 Mobile Consultant

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    I personally feel this is one of Palms biggest drawbacks. 2GB Maximum when there are 8GB SD's, 16GB and now/soon 32GB CF cards? I really don't like the idea of going away from my trusted T-5, but the limited storage may force me to switch. When I could switch to a WM device with dual card slots SD/CF and easily have 10-20+ GB of storage in a handheld? Who needs a UMPC?
     
  7. Nine

    Nine Ooh NO, missus...

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    There's also the element of hardware risk involved, Dwb1. Would I be happier with a 2Gb card failing on me (and hence losing only up to 2Gb of data) or a 32Gb card?
     
  8. BAB2000

    BAB2000 An "Olde Moderator" #2 Super Moderator

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    I would like a device to have 128 MB internal storage, and then the external storage factor is a must.

    I am handling documents and books, some music, no video.

    I would think best to keep music and video on external storage.

    Internal should be roomy enough for applications and data, with in-built backup to card slot a must.
     
  9. Shoey5

    Shoey5 Mobile Enthusiast

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    Here's my take on this.

    Obviously the more storage capacity the better, I'd rather have a device with 4 to 8 gigs of internal memory with the ability to add to it via a storage card. Storage cards are cheap and they are increasing in size so I'd be happy if they just properly supported SDHC to the sizes currently available and the larger sizes coming out.

    With that said a more important factor is performance. Depending on how the device is designed and memory used. Internal Storage going over a faster bus access can be a lot quicker than accessing an SD Card. This would result in a much snappier device. I'd love to see a device with say 256 or 512 Meg of super super fast memory internally for frequently used applications/user files and SDHC support for less frequently required applications/user files or applications that can do just find with the speed like mp3/video files/documents ect. This would be preferable to me over a device with a slow internal 4 to 8 gigs.

    Now onto Program Memory, I know it's different and your comments were for storage card but when reviewing a device, I think it's just as important to talk about program memory and I'm not sure why this isn't asked first. If you take some of the more popular devices, most have about 48Megs of program memory which simply isn't enough! After a hard boot you're looking at about 24 megs free and use it for a while and your down to about 12 megs with common programs running. Reviewers should really be knocking hardware manufactures on this to get them to increase the internal program memory and optimize their devices. Actually Program memory is my biggest gripe with most WM devices out there, they should all come standard with at least 128 Meg of ram. This allows you to keep common use programs like contacts, calanders, notes ect in memory and this makes for a much snappier device since they are already running in the background. To see what I mean, load up Outlook, minize to desktop and load it up again. Comes up a lot quicker second time around because it's in memory. Unfortunately this can't be done with 48-64 because you end up running out of memory. So let's talk about Program Memory instead, more program memory please!
     
  10. Nine

    Nine Ooh NO, missus...

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    Welcome to Brighthand, Shoey5. If you read the first post in this thread it makes a specific point that this thread is about storage memory and not program memory. So let's continue talking about storage memory rather than veering off-topic. :)
     
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