As smartphone storage capacity grows on average with each passing year, many manufacturers have begun to abandon the microSD card slot on flagship handsets. Google itself has taken multiple opportunities to trash expandable storage as a "messy" feature that, from the standpoint of the people who actually develop Android as a profession, is not worth the problems it creates.

This has been a major point of contention between Android enthusiasts and Google, particularly when it comes Nexus devices. Not since the Nexus One has a Nexus-branded handset or tablet been equipped with expandable storage, and Google has shown no sign of backpedaling on its hardline stance. At this point, the alleged technical complexities probably don't even matter - it's obvious Google holds a philosophical grudge against the SD card, and that it does not plan on "seeing the light" any time soon.

Manufacturers, however, have largely ignored Google's crusade on the pinky-sized storage device. Sony, LG, and perhaps most notably, Samsung, continue to ship most of their high-end phones with microSD slots, with Samsung having become the poster child for "user choice" in this debate. It has even recently updated the Galaxy S4 with the legacy apps to SD support that Google abandoned after Android 4.0.

However, I would wager that the OEMs still hanging onto the SD card slot option do so largely as a way to punt on the question of included internal storage. A microSD slot is much cheaper than adding another 16GB of space to a device, and it leaves buyers to bear the cost of increasing storage. Rather than risk producing a second model of handset with 32GB of included storage that may not actually sell (or paying to up the entry-level model to 32GB), it is far easier to include that microSD slot and point to it dismissively when complaints about capacity arise.

Samsung is somewhat of a rarity here, in that it does produce a 32GB version of the Galaxy S4 (and supposedly a 64GB edition may go on sale internationally), but in the US, two of the four major wireless carriers have simply chosen not to stock it - probably because it wouldn't sell very well. It will be interesting to see if the much-hyped Moto X has a microSD card slot, being the first piece of hardware developed by a Google-owned Motorola.

As the owner of a 32GB HTC One, I can't say I miss the SD card slot. I don't store much music locally (what is stored locally is just streaming cache), or keep many large games or videos on my phone at any one time. Even most 16GB handsets don't make me feel the storage crunch all that much.

So, when it comes down to it, where do you stand on the issue of microSD cards? Are they necessary no matter what? Is there a threshold at which you'll be willing to give it up? I've attempted to include a variety of choices in the poll below, so cast your vote and let your view be known in the comments.

When is a microSD card slot necessary on a smartphone?

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

    I dont think it needs it. i don't really miss it at all on my Galaxy Nexus. but it IS a nice feature. I wouldn't turn it down. But required? i dont think so.

  • Brian

    Different strokes for different folks. Everything I need is in the cloud. I know that doesn't work for everyone (data caps or poor data connection), so I can totally see how some people rely on them.

    • Jean-Claude

      I am in Lebanon where the internet here is probably the slowest in the world (I'm not kidding). That's why I can't put anything on cloud storage although I wish I could.

  • Jean-Claude

    The Xperia SP that I'm buying next week has only 8 GB of storage which is driving me mad... Without a microSD card option in it I wouldn't have even thought of buying it. And I'm switching from a One X where I have 32 GB where I am enjoying sort of "Unlimited Storage".

  • Nick Schiwy

    I think people are just scared to give cloud storage a chance. I've been using my 16GB Nexus 4 since January and I've never had a problem with running out of space. Before I get blasted for no reason, I listen to music non-stop (Google Play All Access) and have as many apps on this phone as any past phone and the only reason I delete apps is when I don't use them anymore.

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      when cell phones have capped data and home internet lines have capped data i'll pass on cloud every second of the day. Also you can not beat the speeds of having data on hand

      • Ernie Manning

        completely agree! who wants to sit there and pay carriers to stream/download what I already own? No thanks.

    • nagi

      I gave it a chance. In some countries, the prices of mobile internet are just insane. (well, unless you are OK with 16kbit mp3 from the cloud, because that is the speed you get after you hit the crazy low limit.) So here, we actually NEED storage if we want to have things available.

    • Brian Dyce

      you have the option of a decently priced data plan in order to use cloud storage. would you pay $15/MB when you go over a 1gb/$30/mo data plan? I think not.

  • rooly

    expandable storage will always be necessary as long as some device makers think it is reasonable to charge an extra 100$ for the next storage size up, and start mobile devices out with a severly gimped 8 or 16 gb of space.

    when I can buy a brand new device worth 600$ and get 64GB of internal memory as a baseline with options for 128 or more, then expandable storage will become unnecessary. Until then I refuse to buy an over priced product with artificually limited storage space

  • Ruben Martinez Jr.

    I have a MicroSD card but I don't need it. In other words, I appreciate the expandable storage option and wish to keep having it, but I, personally, do not absolutely need it. Almost all my content is stored in the cloud, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

  • Shane Phillips

    When there's less than 16GB of storage, absolutely. On a phone with more than 16GB I would only buy an external card if I started eating all the phone's space

    • Matt

      What about the middle region...if there's exactly 16GB of storage.

      • Trevor Kinsie

        I have the 16 GB, Nexus 4 and I don't see it as much of a problem. I use a lot of Google Cloud services, so it suits my needs well.

        • Matt

          I do as well, but I frequently find myself with <2 GB free (whether it's Google Music caching, Titanium Backups, nandroid, Play Magazines, etc.). I have to regularly clear cache or clear Music/Magazines to make room. If it were a 32 GB phone, I'd have no need for an SD card. However, I wouldn't want an SD card...just larger internal storage.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

            On my Nexus 4, if I'm running out of space, then it means I need to go delete some nandroids. ;-)

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            Keep the Nandroids on your desktop.

          • CoolCustomer

            As well as the apps you back up via Titanium, if it isn't something you use frequently, don't keep it on your phone.

          • CoolCustomer

            Well part of the problem is keeping nandroid and titanium backups on your phone. Save those to your home computer, chances are if you are doing any rom changes and what not you wouldn't be doing them away from home (or your personal computer) and that isn't the kind of thing anyone needs on-demand, also they are large as hell.

          • Matt

            I don't actually keep nandroids at all, but I'm also a pretty heavy flasher (once a week or more) so it makes sense to keep it on my phone to minimize wasted time transferring files, etc. If I was really, really low on space I'd consider it. Right now, it's not a big deal.

      • Shane Phillips

        If there's exactly 16GB I would probably still buy a 16GB card

    • Vijesh Yechury

      What about changing phones?How will you transfer 5GB of videos and photos shot from your old phone? Also, what about backup during rooting? Where will you store it? Again, streaming is the worst option as it destroys your battery backup. You will have to charge twice a day if you use excess internet

  • Sean

    Having stuff in the cloud is all well and good, but that takes up data that many people (myself included) don't have limitless amounts of.

  • Daniel DS

    I have an I9100 and the only uses I have with my MicroSD are NANDROID backups and a few flashable zips

  • http://www.srossmktg.com/ Spencer Ross

    I think back to my first iPod, c.2003. Bought it with the idea that I would never fill 15GB of music, even if I had 15GB of music. I was wrong, and constantly played the "storage shuffle". Just as a digital copy is no replacement for a book/CD, the cloud is no replacement for extra storage.

    Yes, I can remove all the bloatware, but if the phone comes with 16 or even 32GB, why should I assume to stick to the internal limits when I could do so much more with a cheap microSD?

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

      Because the 64GB version w/o an SD Card would have likely cost them the same amount as your 16GB version with an SD Card?

      • David Loman

        Not true. The jump from a 16gb S4 to a 64gb S4 is over 100 USD. A 32 GB exterior SD card is like 30-40 bucks

        • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

          Very much true. I said it's what it would cost *them* and not what it would cost *you*. While it's not currently true, these two things *should* be the same(ish).

          • David Loman

            Ohh totally man. It must cost them like a dollar to "expand" the memory and they charge us over 100 USD for an extra 16gb. That's just nuts. I'm over at Mexico City and we never got an S3 with over 16gb of storage through any carrier. You either have to buy it unlocked from the US or our local Ebay or just get an external SD. Myself I have a Note 2 with Phoenix ROM and I have my external 64 micro SDXC card setup as the local storage and the internal as the external memory and it works beautifully. As long as we keep getting short storage phones through our carriers, I will keep using micro SD cards. Sadly, Samsung announced a 16,32 and 64 GB S4 model buy so far I haven't seen any 32gb model.

        • Mikkel Georgsen

          Actually we are talking ~$10 including all components in difference from 32 to 64GB for the manufacturer.

          • Cerberus_tm

            According to the tear-down of the Iphone 5 published last year, a GB of internal memory costs about € 0.50, or US$ 0.63, for manufacturers. So that is US$ 20 for 32 GB extra.

          • Mikkel Georgsen

            Depends on the chip - here are the current prices and an article about the price drop.



            Todays prices it would be ~$11 for 32GB.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Wow, that is even better than I thought! Let's hope one day we get to "assemble" our own phones through a Chinese website...

          • Mikkel Georgsen

            Yea because iPhones aren't made in China lol

          • Cerberus_tm

            Umm I was actually serious. I would really like to pick the parts of my own smartphone, as long as the manufacturer can guarantee that they are compatible and assemble them for me. I said Chinese because that's where our phones are made (including the stupid Iphone), so it makes sense to remove some middlemen.

          • Mikkel Georgsen

            Ahh well then I agree - it would be awesome with a limited subset of changes like with laptops.

            Screen, RAM, CPU, connectivity/radios etc.

            Then you just pick exactly what you need - I love that idea :)

          • Cerberus_tm

            Exactly! And the options have to be at cost price; then the website adds a surcharge of, say, 20 % on everything to keep as their profit. So we could have cheaper phones than now, too: no more paying € 100 for another 32 GB of storage which in reality only costs € 10 or less.

  • BoB1673

    nope not needed imho with cloud storage i keep a nano or my current rom on my phone and my music everything else is on the cloud i have 70 gigs with dropbox and 90 with copy and various others ... sdcard for me a mute point

    • uniquename72

      A "mute point"? You mean it's silent? Or did you mean "moot"?

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

    I'm tired of this hardware minimalism BS that's taken the mobile world by storm recently. First they did away with physical keyboards, then they removed buttons, capacitive buttons, etc. Now they're removing expandable storage. Even beyond that, some phones no longer come with a bezel, just end to end screen. Seriously, are phones someday going to be nothing but a foldable screen with no bezel, keyboard, buttons or expandable storage?

    • Andrew

      and no battery.

  • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

    I'd say it's not a requirement if the phone has 16GB or more internal, but it is still preferable. If the phone has less than 16GB then yeah, definitely needs a microSD slot.

    Have had a 16GB Nexus 4 for about 5 months now and not yet found myself annoyed by lack of microSD slot.

  • bimsebasse

    Depends on your needs. If you game a lot or want to store a lot of music on your phone, then you're gonna need expandable storage. If you're using cloud services and don't play a lot of games, then you don't need it. I've never had less than 9gb available free space on my 16gb Nexus 4, can't see myself ever running out of space.

  • Andrew

    I had Motorola Atrix 4G with 16GB onboard storage and SD slot. Never put card there. Now I have 16GB Nexus 4.
    So, non I don't think card slot is necessary. But also, no phone should have less than 16GB of storage. And this number shoud grow every year.

  • Kokusho

    expandable Storage can be usefull to store a lot of media but it must not comes at the expand of real internal storage which is much faster and reliable and therefore make the device that much more responsive.
    And any device with lesser than 32go of internal storage must die for good, we are now in an era where everything is ultra high definitions and that ultimatly requiere alot of storage space.

  • Abhinav

    I have a S4 16gb, I download games and apps and haven't actually been confronted with the full memory till now.

