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Galaxy S III Internal Storage – 16GB, 32GB or 64GB?

The Galaxy S III will soon come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. Which should you buy? Should you make use of the MicroSD instead of the internal storage? Read on…

The 16GB variant of the Galaxy S III (GS3) launches in the next couple of days. Here in the UK Vodafone has a one month exclusive on the 32GB variant of the Galaxy S III. It’s a clever ploy to lure those who simply must have it NOW yesterday to join their network. It’s no coincidence that they have also recently doubled the data allowance to 2GB p/mth on some of their plans (presumably also a response to T-Mobile’s Full Monty and O2’s On and On plans). Once the exclusive period is over the 32GB will be unleashed on all major networks, and on sim-free. The 64GB will also follow a little while later although we currently have no idea when this will be. We have been busy debating whether you should buy a 32GB, a 64GB or stick with 16GB + MicroSD. Here is what we found:

1. Internal is not cost-effective

This is really a no-brainer. If you are not using the full extra space you purchased you might as well have thrown your money down the drain. With MicroSD cards you can purchase just the amount of extra space you need rather than spending more money than necessary.

2. Do you really need all that space?

The Galaxy S III comes with 50GB free Dropbox storage. Rather than keeping them on your device store them on Dropbox and then access them from the Dropbox Android App (which is awesome) if you want to show them off. If you are a music lover consider switching to Spotify Premium. Their Android app lets you stream music, or save for offline playing later. At £10 a month for unlimited streaming and access to millions of songs you are likely to save money over buying records. You can even get £5 off per month for 12 months using your NUS Extra card (UK students only) and use Spotify on your PC, Laptop and even on your Virgin Media Tivo box!

3. Price Comparison

The difference in price between the 16GB and 32GB variants is likely to be around £70. This is based on Vodafone’s £41 price plan (free 16GB or £69 up-front for 32GB), the £50 difference we saw between the Galaxy Note 16GB and 32GB at launch, and Fudzilla’s claims that German retailers are listing the 32GB version for €699 (£560) and the 64GB version for (£640).

Here’s how far your pennies will stretch if you use a mixture of internal and external storage. The saving represents what you are likely to save compared to buying ONLY internal storage. Device prices are estimated at £570 for 32GB and £640 for 64GB. We only recommend using class 10 MicroSD cards (here’s why) and therefore all prices below are for Class 10 MicroSDs.



16GB GS3 – £499.95 (click to view)

16GB MicroSD – £10.42 (click to view)

Saving – £59.58


64GB – Option 1

32GB GS3 – £570

32GB MicroSD – £55.19 (click to view)

Saving – £14.81


64GB – Option 2

16GB GS3 – £499.95 (click to view)

64GB MicroSD – £55.19 (click to view)

Saving – £84.86 PLUS 80GB rather than 64GB!


4. Speed

Whereas internal storage is likely to offer faster read/write speeds, when conducting a very rough test on our GS2 internal memory speeds we get the impression that there’s not a massive difference. You will probably not notice the difference between internal / external storage speeds unless you are pushing the device to its absolute limits. We’ll test this out once we get hold of the device so keep checking this space.


Unless you are wanting more than 80GB storage on your GS3 (64GB is the highest MicroSD at the moment) then stick with the 16GB. Use up your free Dropbox space and then buy a Class 10 MicroSD card. If you want more than 80GB storage you can get up to a whopping 128GB storage – double that of the iPhone – by purchasing a 64GB GS3 (when released) and a 64GB Class 10 MicroSD card. Unless you plan to store a large number of HD videos to watch on the go you’ll probably not need more than 16GB, or 32GB at most. 16GB is usually ample storage for the average smartphone user.

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