Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Enjoy your 16GB iPhone 6s: Live photos take up twice the storage of normal pics

Published Sep 11th, 2015 10:33AM EDT
iPhone 6s Specs
Image: Apple Inc.

Much has been made of Apple’s decision to keep its bottom smartphone tier at 16GB on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. This is easily one of the worst things about the new iPhones for customers, but also one of the best things about the new iPhones for Apple’s bottom line. We have explained why several times now, and it boils down to this: The perceived value of the jump from 16GB to 64GB encourages more people to buy the mid-tier model over the entry-level iPhone, and Apple makes more money selling $750-$850 iPhones than it does selling $650-$750 iPhones.

The lack of available storage on the 16GB iPhone was a big issue last year when Apple released iOS 8 and millions of users didn’t even have enough available memory to update their phones. Well, it’ll continue to be a problem with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for a few different reasons, and we just found a new one.

iPhone 6s: The 9 best new features
The 5 worst things about the iPhone 6s
6 ways the new iPhone 6s is better than the iPhone 6


Earlier this week, we explained that the 16GB iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus don’t even have enough available storage to hold 35 minutes of 4K video. The new phones’ ability to record ultra high-def video was highlighted on stage during Apple’s big event, so it’s clearly an important feature to Apple.

To be fair though, most people probably don’t need to record video at such a high resolution. Apple’s new 12-megapixel camera is now the source of another issue that impacts storage, however, and it’s likely going to be a much bigger problem than 4K video.

People love to take pictures on their iPhones. In fact, most users who ran into storage issues when the iOS 8 update was released last year found that photos were their biggest problem — they had thousands of pictures on their phones, so there was no space to download iOS 8.

Well, Apple fans, you’re going to run out of space twice as fast on the iPhone 6s.

Apple’s new Live Photos feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus captures a 3 second video each time you snap a picture, and it uses that video to create a moving image complete with sound. It happens automatically in the background, and it’s a very cool feature.

But there’s one problem: as MacRumors notes, Live Photos take up about twice as much storage as standard photos. In other words, you’re going to run out of space twice as fast on your iPhone 6s as you would on an iPhone 6.

Apple’s new iPhones become available for preorder this Saturday, and they launch on Friday, September 25th. If you use your phone to take a lot of photos and you’re planning to buy a 16GB model, you might want to rethink that decision.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.