    Note: I am restraining from loading songs onto the device. Planning to get an SD card so that I can have my music library on the device instead of having to use the internet radio service :|

  • fonix232

    Definitely required, no matter how large the internal storage is. Problem is, many underestimate their requirements of space. They count that as they only have this and that amount of stuff, it should be enough on a new device. What they don't count with is the always-expanding size of digital data we store. Let it be new music tracks, a new movie (sshh!), new games, books, whatever, it will take up some more space. And soon, people notice that they ran out of space on the device that was supposed to hold everything.

    I am a great example of this. Began Android with my 4GB card used in my Nokia 5800, and never thought I would fill it up. Second Android phone, and I simply had to buy an 8GB one, because 4 wasn't enough. And soon enough, I needed 16GB in total to store everything.

    Usually I have about 12-13GB of music and apps stored on it, including apps custom data, remaining space is for new ROMs, etc., that takes up about a gig.

    With an SD card slot, it is not a problem. Pop in a new card, copy stuff from the old, and done. But if your device comes with no SD slot, you're out of luck. Either buy a new device (pricey), or store unused stuff on the cloud. What is again, a pain in the ass. You can't simply pull 3-4GB from the cloud, especially on a limited data plan. When we will have free gigabit internet wireless worldwide, then it is an option. Until then, and even after, it is a good thing to have an SD card slot, even if many won't use it.

    Also one of the major issues with internal storage vs. external SD card on devices that are equipped with both is consistency. The two drives simply cannot be used together. You don't have (8+8)GB storage. You have 8GB plus 8GB, meaning, if you have a file that is 10GB, you cannot store it.

    • RoboBonobo

      I have a 32GB card because I figured I might as well get the largest size if I'm going to buy a card at all -- no sense wasting money buying a smaller card and upgrading again down the road. But it turns out I'm not one of those people who has a large library of files/videos/music and I'm not really into installing a bunch of apps all the time (there's only a few I actually use), so I only have 4GB of it used because of a little bit of music. I'd definitely be able to manage with a device that has 8GB of user accessible storage and no SD card. So I guess I'd say that it's not "definitely required no matter what", as you said. It's a really personal thing; not everyone's needs are the same.

      • Cerberus_tm

        Now. But what happens if, in the year 2014, your girlfriend (who has a tiny Iphone) wants to watch films on your big screen when you're holidaying, and she really wants to put 20 films on your phone so she can choose what to watch on the plane or in the country house? Or if you at some point decide that it is efficient to keep all of your essential business projects on your phone, including databases and videos? Or when your data just magically increase in size over time, without any apparent cause, as it happens to many of us? My point is, you never know when you will want more space. I'm only using about 8 GB my self as well...yet.

        • RoboBonobo

          I do get what you're saying, and I certainly wouldn't recommend small memory capacity to someone else if I don't know what their needs will be in the future. I definitely wouldn't upgrade to a phone that has less space than I currently enjoy, even though I don't use most of it. I think my next phone will be a 32GB iPhone 5S/6, which is unlikely to have an SD card. If I need a device for some new purpose I didn't originally buy my phone for, I'll have to get another new device that better suits that purpose. I think the laptop would be better for watching movies while travelling. A portable console like the PSP would be better for playing games -- no sense draining my phone battery for that; I need it for more important things. If my job requires me to have a device for carrying business files, the company can provide me with that device or, if I'm self-employed then it's a business expense. Not sure about data magically increasing over time -- maybe you mean with firmware updates? I've never encountered anything like that, but I imagine it won't be too drastic and I'll just have to manage with slightly less space on my phone, which, like many people, I really only use for calls, texts, emails, and social networking... I don't see anything being wrong with buying an additional device that's better suited to a new task. Of course it would be better if I didn't need to buy a new device for a new purpose, but I'm not going to spend extra money on some unlikely hypothetical "what if" situation -- I'm not going to spend an extra $100 to bump it up to 64GB just because "what if"... and I'm not going to get another phone than the iPhone, just because it has an SD card slot; my current phone of 3 years has one and I've never needed it.

          • Cerberus_tm

            I was just saying that most people don't know what they will need until the time comes that they need it.

            By magical data increase I mean the countless little files and programs that you put on your phone that in time come to take up lots of space, even though you have forgotten they're there.

            You wouldn't have to spend € 100 on more memory if your future phone had a card reader, but rather € 15 or so, and only by the time you needed more storage. That's why it's so good: you're immune to the storage rip-off that most manufacturers try to pull on us.

          • RoboBonobo

            If your phone is full and you've got files you don't need, you can take them off to make space for new things. 32GB is going to be more than sufficient for me -- my current phone has a card reader but expandable only up to 32GB, and most I've ever used is 1/8th of that much space. I want my next phone to have iOS, and I don't care about an SD card. I'm not going to give up an OS that I like better, for a feature I don't ever foresee needing. How much music do I really need to have on my phone at a given time?
            With 14GB I could go many years before getting sick of everything I've
            put on there, if I even fill it up in that time -- and that's only half
            of the free space I'll have. I don't download a lot of apps, and I don't
            play games or want to watch movies on a phone screen.. so what do I
            need more than 32GB or expandable storage for?

            I agree that an SD card slot is cheaper than buying a higher capacity memory built-in, if you need to have 64GB worth of files/music/video always accessible, or you foresee needing that much space in the future... but if you don't foresee ever needing that much space, it's not a feature that I'd hinge my decision on. It's simply not the most important aspect of a phone (for me).

          • Cerberus_tm

            You do realise that you're in a dangerous neighbourhood, to be flaunting your love of IOS in public, don't you? Beware the Android thugs!

          • RoboBonobo

            lol yeah I realize where I'm posting. I'm not dissing Android. What are they going to do, ban me for liking all smartphones and tablets, whether they're Android, Blackberry, Windows, or even *gasp* iOS? It's not like I'm trying to recruit people for team iPhone or arguing with people about [brand name] being superior.
            iPhone simply does what I want it to do better than any Android phone can, without having to root and put in a bunch of effort. It's a personal decision, and I'm not ashamed of it. I still like Android too, and I think the next thing I buy after my iPhone will be a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1", now that CyanogenMOD 10.1 stable has been released for it.

          • Vijesh Yechury

            Who said you have to root android phones? Do u jailbreak iPhone?

          • RoboBonobo

            I had to root my Android phones to get them to do what I wanted and work properly (fix wakelocks etc). My iPhone works properly without needing to be jailbroken.

          • Vijesh Yechury

            So, your argument against SD card is u like iPhone and don't care about rational point of view and will continue to buy iPhone like a servile customer? People like you are responsible for the mess the world is in. All the mess can be sorted out if people begin "peaceful non-cooperation" movement against the oppressors (in this case iPhone). The oppressors will be forced to change their style

          • RoboBonobo

            Look buddy -- it wasn't an argument against having an SD card. I was stating that I was going to get an iPhone, despite the lack of an SD card, reason being that I don't think it's an important feature.
            I was exclusively with Android for 4 years, so I know all about the subject. iPhone works fine and does what I want it to better than any of the Android phones I owned, and it doesn't matter to me that iPhone doesn't have an SD card.
            I hadn't even ever owned an iPhone when I wrote this comment 9 months ago, so you're wrong about the "continue to buy iPhone like a servile customer" comment. I bought my first iPhone 3 weeks ago, and I'm happy with it. It does what I want without needing to jailbreak. I'm not having any issues with wakelocks. I have multiple times more memory than I can ever imagine needing, without the need for an SD card.

          • Vijesh Yechury

            I do agree that personal taste differs. But, arguing as if you don't want a SD card and hinting that you will buy iphone no matter what is not a good argument. I have no idea what wakelock is, but I'm sure wakelock has nothing to do with SD card. The whole argument is "Is SD card slot an advantage if all other features are held constant?". It is not about making a choice between two phones with very different configurations. To put it simply, since you are an iphone guy "If there was iphone 5s1 with sd card slot and another iphone 5s without sd card slot, and all other specifications being same and price of the model with sd card being higher by $10, which would you buy?" Is it so difficult to understand?

          • RoboBonobo

            No, you don't get it. I got the iphone even though it doesn't have an SD card, because it isn't an important feature to me.
            I was disagreeing with his statement that an SD card is "required no matter what". I got a phone without an SD card, so no, I don't think it's "required no matter what".

          • Vijesh Yechury

            Nothing is needed no matter what except for food, water and air. Everything else is luxury. U have been avoiding my question- "If there was iphone 5s1 with sd card slot and another iphone 5s without sd card slot, and all other specifications being same and price of the model with sd card being higher by $10, which would you buy?"

          • RoboBonobo

            I don't care about your question.

  • Brian Dyce

    Its unfortunate that in this day and age sites like this, that cover international products, still seem to forget about anywhere outside of the USA.

    Being in Canada, we have some of the highest data plans in the world, and we also dont have access to music streaming sites and apps like Pandora. So we cannot always rely on streaming media like the USA.

    It is a great thing that Samsung still offers microsd options in their flagship phones, and i take full use of my downloaded media when im not using wifi, with my 32gb S4, and a 64gb microsd card.

    Until we start seeing better data plans, and more international streaming music apps, it is a slap in the face to cell phone users around the world to not include micro sd storage in an international phone.

    • Matt

      Well, you can set up Play Music in Canada, even with All Access (there are guides online...not sure whether you're supposed to post them here). You can also choose something like Wind if you live in an English-speaking city, which has larger data caps (5 GB/month) for reasonable prices (still on my $29 Oh Canada Plan). However, overall it's true that Canadian carriers suck balls.

      • ArberBeq

        Yeah but winds data is too slow to be able to stream anything in most places. its only good for basic sites

        • Matt

          It's alright in downtown Toronto, but even as you get towards Mississauga it starts becoming slower. They need to add towers, but first the CRTC has to stop treating anybody other than the Big Three as some sort of pariah just because they might have some investment from overseas. Canada's ridiculously xenophobic when it comes to businesses, regardless of how horribly monopolistic the Canadian companies are.

        • RoboBonobo

          And also, with WIND you pay data roaming if you leave the city... not good for people who spend much time outside the WIND zone, and completely useless to most Canadians; most of Canada is outside of a WIND zone.

          • Matt

            I would disagree with that. It works fine if you live in a city and travel to other cities; it suits my needs perfectly, as it does for a lot of my friends who live in Toronto or Etobicoke or Mississauga. I mainly like urban living, so if I'm going anywhere else it's to US cities (cheapest US roaming rates), or cities like Vancouver/Ottawa. Even with roaming rates, you're still paying substantially less ($40/month for more than what I got with $80/month on Bell means I can do some roaming throughout the year and still come out ahead).

            Obviously, I realize not everybody has similar usage and some people go camping or to cottage country regularly, but I think it's worth figuring out your usage and trying it out if you live in an urban area if you think it might save you money/get you more data.

          • RoboBonobo

            But the point is that you wouldn't stream your music and use cloud services while roaming.. If you're going to use the phone lightly while outside the WIND zone, it's okay, you'll probably come out ahead. But if you're a heavy user, WIND isn't really better at all. In that case you'd probably prefer to pay $60 for unlimited canada-wide calls/text/VM/CD/6GB and always fast data connection, with no data roaming on koodo. $10 per GB overage, but at least it's not unlimited 10kbps after you use the first 5GB.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

            I'm an American and not Canadian, so can somebody please help me understand this situation, please? Please pardon my ignorance and dumb questions - I'm trying to learn here. :-)

            So this $60/mo plan for unlimited talk/text and 6GB data - who is this with? And how good/reliable/stable is this? Is this $60/mo plan what everybody is calling a crappy option?

