What iPhone 5s size should I buy?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by smokeandarrows, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. smokeandarrows macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    After much agonising over whether to buy the 5s or 4s, I finally settled on the 5s (better camera, longevity, better resale value etc.)
    However, now, I have to decide which size to purchase.
    I've never owned an iPhone before, so I have little understanding of its practical storage capacities.

    I intend on using it primarily for taking photos, which I'll be doing a lot of as I'll be traveling a lot soon. I'm not overly fussed about having to transfer photos onto my laptop, though ideally, I'd like to keep as much on there as possible.

    My secondary usage will be based on apps, though nothing large like gaming. Mostly calendar, various news outlets, social media etc. Its hard to say how many apps I'll be using.

    I also own an iPod classic so there will be no music or movies on it.

    Initially, I thought the 16gb would be enough for my humble means, but after noticing that the apps will be storing things like caches, documents etc. as well as realising that I'll want to keep as many photos on there as possible (maybe 500 at least?), I'm not so sure anymore. I know people say to buy the largest one as you can afford, but with a $150 difference--and not a whole lot of money to spare right now--I really don't know if its necessary for me to buy the 32gb over the 16gb.

    All help much appreciated.
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Personally, 32GBis the minimum, I have a large music library that wouldn't fit in the smallest model. I wanted 64 but couldn't justify the price as bought a 5 C at the same time. If you have photos and music, buy the biggest you can.....it also helps with resale value too.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    To be safe, 32GB is a nice model. It gives you some storage for music, movies, apps and data.
  4. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    If you are not going to have movies and music on the phone but mainly apps and Photo's then 16gig will be good enough. Each photo is going to take about 10 meg and hence 500 photo's will only need 5Gig.

    I have just over 100 apps on my phone and it takes 2.4 Gig. Of course it depends on the size of the apps GPS apps with a local database will take a lot of space.

    Media is really what consumes space on these devices.
  5. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
  6. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    It all depends on what you plan to do with it. I know a lot of people that get by fine with 16 GB. They don't struggle they have several GB's free. I have a 64GB 5S and so far I'm getting by comfortably with a few GB to spare. I always get the biggest capacity of iPhone available because I know that I like to store a lot of videos and keep a lot of music on there.

    As you say you want to take lots of pictures then perhaps 32GB will be better to be on the safe side. You also never know how much space apps will take up, I.e some games can be over a GB.
  7. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    That's basically it. If you can buy more get it.
  8. Nolander07 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Think of it this way: if you are taking a lot of pictures, approximately 600 pictures takes up about 1 GB, so it depends how many pictures you are going to take/store on your phone. Of course services like Flickr (1TB), Dropbox (3-8 GB for free, depending), etc. will let you store photos on the cloud. I have always gotten by with 16 GB, but my newest phone is 32 and I have plenty of space with no worries and am happy I did it.
    Ps-my phone usage sounds similar to yours-no big games, movies, not much music.
  9. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I always buy the highest capacity model and then fill it with whatever I want.
  10. chrismarino macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    I have always had 32GB models, but with my latest 5S I decided to upgrade to 64GB which was the best decision I ever made! So much space and the need to not delete things all the time is great.
    However if you wont use any space fillers like music or movies I would probably go with 32GB.
    If you get a 16GB, you are really only getting 13.09 GB of storage, and if you want to retain and take lots of photos that will probably start annoying you soon.
    I say 32!
  11. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    For your needs I would go with 32gb. Lots of pictures will chew up space. Unless you plan on uploading them somewhere or transferring them to your computer. All the photos that are important to me I just put on skydrive.
  12. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    If you travel you will use video too. Get the 64Gb.
  13. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Generally decent advice, although knowing what you'll be using the phone for can play a difference--for someone that doesn't do much apps and doesn't care for music or other media and really would mainly do calls, messaging, email, and browsing, perhaps with some photos, 16 GB might just be even more than enough.
  14. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    i would get a 32gb, with that you won't have to worry about filling it up, you might end up getting close with a 16gb model.
  15. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    2 out of 3 isn't bad. Better camera, yes. Longevity, well it's newer so yes. Better resale? Definitely not. The 4s can be purchased very cheap, has a great build, runs ios 7, has siri. I personally think it's the best model they've put out, but that's another discussion. Anyway, I just sold a 16gb for $300 and a 64gb for $350 and those were both unlocked. They'd be about $100 cheaper if locked to your carrier. So you really can't beat that price for a great iPhone.

