How much user-available memory is needed in an android phone that runs Gingerbread and is likely to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in order to be able to install and work with a reasonable number of apps.

Of course, the answer might differ depending on the usage profile of the specific user so 2-4 number ranges would be useful (e.g., light, typical, or heavy user).

  • 3
    Folks, I think this is a good question. Many users have that problem and this gives much grief to guys with medium class phones (that often come with less /data space). My former top of the notch HTC Desire comes only with 145MB originally. Even with moving apps to the sdcard you will hit that rather quickly.
    – ce4
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:07
  • Agreed! It will put an end to faffing around trying to work out what is the minimum for ICS.
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:08
  • should be this a community wiki for other ICS users to fill in their details here?
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:09
  • That could be somewhat merged/tied in with this question android.stackexchange.com/questions/25502/…
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:13
  • @ce4 I own a "medium class phone", and I can vouch for the space issue! My phone seems to have a bytes eater bug inside! :) +1 for this question!
    – Zuul
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


How much more /data space does ICS need in comparison to GB?

Easy answer: The same.

3rd party installed apps need as much storage on both GB and ICS and maybe ICS' internal apps need a little more storage, but that's negligible. Most often it's just the user apps that grow bigger and bigger by time (with bigger devices. It's the same with bloated websites as connection speeds grow).

I have installed ICS on all of my current devices and can say that it's not a big difference. I typically need 400-800MB with some games (MaxPayne, GTA3, etc.) and consider myself a medium-to-power user (with number of apps installed).

Breakdown for my Nexus S: 650MB used  
Internal stuff, summed up: around 100MB (after some usage time)  
User installed apps+data: 550MB  
Dalvik-Cache: 85MB (15MB for internal apps, 70MB for user apps)  
App sizes: 350MB (15MB for internal updated apps, 335MB for user apps)  
App data: 190MB (40MB for internal apps, 150MB for user apps)  
Remaining: 25MB for the FS journal and misc random stuff  

So I guess, you need around 80-100MB for the minimal stuff (maybe less) and on top of this all that you want to install.

I think the comfort zone starts at 250MB if you move apps to the sdcard and 500-750MB if you won't.


This is the minimum specs for ICS:

  • Minimum chipset: ARMv7 and upwards, SnapDragon S2 and greater, preferably. (MSM 7225, 7625, 7227, 7627 - forget those chipsets as they are ARMv6)
  • Minimum RAM is 512Mb,
  • ICS is bigger than Gingerbread ROM, we're talking Stock ROM, (GB weighs around 65Mb, ICS weighs in around 120Mb), then again ROM modders have somewhat trimmed down ICS to about 90Mb)

The crucial thing to remember is this, if your /system partition is small (I define small as around 120-140Mb) then ICS is going to have a hard time running in that storage space.

At the bare minimum, the /system partition would be ideally 200Mb to cater and give breathing space for ICS.

  • Just to clarify, 200Mb will leave 80Mb for apps on ICS? If so, would that be enough for a small, medium or heavy apps user?
    – Itamar
    Jul 10, 2012 at 14:32
  • Cannot answer that explicitly as to each and their own personal tastes :)
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 10, 2012 at 14:50
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    The OP doesn't ask about /system but only about /data. I guess the RAM is also not of question here (It does count however count, right). It's solely a question of how big /data should be to feel comfortable.
    – ce4
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:13
  • I suppose, but then again, when the play store updates google apps (GMail, Maps, play store), it goes into /system as when gapps gets flashed in, it adds those into /system as well!
    – t0mm13b
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:17
  • nope, /system doesn't get touched (HTC phones lock it for example completely, the infamous S-ON flag on the flash for the /system partition). You can see it if you look at an updated system app: You can uninstall updates of the market for example. BTW: TitaniumBackup just allows this, it's called 'integrate system app updates into /system' or so. User data of system is by the way also stored at /data
    – ce4
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:21

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