          • RoboBonobo

            It's on a reliable network and It's a promotional plan that comes available for a month or two, about once a year -- usually coinciding with an iphone release.. the main big carriers all seem to give similar (usually almost identical) promotions once one of them decide to offer one, and their normal rate plans are also quite similar -- the Canadian wireless industry has constantly been accused of being and oligopoly. This promotional plan, that I mentioned, was with Koodo, a subsidiary of Telus, one of the big 3 nation-wide carriers. Koodo's $60 promo was better than the other main carriers promos, because it also included voicemail and call display, so it turned out to be $12 dollars cheaper than the promos on the other carriers, if you want those features. There's also no data roaming on the big main carriers, as long as you stay inside Canada. You can see koodo's normal rate plans at "koodo dot ca", and to answer your final question: yes this is what's being called the crappy option [sic]

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

            Thank you. I was ignorantly under the belief (based on very little info) that the $60/6GB option was a "standard" option always available. I was about to say, that doesn't sound so crappy!

            The rates I found at https://shop.koodomobile.com/plans/plans/index.html seem to be about on par with AT&T and Verizon rates (the two largest of our "big four") but certainly more expensive than the others (Sprint, T-Mobile, and our various MVNOs). For what it's worth, I'm on and am a fan of T-Mobile and I pay ~$30/mo per line for 5 lines with limited talk (1k minutes), unlimited text, and anywhere from 2GB to unlimited data per line. It's DEFINITELY cheaper than those options although I have more dead spots while traveling that people on AT&T and Verizon do but is a good trade-off in my opinion.

          • Matt

            My point is that a lot of urban dwellers don't leave the WIND zone on a regular basis, except to go to the US, where Wind is substantially cheaper as a roaming option than any of its competitors. I leave a Wind zone for camping or skiing once or twice a year; roaming rates in other parts of Canada don't really matter to me. I'm not saying I speak for all Canadians in urban areas, but for me it's just a much better value proposition and I don't think I'm alone in that. I don't limit my usage because I'm rarely outside a Wind zone in Canada.

            Even compared to Koodo, which is $60/month; on Wind I spend $29/month with my Oh Canada Plan and I get the same thing for my location. I'd have to spend over $372/year on roaming overages in Canada for that to be a better option.

          • RoboBonobo

            Yep, and that has exactly what to do with this discussion about streaming music and cloud services?

          • Matt

            Well, we clearly went on a tangent from that original discussion into whether or not Wind is a valid option for Canadians:P Even your initial response to ArberBeq could only be considered tangentially related to that topic.

          • RoboBonobo

            Okay :) We're on the same page, and I agree with you that a lot of city dwellers could probably save money with WIND.. just not if you need/want to make heavy use of the data services while outside the WIND zone.

          • Matt

            Yeah, I totally agree with that.

        • Walkop

          WIND is more than adequate for streaming music. It works for streaming YouTube fine as well in most areas. My GNexus is more of a bottleneck in most cases than the network.

          I live in Courtice, which is a small town east of Oshawa. That city is again east of Toronto. I get fine signal here, and the 5GB cap is more than I need. WIND is the perfect solution for anyone who doesn't leave the city frequently in Canada, as it covers basically every major area with its zone. Plus, the unlimited

          What we need MORE is access to Google's cloud services! I'm looking at you, Play Music! + we need Play Store Gift Cards.

          As for most of Canada being outside of a WIND zone - thats true, but the most population dense areas are completely covered. So, effectively, a large portion of Canada's population is covered by a WIND zone.

    • mesmorino

      Dude, at least you're in Canada, most Americans have some vague notion that you exist. Try being anywhere across the ocean if you really want to see cultural myopia from American companies

      • Charles Sweeney

        Your response to Brian Dyce has absoultely no valute to this article and topic at hand,

        • mesmorino

          Neither does your response to me, smartass. Fortunately, you are not the comment police so move along please.

      • http://www.twitter.com/darrylcobb maxrobes2000

        When did Samsung, HTC, LG, Asus and Sony become American companies?

        • mesmorino

          They're not, and the comment was a general observation about American companies.

          But, if you want to split hairs, those companies make nexus phones according to Google's specifications- and that right there is your American company.

          • http://www.twitter.com/darrylcobb maxrobes2000

            Actually it's not splitting hairs. These are foreign companies making phones for a customer in the United States for consumption in the United States. Hasn't stopped those above mentioned companies from offering dual sim card slots in Europe and China or offering SD Slots for products in other countries. That's like Americans complaining about a imported Grey Market phone that doesn't use all the bands here.

          • mesmorino

            Well yes, except that the complaint is not about what those companies are offering, but what *Google* is offering- and they're not just offering it in the states for consumption in the states, the nexus phones are explicitly sold internationally, where the data networks are not as widespread or as reliable as it is in the states

          • Freak4Dell

            So don't buy a Nexus phone.

          • azkab0n

            exactly, which brings you back to the main question: is it still ok to castrate a device and sell less of it?

    • Walkop

      I find that funny. We have some of the best data plans around! I pay $25 a month for unlimited data, text, calling, MMS, everything on WIND. No contract, I brought a Galaxy Nexus. My mom does the same with a Nexus 4. There's three of us on one account, you save $5 per line that way. It works great!

      • Matt

        Just FYI, Wind's data isn't really unlimited. It's throttled to ridiculously low speeds after 5 GB/month (32 kB/s), but that's still a lot better than anybody else. Here's the link to more info: http://www2.windmobile.ca/wind%20docs/wind-fair-usage-data-050111.pdf

        • selonmoi

          And it suffers ridiculously low/variable speeds below 5 GB, too.

          Sadly, WIND has the perfect data plans for people who don't actually use their phone.

        • Doan

          Throttled unlimited data is still unlimited data.

          • Matt

            It's throttled to almost dial-up speeds. Even downloading a small app update from the play store failed for me, not to speak of browsing the web, searching Google, or streaming music. When it's throttled that much, it's essentially unusable. Sure, it can technically still be called "unlimited", but the practical limit is 5 GB.

          • Walkop

            Yeah, I was aware of the throttling, but regardless of that 5GB isn't bad. Yes, it isn't HSPA+ or LTE. But for the cost...I'm not going to pay three times the price for extra speed, just like I wouldn't pay 3 times more for a Galaxy S4 vs a Nexus 4. (slightly exaggerated cost difference, but the principle still applies). Network speed is extremely important and is really your only major bottleneck when you're out - but cost-wise, it simply isn't worth it yet.

          • Vijesh Yechury

            Why don't you people think of battery life which lasts less than a day when you use internet? You people are more concerned about download speed rather than battery life. What is the point in having 8MBps download speed with low battery? Sd card is always helpful to save battery usage

          • azkab0n

            plus whatever you manage to do in a month with 32Kilobits/second. Which isn't much, my friend, believe me.

          • Elias

            I heard you saying "a woman with a penis is still a woman"
            Advertising it as unlimited does not make it truly unlimited.

          • Sean Lumly

            Then by that logic there can never be true unlimited, as you're limited by the network rate, which will never be unlimited (I'm sure some physical law prevents this).

            Unlimited may be the wrong term to correctly capture the spirit of the service. But I think it succinctly conveys the idea that users can download as much as they can without worrying about being charged additional funds for over use.

          • Doan

            A woman with a penis cannot be a woman. Unlimited throttled data is unlimited data. Your analogy does not compare.

          • Charles Sweeney

            I was going to say the same thing.

          • Charles Sweeney

            So wait, which part isn't truly unlimited, the speed or the data? Oh yes, there is a difference. Unlimited data and unlimited 4G isn't the same thing technically and I'm sure that's what the carriers have in mind. Throttled or not, you still get data once you hit a certain threshold do you not or do the carriers cut your data off entirely after hitting a certain threshold? If I have it all wrong then please, school me.

          • Brian Dyce

            you must work in PR or advertising. ha ha

        • Mikkel Georgsen

          FYI: In most areas in the world 32 KB/s is considered fast.

          • Firmino

            May name is Brasil, nice too met you!

          • azkab0n

            depends, KiloBytes/s or Kilobits/s ?
            32KB/s is reasonably acceptable everywhere, although most pages load slowly.
            32Kb/s is universally considered a prehistoric speed, worse than the average modem of the first '90s

          • Vijesh Yechury

            Why don't you people think of battery life which lasts less than a day when you use internet? You people are more concerned about download speed rather than battery life. What is the point in having 8MBps download speed with low battery? Sd card is always helpful to save battery usage..

      • Brian Dyce

        yeah, and wind is a great alternative, but having only beenaround for a short time, and only now starting to pick up steam, im still stuck in my longer than average contract with one of the big three. and i am sure as hell not going to buy out my plan just to switch over. theyve really got the large majority of consumers hooped for at least the next few years.

      • Mathieu V

        ha. I would love that plan. Make it available close to where I live please. No wifi at work, means no such luck. I travel wich microsd cards and usb sticks. Stickmount please.

        For what it's worth, I'm with Telus. Nothing except big three available where I am.

        And for internet, xplornet. Throttling machine if there is one. So 35 kB/s is my daily internet situation. Rural Internet sucks. :)

        • Walkop

          Have you looked into TekSavvy? They usually have pretty good internet plans for rural areas; but I'm not sure.

          • Mathieu V

            Thanks for the heads up. I'm looking it up. :)

    • ins0mn1a

      it's not just shitty data plans. even with the best data plan and adequate coverage, there will always be situations when you don't have connection: subway trains, thick walls, camping trips, boat trips... i would like my device to be self-sufficient to some extent. it's a computer, dammit, i would like it to act like one.

      now, the old purpose of a memory card serving as removable storage might be less important, now that there is a million ways to connect your phone to a computer or anything else, so internal storage will do just fine.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

        So how many gigs of MP3s does it take to get you through these (let's call it ~3-days) periods? 8GB isn't enough?

        • ins0mn1a

          they are not just 3 day periods every once in a while. i use subway every day, for example. specifically about mp3s: i have much more than 8GB of those, and i don't want to constantly try to plan what i might feel like listening in the coming days, and then going through all the copying/deleting/synchronising. it defeats the purpose of having a digital collection. storage is cheap enough, there is no reason to make it so scarce.

          • Max_Freedom

            I understand. I keep about 10-12gb of new audio(books and music) on my phone and my whole collection (100gb) in Google Play Music.
            That way if I MUST hear a song now, I can.

        • Sean Lumly

          It's nice not to have to constantly pre-plan what you may want to listen too and shuffle files around pre-emptively (which is very time consuming). Besides, there's no technical reason why it's impossible to do this with a very large collection with a $20 sdcard assuming devices support it.

        • BLT

          my porn collection takes up 25GB already, and that's just because I limit it. Movies 5GB per movie, already running out of space. No SD no_go. Home made porn stays on the SD so me and the wifey can keep it to our self, I don't feel safe with storing it in Google drive.

          • azkab0n

            You, Sir, have a strong point.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      In what way did I "forget" about you? I made a statement about my personal feelings on SD cards, and gave what I would call pretty adequate options for you to express that you felt differently about the issue, which obviously many people do.

      • Brian Dyce

        I apologize if my response to your particular article came off as defensive, or hostile. I am used to reading so many articles about the issue (or non issue) of expandable storage, and the fact that the nexus line doesnt have that option, that i went right to explaining why expandable storage is still needed.

        Whats even more of a trouble is that with expensive data plans, and longer than average contract terms (3 years), my option of moving to an unlocked nexus device is almost negated because it doesnt allow for expandable storage, and thus forces me to stick with a limited selection of carrier supplied phones, that are also admittedly usually 8 to 12 months behind the times.

        i hope that devices, whether international, or usa carriers, allow for an expandable memory option, or at least we see some sort of stronger legislation and regulation of data costs. (which we are only starting to see now, but have been met with law suit after lawsuit by the Canadian carriers)

      • pacifica

        to put it simply, just reverse the question.

        Do You Still Believe That Internet Is Available Everywhere In The World ?

        when there's no internet, Micro SD Card rules.
        it's that simple.

      • fuck

        Yea I do need a micro sd you fat cunt, I have alot, and alot of music, sorry if I don't listen to crappy quality youtube, you fucking Idiot fat cunt.