    The 5S is great as well, but not the same level of value. I just bought a like new 64gb 5S for $640. Considering they retail for about $900 (after tax), just that depreciation in value alone could pay for the 4s.

    Back to your question though, you could get by with 16gb depending on your apps. My TomTom GPS app is over 1gb by itself. To download an Update to that app you need at least that much if free space to download and then update before it clears off the temp file. A couple of games I have take probably 3-4gb of space.

    If you take some video and want to use iMovie (highly recommended) to trim, combine clips etc. then you need ample working space.

    So, 16gb would be fine if your apps are lightweight so most of the available space is dedicated to just photo/video. If you think you need any big apps then I'd go with 32gb.
  16. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    iOS 7 (operating system) is almost 4GB, so if you get the 16Gb you are left with 12GB of space.

    You can download Apps to your iTunes on your computer. See how much space the apps will be. On my iPhone I have 12 of my favorite games, social media apps, and a few apps I go to when I travel because I can store the other 150 apps on my iPod.

    Music - A 3 minute song is about 4MB for an MP3 (7MB ACC).

    I recommend to my friends if they are only going to have the social media apps and a few basic apps (i.e. Flipboard, Facebook,Where, Google etc) then get the iPhone 16GB. If you are gonna use it more for photography, go with the 32GB.
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Technically speaking, advertised 16 GB, for example, are actually 14.8 GB of space. Then some space for the OS (not sure if it's really 4 GB, but at least a couple or so). So, yeah, generally you have about 12 GB or so left over just when you start.

    Some of this comes from a similar discussion at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1613351
  18. smokeandarrows, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014

    smokeandarrows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Hey, thanks for all the help so far guys. :D Especially for telling me about the 4 gigs or so that the iOS will be taking up. I didn't realise that before.

    Though with that said, I've seen some sample capacities of 16gb phones who have more loaded on there than I would have thought.

    How many gigs does a high resolution photo take up? As someone said in this forum already, is it 10mb each, so around 5gb for 500 photos?

    What about apps? I can't imagine I'll ever go over a hundred, and the apps I'll be using will probably just be email, calendar, news (BBC, NYT etc.), social media (Youtube, Twitter etc.), and a few other bits and bobs (banking, eBay, blog reels etc.). I'm not too sure how to estimate the amount of space they'll take up, even though they're small to start off with.
  19. Nolander07 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    I have ~700 pictures on my phone and it takes up 1.1 GB. I hope that helps give you an idea if how many pictures you could store.
  20. smokeandarrows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    thanks, that seems like a lot. Are they high resolution images? Or are they relatively small in size?
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Personally, I always get the 16gb model and would even get 8 if they offered it at launch. I use cloud storage for my photos/videos and do not play games on my phones. I also use thing like pandora/itunes music for my music. I usually have around 10gb free on my 16gb iphone.

    OP, you know yourself better than anyone else. If you do not store photos/videos/music locally on your phone then you will easily get by with 16g.
  22. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040


    Aug 24, 2012
    New York, USA
    What iPhone 5s size should I buy?

    I say 32gb. Videos take up a lot of memory in a very flashier amount of time. I have a 16 gb iPhone 5. I use box to backup my photos and videos to be deleted after being backed up. I have internet and wifi almost everywhere so I can access box when I need it... rarely. BTW. Box has a free 50gb if you sign up on the iOS app:)
  23. easy-peasy macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2014
    I always go with the 16gb model but simply keep my phone clean & tidy.
  24. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I have 87 Apps right now taking up about 5.13GB of space. The biggest is Pages, NBA Live, Angry Birds Go, and Badland. Facebook is 99.9MB. Youtube 13MB .. Everything else is around 30-70MB which c I downloaded all the free Apple Apps and then removed them. At some point I will add them back when I need them. 15sec videos are about 6MB. HDR (3 images)

    1GB = 1024MB

    A few of my friends moved to an iPhone and they get the 16GB… What I've noticed is that they are constantly deleting old photos to take new photos. I guess they could download them?

    Go with the 32GB iPhone. When you travel, you won't have to worry.
  25. mickyeddy macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2014
    I'm similar and use 16GB but have about 80 GB of free cloud (50 GB from box alone/ mega/ amazon/ Microsoft/ Dropbox.

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