With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple finally killed the 16GB variant and made 32GB base storage option. That’s a welcome move, but there is a strong reason you may not want to buy a 32GB version of the new iPhone. Despite the increase in storage, 32GB may not be enough for a large number of users to store photos, music, videos, etc. Now tests conducted by GSM Arena reveal that the 32GB variant has a much lower storage performance compared to 128GB. Even the 64GB iPhone 6S Plus beats it in storage performance.

iPhone 7
Image Credit: Apple Inc.

It lags behind other models in Write performance

Last year, Apple introduced custom storage controller with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which gives the iPhones better storage speed. That’s one reason why the iPhone 6S Plus still beats most Android phones out there in performance tests. But it seems like 32GB iPhone 7 doesn’t have much to boast of in storage department.

Using the Basemark OS II benchmark, GSM Arena ran multiple tests on the 32GB iPhone 7 Plus, 128GB iPhone 7, and 64GB iPhone 6S Plus. In Basemark memory tests, the 32GB iPhone 7 Plus didn’t go above 839 points. That’s much lower than 1422 points for iPhone 6S Plus and 1721 points for the 128GB iPhone 7. Notably, storage results in Basemark vary from test to test.

So, folks at GSM Arena decided to test the iPhones using another benchmark by Passmark. It revealed that the 32GB iPhone 7 Plus’ Read performance was similar to the iPhone 6S Plus, but it was poor in Write performance. The 32GB model’s Write speed was just 39.6Mbytes/s compared to 200.6Mbytes/s for the iPhone 6S Plus and 308Mbytes/s for the 128GB iPhone 7.

How did the 32GB iPhone 7 perform in real life?

It’s worth pointing out that benchmark results don’t always accurately reflect real-world performance. So, GSM Arena tested all three phones in real-life. They shot a 10-minute long 4K video, and trimmed it in half using the trimming feature in Photos app. They recorded how long it took the three devices to save the trim as a new file. It involved both reading the original footage and writing the trimmed one.

The 32GB iPhone 7 Plus took 52 seconds. The same process was completed by the 128GB iPhone 7 in just 17 seconds, while 64GB iPhone 6S Plus took one minute. It’s far from certain whether the issue has anything to do with 32GB storage variant. It could be because Apple sources storage chips from different vendors. If you already own a brand new 32GB iPhone, you are unlikely to realize that your phone is slower unless you own multiple iPhones.

The latest iPhones have been well received by consumers. There have been no report of major issues with the devices, though users have reported minor problems like LTE connectivity and Bluetooth issues. However, analysts believe that the iPhone 7 shipments won’t be strong enough to revive Apple’s falling iPhone sales.