  • Alexandre Leites

    I prefer that companies start to use FASTER NANDS. 64GB of internal storage when the speed is a crap? No, please.

  • http://www.ericschuetz.com/ Eric Schuetz

    Not only do we still need it, but manufactures should never have taken away our "Move to SD" capability. With games being so huge now, we need expandable memory, especially if they add support for highspeed SD.

    • ltredbeard

      I agree options are required, but just fyi manufacturers did not take the option away. It was removed from Android by Google.

      • New_Guy

        Tell that to Samsung... They added it back to the S4 easily enough.

        • ltredbeard

          Keyword, added. Samsung added the functionality back to Android, while Google removed it. Manufacturers adding feature to core Android is not a new concept.

  • Alan Shearer

    People point to the cloud as a reason for lack of internal storage. Cloud does not help when the game I am playing is 4GB in size.

    Nor does it help when I cannot download due to unreliable internet/slow internet/no service

    Internal storage should be 16 min, 32 prefered. Sd card is nice, but useless without app2sd as well.

  • Kevin Phan

    It would be nice to have, but it's not a must have for me. It's nice to have an option to expand storage. If I did have a microSD card, I would sure use it, but if it didn't, it wouldn't affect my decision when buying a phone.

  • adriancavanagh

    I used to have a phone with an SD card slot, it was a nightmare! Only some stuff would save to the SD card and other stuff had to stay in the phone memory, which was desperately low. I understand that you can have more control over this through rooting, but my current phone has got 64gb anyway, which is much more than I even need truth be told. As for cloud storage, I live in the UK and apart from the fact that mobile Internet is nowhere near fast enough here yet, it costs a bomb over here!

    • MrXIII

      Really? you should give Three a go, £12.90 a month gets you unlimited data, unlimited texts and 200 minutes and it truly is unlimited data, I rack up 4-5GB data month, my mate does 9-12GB data a month

      Oh and the speed is a nice 10-15Meg, so its plenty fast enough if you are on the right operator

      • Nick Fitzgerald

        I agree. I am on Gif Gaf. £12 a month for truely unlimited data. I have a 16gb Nexus 4 and don't miss the sd card slot at all.

  • Rob

    Well, looks like DISQUS lost my comment. Thanks. Not typing it again. :(

  • ugm6hr

    Storage requirements are ever-increasing. The only reason not to have an external storage option is if you intend to upgrade phones every 2 years. How many people would accept 64GB on their desktop? How many would have accepted 16GB on their phone 2years ago?

    • RoboBonobo

      I got by fine for 2 years with only a 64GB SSD and no other storage. I upgraded to a larger faster SSD 6 months ago, but still below 64GB used space. I've never needed more than 4GB of space on my phone, for any reason. I think sites like this poll a niche audience... most people aren't nerdy geeky dweebs who fiddle with their phone all day long. Most people don't want dozens of games loaded, or want to have their entire music/movie library instantly accessible on their phone 24/7.

      • Primalxconvoy

        Actually I think it is the average joe that DOES want more memory and who is less likely to want to sign up to cloud services.

        The average "dumb teen" wants games to install and run and play their entire music collection whenever they want without thinking about it. That's why external storage is so easy for them; just plug and play.

        • RoboBonobo

          My point is that most people don't need more memory OR cloud services because most people don't use their phones the way people who read these tech blogs do.
          teens or anyone who wants to play lots of games, or someone who's really into music or movies, yes... but that's not the average user.

          • Primalxconvoy

            My dad users his tablet and has put his entire vinyl collection on it. My mum, who isn't interested in tech, often downloads or transfers tv shows to her ipad.

            I'd say the average user doesn't care where they put their stuff, just aslong it works. However, if they feel the need to replace bloatware_ and download oodles if tunes from iTunes, then they will not be happy. That's why samsung sells phones with lots of memory and why they are doing very well.

          • RoboBonobo

            I could list dozens of people from all walks of life, with different interests, and varying proclivity for technology, who don't need more than 8GB on their phone; I'm not really interested in your examples of specific people who make use of large memory. I've already said what I think: most people don't need large internal storage, or SD cards, or cloud storage. You think most people want more memory and there's never enough, and I think the majority of people don't need it because most people only use their phone for calls, texts, email, browsing sites, social networking, etc. No sense arguing about it further, since there's no simple way for us to settle it. Difference of opinion.

          • Primalxconvoy

            Indeed. However, please answer me this then; why do the biggest and most popular phones (iphone and Samsung) have either oodles of internal memory and/or external memory?

          • RoboBonobo

            If you were asking me why the 64GB models are such hot sellers (they're not), then I'd see the point of you asking that question.
            Having the option to buy a high capacity memory model, or to add an SD card doesn't mean people care about large capacity memory or SD cards. In fact, most people don't buy the large capacity model or put in an SD card.

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      On the other hand, videogames arent 16GB on your Android device. and most of the apps are of smaller size too compared to pc counterparts. So the comparison is hardly right.

      • Primalxconvoy

        Many games are about 2gig and after you factor in replacement apps for bloatware, videos, the games, documents, photos_, etc you are left with little.

        Even with sd card storage, my pos htc desire was one of the worst hardware decisions I've ever made. The internal storage, even at the time, was miniscule (just under 500 megs).

        Needless to say that I've never looked back to htc after getting my Samsung galaxy note.

  • Bryan Guerrero

    A MicroSD slot does help when you flash a rom that bootloops and you have no nandroids...

    • New_Guy

      Damn fine point, sir. Damn fine point.

      The ability to remove my card when a flash went south has saved me on more than one occasion.

  • MrXIII

    No need for expandable storage for me, I run my own streaming service from home to get music and video to my phone, unlimited data to not have to worry about limits, Im lucky if I use half of the 16GB storage I have in my N4, its a pointless feature now, evolve or fall behind

    • mrjayviper

      you said unlimited data and not everyone in the US and more importantly the world has access to this

  • Diego Pretelin

    Sorry if this is in Spanish but I don't speak very well the English.

    Yo creo que todo depende de la edad del usuario... por ejemplo yo tengo 18 años de edad y la mayoría de mis amigos están entre 15 - 19 años, por lo que yo he visto en las escuelas y en mi entorno la mayoría de nosotros preferimos una gran capacidad de memoria! ¿Porqué? Pues simple... Juegos! Muchos de nuestra edad descargan juegos y de los buenos por lo que necesitamos mucha memoria ya que también almacenamos vídeos, fotos y una gran cantidad de música! así cómo otras aplicaciones útiles para nosotros. Yo en lo personal tengo demasiados juegos (35 en total) y con una memoria de 16Gb (11Gb libres) máximo podría descargar entre 4 - 5 juegos de 1 a 2 Gb y lo demás serían mis otras aplicaciones lo cual me limita a no tener música, ni fotos y mucho menos vídeos calidad HD! Es realmente odioso el quedarse sin almacenamiento... aquí es donde entran las memorias externas (MicroSd) ya que gracias a ellas podemos llevar música, fotos, vídeos, películas, documentos, etc... sin ocupar espacio de la interna y poder instalar más aplicaciones y juegos, desde que Google elimino el almacenamiento de datos de los juegos en las MicroSd ahora es difícil poder bajar tantos juegos cómo antes y tomando en cuenta que cada vez los juegos son más pesados debido a sus gráficos y otros aspectos pues es aún más difícil. En conclusión a la mayoría de los jóvenes ni uno de 32Gb es suficiente y sinceramente no es nada barato comprar uno de más de 16Gb, por eso las MicroSd son necesarias si se quiere complacer a esta parte de los compradores.

    Cabe destacar que esto solo se refiere a los jóvenes ya que dudo que alguien que use el móvil para el trabajo se preocupe por un juego... por mucho y eso a veces tal vez baje 1 o 2 juegos pero de ahí en fuera serán puras aplicaciones que realmente use constantemente para el trabajo u aplicaciones sociales.

    En conclusión yo pienso que son necesarios las MicroSd para nosotros, los jóvenes.

    • RoboBonobo

      My best guess for what this means, using google translate and my limited understanding of Spanish to deduce the intended meaning:

      I think it all depends on the user's age ... for example I have 18 years old and most of my friends are between 15 to 19 years, so I have seen in schools and in my environment most of us prefer a great memory! Why? Simple As ... Games! Many of our old downloaded games and good so we need a lot of memory and also store videos, pictures and a lot of music! and how other applications useful for us. I personally I have too many games (35 in total) and a 16Gb memory (11GB usable) maximum could download between 4-5 sets of 1-2 Gb and the rest would be my other apps which I have limited to no music , no photos let alone quality HD videos! It's really obnoxious running out of storage ... here is where external memories (MicroSd) and thanks to them we can bring music, pictures, videos, movies, documents, etc ... unoccupied internal space to install more applications and games, since Google remove data storage in MicroSd games now difficult to lose how many games before and taking into account that every time the games are heavier due the graphics and other aspects it is even more difficult. In conclusion most young people do need at least 32GB and frankly it is not cheap to buy one of more than 16Gb, so the MicroSd are necessary if you want to please this part of buyers.

      Note that this only refers to young people and I doubt that someone using the phone for work worry about a game ... much and that sometimes maybe 1 or 2 sets down but from there on out will be pure applications actually use constantly for work or social applications.

      In conclusion I think the MicroSd are necessary for us young people.

      • Diego Pretelin

        Thank you so much! Almost perfect.

    • randommomster

      Disculpame - no hablo espanol bien, y escribo peor. :) Pero lo lee mas o
      menos bien, y I agree with every one of your points except the
      age-related one: I'm 52. Still rocking my N1 in large part because of
      that internal SD card. Because I can't use 4.0, I still have save-to-SD
      card. I pop the big one in when I will be doing a lot of video
      recording of my kid's performances. Everyone's different. It surprises
      me that Google had become Apple in this regard, the regard of
      one-size-fits-all. Boo Google.

      • Diego Pretelin

        Indeed, I agree with you!

        I'm talking in general from what I've seen with people that I live and what I experienced :)

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      I think you meant to say, "Sorry but this will be in Spanish" not "if this is in Spanish" as there are no ifs ands or buts about it, it's in Spanish.

      • Diego Pretelin

        Well... there's another proof of my horrible english, thank you.

  • sevenwords

    I have 80GB of music. SD card is a must!

    • Phil Oakley

      But do you need all of that on a phone? I have about 20gb, and have it all on Play Music; I only listen to 1/4 of it on a regular basis, so have that downloaded through the app.

      • Primalxconvoy

        Choice and convenience are priorities to consumers. Being able to choose what you want, when you want is what most people expect.

        For me, I can't access YouTube while I'm on the Tokyo underground and services like Spotify and Pandora are other non existent, crippled/infested with jpop and/or too much for my 2gig limit on my "all you can use unlimited data plan".

        Sd card it is.

  • vmpn

    Having external card allows me to reuse as phone gets replaced by new ever one, with the camera and as general storage via USB adapter.

    Built in storage is limited to just the phone

  • vgergo

    I think still including memory card slots in their devices is one of the top reasons Samsung is the #1 smart phone manufacturer world wide. The other reason is removable batteries. HTC, one of the first brands to abandon this option for style, well we can see the consequences... (of course it's not the top cause, but it's in there.) Again, I'm talking about world wide. Memory cards might loose their importance in the US with the availability of all cloud services.

    • delorean

      agree with you.
      make me wonder why other companies didn't learn this from samsung.

      they prefer the hard way. tried shipping phone with no sdcard support and failed in market. lesson learned. :D

  • ithehappy

    First I thought this is a joke, then seeing 238 idiots voting for the 3rd option made me think otherwise.
    Still this question is a joke!

    • RoboBonobo

      Yes, people are idiots because they have different needs than you. /s

  • Michael

    I'm more in the area that i don't care. I currently have the Razr Maxx and have to have the sd card because of the locked boot loader. All i have is a 3gb partition. When I had my GNex it didn't bug me. I'm more indifferent than anything. With cloud service becoming a bigger thing, I feel they aren't need.

