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Do you still use a microSD card with your smartphone?

Just a few years ago, any phone that was released without support for microSD card expansion was ridiculed for offering lesser functionality and often looked down upon. Fast forward to early 2018, and it's been the norm for quite some time to have phones that just don't offer this at all.

Smartphones that are released with 128GB and 256GB of internal storage help to mitigate the loss of microSD support, and as Android Central's Andrew Martonik recently pointed out, it's even possible to get by with just 64GB these days. Even so, there are still a ton of users that need to have this feature.

A few of our forum users recently got into a discussion about whether or not they still use/care about microSD functionality on phones, and these are a few of the responses:

An old 16GB card. Basically the only thing in there are downloaded Spotify music on high quality. I'm looking to buy a 128GB card though. My tablet has a 32GB card full of books, so videos don't fit anymore. Will probably just swap. I'm fine with 32GB internal memory for phone use, but that's not enough for media. 16GB isn't enough to download the music at extreme quality (320kbps). I don't...

chanchan05

I have a 32 GB card in my phone, mostly used for media and I move some apps to it to free more space on the internal storage. I like to have a lot of apps so it's easier to do stuff on the go without dealing with websites and stuff instead.

andersmmg

I have a 128Gb card that holds my entire FLAC music library and a few MP4 movies. Without it there's no way I could carry my music library, as nearly all of it is in FLAC rather than the more-compressed (and crappier-sounding) MP3 format. With the nice DAC in the V20, and good headphones, you can DEFINITELY hear the difference.

tickerguy

I use the 200gb card I got for free when I bought my V10. However, I have always used a card, if the device supported it, for music and other media. For example, when I travel, I download a couple of movies at home for backup entertainment and then I can watch them without streaming. Also, the use of a card makes changing devices much easier. You don't have to reinstall music (time...

LuvMusic

Now, we'd like to pass the question on to you – Do you care about microSD support on phones?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

