Is 128GB Enough for iPhone 13?

It depends on your needs as a user. The iPhone storage capacity needs vary from person to person, and 128GB storage might be enough if you are looking to occasionally take photos and videos, but might not be enough if you’ll use it for heavy videography or film.

I’m a tech-enthusiast, an avid iPhone user for over 6 years, and I’ve been using an iPhone 13 128GB as my go-to phone since November 2021.

In this article, I’ll walk you through why you need to assess your storage options, pricing, and usage needs, to make a judgment whether the 128GB storage is enough or not when shopping for the new iPhone 13.

Stick with me and let’s break this down!

iPhone 13: Storage Capacities and Pricing Options

You get 128GB of capacity with the $799 iPhone 13. From here, simply add another $100 to the fee for moving to the next storage tier, followed by another $200 for the next.

Model128GB256GB512GB1TB
iPhone 13 mini$699$799$999N/A
iPhone 13$799$899$1099N/A
iPhone 13 Pro$999$1099$1299$1499
iPhone 13 Pro Max$1099$1199$1399$1599

How Much Storage Do You Need?

An iPhone does not include a microSD option to boost capacity, thus I understand why this question should be carefully considered while purchasing an iPhone. Determining how much storage you need comes down to your iPhone usage. 

I’ve grouped usage needs into light, mid, and heavyweight users to help you judge and decide where you fall on the usage spectrum.

If you are a lightweight user, i.e, you don’t keep around a lot of photos and videos in your library, don’t mind managing your data and offloading apps, and/or don’t keep around an extensive music collection on your phone then 128GB is probably enough for you.

If you’re a midweight user, i.e, you keep some photos and videos in your library, shoot some video content, don’t mind managing your data infrequently, and/or don’t keep around an extensive music collection on your phone then 256GB may be the right option for you.

And lastly, if you are a heavyweight user, i.e, you keep around a lot of photos/videos, music libraries, or heavy games, mind managing data on your phone, then you might consider other storage options like the 512GB or 1TB. 

Why 128GB iPhone 13 May Be Enough

For a majority of people 128GB is enough storage on an iPhone to serve your usage comfortably. 

Based on this Digital Trend’s Article, and doing a quick calculation myself, I found that with this amount of storage you could hold over 1,900 apps at 60MB each, 39,000 photos at almost 3MB’s each, or about 45hrs+ of 1080p video time (individual calculations not collective), with each still being quite a plenty for most.

We hardly need 1000+ apps sitting around on our phones, and might find that the iPhone gives plenty of storage for a light media user with its 128GB of storage. 

As mentioned before, my main phone is an iPhone 13 with 128GB storage, and at the time of writing this, had it for about 4 months and used up 33.8GB of 128GB. I have 416 photos, 86 videos, 48 apps, use Spotify for music, and stream movies/series on Netflix.

I’m a bit of a photography and videography enthusiast – shooting videos in 1080p and use Google Photos to manage and backup my photos storage. From time to time, I actively manage my data, delete photos and files I don’t need. Use streaming apps to spare me the need to keep music or movies, and found that the 128GB serves me well.

In addition, Apple has the following storage features:

  1. A temporary iCloud backup feature in iOS 15+ that allows you to use as much iCloud backup storage as you need for up to three weeks after purchasing a new phone to ensure you move everything you need to your new device.
  1. An Offload Unused Apps option that optimizes your storage by automatically offloading unused apps when you’re low on storage, but still saves your documents and data.

What Other Options are Available for You?

Other Apple products – If 128GB might not suit your storage needs, or managing data seems like a lot of work, you have the option of adding an extra $100 for the 256GB, and an extra $200 for 512GB.

For a greater appetite, you’ve got the iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max editions boasting of a 1TB storage capacity.

Cloud Storage – iCloud by default gives 5GB when you sign up, for storing images, mail data, calendars, contacts, and other files. With Apple’s iCloud Plus, you can upgrade to 50GB ($0.99/month), 200GB ($2.99/month), and 2TB ($9.99/month). 

In a year, you’d spend about $120 (for the 2TB pan), and store all your content in the cloud, with the option of sharing it with your family members too.

Alternatively, you can upload photos to Google Photos up to 15GB for free, or upgrade storage to 100GB ($1.75/month), 200GB ($2.73/month), 2TB ($8.76/month), or use Amazon photos for free if you’re a Prime subscriber.

Final Thoughts

If you stream music and movies, are not keen to shoot video content in 4K, can store photos on a cloud option if you’re a photography enthusiast, don’t mind offloading apps and deleting photos you don’t need, then, by all means, you’ll be quite comfortable with the 128GB option. 

If you’re a heavy media or app user, who plans to shoot in 4K, hates to manage the data and apps on your phone, then it’s fair to part with an extra $100 for the 256GB that offers double the storage. 

The 512GB and 1TB options are major overkill and I’d only suggest it if you’re into videography and already use about 256GB on your current device.

Let me know what kind of user you are and what storage capacity you currently use, leave your optimization and storage tips and tricks. And of course, if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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