  • MrWicket

    never needed one on my 32GB Galaxy Nexus and still haven't needed one on my 16GB Nexus 4 and I have a lot of games and apps installed a long with the fact I take a significant amount of pictures on a daily basis but I am still only using 6-8GB of that 16. I get why people like at least the option but in my opinion I say let it go.. I suppose everybody has different usage needs though.

  • Railwayman

    I don't "believe" that I need a microSD card. I KNOW that I need it and there are a couple of reasons. The main reason is that I use my smartphone as a pocket computer, which means that I want a similar set of data (documents, music, pictures etc) on it. To me, it is an annoyance to be out and about and realize that I need something that is on the computer. It can be such a simple thing as showing a photo. A typical situation can be that I talk about a particular place that I have visited - rather than screaming because the pictures is at home etc, I carry them with me and show.

    The same thing with documents. I read a lot on my device when I am out and I prefer to have a decent set of books, magazines, reports etc ready for use on the memory card. Music is the same thing - I store offline playlists from Spotify in extreme quality and also other albums locally. Streaming is not an option - my playlists are about 2.5-5 GB. Forget about streaming in a country like the US.

    Storing maps, games and other things requires space too. A typical game nowadays is 1-3 GB in size, without a memory card - it will full up the internal disk in no time. Shuffling data around just to free space is very 1990 to me.;)

    Streaming can be an option when a typical data plan includes 10-20 GB of data and costs around $45 per month or so (more allotment can be purchased for $5/10 GB).

    Today, it is just not an option since neither the networks or the data plans are ready (even if some carriers offer unlimited).

    Then we have the cameras - shooting pictures in maximum quality and recording videos at 1080p requires space too. Even with a lower quality setting and 720p, there's no problem of ending up with 500 MB for just one video from the camcorder.

    All of this makes the microSD card slot a basic requirement to me.

    There's just no valid arguments against SD cards. The Google idea can be solved by providing 32-64 GB internal for apps etc and then use a fast SD card for things like photos, videos and other data. That way, it is perfectly possible to use the Google proposed partitioning concept on the internal disk and then use the microSD card for offloading documents etc in order to free up space. It also means that the need for Apps2SD or Data2SD is eliminated since there's enough space.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Exactly. I use my phone in the same way too.

    • Cerberus_tm

      I agree: it's incredibly easy to fill up 16 GB, and it's convenient not to have to have your limited space in mind all the time.

      Another point is that, in many countries, you can save a lot of money by using few data. In my country, Holland, most people have cheap plans with low data caps. I pay € 14.50, all fees and taxes included, for about 1 GB of monthly data. That saves me over € 50 compared to what the average American spends on mobile plans. That's € 1100 a year. I could buy an HTC One plus a Galaxy S4 every year for that. And all I need to save a thousand euros is sufficient storage. I could buy more data, but it's not worth the money to me.

      Thirdly, internal memory is really cheap for manufacturers, about € 0.50 per GB. See the BOM of the Iphone 5 below:
      And yet manufacturers charge up to € 100 extra for 16 more Gigabytes of memory, which really costs them about € 8. So forcing us to depend on internal memory creates artificial scarcity and a way to shake heaps of money out of us poor smartphone buyers. I don't want to be under the sway of manufacturers.

      In short: card readers give us freedom and can save us a ton of money, as customers.

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    The lack of SD card slot is precisely why I won't go for a Nexus device unless it's considerably cheaper and still provides the same or better performance than it's competitor (of the same hardware-level)

  • Andy_in_Indy

    Storage options are going the wrong way. Instead of making the fixed and removable storage separate, manufacturers need to work on ways to make that seamless. HTC had a good idea shipping the Thunderbolt with the large Micro SD and moderate internal storage.

    Removable storage is most helpful when a phone dies. Throw in the extra costs for bandwidth on streaming music or photo backups and the extra storage makes a lot of sense. Fix the issues of remote access while mounted, and encryption and there would be no need for large internal storage in the first place.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    I used an SD card in my N73 and that was the last time I had one. Dont feel the need for one, the 8GB(or now often even more) is enough for me to house the music on it and leaves enough space for pictures, which I often place on my computer after a month or so.

    I barely use half of it and that is with 8GB now, I dont store anything other than music etc. on my device, if I occasionally need a file or something I upload it to my Google Drive account rather than my device.

    I dont watch movies on my device either, and even if I did it would only be at home and I can access these via LAN so no need to store it on my device either.

    I can imagine why others need it and also with the current hype around privacy it is something that still is useful in current environment. So while myself I dont need one, I do see it's place and it's use.

  • Avidgamer

    Expandable storage should remain an option, at least until there is no issue with online storage and streaming. Personally, I store my misic library on my phone, so I need a lot of storage (My music library alone is 14gb) and honestly, Unless I can have 32+, I'm not too inclined to give it up.

    I would ditch a micro sd card slot if I had one of those wifi drives (Like the corsair voyager air) but for the time being, i don't. I would like to see a 64 gb htc one though, that would be very appealing to me.

  • Ian Huey

    "As smartphone storage capacity grows on average with each passing year,
    many manufacturers have begun to abandon the microSD card slot on
    flagship handsets."

    Offering 8GB models on phones does not show storage capacity growing. 16GB these days is pushing it as a minimum storage capacity.

    Until they offer unlimited data at a reasonable price ($50/month is not reasonable), then having external storage available is always the way to go. I keep my music collection and Titanium Backup files on my external microSD. It makes it easier to keep the phone clean and have available space for any apps you would like to install.

    At a minimum 16GB should be the standard for any device, but 32GB should become the default minimum. 64GB is a very nice storage option if there is no external memory ability on the device. The difference in price for flash memory chips is miniscule when compared to the price differential between devices where the only difference is storage size. Just because a device has 32GB vs 16GB or 64GB vs 32GB does not justify a $100+ difference in price.

    Either way, cloud storage is nice, but when there is a cap for a small amount of data (2GB - 5GB), it is not feasible to have everyone rely on the cloud. There needs to be either an increase in standard storage size (32GB or 64GB), or a return to unlimited data plans with no restrictions in speed.

    • Sean Lumly

      And can you imagine how bad things are for those individuals in developing countries that will likely buy cheaper devices that have less memory, and also lack practical internet connections? While this may be a problem only for the next few years, it is a shame that there is an agenda that eliminates choice until then.

  • alexz

    SD cards are incontinent compared to the internal memory. SD card is slower than internal storage, it needs to be mounted, and it's a pain to move apps to it when the internal storage gets full. More internal storage is what we need, not the SD card.

    • Humberto Hernandez

      Try cloud... try move an app, or install an app, or use the data of a game, in the cloud.... i dare you... i double dare you motherf****r!


  • Libereightme

    The Galaxy S4 is not available in the 64 gb version through my carrier (AT&T). Even if it was, it would probably cost about $100 over the price of the 16 gb version I have. I bought excellent 64 gb Sandisk Class 10 cards for a little over $50 each. Another reason I like having removable cards is that I can configure each for different purposes, such as travel, work, etc. and have all of my necessary data or media available.

  • Zach B.

    My 64 GB HTC One X+ is amazing. I have tons of music, video, photos, apps, etc, all installed and I've just recently hit the 32GB mark. If other manufactures stop with these stupid 8/16 and perhaps even 32GB phones, and go for the higher storage on high end phones. SD cards wouldn't need to be used with our phones.

    HTC is the one closest to how I'd like it, their HTC One only comes in 32 and 64 GB versions for the same price of Samsung's 16 and 32 GB versions. And then there are those (Nexus 4) that go even lower with only 8/16 GB versions, which is absolutely pathetic. Cloud storage is definitely the future, but right now with carrier caps and ridiculous overpriced data plans, it isn't viable unless you're on a WiFi network.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jeremy6820 Jeremy Gomez

    I was a little concerned when I got my LG Optimus G. And even with 32 gigs, I can fill it up easily with apps and the several large games I have on the phone. I don't need a lot of the stuff though. I keep it on my phone because I can. I'm happy without a microSD slot, as long as the phone has plenty of storage. I'd much rather continue getting phones with large internal storage than dealing with external memory again.

  • Sean Lumly

    I think that the reason for the omission of expandable storage by apps due to a messy file-system is a very poor excuse not to include the feature. After all, the OS could easily require the user to confirm when an app wants to read/write individual files/directories to this storage. Ironically, even Google sees the value in the file paradigm, as they are pushing Google Drive, a cloud-based file-system. Doubly ironic is that Drive apps only have permissions to read/write certain files based on a user permission system, thus files are there because the user wants them to be!

    In reality expandable storage is just a way of locally storing information (files) and often in light of far-too-limited internal memory. Should users be forced to shell out another $600 for a new mobile when they find that they can't install the apps/media that they want due to lacking storage on an otherwise perfectly functional device? What about those in the developing world whose devices are *more* likely to be storage limited?

    I was an early (ignorant) purchaser of a Nexus 7 16GB and I *hate* that I can't install the games that I want due to lack of space. I would easily purchase a $30 sdcard if I was afforded the chance, but sadly, my only option for more storage is to get a whole new tablet.

    Sure there's cloud storage, but even in this great cloud-based future, there are many reasons why an individual may want to store locally, even given ubiquitous and reliable internet connectivity. However even in developed countries, wireless internet connectivity is expensive as is on-line storage, and of somewhat limited quality and bandwidth depending on one's location. Sometimes a local file is just better fit (eg. on an aeroplane).

    Google's decision to forego expandable storage outright with sdcard and indeed external USB drives, is frustrating. It may be visionary to predict usage prevalence of the cloud, but that idea should become ubiquitous on its own merits, and not necessarily forced on users. I'm sure with some good API design, storing apps and data on an external FS could be both painless and tidy.

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      "After all, the OS could easily require the user to confirm when an app wants to read/write individual files/directories to this storage. "

      People are too lazy to click the Yes in UAC and instead turn it off, I am quite sure they are too lazy to do the same more often on their android device.

      "Doubly ironic is that Drive apps only have permissions to read/write certain files based on a user permission system, thus files are there because the user wants them to be!"

      Would be weird if your cloud system didnt have those permissions and everyone could access it. Point is, Fat32 doesnt have user permissions, that isnt a choice by Google, that's a fact.

      "In reality expandable storage is just a way of locally storing information (files) and often in light of far-too-limited internal memory"

      Yes, that is what the user sees, for the developpers at Google and the complexity of it that is a whole different story.

      "Should users be forced to shell out another $600 for a new mobile when they find that they can't install the apps/media that they want due to lacking storage on an otherwise perfectly functional device? "

      No, but what you for example could do is think what you store on it. I have seen enough posts scrolling down to here where people say "I have 32GB's of music". I honestly doubt you listen to the whole 32GB library all the time so I dont see the need to copy the whole thing.

      Also there is no need to copy your video's to it either. You can copy them beforehand, and then watch those, and after that remove those again.

      Those terabyte's of storage you can have in your computer has left you in a very luxurious position where you can store anything on it, that simply is not the case on your smartphone.

      The same was going on with Memory, computers easily had 4GB's of ram, developpers didnt have to think that much about it's usage. And then the smartphones became popular with much less ram, and required a rethink of that.

      If you really are just spilling your 16GB or 32GB's that easily you honestly need to rethink your way of storing data.

      • Sean Lumly

        Ok.. Short-ish response.

        1) Since Google controls the API that ultimately writes to the FS, access is not a limitation of the underlying file-system, but a limitation of the API that Google directly controls.

        2) What the complexity of doing file storage on a mounted drive? Perhaps you can enlighten me. Remember, Android already does this.

