16GB, 64GB, or 128GB iPhone Storage Capacity – Which One to Buy?

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 in 2014, the company made a somewhat controversial choice to keep the 16GB iPhone around while upgrading the midrange model to 64GB of storage and introducing a high-end, 128GB option as well. Many people charged the company with trying to extract more money from their pockets by almost forcing an upgrade to the 64GB iPhone, but many customers found that the 16GB model still met their needs and represented a great value. Today, Apple offers 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB iPhones across its wide range of models. Which one is best?

iPhone storage capacity - Which one should choose

128GB: The Multimedia Professional’s Choice

Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has been a device dedicated to multimedia creation and sharing. Apple has taken a particular interest in improving both the photography and video quality of the device’s front and rear cameras over the years. This has led many people to drop their point-and-shoot cameras in favor of the iPhone camera that’s almost always in their pocket. These people, who also tend to edit their shots directly on the phone, are the ones who should be shopping for a 128GB model. Storage-wise, the high-end 128GB model is pretty impressive in terms of what it can hold:

  • Up to 80,000 photos
  • Up to 30,000 songs
  • More than 100 hours of 1080p video
  • Hundreds of averaged-sized (non-game) apps

The iPhone user who wants to make sure they can listen to music while shooting pictures and editing video simply has no choice but to go with the 128GB model,which is the highest-capacity iPhone on the market. This larger capacity is the key to making sure that the phone can handle all forms of digital media over the course of a 2-year contract or installment payment period.

64GB: The App or Music Enthusiast’s Choice

Why opt for 64GB? Well, it’s the perfect size for iPhone users who don’t plan to store thousands of pictures and videos on the phone for an extended period of time. People who prefer to let their files sit in the cloud, whether via iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, or another service, will find that 64GB holds all of their iTunes songs, most of their photos, and over 100 hours of 1080p videos. It also is capable of housing hundreds of mobile applications that make the iPhone really shine.

Before settling on the 64GB iPhone model, consider how its storage capacity can be used to hold all kinds of today’s most popular media:

  • Up to 40,000 photos
  • Up to 15,000 songs
  • More than 100 hours of 1080p video
  • Hundreds of averaged-sized (non-game) apps

The 64GB iPhone isn’t the best choice for a multimedia enthusiast, who might quickly run out of internal storage while editing videos or shooting a series of high-quality photos with the 12-megapixel rear camera. For app and music enthusiasts, who simply want to use the widest range of smartphone applications and songs available, 64GB represents a cost savings while providing ample storage to get the job done.

The 64GB iPhone is also capable of holding a pretty massive iTunes library. With streaming from services like Apple Music, the phone’s music capacity gets even more impressive in the presence of LTE of Wi-Fi networks.

16GB: The Casual, Value-Minded User’s Choice

As time has gone on, it’s become clear that the 16GB iPhone appeals to an increasingly narrow segment of the population. This doesn’t mean that the phone is without appeal entirely, however. Plenty of people still find the 16GB model to be an affordable device and an excellent value. Most entry-level iPhone customers simply won’t need storage greater than 16GB because they’ll use fewer apps and likely not leverage the device’s most advanced multimedia features right away.

Other casual users, like parents and grandparents, don’t use their phones heavily enough to merit upgrading to a high-capacity model. For these casual users, high-capacity iPhones are simply too expensive for the way they use the device and the frequency of its use in their daily lives. Though the 16GB model sounds small, keep in mind what it’s capable of storing:

  • Up to 10,000 photos
  • Up to 3,750 songs
  • A few hours of 720p video
  • More than 200 averaged-sized (non-game) apps

The casual iPhone user will almost certainly take fewer than 10,000 photos over the course of a two-year contract or installment plan with their carrier. Most new iPhone users, or those who aren’t very tech-savvy, likely won’t install more than a handful of critical apps. With the ability to lower the video camera quality to 720p, it’s still possible to shoot quite a bit of video and keep it all on the included, internal storage. For this reason, 16GB is the best, most affordable choice for casual, infrequent, and entry-level iPhone buyers.

Three Great Storage Sizes with Different Use Cases

Every iPhone storage size can find a home with a different kind of user. The key is to think critically about how the device will be used, what will be stored on the phone for the next two years, and how that might change a bit over time. While the 16GB model isn’t for everyone, no storage size is. Keep these personal considerations in mind and it’ll be easy to choose a great phone with just the right amount of internal storage capacity.

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