Poll: Do you care if your smartphone has a microSD card slot?

Micro Sd Card Hero
Micro Sd Card Hero (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Android Central)

With 2022 on the horizon, there still seems to be a divide when it comes to storage. Many of the best Android phones don't offer microSD slots like the Galaxy S21 series and even the Google Pixel 6 series. However, there are still plenty of devices that support expandable storage, especially on the lower-end.

We at Android central want to know if expandable storage is essential to you when buying a smartphone.

With our growing dependence on the cloud, one might say that smartphone SD card slots are going the way of the 3.5mm headphone jack and are headed out the door. Additionally, more smartphones come with 128GB of internal storage and more, which is plenty for the average user.

However, power users might require more storage and can either shell out the extra dough for a higher-storage option, pay for one of the best microSD cards for devices that support it, or pay for cloud storage. And, of course, there's the matter of access. Cloud services are often subject to the servers that run them, and outages can prevent users from accessing their files.

SD cards are generally preferred for creators as it makes it a bit easier to move and access large files from a computer. Devices like the Sony Xperia Pro-I understandably include support for expandable storage.

Comment below and let us know what you think about whether or not phones should still include microSD support.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • With 128 gb being minimum, and 256 being standard forbuilt in storage, micro sd's have lost their importance to me.
  • but imagine having that same phone offered in a 64GB option for well under $700 but it has an SD Card slot where you add 256GB for $40 instead of $400.
  • I'm very happy with the cloud storage backup options. I just wish it was even cheaper so that it felt like my storage capacity was almost unlimited. But I feel like cloud storage will become a utility expense, similar to how we pay for internet.
  • Call me old school, but after this past week's outages, and the fact that my Note will take a lot more than a 256 SD card even though that's supposed to be the max, I'll keep the SD for as long as I can.
  • Naw I have 256+gbs of music on my sd card I need my expansion storage. I always have to have a sd slot. Unless I get a phone specifically for phone and video content then I'll just upload it to the cloud
  • I definitely need the expansion, I record a lot of videos of my kids sports in 4k 60fps, that and some video games that are 10GB each, I pretty much used 200/256GB on my Note and my 256GB SD card is almost maxed out too. I need a TB!
  • Definitely have to have one for MY music and pictures. Anything else is just rented space and really not ones own anymore. Its a way OEM's have leveraged even more profits. I have OneDrive and Amazon Prime. Other than that I am DONE with subscriptions. I do have OneDrive for our business so do back up some items there but I also did fine with a 1TB back up prior to more or less being forced to One Drive from Microsoft. And Google pulled a bait and switch with their Photos back up limitations so I just keep what was there and don't really us it much anymore. I am certainly not paying additionally there. Amazon stores unlimited Photos still (not video) but at the cost of that subscription as well.
  • I think the most important reason to keep micro SD card is if the phone dies you lose your data (most VIP photos). Raise your hand if this has happened to you. From what I observed, people seldom off load photos or backup. Of course cloud backup is great, if you have connection and don't run out of cloud space. Having to purge or pay more for storage is a pain. One example, the loss of Google's unlimited photo free storage space. With standards pushing for higher resolution in photos and videos storage demand increases. Now lets have a poll/discussion about 3.5mm audio jack another item I hate seeing go.
  • An SD card can be Make or Break for me..
    I'm constantly snapping pictures of my grandkids - not going to be saving 200+/- pictures of an event with them to the cloud... I do have and use a 2 TB external drive to offload the MicroSD card as it fills - that drive is linked to my NAS - and is only used for photos and videos
  • Memory carda are cheaper than having more storage on smartphones; Google and Apple want users to purchase their cloud storage plans to store photos/videos instead of offering expandable memory options...instead of offering bigger storage on phones
  • I swap devices a few times during the year. SD card slot is a must have. I also use the card for backups too as well as a PC.
  • The issue is that android support for sdcard is. just. bad. And using it as expansion for internal storage, when most apps are not moveable, or when moved, work badly (cache and data still go into internal storage!). And then they even changed the way this worked when going from android 10 to android 11, causing major issues on the upgrade. They knew this in advance and still allowed phones to come out with 16GB of internal storage, when project treble eats easily 12-13GB of it. Google is the culprit here, I remember my times of windows phone, and using a sdcard worked like a charm.