        3) Trying to pre-emptively choose media (movies or music) to shuffle back and fourth on a device of limited is time consuming and *extremely* inconvenient and unnecessary with expandable storage. It's not about listening to 32G while out, but having access to a large enough collection of media to suit your needs should you want it. 8 or 16G requires some users to be far to constrained leaving as little as 1G for media. This is not practical.

        • Wesley Modderkolk

          "1) Since Google controls the API that ultimately writes to the FS, access is not a limitation of the underlying file-system, but a limitation of the API that Google directly controls."

          And once again, FAT32 does not have the ability to control user permissions. So no, it isnt a choice by Google, it just isnt possible in a secure way. Oh yes, you could handle that by Android, but that simply gets ignored by anything else because FAT32 Does not have the ability to user permissions. So then you can rather not have permissions.

          And yes, you could do ext3(or w/e android uses for it's file system), but good luck reading that on your windows pc.

          "2) What the complexity of doing file storage on a mounted drive? Perhaps you can enlighten me. Remember, Android already does this."

          I'm no developper so I do not know. However there have to be enough reasons for Android to not natively support it/leave it in.

          "3) Trying to pre-emptively choose media (movies or music) to shuffle back and fourth on a device of limited is time consuming and *extremely* inconvenient and unnecessary with expandable storage."

          That's like what, 5 minutes work? and that isnt even needed every day or something. Plus you could also copy photo's that you have made a month ago away from your device, saves up space too.

          " It's not about listening to 32G while out, but having access to a large enough collection of media to suit your needs should you want it. 8 or 16G requires some users to be far to constrained leaving as little as 1G for media. This is not practical."

          Like said, the TB's of space on your device has spoiled the users. There is no way you need to full 32GB's of your collection, there is no way you need a quarter either, because you'll probably still skip half of it.

          I have a 200GB music library and I can do perfectly fine with 1GB of music on my device, and then I'm still skipping most of it.

          • Sean Lumly

            1) Yes a FS like FAT32 does not have permissions, but the mounted directory does (a group called sdcard_rw if I'm not mistaken). Additionally, apps use what's known as an API to read/write files and perform other system actions. This API can restrict or permit actions by design, and this is wholly separate from the underlying FS layer. My point is simply this: there is nothing stopping a file access API from granting/restricting permissions per-app,per-file, or per-directory basis, even when writing to a permission-less FS.

            Having written many APIs in my time, I'm personally confident that I could engineer a solution to this would-be problem. Certainly Google has developed a per-file/per-directory permission API for Google Drive that works well that could be adapted for Android.

            2) Please do not pretend to know who I am or how I use my devices. Read the comments in this section; I'm not alone. From experience, I would much rather have access to a larger pool of files as 16GB of system memory is far too restricting in common scenarios, and is an irritating inconvenience to move media between my systems.

            And yes, I am one of the few users that SFTP across WiFi when at home for transferring files, and have set up a media streaming server on a computer with a mounted external in Linux. However, this is well beyond the scope of most users, and I even feel it's inconvenient in certain scenarios.

            I personally prefer more storage. Period. While your needs may be different, you don't know me enough to tell me what mine are.

  • John

    SD cards make backups easier and faster, especially with large files or folders. Google's MTP solution just doesn't work as well to transfer large files. Also, if your phone has issues you can at least salvage what is stored on the SD.

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    i'd wager that sd card slots are only included in some flagship phones these days as a selling point, after all, to the average consumer, "unlimited storage" sounds better then any set limit, even though the fine print says "via sd card, that we will sell you for a premium", this was especially true in android's earlier days when the iphone had 64GB+ options and androids were still floundering with 4gb and 8gb but thats not true anymore.

    from what ive seen the amount of people who call for sd card slots is minimal and similar to the amount of people who have 6 3TB HDDs in there home pc they are certainly the outlier rather then the rule

  • Mikhail Dy

    I used to have a galaxy s3 and i believed that i need a SD card, but i encountered a problem with media server thing that drains 20%–30% a day. It is somehow related to my SD card. I'm using a 32gb htc one now and I'm satisfied by the space. I usually keep 5gb of music 4-5 movies, a couple of high Def games and a lot of casual games and I still have around 10gb left of storage.

  • NFG

    For my money the SD card is an advantage for many reasons, not just storage. Being able to pop the card out and slap it in a card reader for high-speed transfers is a huge boon, my Samsung devices are incredibly slow when connected to the PC, file transfers (and even a listing from a large directory) take many times longer than direct card access.

    My phone is my music player. For any transfer over ~30 files it takes less time to power down the phone and move the card to the PC.

    It's also convenient for the purposes of troubleshooting. Recently the media scanner started hammering my device pretty hard, draining the battery in half a day as it choked on a file. Yanking the SD card helped me narrow down the possible culprits - with fixed storage I'd have had to delete them all and hope I didn't miss any.

    And there's privacy too - yanking the card means I can send the phone in for repair without worrying about dodgy techs undeleting my eggplant porn archive.

    And price! a 64GB card from ebay costs less than a 16GB upgrade from the manufacturer.

    And choice! I'd prefer to have the choice to have more storage or not. And when I want. And in case my needs change - I may not need it now, but what if I do later? If I wanted my decisions to be made for me I'd get an iphone. ^_^

    • Sean Lumly

      Offtopic: and what is up with that mediastreamer? It's currently chewing up 30-50% of my Nexus 7 CPU consistently (at least while the screen is on). What can it possibly be doing with all of these cycles? Who programmed that process, and why is it necessary (serious questions)?

      I sincerely hope that it is fixed with the next update. Considering that my system reports that under the 'screen', it is the biggest user of battery life on the device, it must be a bug.

      • NFG

        I never had a problem until JellyBean, on my Galaxy S2 the battery life cut back by about two thirds. I switched to Slim Bean, which is awesome, but when build 7 came out I had the same problem. The slim guys helped me figure out the problem...

        Basically, it seems, some bad MP3s caused the media scanner to freak out. Very bad coding, if your mandatory scanning tool isn't robust enough to handle some corrupted ID3 tags in a music file, rendering the entire device worthless.

        To test, delete all your media (or remove the SD card where you store it, hehehe) and see how you go.

        • Sean Lumly

          There is no SD card on the Nexus 7 (*sadface*), but I will certainly take your advice and backup/clear the files and see if the problem goes away. Hopefully it works

        • Sean Lumly

          Thanks for the tip! I'm going to backup and remove the files on my internal-memory and load them back on the device bit-by-bit and see if this makes a difference. Fingers crossed!

        • Sean Lumly

          Ok.. I seem to have found the culprit. After months of use the app 500px has stored close to 100,0000 small cache files on the sdcard (Android/data/com.fivehundredpx.viewer/cache). This is poor design and would be better suited as an SQLite DB. Interestingly, these files don't seem to improve the performance of the app, but the sheer number keep the media scanner scanning without end. I have also removed a bunch of obvious caches from some other apps.

          Some apps seem to have tons of legitimate files that can't be removed without destroying the app. It may be helpful to include a blank file called '.nomedia' in these directories, as this supposedly will be cause the media scanner to skip scanning for media in the directory. I haven't tested this, but it could work.

          Media scanner is clearly a poorly designed component. First, the media-scanner should not even *be* in that directory as its designated as app storage (and not users media). Second, there should be a logical cut-off to the amount of files scanned in a directory (ie. 2000 max). And third, the scanner should save a db of some of its work as to avoid the need to scan files that have already been scanned (eg. if a file has the same name, same mod date, and the same file-size, it should be ignored). There is no good reason why media scanner should be running as long as it is.

          Thankfully my CPU is now fluttering around 0 - 5%, which the majority of activity is caused by the CPU monitor! This is very good news, and should give my battery life a noticeable boost!

          • NFG

            Awesome! Glad you found the problem. It's so great to have your phone behaving normally again, isn't it?

          • Sean Lumly

            It really is! Thanks again for the tip!

  • bos

    There are many good reasons to include SD card slots, and no good reason (from the consumer's perspective) not to. Google would have us believe that they can't figure out how to handle external storage in Android. It's very disheartening to think that Google isn't smart enough to design something that every OS since the 1980's has been able to do with ease, or else is lying to their customers about it ...

    • Sean Lumly

      Yes indeed. It is a poor excuse at best.

  • Primalxconvoy

    My 32 gig galaxy note 2 with 32 gig sd card is almost full on both ends. I have quite a lot of music and video files that I use to teach my pupils, plus I need the large internal storage for replacement apps (for the crap that comes preloaded) and games games (many of which are up to 2 gigs each).

  • Graham Parkes

    Two features I demand in a phone are a microSD and removable battery. I would not consider buying a phone without them. Sent from my 32GB Galaxy S3 with 64GB microSD

    • Adamos Makis

      same here. Even if internal storage is the norm at 32 or 64 or 128gb in a couple of years as long as smartphones become more powerful storage needs increase and more stuff we will store on them so I dont see why companies abandon microsd slot. Is not as if a freaking microsd reader costs anything

  • Elias

    1 - often, additional onboard storage isn't even available, as is the case with the N4 which maxes up at 16gb.
    2 - IF additional onboard storage happens to be available, a HUGE premium is charged (e.g. nexus 4 increases $50 for a ridiculous 8gb increase in capacity, while a 32gb class 10 microsd can be found for $30)
    3 - in many places, cell coverage is terrible, speeds are ridiculous and prices are outrageous, so internet is not a viable option. I've been to a party where I needed but couldn't use my google play music unlimited subscription because network was congested (and anyway, EDGE was not fast enough to stream music).
    4 - sometimes you just have to read a microsd. Someone might have a microsd with a file you want. Maybe you're snapping pictures with your camera, away from your computer, and want to send some to the internet (which you can, if you're using a microsd card with SD adapter in your camera). Sometimes you just have your media spread through different microsds.
    5 - some manufacturers are filthy enough to even disable hardware resources necessary to USB OTG in phones *coughNEXUS4cough* which are a clone of models with functional USB otg.
    6 - the advantages of having a microsd card FAR outweight the complications of having one

    • Eilas

      Two years ago, I had a captivate with 16gb onboard and 32gb microsd. TWO YEARS AGO it was barely enough. So I got a nexus 4 and unlimited data thinking it would be enough, but definitely in my country, such as in many others, things are not ready to depend on mobile access.

      • Sean Lumly

        I agree... I've owned a Nokia N800 with a large microsd and even it wasn't enough and it must have been around 4 years ago.

        Ironically, the Nokia N900 came out for around $399 at that time, and had 32GB built-in. I have a hard time understanding why manufacturers insist on 8GB. Given the insane markups on mobile phones, 64GB should be the norm these days (even if the latter 48GB is a soldered reasonably slow sdcard).

    • Elias

      Forgot to mention: recording 1080p videos, watching 1080p videos you ripped from your legally owned blurays, and 3+GB games are not hard to find on the play store nowadays.

      On my 16gb nexus 4 I currently have 1gb free. Had to uninstall ALL the big games from it and I'm not buying games anymore because there's no space for them, the largest one currently is shadowgun at 500mb. Still, 4.9gb taken by apps (being 2.7gb of music, which is NOTHING for me), 4.2gb on camera videos and photos, and another 2.5gb on misc data.
      If I could offload all my pictures, videos and music to an external SD card, probably I could be ok with 16gb of fast memory onboard (fast enough for 1080p recording and loading games quickly). Anyway, I guess a class 10 card would still be faster.

  • Simon Waite

    I store loads of spotify playlists on my sd. A 64gb device may just be enough. Other wise the cloud looks after all the stuff I used to store locally.

  • nsnsmj

    I don't care about having a microSD slot as much anymore. Just give me at least 32GB of internal storage and I'll be fine.

  • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

    I'd prefer it, I can get my with my music loaded to the cloud and a movie or 2. But I go places occasionally with crappy cell service so streaming is not an option. I prefer 32 gigs on a device that I'll watch a lot of movies on. So for the Nexus 7 I'll use the OTG cable or whatever.

