AT&T customers aching for more internal memory on the Samsung Galaxy S4 will have their wishes granted on Friday when the network begins offering the 32GB variant of the smartphone on May 10.
AT&T announced on Twitter on Tuesday that its 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available starting May 10, which will sell for $249.99 with a two-year contract.
One major gripe about the recently released Galaxy S4 is that the more widely distributed 16GB variant ships with nearly half its internal memory used up by “system apps,” including the Android 4.2.2 operating system, and other apps and programs Samsung deems necessary for the device’s optimal performance.
Samsung insists that Galaxy S4 owners who require more memory can use a MicroSD card or cloud storage. However, many note that those storage options for the Samsung Galaxy S4 are largely useless because Android does not allow apps, music, movies and other media downloaded from the Google Play Store to be stored on MicroSD, nor does it allow pre-installed apps and systems to be transferred to a MicroSD. This leaves approximately 9GB of space free, which many fear will not be enough to store large apps such as video games, which are becoming increasingly popular on smartphones.
Enter the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4. Prior to the release of the Galaxy S4, Samsung reported that the device would be available in variants equipped with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of internal storage. Thus far, AT&T is expected to offer the 32GB variant of the Galaxy S4 exclusively. Other U.S. carriers such as Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular have said they have no plans to carry the 32GB and 64GB variants.
In addition to accusing Samsung of false advertising (since the 16GB Galaxy S4 is essentially an 8GB device due to its limited available space), some Galaxy enthusiasts argue that at this point, flagship smartphones should sell with much more than 16GB of internal storage. Notably, the HTC One -- a recently released competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4 -- comes in 32GB and 64GB internal storage variants; however, many consumers still prefer the Galaxy S4 for its MicroSD capability, which the HTC One lacks.
While consumers are used to seeing some internal memory on a device being used, many feel that the amount of storage the Galaxy S4 uses out of the box is excessive. The Galaxy S4 uses approximately 1GB more internal memory for Samsung bloatware than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which shipped with about 12GB of internal memory available to users in its 16GB variant.
The 32GB Samsung Galaxy S4 will likely also see at least 6.85GB of its internal memory used out of the box, as is the case with the 16GB variant.
Thus far, AT&T has done a great job at meeting demand for the Samsung Galaxy S4. The network was not only first to offer the Galaxy S4 online and in stores, but it was also unaffected by the extensive inventory delays that were seen on other U.S. carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile.
The only real issue AT&T customers seem to have with the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it sells with a locked bootloader, which makes it more difficult for the device to be rooted and modified with custom ROMs. However, developers are expected to release a bootloader unlock tool in the near future.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.