94 Comments
  • If it has a microSD slot, I'm putting a microSD card in there. Even if I don't necessarily need it, I'm using it.
  • This
  • This ×2
  • I always use a micro s/d. As a matter of fact I won't purchase a phone without one! I use a 128gb micro in my 64gb s8+. Works well for me!
  • Yup.
  • Indeed.
  • You get it.
  • A rarity??? Lol. Besides apple devices and the pixel what other device doesn't have it? You're in the minority here buddy.
  • Huawei have dropped it from their flagships as have OnePlus. Pretty sure someone will chip in and name some more. Phones with expandable storage are now in the minority I'm afraid
  • As long as Samsung, LG and htc keep SD support it'll never be in the minority. None of those you mentioned are even sold by my carrier (T-Mobile). There's nothing wrong with buying unlocked I'm just saying. Besides a 400gb micro SD just hit the market. Memory cards ain't going nowhere on smartphones.
  • Samsung still has it. They make SD cards so you'll probably never see them drop it. LG still has it. Motorola still has it. This article is misleading.
  • Samsung did drop it from their flagships for one year. (Galaxy S6 and Note5)
  • They did and then brought it right back the following year when they realized they screwed up.
  • My 32GB card is used for cache (Pocketcasts, play music, play movies, netflix) as well as all my ROMs for old Nintendo, SNS, Genesis, N64, PS1, GB, GBA, and DS games.
  • I also have a 32GB card in my Moto E4 that is pretty much only used for PocketCast.
  • Still using my card. I save the pictures to it, and a little bit of music to listen to.
  • "a rarity"? I know you people live in delusionland but the VAST MAJORITY of people do NOT use those crappy iPixels you keep making ads for. And all major flagships that actually matter (as well as those that aren't as popular) HAVE a microSD slot.
    In fact, only sh*t phones made to rip off the iPhone lack support for it: iPixels, iPlus One etc.
  • Yup this right here summed it up perfectly.
  • The galaxy s6... Micro SD card slots aren't really a high end feature... They're there so you can compensate for low storage.
  • And Samsung realized the poor decision they made based on what their customers truly want.
  • They realized the negative publicity they got... Bad publicity isn't the same as a bad decision. Anyway, you're sidestepping my point.
  • His point was it was a bad decision on Samsung's part to remove the SD card. Which they promptly brought back to all their devices the following year and have not removed it since.
  • Lol. Harsh but true. At least 80%of Android phones have SD Card slots.
  • Aside from the phones you mentioned I can only think of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro that is actually worth mentioning that doesn't have an SD card slot. Seriously, I wanna see his research that led to that conclusion but then again I think this was the same kid that said that Rootless Pixel Launcher is better than Nova and Action (for the pixel phone) on his headline and failed to compare the three in the article(heck, he failed to even put up a decent argument) so I'm not expecting anything from him.
  • They don't need facts or research. One of them actually said this. Their opinions are better than facts.
  • I have a 128 GB, but I only put my GP Music playlists on it, and YouTube videos/movies before I go on flights. 330 days out of the year, it has less than 20 GBs on it. Definitely not a requirement in a new phone for me anymore.
  • I order my Samsung Note 8 from Korea to have the 256gb storage and the sdcard, because my music librairy fill the 200gb card I have and in Canada our phone provider are all mob related, it's impossible to use a online music repository.
  • SD cards are nice and I get why so many people still use them but I know for me it's useless. Cloud storage is way better. WiFi is everywhere carriers offer unlimited data now I personally will never go back to SD cards. Plus the companies that use SD cards like Samsung and LG their software is garbage. Pixel phones are way better.
  • Must live in a heavily populated area.
  • ...like most people.
  • ....... Some of us live in small towns. Last I checked all people matter.
  • Guessing you don't fly much.
  • To each his own, but I never want to put any of my stuff on someone else's servers. Never used cloud. Never will.
    Just so easy to pull SD car from old phone, stick it in new phone and all my my media is there.
    I back up the card to the laptop in case it fails
  • This 100%.
  • With my 32 GB internal storage phone, there is only about 10 GB free with all my apps installed, but the 128 GB sd card allows me to always keep a couple gigs of offline Google Maps, several gigs of offline music in Google Play Music, maybe a few offline movies in Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Google Play Movies - as well as perhaps a couple more local files in mp4 format. I also regularly use a gps hiking app called Backcountry Navigator and can store several gigs of offline topo map tiles for it. It's really nice to be able to store all this media on the card without having to constantly micromanage the internal storage or worrying about performance being affected once you start getting about 80-90% or more of your storage filled. Pictures are yet another area that can chew up storage, especially on a week long vacation and it's great to be able to keep those on the card as well. I do agree that 64 GB phone might be fine for most people without a sd card, but even then I feel like I would have to keep an eye on it.
