Opinion: Buying a new phone? Why you shouldn't pay more for extra storage


126GB, 256GB, 512GB? Most smartphones these days are being sold with different storage options. Often the cost of more memory doesn't beat the price of a few years of cloud storage. — Photo: Robert Günther/dpa

BERLIN: When buying a new smartphone, we're often faced with the same question: How much storage space do I need?

The smartest option might seem to be to go for the model with the most onboard memory. However, the most cost-effective solution may be to upgrade your cloud subscription instead.

When buying an iPhone the costs varies depending on the storage size. For the iPhone 15, for example, the 256GB model costs €130 (RM662) more than the basic version with 128GB. In the US, it's US$100 (RM474) more.

For 512GB the additional charge is €250 (RM1273) or US$300 (RM1422) in the US. Similar price differences can also be found in other models. For example in the Pro series the difference between 128GB and 1TB is €630 (RM3209) or US$500 (RM2370).

Samsung also charges more for more memory. For buyers in Europe, the Galaxy S24+ with 512GB costs €120 (RM611) more than the 256GB version. The same applies to Huawei and Xiaomi.

But according to the comparison portal Verivox, which analysed Eurozone prices of smartphones to cloud storage, you can save money by storing your content in the cloud rather than on the phone. Then you don’t need to buy the phone with the biggest memory.

Apple and Google offer flexible billing models for cloud storage. 200GB of iCloud+ storage from Apple costs €36 (RM183) or US$36 (RM170) per year, while 100GB from Google is even cheaper. Cloud storage can also be shared with up to five people by using family sharing.

Savings will vary depending on the costs in the country you’re living in but the principle remains the same – signing up to cloud storage is cheaper than buying physical memory built into a phone.

Finally, another more affordable option is expanding your phone's memory with a Micro SD card, but this only works Android phones that have an expansion slot for SD cards. 128 GB Micro SD cards can be purchased for the equivalent of a few months of a cloud subscription. – dpa

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