iPad 3 & iPhone 4S: How much space do you need?


Which iPad 3 or iPhone 4S capacity to buy: 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB? This is the question… Apple won’t answer (really). It depends on what do you want to do with your Apple device (truism), but how to find how much space it will take? 🙂

  • How big is 1080p movie file taken on iPad 3 or iPhone 4S?
  • How many movie hours do I record on iPad 3 or iPhonie 4S?

Let’s find out!


Movie making

Based on my current experience, 1080p (full HD) iPad 3 or iPhone 4S movie takes on average (+/- 10%):

  • 10 GB for 1 hour or
  • 168 MB for 1 minute.

Apple won’t let you set 720p on these devices (not in iOS 5.1 at least), what could let you spare your valuable space. So, you are always forced to 1080p. Assuming, iOS takes about 0.5-1 GB and extra 6 GB will take your apps (it’s the modest, I think), you are facing that:

  • on 16 GB (13.1 GB available on an empty device) you can get about 30 min 1080p movie,
  • on 32 GB (28 GB available) about 2 h 1080p movie,
  • on 64 GB (56.7 GB available) about 5 h 1080p movie.

User available memory (here in Polish 'Dostępne') on an empty iPad 3 64 GB.


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