  • Agreed. All my previous experience with SD cards in Android phones and tablets has been pretty poor. If you're just keeping static media on it it's not terrible, but trying to move apps to the SD card is a pain. And don't get me started about moving apps to the SD card combined with multiple profiles *cough*Kindle Fire tablets for my kids*cough*. If a device has an SD card slot, I'll probably put a card in there, but it would be much more of a "have to have" feature if Android supported it better.
  • I'm glad HTC got it right. No storage problems in eight years, and I love not having my video files split into 4gb chunks.
  • No. Between the internal storage and the ability to backup to Google Drive, I don't see the need for a SD card slot.
  • Yes. I won't buy a phone without it. I have near 400gb of music on my card. I'd rather use that than streaming when I'm in the car, especially if I have to pay extra for the ability to stream my own music from a "free" service.
  • Oh my days, is it even 2012, bruv?
  • the cloud is not yet close/fast enough to not have local storage of significance. what is significant is up to the consumer, but 128gb minimum is very minimal. a coworker is still waiting for his 6pro 512gb. i didn't want to spend $200 more or still be waiting.
  • I like being able to do the occasional factory reset without worrying about my music and pictures.
  • I think I definitely need the option unless the phone has otg capabilities. I need that physical copy for a security blanket I suppose. But i forget passwords too much to trust all of my media to anything like that. It's sad I know but I feel better that way. Lmfao
  • Password manager will fix that!
  • The real question should be, what phones still have support for microSD? Most current flagship phones don't have them anymore. The Pixel never had them and Samsung removed them this year with the S21 line. MicroSD card support only exists now in lower end phones nowadays where they skimp on onboard storage. I'm holding on to my Galaxy S20+ for now which still supports microSD.
  • I will not buy a phone without it, which is why I haven't upgraded my Note 20 Ultra. I have almost completely used my 128gigs of internal memory and my 256 micro SD card.
  • I wouldn't care, if OEMs offered adequate storage options. Samsung can't even match the iPhone's 1TB offering. Not very "ultra" if you ask me. And prices keep climbing, as features keep vanishing. The S22 Note is already DOA.
  • I am disappointed Samsung isnt going to match the iphones 1TB. Samsung has always lead that category, the S5 offered 128GB..hard to believe still same storage is offered on the S22 Ultra. Just wierd how Samsung backed off on this spec cause there was a S10 Ceramic that had 1TB.
  • Especially when the Samsung S21U shoots 4k at 60fps on call cameras and 8k video but only offers 128GB! Doesn't make sense.
    Apple had no choice to offer a 1TB, 1 min of ProRes video is like 5GB!!
  • The cloud, skynet.......the same
  • Important fact is you know, before purchasing, if the phone has a SD card reader or not. Need one, move on to another brand. If no more brands are available...your problem not mine. Many things I like are no longer made; I learned to live with it.
  • Cloud is slow and unreliable. On board storage is fine, but what happens when you are filming a video project and run out of space? I already know what happens. Been there, done that. Then there's the option of just buying more on board storage, which will likely spend its life never being fully utilized. With microSD, you can film an entire project and hand the card to the media editor.
  • No, I haven't used a microSD card in a long time. I get that it's useful for some people, though.
  • An SD card is a must for me. I have over 80 GB of music plus another 50 GB of pictures & videos that I've saved. This is exactly why I can't get rid of my Note 10 Plus. I'm going to keep this phone for quite a while just because of the micro SD card slot.
  • I'll always want an SD card. There's just something about the idea of using a device's internal storage for file storage that I don't like. And, as I noted in the poll about cloud storage, I don't trust that either. I like to keep personal files on an SD card - whether it's random documents (I don't keep really personal stuff, just stuff I like to have access to like construction code books, past project files, but nothing sensitive), music, and photos. I keep those all backed up on my PC and other medium, as well as some things on OneDrive. But I prefer to keep all that on an SD card so I can move it to another device when I change devices. Plus, should something weird happen to the phone that requires a wipe for whatever reason, there goes everything on internal memory. SD cards don't get touched. That's just how I handle it.