  • Krzysztof Jozwik

    I don't get why 32GB isn't the standard. From what I've seen of the cost breakdowns of iPhones it's not really much at all from 8 to 16 to 32. 32 should be the standard, it should go to 128. What the fuck.

  • Max_Freedom

    "The Cloud" got pushed on us, as Unlimited Data disappeared, and the rates skyrocketed.
    $100 a month for 1gb?
    Shove the Cloud up your ass, verizon and google.

    • Ray

      It's not Google's fault your carrier charges ridiculous amounts for data.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

        But it is Google's fault for trying to force us to use the cloud knowing that most people don't have unlimited data.

        • Ray

          I don't have an unlimited data plan - nor do a lot of a people I know who use Google for pretty much everything. I've got a 1.5Gb limit a month and I manage just fine.

          Unless you're streaming music (which is an option - you're not forced to use it), I don't see how Google services a lone could make any great difference to your data usage.

          I still fail to see how Google is to blame.

          • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

            I used to think similar to you, how could people use up all their data without using streaming media, I had never in my life used more than 500MB in a month.

            Then I got a Galaxy SIV, and chewed through 1.5GB in a little over a week mostly from camera uploads thanks to the 12MP camera. I've since told Dropbox and Google+ to only upload pictures over WiFi which has brought my usage back under 1GB per month but that doesn't really sell the notion of the cloud being always available storage as Google would like us to believe.

      • Max_Freedom

        You're right.
        Unfortunately Verizon is the only carrier with acceptable coverage in my city.

  • Ray

    I've got a Nexus 4 and when I first got it I was a little worried about only having 16Gb of storage with no way of expanding it. That said, I've managed to make do all this time (since release).

    That being said, I don't know if I'd buy another one if it only came with 16Gb. 32Gb should be the bare minimum for storage these days. Storage is so cheap no manufacturer really has any excuse to offer anything less.

    32Gb+ would be ideal for me and I'd be able to comfortably live without any expandable memory. In fact, I'd much prefer not to have the option at all.

  • CoolCustomer

    The SD slot is mandatory if you don't have unlimited data just because photos and music shouldn't be competing with apps. If you do have unlimited data though 16GB seems like the magic number, any less and you are relying on cloud services too much, any more an you are just hoarding. Seriously why keep more than one nandroid backup on your phone at any given time (I would argue against any) or any Titanium backups.

  • anon

    I would never buy a phone without sd card slot. As a person that listen to a lot of music I can't wait for 128GB microSD cards.

  • Christopher Robert

    I have 2 64 gb sd cards for my phone. One is almost full one is half full.

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    For me a microSD card slot is essential

    The first most obvious issue is data, Now Google would like you to rely more (almost exclusively) on the cloud but this ignores the reality that most people at this point are not on unlimited data plans, it would not be difficult to burn through a 3GB or even a 5GB data plan streaming music, if you are streaming video you will annhialate your data allotment in no time.

    Even if you don't use any streaming media services at all you can use up data just doing things like uploading your pictures to the cloud. When I got my Galaxy SIV I found that my camera uploads to Google+ and Dropbox were burning through my data allotment at an alarming rate (definitely on track for going over my monthly allotment) due to the increased size of the pictures from the new phone (coming from a phone with a 5MP camera). I was able to solve this problem by telling Google+ and dropbox to only upload when connected to WiFi but that leads to another issue.

    If you have media on your phone, mostly I'm thinking about photos or videos and something happens to your phone (it gets damaged) and your content is on a microSD card it's relatively simple to take that card out and get all your content off of it with a card reader. If all your photos and videos are on phone memory there is no real pracitcal way to get those photos (technically one could buy a donor phone and pay someone to desolder the memory chips off of your dead phone and solder them onto the donor but that's going to be out of reach for most people). If you are (like me) only uploading your photos & videos over WiFi or if you are an area without mobile coverage the cloud won't help you in thse situations.

    Which brings me to another point. Speaking personally I know a lot of the places I go I don't have access to data, whether I'm out riding my motorcycle in the hills around Los Angles or volunteering onboard the USS Iowa (an armored battleship makes a very effective faraday cage). I regularly find myself with absolutely no coverage whatsoever, liekwise if you go on vacations in any remotely wilderness areas you could be without any kind of data connection for days. Or for that matter if you go on vacation out of the country and bring your phone.

    The cloud is great, I use it all the time, but anyone who thinks that the existence of the cloud means you don't need to have a reasonable amount of removable memory in your phone is not thinking about these realities.

  • Jaymoon

    Haven't missed a microSD slot since I picked up my Galaxy Nexus (32GB) more than a year ago.

    I still have at least ~15GB free at any given time, with Titanium Backups, podcasts, icon packs, and a ton of pictures.

    To each their own, which is the beauty of Android, but I don't hear any iSheep complaining about not having a microSD slot, nor do I demand a floppy or zip drive either.

  • Ken

    Just had to send my note 2 in to get speaker fixed. Aside from the quick turn around, I was happy that all important info was on the micro sd card. Made it much easier when I got it back as they had to do a factory reset. All info immediately available on the loaner phone as well.

  • InvaderDJ

    For me, as long as I have 32GB of internal storage I'm good. Hell, I can even live with 16GB it just isn't comfortable.

    I'm glad there are options for people who need the storage, but for me even with phones that have MicroSD card slots I either don't use them, or I keep the storage in there and just use it as if it was built in without transferring them between phones.

  • sdmark

    Like others have mentioned. Until every carrier has unlimited data as a standard, there will always be a need for physical storage. It's amazing how quick 2.5gb gets used up with t-mo's 35mbps LTE!!

  • Di Lu

    For me, it is about store & watch 40G of videos on my phone in the most affordable way possible. That's why a 16G GS4+ a 64GB Class 10 card was more attractive than a HTC One 64G since they cost $40ish less.

    • h_f_m

      Just curious why you would need 40+ GB of video on your phone?

      • Di Lu

        Surely I would need that much space for my entire video library on the phone so that I can watch any episode I am in the mood for at any time?

  • Jerecho

    Most of the main points have already been covered:

    - pricey (yet still limited) data plans,
    - cloud options that you have to subscribe to if you want more than a measly 2GB/15GB of space (Dropbox/Google Drive),
    - the requirement for an always-there, constantly reliable data/Wi-Fi connection,
    - the cost effectiveness of buying a 16GB phone + 64GB microSD -vs- a 64GB phone and
    - that you *NEVER* get 16GB on a 16GB phone anyway to begin with, so maybe start referring to your "11.25GB" phone instead, to be accurate.

    However, when you consider the new-ish development of apps like Foldermount (which tldr: if you have root, it allows you to store large files like game data in microSD instead of in internal storage but tricks the system into believing the data is still in internal storage) popping up, I would say it's pretty much game, set and match in favour of microSDs.

  • WHO?

    So since my dropbox is pretty much full i decided i am going to start using home media server. Which one is recommended that will auto upload pics and videos and stream "not download" music and videos with nice interface?

  • ThomasMoneyhon

    The future is the cloud and non removable storage. I am android hardcore but Andy Rubin, Google, Nexus and Apple see the light here. The nexus 4 hasn't failed me with 16 but 32 would have been far more comfortable.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I disagree. Cloud storage is a supplement to existing storage options and although useful for saved games and services via Netflix, isn't going to be the only method in the future.

      That's like saying public libraries will replace our own bookshelves.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        "That's like saying public libraries will replace our own bookshelves"

        Which it actually does for many, many people

        • Primalxconvoy
          • Wesley Modderkolk

            Thank Google. I remember a time where I went to the library quite often, both for school as well for regular books. Why woulf you go to the library when you can find the information with Google?

            But yeah you're right, would be better if I used 'did' instead of 'does'

  • markn0v

    I have a nexus 4 and while it makes better use of the 16gb space than the Galaxy S2 it replaced (because all user data shares one partition), it's still not enough. 16gb is enough for my apps and app data but I run out of space fast when I start loading movies and songs onto it.

    I understand that fat32 doesn't allow user permissions, but does that have to matter for the cases you need that extra storage for? The sdcard should be treated the same as any other external storage - completely user controlled storage that can only be used by specific apps (eg: music and video players), and only when the user says so.

    The user chooses to insert/remove the sdcard in the first place, why is it so bad that they have to tell the device how to use it?

  • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

    Bla bla bla cloud here bla bla bla. So far I've never seem a way to install huge games (like batman) in the cloud. I don't have a single fucking music or photos on my device, I just wanna install more Apps on it, and belive me, 16GB is already a joke, better not talk about 8GB non-upgradable Nexus 4.

    • The BiG phat BiG Mac

      People like me don't have great data out in the rual country, cloud is useless when your speed is 55 kbs

  • Rod

    Why is it that no one will talk about how samsung has stopped allowing its customers to use sd cards and neving mentioning it? When i bought my gn2 i found out the hard way. Is ita taboo ssubject?

    • Primalxconvoy

      What? My Galaxy Note 2 has a micro sd card in it right now.

  • Charles Sweeney

    To give just the answer to the question posed: Yes. Now just to expound on that just a tad bit: IMHO, I prefer an SD card slot UNTIL 4G LTE along with data plans are at least 90% reliable [meaning for most places I travel] and more affordable. While you can get free wifi a lot of places to include the work place there are drawbacks such as inadequate bandwidth for streaming audio or video; and free wifi ins't everywhere. A phone with 64GB of storage [with somewhere around 58GB-60GB available to the user depending on your OS + LG/Samsung/HTC custom skin] that is more than enough space for me as far as apps but not my music and movies and pics and personally recorded videos. I use DropBox and Drive heavily but only access them when I'm home on my own wifi because I have the bandwidth needed. So yes, until 4G LTE speeds and coverage are more reliable and prevalent, I need an SD card slot.

  • Marsg

    Micro sd's are welcome but not a necessity more like a luxury.

  • miri

    No, because they don't expand storage, they tack it on. Buying a 16GB phone and inserting a 16GB Micro SD doesn't give you 32GB, but two volumes of 16 that you have to move files and apps between and that's annoying. I'd prefer to just get a phone with 32GB built in.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Actually, I think you're wrong. The "32 gig" internal memory is labelled as an "internal sd" card on my phone.

  • Alex

    Honestly, how many GB of music does one need to have on his/her smartphone at any given time? 2-3 albums maybe? That's less than 1GB.
    How many high end games do you play at the same time?

    To me it makes no sense moving ALL of your music on the smartphone, installing all the cool games (even though you can't pay them all at the same time), that's being lazy. The only real problem I see with limited internal storage is if you record a lot of HD videos, but other than that....

    • Andrew

      I prefer to keep all my music on my Galaxy S3. It's also nice having 40 gb of photos, including all my family albums, stored on my 64gb sd card. It's very convenient to have all the files you need in your pocket ready to go no matter what cell signal you currently have.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        Until you lose your device, because it gets stolen, and gone is all that stuff.

  • Christopher Ching

    With 64 GB of integrated storage, or at least the availability of a 64 GB option, I think SD card slots CAN be removed, but not necessarily should be. IMO, 64 GB is the point where the vast majority of consumers would be satisfied and find the need for expandable storage for the sake of actual capacity unnecessary.

    Even with a full 64 GB capacity though, it is in most cases far easier and faster to swap an SD card between phones than to transfer their full contents through some other means. Most importantly, they can be swapped without the use of a computer, which would otherwise be needed for even reasonably timely large file transfers, although with modern phones limited to USB 2.0, even this will take a while. So I think a case can certainly be made in favor of keeping SD card slots, and even replaceable batteries, which are quite useful for long trips where an opportunity to sit down and charge a battery are limited at best.

