There are two ways of storing data on a smartphone: its internal memory, and an SD card. SD cards have their problems: they're expensive; they're fiddly to use; only certain apps can be stored on them; not all phones have SD card slots; and your phone's performance is better when it's drawing data from its internal memory rather than an external card.
That's why a lot of us are opting for a mobile that already has plenty of internal storage and doesn't need to rely on being expanded. And as it happens, there are a few phones out there like that. Read on and broadbandchoices will tell you how to find one, and take you through some of our favourites.
Phones with 256GB internal storage
256GB should be more than enough for most people, but if it isn't, you can always super-size with the iPhone XS...
The iPhone XS is an impressive fusion of power, form and features. Ticking every box for a modern flagship smartphone, it comes with a powerful processor, high-tech cameras, and impressive sound quality. Your storage options include 64GB, 256GB and a whooping 512GB. It’s always worth weighing your storage requirements carefully before you purchase, as Apple will certainly make you pay if you go big. Unless you need to carry around your entire library of movie rips, you’re unlikely to need 512GB of storage.
Like the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR does not come with expandable storage (via a microSD card), but it does give you three internal storage options: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. If you’re a keen shooter of video, or maybe you do a lot of travelling and like to store things locally, it may be worth opting for the 256GB for that extra peace of mind. The iPhone XR delivers an incredible level of performance, and top of the range specs, but at a considerably lower price point than the flagship iPhone XS and XS Max.
The impressive iPhone X is available with 256GB of storage as well - and again, with specs like these, you'll need it. The dual-lens 12MP camera takes amazing high-res photos, and the huge screen (5.8 inches) is ideal for watching HD videos and films on. It's also got the same hexa-core processor as the iPhone 8, wireless charging capability, and Face ID facial recognition.
256GB a bit much? You can get it with 64GB storage too.
iPhones have never had SD card slots, meaning that getting one with a lot of space is vital - especially for the 12MP photos, 7MP selfies, and 4K videos you can shoot with the new cameras. Other features include Apple's fastest processor yet, the A11 Bionic, and a sleek, water-resistant form.
There are 256GB models available for both the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus - or, if that's too much storage (or too expensive), there are 64GB versions as well.
You can get the last generation of iPhone with 256GB memory too - and it's older, it's a little cheaper than the 8 or X models. But, incredibly, you still get that HD display, 12MP camera, 7MP selfie camera, and 2GB of RAM that the iPhone 8 rock.
Phones with 128GB internal storage
Not many phones are available with 128GB of memory. For this much internal storage, you'll need a top-of-the-range flagship - and in all cases here, you'll have to trade off the SD card slot too.
The first ever smartphone created entirely by Google itself is a good 'un: the smoothest Android interface you'll ever see, one of the best (if not the best) smartphone cameras, and, blissfully, internal storage up to a nice fat 128GB.
And it doesn't just work well, it looks good while doing it - there's a crisp AMOLED display with a super high resolution, not to mention the phone's nifty design.
You can get both the Pixel and Pixel XL with 128GB of memory, or with 32GB if that's a bit much. Bear in mind that neither come with an SD card slot.
The last iPhone may not have as much memory as its newer cousin, but it's still not half bad: 128GB is more than enough for most of us.
Despite being an 'old' model now, the 6s is still impressive. Between its stylish exterior, top-notch cameras, and seamless processing power, you're getting a fantastic phone here. Plus, it's got a couple of added advantages over the new iPhone 7: a standard headphone jack and a lower price.
Again, both the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus are available with 128GB storage, as well as 64GB or 16GB versions.
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Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung caused a bit of a fuss when it decided to go the Apple route and not include an SD card slot in its last flagship. Luckily, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both come with lots of internal storage - up to 128GB, in fact.
And with the S6, you'll get one of the very best phones on the market right now. The stunning QHD screen is sharp as a tack, the camera has a 16MP lens and optical image stabilisation, and the octa-core processors are super powerful. The design is something quite special too, with a smooth metal chassis and a shiny jewel-like glass back. There's even a fingerprint scanner under the home button for extra security.
Phones with 64GB internal storage
The next best thing to a phone with 128GB of storage is one with 64GB - and luckily, you've got quite a bit more choice here. Here's our pick of the best.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung’s biggest phone is an impressive one, both outside and in. The display, which has a QHD (Quad HD) resolution, spreads out across almost the whole of its surface, and it’s made of shiny metal and Gorilla Glass.
As for its innards, there’s an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM - powerful enough that you can literally use your smartphone as a computer, with the DeX dock - and some of the best cameras on the market.
Your only storage option for the Galaxy S8 (and larger S8+, of course) is 64GB, and there’s an SD card slot that supports up to 256GB more.
Samsung Galaxy S7
When it came out it was named the best smartphone around by some, and it's easy to see why. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is rocking a gorgeous, razor-sharp display - a QHD Super AMOLED offering - and underneath that it's got powerful processors, 4GB of RAM memory, and the most up-to-date software. That includes Samsung's new Game Launcher, which adds a little more functionality to your mobile gaming.
The S7 doesn't have as much internal storage as its predecessor, but technically you can store more stuff on it. Unlike the S6, it has an SD card slot that supports up to 200GB extra space. The only downside is that it's not adoptable - meaning you can use your SD card for storing pictures, documents, music, videos, and other media, but not apps.
The S7 Edge offers the exact same storage options, only it comes with that cool curvy screen and some extra features.
The iPhone SE is a useful beast. It's essentially an iPhone 5, but with the innards of an iPhones 6s - including the internal storage. Well, almost. The SE's storage options are either 64GB or 16GB, so although the 128GB choice of the 6s is absent, there's still plenty of space to be getting on with.
On the outside, you'll find the 4-inch screen and metal-and-white angular body of the iPhone 5 that we've all come to know and love, only now it comes in funky rose gold too. But the guts are much closer to those of the 6s and 6s Plus: the latest Apple A9 chipset, stunning 12MP camera, impressive battery life (finally!), and Apple Pay.
Motorola Moto X Style
The Moto X Style has a 5.7-inch QHD display too, just like the Nexus 6P - good quality screens and lots of storage seem to go hand in hand.
The X Style is, to put it simply, a whopper. It's phablet sized, with the weight to go along with it, and the big 64GB of storage is matched by a big 21MP camera, big hexa-core processors, and of course that big screen. Design wise, it's not the prettiest of phones, but you've got the option to use the Moto Maker on Motorola's website to personalise the colours exactly how you want them.
While it's not quite as stunning as other similar phones, the Moto X Style is excellent for its price tag - especially if you want that internal storage.