iPhone 13 storage: which size should you get?

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iPhone 13 storage: which size should you get?

Apple’s iPhone 13 line-up is finally here, and although the design of the new phones is largely the same, they do start at twice the storage as last year’s iPhone 12.

While that might seem like a big jump, going from 64GB to 128GB of storage for the same price, Apple is arguably still being a bit stingy with the storage as compared to its competitors, expecting you to pay quite a bit more for the larger iPhone 13 storage sizes.

But should you? Or is 128GB more than enough for your needs? Let’s find out.

Apple iPhone 13 mini

$729 if you buy unlocked

Apple iPhone 13

$829 if you buy unlocked

Looking to pre-order the iPhone 13 right now? Check out how to pre-order the iPhone 13 and get it as fast as possible.

iPhone 13 storage options

First and foremost, it’s good to know what storage options you actually get to choose from this year.

Below are all iPhone 13 models with all of their storage sizes, plus their respective price tags:

As you can see, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini go up to 512GB of storage, but the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are offered at up to 1TB of storage, which equates to 1000GB.

While 1TB on the iPhone 13 Pro Max might sound amazing, it’s not only the most expensive iPhone variant to date, but this storage size is hugely excessive for a smartphone and for most users, it’s not worth the price.

But let us consider each storage option and see if you fit the term “most users” or you’re likely to need more than the base storage of 128GB.

Is the 128GB iPhone 13 storage size enough for me?

  • Do you rarely record videos?
  • Do you stream your music and movies online?

If you answered yes to both questions, then more than likely – yes, 128GB will be plenty enough storage for your needs. Within 128GB of storage you can fit many hours of video recordings, thousands of songs and photos, and likely all the apps and games you may ever want to download.Even if you love watching movies, so long as you watch them on streaming services like Netflix and listen to your music on the likes of Spotify, you needn’t worry about storage at all, as streaming online doesn’t take up any.

But if you record videos excessively, or you want to have a good number of your movies or shows downloaded on your iPhone, or all of your music albums – you may eventually hit that storage limit. If you believe this is you, then it’s probably safer to go with the next storage option.

Should I get the 256GB iPhone 13?

  • Are you heavy into social media, taking lots of videos?
  • Do you take plenty of photos that you want to have with you at all times?
  • Do you want to have your music library and plenty of movies with you even when offline?

If you plan on taking full advantage of the iPhone 13’s camera capabilities and record lots of 4K videos, you’re going to need more than the base storage, as 4K video files can get plenty large, fast.

For $100 extra you can get an iPhone 13 with 256GB and will likely never have to worry about filling that up, at least not with casual video recordings, say of family and children, within reasonable length. Of course, not everyone will buy the iPhone 13 just for casual use, in which case…

Get the 512GB iPhone 13 if you’re really into video recording

Whether you’re an aspiring YouTuber or social media influencer, the iPhone 13 camera will serve you well and can easily be your main camera for semi-professional or even professional use.

With the iPhone 13, as long as it has 256GB of storage or more, you can shoot ProRes 4K videos at 30 frames per second, which will look great on your channel, but you’ll really need that 512GB of storage, if not more.

If you can’t backup your latest recorded videos in cloud storage like iCloud, or on external flash drives and hard disks, your iPhone 13 has to indeed have at least 512GB, which should be enough to store a good number of vids for a while.

In addition, of course, 512GB can fit countless songs and movies or shows you may want to store directly on your iPhone for offline listening and watching.

Is the 1TB iPhone 13 worth it?

For the first time on an iPhone, the new iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with up to 1TB of storage. This is an excessive amount of storage for pretty much all smartphone users but the diehard professionals who plan on running their YouTube careers off of their iPhone 13.

In addition, with such a huge amount of storage, if we assume that the average 1080p movie is about 2GB in size, you can fit several hundreds of movies on your iPhone. Finding space for apps and your photos will likely never be an issue.

  • Do you aspire to take professional videos with your iPhone and store them all on it?
  • Do you wish to have all of your movies, music and other content stored on your iPhone?

If you answered yes to either question, then yes, the 1TB iPhone is for you.

But again, it’s very unlikely that the huge price tag this storage option comes with will be worth it for most users. Ultimately, the 128GB or 256GB iPhone 13 variants will be plenty enough for almost everyone.

You won’t get the exact iPhone 13 storage that’s advertised

This is something worth noting – if, for example, you get the 128GB iPhone 13, you’ll actually have around 120GB free out the box, as the iPhone operating system – iOS 15 – takes around 7.3GB, if not more.

In addition, built-in iPhone apps, some of which you can delete (e.g. Garage Band), will take some of your storage out the box.

This is normal and applies to all smartphones, but it’s worth keeping in mind nonetheless.

How to check your iPhone 13 storage

This method applies to any modern iPhone – simply open the Settings app, then tap General, then iPhone Storage.

You’ll notice that in the iPhone storage graph there’s a System section. That’s the storage taken up by the iOS 15 operating system, as mentioned earlier, which you cannot free up, as your phone needs it to function.

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