LG Optimus has poor internal storage

LG Optimus has poor internal storage

I use the LG Optimus for my phone – it’s an entry-level froyo (Android 2.2) device. It has become a popular choice for pre-paid services, including the newly launched Republic Wireless. The Optimus is generally competent in my opinion, but it has one glaring limitation: it has only 140 MB of internal storage.

I added a 32 GB card to my phone, but nearly all Android apps require some storage space on the phone itself (the root partition). In practice, this means that my phone is constantly warning me that it’s running out of space despite the 26 GB free on my /sdcard partition.

I can understand LG’s choice to hobble the phone with this tiny amount of onboard storage to save cost. For many users who use just a few apps, that amount is adequate. In fact, it took me several months to run out.

My real complaint, then, is with Android. Why this artificial constraint that all apps need to be on the root partition? Is it to protect from piracy? Or is it to avoid problems when the user ejects the sdcard? On my phone, the biggest user of internal storage is Google Contacts. Why can’t that app store it’s less important data (like headshots) on secondary storage?

Two questions for Android experts: 1) Is this a common problem for lower-end phones? 2) Do newer OSes (Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, or the various Cyanogenmod bundles) reduce the load on the root partition?

LG Electronics

16 replies on “LG Optimus has poor internal storage”

  1. I have the LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile and have 178.87 MB of internal memory, not 140 MB. Maybe that extra 40 MB makes a big difference because I have 39.46 MB free at the moment. Occasionally the browser gobbles a lot of space and I have to “clear data” on it, but usually my phone more or less just works. My largest app by far is Google+ as 21.27 MB. Next is Maps at 10.23 MB. Contacts Storage is 3.19 MB for 890 contacts but I only added a handful of pictures for people. Given your story, I probably won’t add many more.

  2. I too am on Virgin Mobile; my list of largest apps is G+, Maps, Email (9.6MB). My G+ storage went down to 10 MB once I moved it to the SD card. It seems that updated apps always end up back in main memory, even if you’d moved them to the SD card.

  3. With CyanogenMod and other rooted flavors of Android, you can create an ext3/4 partition on the SDCard and mount that as /sd-ext, where you can then install apps completely. So non-mission critical apps can be banished to the card completely.

    In practice I never remove my SDcard from my phone, so this system has worked quite well for me. And if you are so inclined you can also symlink more folders to the SDCard, but I think detangling the face pics from contacts might be not be possible (I think it’s a blob in a database).

    Here’s the list of LG devices on XDA developers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/filter.php?cat=LG

    Maybe you can browse the appropriate forum to see how easy/hard it is to root your phone.

    Good luck!

  4. Same problem here. LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile. I’ve also found that sometimes even after I move an app to the SD card, the LG doesn’t recognize the free space until I reboot the phone or install/uninstall something else.

  5. Philip Durbin – oops, you’re right: 180 MB. Still…

    Jun Nozaki – thanks, that’s great info. Too bad the stock Android won’t let you do that.

    Chris Moesel – interesting. I’ve never noticed that. Among my complaints are apps that don’t support moving to /sdcard (why not??)

  6. Chris Moesel – I did figure out that if you go to My Apps in the market and turn off auto-install for those pre-installed apps, they won’t bother you with updates any longer.

  7. Using Link2SD saved my sanity when I was rocking my Optimus V. Unlike Chris, it took me less than a week to run out of space, pre-L2SD.

    The Optimus has very limited space, but it becomes usable after rooting and tricking the system into thinking apps on that hidden SD card partition are really in internal memory.

    I’m probably a storage gorilla, though. I’m hovering around the “low storage” threshold on my Motorola Triumph, too, and it has 1.1GB of flash.

  8. Joe Davis if you use gmail, chances are that you contacts are already synced to Google’s servers. Open Gmail in your PC’s browser and open your contacts.

    If they are still there, all is well. If the contacts section is empty, you can try to recover a backup by clicking “More” and “Restore contacts”.

    Good luck.

  9. I have a LG Gvista android…and have no games or nothing… Besides the factory apps that’s originally setup… How do I clear space or make space in order to download apps ? I even have a 32GB memory card inserted with untouched space… The phone keep telling me I have insufficient space on the device… Another thing is only other that could be a problem from what ppl have told me, was to delete pics and video…. But I only have 245 pics and no videos…. No downloads , no ringtones, none of that…. Could somebody please tell me what can I do to solve this and make space?

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