  • The only problem I have with my zfold 3 is the 512 limit I watch movies and streaming is annoying in many locations plus if I am streaming music while driving if you leave the city and put music on in the forest you have drop outs! I wanted a minimum of a terabyte with my z fold 3
  • Since my first smartphone I've always make sure to by a phone with expendable storage (for me the 128gb base stoage is far from enough), now when it become rare and it barley an option I bought in the blackfriday sales a 1TB tiny portable SSD (Samsung T7) that at list I can backup my files at any time and not be limited in my option to a new phone in 2022.
  • I need that extra storage. I store the files from my past devices on the SD card. I back up my phone to SD regularly. While I use multiple cloud storage accounts, I like redundancy with anything storing electronic files. Anything a cloud can do a cloud and SD can do better.
  • I do care, I won't buy a phone if I can't use a microSD card, I have max'd out my 400GB and I'm about to get a 1TB
  • As someone who has entire libraries of video game systems collected, being able to store them on my phone to emulate is of the highest importance to me. I passed on both the Google pixel 6 pro and the new Samsung s21 because they do not support SD cards. It was a Sony Xperia 1 iii for me with the SD card support being the biggest driver. 1 TB is barely just adequate anymore and that is top of the line SD cards. That these companies don't support the expansion is inexcusable and they will never see any of my money going forward. Heck, I honestly wish they would have a slot for two of them and here they are cutting them out entirely. Horrible.
  • Of course I would mind,
    This month my OP 9 fell face down, device screen was of no use anymore,
    Tons of data, Video and Pictures inside my device were likely to be wiped If I just sent it for service.
    Being a bit tech savvy, I used my hdmi+charging docking station for my Samsung
    and thankfully with a usb keyboard and a usb key I was able to backup my precious memories.
    If my pictures/videos were stored at an external storage (SD Card) I would remove and toss to service no second thoughts. The same applies for many scenarios Involving a device, a romantic disaster and a tragic loss (of device parts at the accident). My worst disaster so far was a Galaxy 10 with failed OS upgrade completely bricked, so I changed to Galaxy Note 10 Plus. SD Cards and in general external/removable media in smart devices are VERY much needed for the extra peace of mind just in case..
  • Kind of a reminder to back up stuff before you drop your phone.
  • YES!!!!!!
    I care that the Micro SDXC Card is able to be installed in Any Phone and to be transferred between Phones.
    On board storage is Great but Larger Storage Options are NEEDED!
    Even if Larger Storage Options are not available above 512GB then some peoples phones WILL get filled up and then either stuff Will have to be deleted or kept in the Cloud.
    Cloud Storage is ok for most but what about for those who get either spotty service or No Cell Signal and they are not near any WiFi, they have NO ACCESS to their Own Information.
    If You have a Storage Card, then even if Your Phone is Full and in Airplane Mode and or No Signal, You WILL Have Access to Your Information on the Micro SDXC Card.
  • Phones have Matured and have Higher Specs for their Cameras and Connections which means that We WILL Consume Significantly More Data than previously.
    Manufacturers want More Profit for less upgrades and keep some specifications very limited as in Onboard Storage.
    10 Years ago there were a LOT of people that had said that 128GB was TOO Much storage for them to ever use.
    I bet that those people NOW will say that 128GB is either enough or not near enough storage for them.
    More and More People Want 1TB or More on their Phones and are Willing to pay a reasonable amount More for that but can't.
    The Only other Option is for the Micro SDXC Card of 1TB to be added.
    As technology advances, the 1TB Card will no longer be the Largest Micro SDXC Card to Install.
    There Will be 1.5TB and 2TB Micro SDXC Cards eventually and their Prices will also eventually become reasonable for a Lot of People to choose to Install in their Phones that have Limited Storage Options.
  • You know there are more options than delete and cloud.
  • Oh I definitely care! I don't want all my memories stuck in some cloud that not only do I get charged extra for but don't have immediate uninhibited access too. I want my SD storage. Y'all can have that cloud BS
  • Absolutely, I use my phone for everything, and my 128GB + 400 GB SD card still makes me feel claustrophobic with just 80GB left.
