My biggest issue with Galaxy S2 that I currently own is "device memory" being limited to 2 GB. I don't have any music and rarely take photos, so I end up with lots of free space in "USB storage" (~10 GB) and no free space in "device memory". Getting external SD card helped for a while, but I still have to remove some apps to install new ones and constantly clear app cache and do tricks with *#9900#.

Is situation any better with Nexus 5? I wasn't able to find any information on Nexus 5 "device memory" size and the fact that Nexus 5 doesn't have external SD card slot is worrying.

  • As for your current device, you might wish to check our insufficient-memory tag-wiki for some first-aid. There might be some hints linked which are working better than your current approach.
    – Izzy
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 9:45
  • Thanks, I already spent quite a lot of time fighting these storage limit problems. Now I just want to make sure, that I won't have to do the same dance with my next phone.
    – arnss
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


GSM Arena to the rescue! Note if you just go to the Nexus 5 site you can see the phone specs, and the models available.

The Nexus 5 has a 16 Gb and a 32 Gb model, with no extensible memory. You can expect to lose between 5 - 7 Gb on most modern devices out of the box, as this is partitioned to various tasks, mostly space for Android itself, and any future updates that may be larger size.

It's impossible to say how much you will use, but a 32 Gb model should do you fine for most apps, games and general use.

I have looked at at a Nexus 5 and the /data available to the user is:

26.7 GB for the 32 GB

12.55 GB for the 16 GB

It is theoretically possible to re-partition a device, however, you are far more than likely to brick the device completely, and I would not recommend it to anyone who is not developing custom firmware of their own. And even then with extreme caution.

There are a lot of partitions, but here are the main Nexus 5 ones:

/system 1009.3Mb
/cache 689.8Mb
/persist 15.8Mb
/firmware 64.0Mb

For full details see this XDA thread

  • Yes, I checked specs on GSM Arena, that's where I found out about no external SD card, but will I be able to use the whole 16/32 GB for apps (sans Android system and build-in apps) or is it like on Galaxy S2 where you have small partition for system+apps and you can't increase it?
    – arnss
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 12:12
  • Partitioned as with all devices, as I said expect to lose around 5 - 7 Gb out of the box. I dont' know the amount, I don't have one to hand. The S4 loses 7, the HTC one loses around 6.5... So I'm guessing a bit there.
    – RossC
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 12:28
  • I don't think we're talking about the same thing here. I have Galaxy S2 16 GB and when I open "Storage" window in Settings, I see "Device memory" as 1.97 GB total and 120 MB free. The rest (from 16 GB) is dedicated to "USB storage". My question is, if I buy Nexus 5, what kind of partition sizes do I get and can I change them?
    – arnss
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 14:02
  • @arnss Updated now with details. Updated; added more details and a link to XDA for a comprehensive tutorial.
    – RossC
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 9:28

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