Best Android phones with expandable storage 2024

Whether you carry your media library with you, shoot a lot of 4K videos, or are looking to download a few movies ahead of a long commute, expandable storage is essential for many users. Thankfully, plenty of options are still available, although most of them are budget phones or mid-rangers with a few compromises here and there.

Flagship phones are expensive and their cost continues to grow if you need more than the base storage option. For the best Android phones with expandable storage, all you need is a stellar microSD card and you'll be all set to store as much data on your device as needed. With the right memory card, you can even store your apps on the microSD card.

Portrait image of technology journalist Namerah Saud Fatmi
Namerah Saud Fatmi

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart knickknacks. After writing about consumer tech for nearly a decade, she has become an expert in the Android accessories space. She spends her free time guzzling coffee, writing some more, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends.

At a glance

Best overall

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G's display outdoors

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)
Best overall

Specifications

Display: 6.4-inch AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 1380
Memory & storage: 6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2, expandable
Main camera: 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro
Front camera: 32MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 25W wired charging
Water and dust resistance: IP67

Reasons to buy

+
Five years of software updates
+
IP67 water and dust resistance
+
6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel
+
Great cameras for the price
+
Samsung's software has plenty to offer

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic build
-
No headphone jack
-
Not the best for gaming

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is significantly better than all other phones with expandable storage in existence today, including the newer Galaxy A55 which isn't included here due to its lack of availability in North America. This is largely because microSD card slots have been outmoded, so the best flagship devices no longer come with them.

We're grateful that Samsung decided to keep the expandable storage option even though it discarded the audio jack with the Galaxy A54. You can still use Bluetooth for in-ear audio playback, but there's no proper substitute for a memory card slot.

Samsung backs its A series phone with very likable cameras, guaranteed software updates for five years, and a robust IP67 rating. This means you can walk out of the house knowing full well that your Galaxy A54 5G can survive both water and dust exposure.

What you'll love the most about this phone isn't any of that. The gorgeous 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel is the star of the show. It's sufficiently bright under the sun and has brilliant color depth and crispiness. The lovely display balances out the cheap plastic build, and you can always slap on a nice Galaxy A54 case to cover up that plastic in-hand feel. Bear in mind that the Exynos 1380 processor isn't the best for heavy gaming though.

Best value

The shiny back of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)
Best value

Specifications

Display: 6.72-inch 120Hz LCD
Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G
Memory & storage: 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2, expandable
Main camera: 108MP wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
Front camera: 16MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 50W SUPERVOOC ultra-fast charging
Water and dust resistance: IP54

Reasons to buy

+
Three years of security updates
+
Superb 50W wired fast charging
+
120Hz LCD screen feels good
+
Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
108MP camera is gimmicky
-
Only one major platform update

Like so many of the best budget Android phones, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G sports the 6nm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset. You can insert a microSD card in the slot and add more storage in a jiffy. It's an oldie, but a goldie.

The Nord N30 5G has a lot of neat features, but the coolest one of them all is the 50W SUPERVOOC charging. Now that's an incredibly fast charging speed that you certainly won't find on any other phone with expandable storage.

The 108MP camera sounds amazing, but it's actually more of a buzzword. As per our testing, the picture quality could be better. You will appreciate the snappy 6.27-inch 120Hz IPS LCD display though.

OnePlus only promises one OS update for this model, but you get three years of guaranteed security updates. Since Android 15 is on the horizon, you won't get anything beyond Android 14 on the Nord N30. But the phone is still a worthwhile purchase in 2024.

Best premium pick

Sony Xperia 1 V phone cameras

(Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony Xperia 1 V

Best premium pick

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch, OLED, 1B colors, HDR
Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Memory & storage: 12GB RAM, 256GB or 512GB, expandable
Main camera: 48MP wide,12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto
Front camera: 12MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 30W wired charging
Water and dust resistance: IP65/IP68

Reasons to buy

+
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is still fast
+
Strong sub-6 5G support
+
Water and dust resistant IP65/IP68
+
Large 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Software support could be better

Memory card expansion and 3.5mm headphone jacks have become all but extinct in high-end Androids. Good thing Sony doesn't seem to be bothered by what the rest of the industry is doing and has release the Xperia 1 V with both. This phone comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC that was common in flagships from 2023, but it's still plenty powerful for any app you'll find on the app store. It's got 12GB of RAM and ships with 256GB of built-in storage.

Available in either green or black, this is a sleek phone with three cameras on the back. It has a 48MP main cameras with a 12MP telephoto and 12MP ultrawide camera playing backup. Another rarity this phone ships with is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Headphone jacks aren't necessarily a budget feature and many of the best Sony headphones ever made use a wire, so it's nice that Sony has kept it around.

Software support could be better on this phone, though it has been updated to Android 14 already. Sony's phones are often targeted at creators, and if you want to get high-quality video off of your memory card in a hurry, you've also got a USB-C 3.2 port with 5Gbps speeds supported.

Best with stylus

Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) stylus pen menu

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
Best with stylus

Specifications

Display: 6.6-inch, FHD+, 120Hz, LCD
Chipset: Snapdragon 6 Gen 1
Memory & storage: 4GB (carriers)/6GB RAM, 128GB (carriers), 256GB, expandable
Main camera: 50MP wide, 8MP ultrawide
Front camera: 16MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 20W wired charging
Water and dust resistance: Water-repellent

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic design with stylus built-in
+
Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is a great processor
+
Outstanding battery and fast charging
+
Decent 6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz LCD display
+
Three years of security updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Only water-repellent, no IP rating
-
One platform update

Motorola has worked hard to crawl its way to the top. What with its top-tier mid-rangers and excellent folding phone, we're very happy for and with the brand.