    I woulda went 512GB but I prioritized speed over storage and the 400GB "Extreme" card was the only one advertised at the time that could write 80MB/s, while all the others advertised 30-40MB/s. Well, when you have 6,000 MP3s, 42 movies downloaded, PS2 and Wii games that can use 3-4GB each, and 3DS and PSP games that are 1-2 GB each. As well as games like Genshin Impact, Honkai Impact, and Call of Duty demanding 10-20GB of storage... Then you start to prioritize speed when it comes to large and plentiful data copying/moving. I'd have my eye on the SanDisk extreme A2 U3 1TB with an advertised write of 120 MB/s if it didn't cost $259.99
  • My SD cards used to fail constantly so I stopped using them around the time the S7 edge was out. The S6 edge showed me I didn't really need an SD card and after giving them up on the S7 edge, I haven't gone back.
  • "Growing dependence on the cloud"? This is A RESULT OF having no SD card slot, no because we choose it over local expandable storage. I absolutely care about having an SD card slot and it is in fact one of the reasons why I am still holding on to my LG G7. As nice as cloud storage is, it is not a practical solution for everyone, mainly those with spotty internet or who take a lot of video on their phone and need immediate storage space and not have to be constantly erasing things.
  • Trending storage options leave me feeling claustrophobic. 256GB considered generous or robust? Please. One attractive feature of the Note20 Ultra 512GB model is that it also allows for a micro SD card. That's what I have with a 1TB micro SD card. For some d@mn reason I've got 512GB (or a bit more) of keepsake media that I must have in my pocket wherever I go. That's just how things have evolved over the years. If Samsung is going to delete micro SD card slots without a care for storage devotees such as myself then they had better look to 1TB being the minimum storage option. I'm hoping to get a Z Fold 5 in '23 but if there's no 1TB option I'll just throw in the towel and get a serviceable phone that's in-vogue right then in a couple of years. I'll hold onto my Note10 Plus and Note20 Ultra and wring as much use from them as possible. All of my fussiness comes from being a spoiled Note owner. I don't really count the emasculated Note 5 as a Note and then we were treated to the unfortunate Note7 debacle one year after the Note 5 landed with a thud. I came to expect that specifications and storage would just keep scaling up and up. I found that it didn't work that way.
  • I do now, I downgraded to a S20 for a microsd slot for my 1 tb. I have a "newer" 2021 phone that doesn't have one, I used a 1 tb usb flash drive and I had to buy a "Linux" mounting software to recognize the hardware, long story short, it kinda works but really sucks. I've heard that when 20 gb drives were reached in 1998, people were declaring, "20 gb is everything a person will ever need" BC old peeps would rather use phone booths doesn't mean everyone else does.
    I have tons of media. I have a cloud but not always available when out camping or mtn hiking 🤔
  • Yea, and nobody needs more than 640K of RAM. Things change, and it has nothing to do with age. I have given up on expecting SD slots in flagships, though, I'd like it. I have also learned how to manage my internal memory. I don't need everything I one with me constantly. Important pictures/videos don't live only there. They are pulled off and backed up, so I find I don't need all that much. Hopefully you are backing up that TB SD. they do fail.
  • Yes! I do care. I specifically look for smartphones with expandable storage (MicroSD) slot. That is why I purchased every Asus Zenfone since 2015 starting with Zenfone 2 and ending with Zenfone 5z. But I DID NOT purchase the Asus Zenfone 8 last year because it's missing expandable storage. As a cyber security person, I know the risks of depending on cloud storage. That it's why I prefer physical storage.
  • No SD card means no sale. I have 1.5TB and I use it well. With applications, phone manufacturer's, and OS developers pushing you into using cloud storage for a subscription more and more, and restricted access to certain files and folders on grounds of security, especially when that security reason is of tenuous grounds, the need for an SD card slot is more important than ever. Buying home based SSD storage is essential to ensure free access to practically unlimited storage is very economical in the long run.
  • I most definitely care about having my MicroSD slot! I have avoided upgrading my phone because of the fact that the new Samsung flagship phones haven't included the MicroSD slot. I take a lot of pictures and videos and love being able to access them when I want. Not only that, but I also own a lot of music and movies (whether my own edits or theatric releases) that I also love carrying with me. It's just peace of mind knowing that I can take all my content with me, and not worry about my phone running out of storage quickly. And yes, I know there are a multitude of cloud options, which I also use; but I like having my files locally. They're more reliable, and faster. Yes please keep/add a MicroSD slot! Jay
  • Storage options are becoming more robust but at the expense of inflated prices. Being able to double or triple your storage at the fraction of the price for an newer phone with 256G or 512g is insane you have to spend near $1500 for a top phone to get that storage On amazon right now you get can San Disk 256GB card SDXC U3 class for under $40.