    lest the map tiles, music, and photos get out of hand.
  • I completely agree. I have 64GB of storage, and just 40 minutes of 4K video almost filled my available space. I auto upload to my cloud storage, but I wanted to verify these videos uploaded before deleting the local copy. The extra storage for trips is also very handy. My S8+ came with a USB-C to USB adapter if I want to use an external storage device, but I usually don't have that adapter with me.
  • It's nice to be able to have forty or more locally stored movies on your phone or tablet. I stream them to my TV also or a friend's one if I feel like it
  • I haven't used one since the Nexus 4 in 2012... I missed it on that phone because of it's limited storage, but not since. 64GB is enough for me, which is why I have 128.
  • I'm confused. Are you saying you haven't had a card slot since the Nexus 4 or are you saying the 64GB device you now have also has a 128GB card in it?
  • I haven't had an SD card since the Nexus 4. My phone has 128 GB on board, because that's double what I actually need. I can see how it may not have been clear.
  • Unless phones arrive, that pack at least a half a Terabyte of memory, a MicroSD is a must. Bulk data (like music, photos, videos, offline maps) needs space. The oh-so-great cloud storage (see Nextbit Robin - RIP) just doesn't do it, because connectivity can be patchy and unreliable.
  • Micro SD is not rare in 2018.
  • Won't buy a phone without one. Run a 200GB card in my Note8
  • I use a 128GB card in my S8, one of the reasons I woudn't consider a pixel (plus the headphone jack)
  • Yes, I used it just 2 weeks ago when I had to off load 4K videos from the internal storage. I have auto upload to my OneDrive account, but I wanted to verify that they did upload before deleting them. about 30-40 minutes of 4K video almost filled my available space. I won't buy a phone that doesn't have a card slot.
  • The author is misguided! SD cards are not a rarity.
  • In the premium , upper end of the smartphone market, a micro SD storage option matters. It is irrational, or simply stupid, for mobile tech journalists to think their writing will be taken seriously if they argue 64GB internal mobile storage is all you would need, in an age of HD and 4K video. The debate about mobile storage is similar to the debate of battery capacity... Just give me something that will last an entire day of reasonable use. (Hint: a detailed article on mobile video is a good, future idea) A rough estimate is 1 GB of storage is needed to record 3 minutes of 4K video at 30 frames per second. 1 GB of storage is needed to record 5 minutes of 1080p video at 60 frames per second. For an extreme amount of mobile 4K or HD video recording, a user can connect directly to a WiFi portable solid state drive. ........
    Micro SD storage is ideal for long term media storage, such as a music collection. I'll download albums I like from my chosen subscription service and/or collection through WiFi at home. It saves mobile data.... Unlimited data plans are not widespread due to cost, and aren't expected to be widely adopted unti significant price drop occurs once 5G mobile networks are well built out. If... As widely reported about Samsung... 512GB of internal mobile storage becomes a premium smartphone option, then that would be sufficient for 99.9% of users for technology today.
  • I agree with most of what you said except one sentence. " It is irrational, or simply stupid, for mobile tech journalists to think their writing will be taken seriously if they argue 64GB internal mobile storage is all you would need, in an age of HD and 4K video." I don't think it's irrational to say 64GB, even without an SD Card slot is enough. For example, my wife, brother, father and mother all have 64GB and in one case a 32GB phone. Not one of them have filled their phones up. Not one of them record 4k video and heck the video they do record is lucky to be 20 seconds. For them, 64GB is just right. Now for me, 64GB is not enough and I always want an SD slot. (or 256GB internally) I keep all my photos, not just taken with this phone but synced a few years from my one drive account, 1 or 2 games and some downloaded movies for my young daughter. If you are reading this site you are more than likely a power user and phones with 32/64GB and no SD slot are not made for us. They do have their place though.
  • With all due respect, your family members sound like they don't need premium smartphone phones. Apple was the brunt of jokes a few years ago when they first offered a phone that could record UHD 4K video, but with only a built in storage of 16GB... 🤣 I agree there is a well informed, "power user" echo chamber that reads articles here at AC, and elsewhere. Keen, well read mobile users are an exception to the norm. 5G mobile networks are coming in about 3 years... its speed is defined as an amazing 20 GB per second... While most assume a typical network speed of 10 GB per second.... Compare those 5G numbers to, say, a 12 GB per month mobile data plan, today... The need for significant mobile device storage is not decreasing. And this newer era of high spec, high premium mobile phone costs is dramatically slowing consumer upgrades. Eg. Just one phone in one family upgraded every two years in Canada is $1300... Thus 5 upgrades over ten years is $6500. 🤣 It's just not going to happen.... But c'mon... How about a little honestly from the mobile industry? Don't market your phones seriously via camera and video capabilities as anything more than novelties with only a 64GB storage capacity. (Ie. Like Samsung teasing the pending release of their S9 on twitter) https://twitter.com/SamsungMobile/status/956315735982157825
