Galaxy S10 Plus-bound? Samsung officially reveals 1TB storage chip for smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Samsung has officially introduced a 1TB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) – in other words, the first terabyte-sized native storage solution that’ll likely make its way to mainstream phones. Presumably, this will include the company’s upcoming Galaxy S10 flagship device, which will be unveiled in less than a month.

More storage is obviously a good thing in consumer devices, and they’re often march-of-progress upgrades that top device makers tout when comparing new products to those from competitors. In phones, native storage is one of these spec flashpoints alongside processor speed and RAM. 

This new 1TB eUFS is the same package size (11.5mm x 13.0mm) as the previous 512GB version produced by Samsung, per a press release. It’s made of 16 stacked layers of Samsung’s 512-gigabit V-NAND flash memory and a new proprietary controller.

“The 1TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices,” said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics in the release.

In other words, expect this to come to more than just Galaxy phones.

More space is always better

Obviously, more local storage is better for consumers. And Samsung’s new 1TB eUFS boasts 38% faster random read speed over its 512GB predecessor, while large files (like, say, a 5GB HD video) can be offloaded to an SSD 10 times faster than a microSD card. Faster speeds are better for transferring data and taking/storing new data, like from still photos or videos.

With that kind of space, you could store 260 10-minute videos in 4K UHD – a lot more than the 13 4K UHD videos you could store on a phone packing a more basic 64GB of space, Samsung claimed in its press release.

Lower-end phones routinely cut costs by minimizing storage space (64GB is the typical bottom, but the cheapest can go as low as 32GB). They typically offer the option to expand via microSD slot.

Even the mighty iPhone XS starts at 64GB, yet it doesn’t have expandable storage. Instead, Apple offers its cloud service with a comically-small 5GB free tier and more storage for monthly subscriptions. 

So what phones will have a 1TB version?

The 1TB Samsung eUFS is great...for higher-end phones. You probably won’t see this trickle down to mid range devices for a couple years. Given how few phones had a 512GB storage option, the 1TB will be, at least for 2019, the top-end storage choice for flagships from Samsung and other Android-powered phones.

But just how many phones is up for speculation. Rumors suggest the Galaxy S10 will get a 1TB storage option, but only in the larger Galaxy S10 Plus – and only coupled with a staggering 12GB of RAM. That seems like a high-price prestige tier option, which we’ve previously seen in limited-run special editions of phones like last year’s Porsche Design Mate 20 RS (8GB RAM) and OnePlus 6T McLaren (10GB RAM). 

In other words, perhaps Samsung is working on its own elite version of its next smartphone. (Lamborghini Edition, anyone?) But we certainly haven’t heard that any other Android phones slated for this year will pack that much storage space. Yet.