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is a superb device with expandable storage because it comes with a stylus. This in itself is a unique feature that's rarely ever seen on phones today. Your best bet is usually the Ultra model under Samsung's S series of the year, but those no longer come with memory card support.

Motorola opted for the pleasing Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset for the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023), so you get consistently decent performance. The device also has a gigantic 5,000mAh battery paired with 20W fast charging, as well as a lovely 6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz LCD display.

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is water-repellant by design, but that isn't backed by any official IP rating. Also, you only get one major Android update. Security updates, on the other hand, are guaranteed for three years.

Best cheap Samsung

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung Galaxy A25

Best cheap Samsung

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Chipset: Exynos 1280
Memory & storage: 6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB, expandable
Main camera: 50MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro
Front camera: 13MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 25W wired charging
Water and dust resistance: None

Reasons to buy

+
6.5-inch 90Hz AMOLED screen
+
Samsung's usual five-year promise regarding updates
+
5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging
+
Decent main camera

Reasons to avoid

-
So-so performance
-
Lacks any IP rating

Craving that signature Samsung look and feel but can't afford much? Don't worry, the Samsung Galaxy A25 5G is a fine choice when hunting for phones with expandable storage. The Galaxy A25 gives you a FHD+ Super AMOLED panel that measures 6.5 inches wide and has an impressive 120Hz screen refresh rate.

Now this is nearly an entry-level device, but it has just enough going for it that it sits a notch above that banner. For instance, the Samsung phone is kept alive by a gigantic 5,000mAh cell. You also get a headphone jack and a 50MP main camera, even though it doesn't hold a candle against the photographic capabilities of the Galaxy S series of Samsung phones.

You get the Exynos 1280 chipset from the old Galaxy A53 5G, which is okay for everyday usage and light multitasking but stutters during intensive gaming sessions. Still, if you must have a cheap Samsung within a very tight budget, the A25 5G is a decent option.

Best value T-Mobile

Nokia G310 used outdoors

(Image credit: HMD)

6. Nokia G310

Best value T-Mobile

Specifications

Display: 6.56-inch IPS LCD
Chipset: Snapdragon 480+ 5G
Memory & storage: 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, expandable
Main camera: 50MP wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
Front camera: 8MP
Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 20W wired charging
Water and dust resistance: Resistant

Reasons to buy

+
Low cost or free with a plan
+
Large 5000mAh battery with 30W charging
+
Support for 5G on T-Mobile
+
Repairable with parts at iFixit

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly slow SoC
-
Not Android 14

HMD, the company that makes Nokia phones, has stayed focused on budget-friendly Androids and it continues to make some of the cheapest new phones available. The G310 is exclusive to T-Mobile carriers in the United States and comes in at well under $200. The Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset not only gives the phone enough power for social media and messaging apps but also full 5G connectivity on T-Mobile's sub-6 5G network.

It has a 50MP main camera on the back for decent pictures in well-lit environments. and a 5000mAh battery that can easily make it to the end of the day. The screen is also a plus with a 6.56-inch IPS LCD running at up to 90Hz. If you like music, you've got a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth. You can even repair this phone with parts available at iFixit.

Keep in mind that this phone is only designed to work with T-Mobile, so bringing it to a Verizon or AT&T-based carrier likely won't work out. Still, for the low price, this phone is a good fit for T-Mobile.

How to choose

With most of the best Android phones moving away from expandable storage, you might think the format is becoming a dying breed, but don't panic just yet. There are still plenty of great phones with microSD support, though the vast majority of them are budget offerings. Grab some of the best microSD cards, and you'll be able to expand your storage with ease.

If you want the absolute best of the best with expandable storage, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. With this stunning phone, you get phenomenal value and rich features like 5G support for any compatible U.S. carrier. That gorgeous 6.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display coupled with stereo speakers is ideal for multimedia consumption. The camera array is also incredibly versatile, allowing you to capture some neat shots in varying conditions. You also get Android 13 out of the box, with four more major OS updates down the line.

In terms of full-blown flagships that offer expandable storage, you're out of luck with the latest releases. You won't find a microSD slot in the Galaxy S24 lineup or the Pixel 8 series. You're better off with mid-range value phones such as the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) or the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. You'll find the internals to be solid in both phones, pushing out smooth performance consistently. Both devices are great hits in the camera and battery departments, too.

Not everyone that wants expandable storage is shopping for a cheap Android phone. The Sony Xperia 1 V is an expensive phone that's hard to recommend over the like of Samsung Galaxy and OnePlus, but it's one of the few high-end phones to keep the memory card expansion around. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack making it a strong pick for content creators, or headphone enthusiasts. 

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Editor — Accessories, speakers, and tablets

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.

With contributions from
  • veesonic
    If you're looking for a high-end phone with expandable storage, the Sony Xperia 1 V is one of your only options.
    Yup, thats the sad state of affairs. Sony Xperia 1 III user here, glad they are keeping SD card, headphone jack, and full screen (no notch/hole punch) alive. Sucks their phones are so expensive.
    Reply