I am new to Android (v4.0.4) and trying to understand it.

By looking at the storage setting, I found the followings are listed:

  • Internal storage: total space 807MB
  • Phone storage: total space 1.98GB
  • SD card: total space 14.91GB ---- I put it in, a 16GB SD Card

Manufacturer says that it is a 1GB RAM + 4GB ROM phone.

  1. I am thinking that the Internal Storage and Phone Storage come from that 4GB ROM. Am I right? If I am right, where does another 1GB ROM go?

  2. It seems the Internal Storage is not available for me to install. It only list Phone Storage and SD Card as available locations. That Phone Storage seems not big enough for the life to install all apps on it. If I use SD Card as the location to install apps, the backup/recovery cannot include SD card. How you manage your phone's storages?

  • I have the same specs; also 2GB 'Phone Storage', 16GB SD card, 1GB RAM, and 4GB ROM. I think the 'Internal storage' comes from your 1GB RAM. As soon as you have 'mounted' your 16GB SD card and set the 'write disk' under 'storage' in under Android settings to 'SD-card', the phone will not use the 2GB 'Phone storage' at all! I can't figure out how I can use this 2GB to install apps to. You can use it to store media (e.g. pictures, video) by setting the 'write disk' under settings > storage to 'phone storage', but I don't think you want that. When your phone crashes/dies, this storage will neve
    – user41972
    Sep 23, 2013 at 9:39

2 Answers 2

  1. Yes. There's also several other partitions in the internal storage, which is what the other 1GB is taken up by.

/boot - Contains the bootloader, ramdisk image, and the Linux kernel image.

/system - Contains all the OS stuff (Both Linux and Android) as well as built in system apps (e.g. the launcher and the dialer).

/recovery - Contains the recovery OS, which is used for updating as also recovering from situations that prevent booting into Android proper.

/data - This is what you see as "internal storage". This is where all your user installed apps (both from the play store and any other sources) go, as well as where they save their data.

/cache - Exactly what it sounds like. Various bits of frequently needed stuff stored in a quick to access manner.

/misc - stores various miscellaneous system settings.

1.5 "Phone storage" is basically like a built-in SD card as far as the OS is concerned. It's general user storage.

  1. What exactly are you trying to install? The internal storage (/data above) is where an app generally goes, but particularly big apps (e.g. games like the Asphalt series) will store the large resources in a user partition by default (rather than optionally via the "move to SD" option).

To 1.: Yes, you are correct. Remaining space probably goes to the /system partition (the Android system itself requires some space, you might have guessed). Everything else is just a guess and hard to say without a closer look; but it might have a separate "mount" for cache, temp, and some other system relevant stuff.

Not having any device with 4.x yet, I unfortunately cannot answer to 2. for sure -- so I leave that to somebody else. My device has 6GB inside, so I never installed any app to SD (what good would that be for, in my case?).

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