  • I prefer a microsd card. Between family occasions for movie taking or listening to my music catalog expanded storage on micro card is a plus for me. No cloud to have service go out when trying to retrieve or listen. Phone must have expandable memory for me.
  • Yes I would prefer my phone had a micro SD slot. 256gb for $40.00 is increadable.
  • Like the article mentioned, I slightly prefer SD cards since they allow easier photo and video transfer, but if a phone has adequate storage (256 GB minimum for me) it's not a deal breaker. I have a much stronger preference for a headphone jack, since that allows not only wired headphones but easier mic input when I'm recoding with my phone (which I do quite a bit!).
  • Size matters! I just upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S20+ because I refuse to purchase what I consider an inferior phone if it lacks expandable storage. My external card has 512 GB while my onboard is only 128 GB. I will purchase a lower end phone if that is what is required to keep my expandable storage.
  • I won't by ANY phone that DOES NOT have expandable storage. I don't care how good a phone is, if I can't store my content on it locally and store it in a way that allows me too move it off a device if said device breaks, then it's not worth anything to me.
  • Apple can go jump off a cliff for all I care. I won't be buying any phone that doesn't have a headphone jack and a micro SD slot--and no thanks to them, that's getting more and more difficult to do.. Considering all my music catalog is basically high-storage DSD, that means I'll pretty much be buying LG's on Android NINE (last pure DSD playback OS) until they're no longer available.
  • For me, it's simply a requirement. Why are Apple iPhones not even a consideration? No microSD slot. Android models without? Out of the running. Flexibility in storage is simply a mandatory feature.
  • Any phone or tablet I buy MUST HAVE EXPANDABLE STORAGE! Here is why: Using Cloud Storage is a mistake, there is an old saying: "Possession is 9/10ths of the law." If you walk up to a stranger and hand him or her a thousand dollars telling them you will be back for the money in a few hours, would you REALLY expect them to be there when you return, or give the money back to you if they actually were still there when you got back, the odds of you getting that money back are pretty slim at best. In this example you just walked up to someone you don't know and gave them a gift, if you want it back and they refuse you could call the cops, the cops show up and ask the stranger if he has your money, the stranger says all the money I have is mine, the cops can only tell the stranger to have a nice day and tell you that as well. You are only getting that money back if that stranger is REALLY nice and in a good mood. Basically, by using Cloud Storage you are in effect giving your personal files to some stranger to hold onto for you, how do you know that that stranger will actually return them to you when you ask for them back? How do you know that stranger didn't go looking through those files to see if you were into any interesting hobbies? How do you know he didn't make copies of your files to sell to potentially interested parties? If Law Enforcement demands copies of all files under the stranger's control, they will likely just hand everything over and may not even be required to inform you that they did so. Even if you encrypt all your files before sending them to the Cloud, people other than you and those you give permission to now have access to YOUR DATA, all they need to do is make a copy of your files and spend the necessary time and effort to decrypt that copy, if your encryption actually destroys the file upon a failed decrypt attempt they still have your stored file so they can just keep making copies and attempt decryption until they get it right. Even if the Cloud Service tracks access and copy attempts the odds are those numbers are only tracked on the front end, the end you, the customer can see, not the back end, Service Side. The reason for that is redundency, the Cloud Servers make multiple copies of your data and stored in different locations so you are covered in case of hardware failure on their end, every time you add or remove something from your file on their server all those redundant files are updated, tracking all those extra copies made and sent to other friendly storage servers isn't tracked because those numbers can quickly hit millions or billions just due to routine customer use and basic server drive maintence. Because of the lack of Back End Tracking, the people working for the Cloud Service have unlimited access to your data, after all, you GAVE IT TO THEM. If you can't pay your bill on time the Cloud Service can deny you access to your data, they NEVER have to allow you access your data again once you miss one payment. If you change your device to one the Cloud Service doesn't recognize or forget your password you could permanently lose access to your data. If the Cloud Service gets hacked, you might never know that someone stole your