  • No offense taken. No one needs a premium smart phone. No one needs a luxury car or an overly expensive home. Doesn't mean we (collective we) don't enjoy premium. We buy premium because ethey ate just that. We could all get away with the $200 unlocked phone but we don't want to. We want pretty, hip and trendy. Heck, apple, BMW, Tesla etc have all built large successful businesses in this regard. We could all get away with am old motorola razr, but we all like premium so we buy the premium. PS, my wife had to get by with the razr for 3 months about 2 years ago when she dropped her iPhone in the toliet. She survived fine. Ha ha.
  • Tip: The best music subscription services have a setting to save all downloaded media directly to your micro SD card.
  • SD cards are great if you reset your phone a lot or flash OTAs manually. I love having all my media and settings there so I don't have to redownload after a wipe. My pics sync to google photos but not in the original quality so its good to be able to keep the originals. I got a back up plan to the back up plan to back up my back up plan
  • Yes
  • To me, this is a no brainer. If I have it, I'll use it. Plus it makes transferring files directly to my PC a lot easier in many circumstances.
  • Won't buy a device without micro SD card support! The sales of Android devices without micro SD card support is a rarity. Samsung and LG still have and they are by no means a rarity. That pitiful other category in the US market share of Android devices is the rarity..
  • Yeah I would never buy a phone without an SD card. You really weren't meant to store everything on the internal storage anyways. Sure I could get the 128 or 256 gb option, but they always want to change an arm and a leg for that extra storage, so it's definitely cheaper/easier to just get a big SD card. Plus if I get a new phone, I can easily just pop it in that one and all my stuff is instantly available.
  • Always, I have 60gb of music, podcasts and audio books, so need at least a 64gb card. That's also not thinking about photos, videos and apps so ideally 64gb internal storage minimum.
  • My dual sim phone supports expandable memory, but even then I got a 128GB model specifically so that I could use a second SIM and not have to compromise on storage. I intend on continuing with this strategy on future phones.
  • Mostly for music and video storage
  • I have a Oneplus 5 that has 125 GB storage and no slot, so no, I don't use one in it. However, I have 128 GB and 200 GB cards in my Honor 8 and LG 5. As stated before me, if it has a slot, I have an SD card in it! Use it for music, movies, audiobooks, etc. That way I can leave more room on the main drive so it runs better and I don't have to worry about cleaning out the cache so often.
  • Yup, I still use one....and I want one in my next phone as well.
  • What a silly question lol
  • Yes, I absolutely care about an SD card. I use a 64 GB card to store my pictures, videos Amazon Music and Audio books.
  • I've never owned a pixel or an iphone and the micro sd and headphone jack are why I haven't. I could do without both but why? I don't have to, so I won't. Micro sd cards are too convenient. Want to switch to your backup phone for something different for a while, put your micro sd in that phone and away you go. All your music, videos, pictures and what ever else you like to keep on hand. Micro sd cards are handy. There not perfect but like anything, you keep them backed up to the cloud as well. Just my .02
  • Use a 64 gb card with my Galaxy S7 active.
  • Yup. Store books, music, and podcasts. Easily transferred to a new phone, and safe during a factory reset.
  • I have a microSD card installed in my Moto X4, but I'm NOT using it.
  • I prefer more on board storage. I don't do much with music or video but I like lots of apps and they don't work as well off of sd card.
  • I'm missing the SD card support on my Note 5 so badly. I constantly need to erase stuff on my device to make room for new stuff. That's ridiculous. On my next phone I only go for a phone with SD card support. It's a MOST for me
  • I still use a MicroSD card for music, photos, movies, data files, etc.
  • No, I haven't used a microSD card in years. I considered it to take advantage of the adoptable storage feature, but I had concerns about slower performance, card corruption, etc.
  • Absolutely have, use, and require it. Main reason I'm rejecting the Pixel 2 is because it's not there. I store a LOT of photography on there, both new pictures and stuff that's been edited. Your connection always goes out right after you say "let me show you something I shot last week."
  • 256gb card in Note 8.
  • I was fine with my 64GB Note 5 without expandable memory. Now I use a 128 GB in my Note 8 and wonder how I ever got along with only 64gigs! So, yes, micro SD is a must!
  • Of course, I use a microSD card with my phone. That way, I can put my personal files on it without using the internal storage on my phone.
  • Of course! I have a 256GB card, and I keep my entire 54 GB / 9,000 song MP3 collection on there... Plus it's where I record my photos and videos to. I've taken 7,166 pics/videos (and 1,292 screenshots) with my phone since April... And yet I'm still not even close to having to worry about running out of storage yet! Imagine if I only had a phone with 64GB internal and no SD slot!?!
