Galaxy S9 Could Double iPhone X Storage Capacity

You might be able to pack a lot of photos, videos and files onto your next Galaxy smartphone — especially if Samsung equips its upcoming Galaxy S9 with one of its newly announced flash drives.

The Galaxy S8 offers 64GB of storage for all your photos and videos, but the S9 may offer more. (Credit: Tom's Guide)

(Image credit: The Galaxy S8 offers 64GB of storage for all your photos and videos, but the S9 may offer more. (Credit: Tom's Guide))

Samsung said yesterday (Dec. 5) that it was kicking off mass production of 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage drives. The drives are aimed at future smartphones and tablets, Samsung says, and given the timing on production, it's safe to assume we could be seeing them in flagship devices at some point in 2018.

That could include Samsung's own phones. The company is widely anticipated to be working on the Galaxy S9, with the next version of its flagship phone expected to debut by early spring. The 512GB drives could also be headed for a future version of the Galaxy Note phablet, which typically debuts in the second half of the year.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature 64GB of on-board storage, though a microSD slot lets you add up to 256GB. It's unlikely that Samsung would increase the base storage on its phones by such a dramatic leap, but a 512GB drive could be a possible option for customers who like to store a lot of files on their phone.

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It would certainly give Samsung a leg up on Apple. The latest versions of the iPhone all start out at 64GB of storage, though Apple also offers 256GB versions of its iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. Samsung's new drive would double that capacity.

Why would anyone need that much storage on their phone? Because we're taking more photos and shooting more 4K videos with the improved cameras on our mobile devices. In announcing the start of production for its 512GB drives, Samsung said the new devices can store 130 10-minute video clips shot in 4K Ultra HD resolutions. That's a 10-fold increase over what a 64GB drive could store, Samsung says.

Despite the increased capacity, Samsung says the new drive takes up the same amount of space as its 256GB offering. Samsung also touts new power management technology in the new drive that's aimed at minimizing any drain on battery caused by the additional storage.

Even if the 512GB drive doesn't find its way to a phone near you, storage options for phones should increase. Samsung says it's also expanding production on its 256GB drives.

We should find out just how much storage Samsung intends to pack into the Galaxy s9 soon enough. While earlier rumors of a January debut at the CES trade show are being downplayed by Samsung, it's still likely we'll see the phone in either February or March — quite possibly around next year's Mobile World Congress, which starts Feb. 26 in Barcelona.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.