  • 64 gb internal storage is actually not enough. Manufacturers who exclude the micro sd slot or the headphone jack are forcing the consumers to involuntarily compromise. The choice should be in the hands of the consumer.
  • Every phone or tablet I've had before this year has had no Micro SD card support (two Nexus tablets, a Nexus 4, and a 2014 Moto X). My Moto X4 has it, and I'm just using it to store media and music.
  • I miss polls like we used to have.
  • Absolutely. I always have an SD card in my phone. I put my music and pictures on there so I don't need to worry about either losing them in a factory reset or if i get a new phone, having to transfer them all over.
  • Oh yeah, 128gb.need it for music music library that contains a whole lot of high res flac files and full length movies. Of course it's in my V30. The best for music.
  • Yes I do I have a 256 GB card almost full I use it to store some music and mostly digital comics do not have to worry about paying for a cloud service nor worry about using up my data to transfer files..
  • Having expandable storage is a must for me. I'm on my 2nd 200GB card recording the antics of my 5 grandchildren in HD. I may have plenty of space on my device for my apps and games with 32GB, but that's no where near enough to capture all those precious moments with family.
    MicroSD will evolve into something faster and more stable in the not too distant future too. When that happens, on board storage volume will become much less of a selling point in lieu of being able to expand based on the individual needs of the consumer. But that is a whole nuther chat point.
  • What do you mean "still"?! What is up with these ridiculously stupid articles/questions?!
  • Ya know... I was thinking the same thing... Lol
  • How do the phones without card slot handle user data in case of a factory reset? Phones with card keep the data on the card which is good. Card is also nice when switching phones, just switch the card and all your data is in. I currently have 32 GB internal and a 64 GB card. You tend out to run out of space so it is good to have expansion capability so you do not need to switch phones when you run out. Also the card slot prevents manufacturers for giving a cheap model with too little storage and then charging excessively for model with enough memory,.
  • Exactly! It's not just about the amount of storage alone, it's about not having to back up / transfer data when resetting on changing phones.
  • Have it and use it for all my media. Issue with cloud storage is that it's not there when I'm not connected. For some people that is never an issue. I have unlimited everything on my plan, but am frequently out of range for cellular data and secure wifi.
  • Definitely Yes! As long as there's a card slot, I Will Keep Using Storage Cards!
  • "Do you still use a microSD card with your smartphone?" Yes. Next question?
  • Yes, absolutely. If a phone does not have an SD card slot, it does not deserve my attention. It's not about the amount of storage either, but about SECONDARY storage and REMOVABLE storage. I have 3 SSDs in my PC as well. I'd be damned if someone forced me to keep my documents and OS in the same drive.
  • Absolutely need it and have always used one for misc files, photos, books, my entire music collection, backups, etc. Wouldn't buy a phone without one. Just last week I had a major problem with my phone where I had to reinstall firmware using the firmware file that I put on my SD card. And since all my important files are on my SD card there was no important loss of data. And when I need to temporarily switch phones or buy a new one swapping the card is as easy as it gets. That's fine that some phone users don't need one, but for those who use it for more than just a communication device expandable, removable storage is a must.
  • No. The last phone I used an SD card with was an original HTC Desire. I keep replacable stuff like music and downloaded files locally in the 64GB onboard storage and everything important is synced to a cloud services. I see zero need for removable storage.
  • This site seems to be more and more a Google PR site. I have not heard anything negative about Google. Any reported Pixel problems are always either User error or slight misunderstandings and Google will take care of the problem. Now this piece of Google PR. Everyone in Android knows Google hates expanded memory. They assume everyone has unlimited data and should use the cloud 100% of the time. Lets see - what phones that once had SD Cards no longer have SD Card Slots.
    Still waiting for an answer - come on you said phones are dropping support. Lets look at the facts:
    Pixels - Never had SD Card slots - they do not qualify
    OnePlus - They never had SD Card slots
    Essential - Never had SD Card slots Samsung - S6 and Note 5 dropped support. Support for SD Cards added back to all future models.
    HTC - M7 - Removed slot for NA and Europe Model - Support for SD Cards added back to all future models.
    Moto - Removed SD Card Slot when owned by Google - Support for SD Cards added back to all future models.
    LG - Supports SD Cards
    Sony - Supports SD cards
    Huawei - Supports SD Cards From my simple looking around Companies are ADDING SD Card support NOT dropping support. I know this is not the message Google wants to send.