  • andrew__des_moines

    People wouldn't complain as much if an extra 16GB of storage were not a $100 adder. When additional built-in storage matches the price of an equivalent mocro-SD card, Google can have its way -- until then, consumers will buy the far less expensive option (although it probably costs the OEMS more to add a micro-SD slot in the hardware, they just can't resist gouging customers by adding the built-in at a reasonable price).

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    SD storage is garbage and I wouldn't trust any of my data to it. Also, performance sucks and I can't put games and apps on it anyway.

  • h_f_m

    No, it isn't necessary.

  • Matthew Merrick

    I have 35 GB of music. That means Need either a 64 GB SD card or 64 GB Internal storage. I'd prefer the Internal storage, but until there's a high end Phablet With 64 GB Internal, I'll have to make so with an SD card. Because the option to add enough storage is better than not, even if it's not very versatile or fast storage.

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      Or you only copy what you actually listen to

  • Paul

    You know who doesn't believe in expandable storage? Apple. You know who doesn't believe in removable batteries or Qwerty keyboards or the D-Pad? Apple. Seems like Android, 2 years later, is following in their footsteps. I liked Android because they dared to be different, to give us options that Apple didn't. D-Pads? Gone. Qwerty Keyboards? Near extinct. Expandable storage? Endangered. Removable battery? Endangered.

  • Leonardo Baez

    off corse... more than ever. With bigger and bigger Mpx resolutions and 1080p video capabilities, sd ards are a must have

  • Fellwalker

    I have a nexus 4 and a nexus 7, each with 16GB. on my phone with camera, I have to be very careful and have had to remove apps to cut memory usage. on my 7 I've had to uninstall a map app which had offline storage.
    I am frustrated that I cannot store any music on either, nor a film on the 7. External memory means carrying lots of extra gubbins and downloading / streaming does not work when signals are so appalling here in North East England (nor roaming abroad) .

  • Pranav Koli

    For me having an external sdcard is not so much about the capacity of the phone.
    As some one who falshes ROMs quite often, There's a lot of chance of the /system and/or /sdcard partitions of the memory getting corrupted due to improperly installed or bad ROMs. Having an external SdCard from where i can recover data and flash replacement images from recovery is very critical.

  • Hider141

    the microSD card slot is a must-have for any device with less then 32GB of internal storage, even if it provides 25-50GB of cloud storage.

  • deV14nt

    It's not "a philosophical grudge against the SD card." It's not because of cloud storage.

    It's because of the unnatural division of storage space when it is split between internal and external. It's because storing apps that have widgets on the SD card means they're bound to disappear occasionally.

    It's because including SD cards makes Google's job harder in several technical ways.

    Not that I agree with any of it. I just like to discuss things accurately rather than using popular, totally made up theories.

  • Mikkel Georgsen

    Outside US/EU/JP/KR, you know where 80% of the worlds population lives, the infrastructure/speeds are so bad that Memory cards are the only true alternative to built in storage. Also it makes sideloading content a lot easier for a lot of people.

    No SD-Card or Google crusade to block writing to the SD-Card from apps on the phone since Honeycomb is plain retarded and shows a fundamental lack of understanding the world outside their navel.

    Fact: Cloud storage is not an option for most people in the world.

    • SoWhy

      Even inside US/EU/JP/KR the infrastructure is either so bad or so expensive. Here in Germany I can't even get a 3G connection in my own apartment in the third-largest city!

      • Sajid

        can't get or can't afford? please explain the issue.

        • SoWhy

          Can't get. Within the apartment, I'm lucky to get EDGE. And the same goes for leaving the city - as soon as you are on the countryside, you have GPRS/EDGE with some 3G but nothing stable.

          Affording is another issue. Here most providers limit the speed to GPRS when you reach a certain amount of traffic (usually 500 MB / month). Higher limits means higher prices and music streaming will eat away those quotas in no time anyway. So for the price of one SD card, I could maybe afford 1-2 months of streaming but then I'd pay more than with locally saved music.

    • Vijesh Yechury

      Why don't you people think of battery life which lasts less than a day when you use internet? You people are more concerned about download speed rather than battery life. What is the point in having 8MBps download speed with low battery? Sd card is always helpful to save battery usage!

  • SoWhy

    Cloud storage requires great infrastructure and affordable mobile data plans, both things that do not exist in most of the world (not even really in EU/US/JP/KR) . And that means if you want to have your music and videos with you, you have to save them on the device somehow. 32GB internal space might sound much but they fill rapidly. I might be persuaded to give up SD-cards if devices shipped with 128+ GB of internal storage or data streaming becomes a real option (both in terms of availability and costs as well as battery consumption!) but now is not the time for it.

    • Vijesh Yechury

      Forget everything related to tech and infra. Just tell me is it affordable battery-life wise to use excess internet? One has to keep charging the phone every now and then!

  • ehEye

    i have an old samSung Galaxy 'Y' that i now use as an MP3 player, as it has a handy lanyard mount/hole in it. The Nexus 4 that is my present 'phone' and my Nexus 7 both have 16gb stg. and i have not [so far] had any space problems [in Canada]. The Galaxy 'Y' would not allow any apps to be stored on its microSD card, and had a slew of 'bloatWare' that eventually rendered it unable to store much in the way of useful apps. ["error insufficient space" app update could not be installed!]

  • Adrian Meredith

    No point for phones but for tablets having a full size sd card slot in my transformer is essential for getting photos off my camera

  • jon h

    I bought the 16 gig galaxy note 2 so yeah a 64 gig card definitely comes in handy

  • GraveUypo

    i could live without it if i had 64gb or more of internal storage. but i would still prefer 64gb + sd.

  • Adamos Makis

    MicroSd's are essential. As long as smartphones become more powerfull then storage needs increase and even if you increase internal storage alot of people ( mainly powerusers which are a big part of sales from $500-600 smartphones) will need more space. Cloud is good and danty but until we have access in airplanes, the tube, other public transportation and companies allow global usage without overcharging you and until unlimited date becomes the norm then a microSD is necessary. For now at least for me and i'm quite sure for most of us cloud is great for backup but rellying on the cloud for my storage needs is a big NO-NO. Putting a microsd reader on a phone costs next to nothing so i see no reason why not ( and same goes for removable battery and those 2 reasons are 2 of the main ones i go with samsung the last 2-3years )

  • JohnnyChua

    I use to be able to move apps from internal storage to external card when S1 came out. Why is it that Samsung or Google remove this function?

    • Prouddad

      Root, and you can.

    • Prouddad

      I have 27gb of games on my exterior sd card all playing perfectly straight from the card! My wife owns an iphone 5 (I also have an iphone 5, my work phone and I hate it lol) and I always feel bad for her when she has to start deleting apps and pictures because she has no more internal storage. She also has to charge her phone twice a day. I have a 9300mah battery, lasts for days, and 70gb of useable storage on my note 2 and im just like, sorry hun!

  • Vladimir

    Here I wonder why the whole world should built around America if the Americans do not need this function, and the world does not need work. When you learn to reckon with the world AMERICANS. I use the iPhone 4s and Galaxy Coll.

    And by the way I'm from Russia, sorry for my bad English.

  • CyanogenMod User

    Always. None of my content can be streamed at all since they aren't the mainstream rubbish so I do have to keep them on my phone plus i'm not "always on".

  • uncle fred

    I'd never buy a phone without it. At least not until 32gig becomes the minimum storage in phones.

  • CeluGeek

    As long as someone provides expandable option, that's the option I'll choose.

  • Ryan Stewart

    Phone, not so much. Tablet, hell yes. I consume video content on the tablet far more than I do on the phone. That is the device I fill up easily.

  • celebi

    yes micro sd is necessary.
    no microsd = going backward in technology = downgrade your phone

  • http://www.twitter.com/Genjinaro Genjinaro

    I feel Sandisk should really come out & advertise, hell qualcomm has.

    I'm holding on to my EVO LTE because I'll be damned if I give up my storage while they force the "use the cloud" & "it's complicated" excuse down our throats.

  • Michael Pahl

    Makes flashing ROMs 10 times easier.

  • RTWright

    Let me point out a few things that a lot of you have not even touched on. The big reason for this is the so called "Cloud" system that everyone is shoving down our throats. Cloud systems are 'okay' at best, mostly they're good for file sharing and giving clients a way of downloading a file we've uploaded to a particular Cloud system for them to access to privately. Yeah yeah, it's good for some backup purposes and some other small things. But do you seriously trust your super important files to something that could go down? Or better yet, because of weather, building restrictions or whatever is causing your poor signal? Point is, if that happens ( It does quite a bit for me on a GS3 with Sprint and it is Sprint that sucks at this, not the device ) and it happens a lot. You cannot access anything period without connection!

    This goes for streaming services as well. The other thing is how about the amount of free space left after all of those bloated programs and UI's that the OEM's and Carriers shove on to those devices? 16GB goes down below 8GB in a hurry and without a microSD you have nothing but an 8GB device. This is another huge negative as Google has already said that 16GB is all a user needs. Heh...

    Then there are people like me who use their device to display their work related files on. I'm a photographer, so you can guess what I put on my phone and a lot of it. Also, as I stated, streaming is not reliable enough for a lot of music enthusiast. Nothing like having your music cut in and out due to poor signal. I have a 16GB microSD, it's ALMOST full due to my image files and music ( Mostly Music ). That's because when I want to listen to something, I don't want it interrupted by delays due to poor signal or connection between myself and their stupid servers.

    Now I will admit, I have a 32GB internal GS3. That is overkill, I should have went with the 16GB and put in a 32GB microSD, then it would have been perfectly balanced system. Now here is another kicker, File Size of Apps. Most Apps are pretty small, most are below 10MB, but how about those of you that play games on your devices? Ah! Another reason for external storage. Because some games are 20MB to 40MB, but there are some of those that are 1GB to 4GB after all of their updates they can become much bigger. Downloaded movies? Yep, much bigger than normal files. Most devices are being sold as Media Devices, meaning they want you to be able to do all of this, but only on a fixed storage system, like the iPhone's....

    MicroSD's are not a mess, most everything you do on your phone recognizes automatically that there is an option for it and sets every app that can make use of it up automatically. I've never had to set but only ONE app in my entire system to see just that drive, that was PowerAmp's Music Directory. Which it auto-detected it, but it also had folders that I didn't want included in with it. So I had to make sure to point it to the directly I wanted it to work from. That was not a big deal, it was pretty easily done.

    According too Google, we're too stupid to make use of such technology. We're too dumb to learn how to use a external storage system, it's too complicated and makes a mess of things. Well it isn't and people need to have that option as far as I'm concerned on a high end flagship, it should always be there. Regardless of how many make use of it or not. At least if it's there, it's another reason to look at their device over another. If it's not there, they lose sales even if they don't seem to think they do. HTC One is a grand example, it's still not outselling Samsung on any level. They're still hurting as a company.

    Samsung knows that there is more than just one type of user on the market, that's why they still include microSD card slots. The only Google based device I would purchase at this time would be the GS4 they're carrying, for that very reason. Sony has come a long way as of recent, they're offering the same things that Samsung offers. Now lets see if they have the power to back it up and give Samsung a good run for their money. Because the way I see it, they're probably the only ones other than Samsung ( Maybe LG ) that are serious about being a contender and not just another chump on the block.

    • MeCampbell30

      Of course cloud services are also liable for losing any of my information. Aside from the fact that I am much more likely to lose an SD Card over having my cloud data erased, at least I can get some kind of compensation when my cloud data is lost.

      Streaming music is good and is only getting better. Play All Access has more music than almost anyone's personal library. And 4G connections are only becoming more popular.

      The HTC One's sales numbers have nothing to do with the fact that it doesn't have an SD Card and everything to do with the power of the Samsung brand.

      • RTWright

        Wrong, Wrong and Questionably Wrong.....

        For starters, if you lose data regardless of compensation, it's still data lost that you have to go back and recover either by a backup that you SHOULD have kept elsewhere for safe keeping or redo the entire piece of work. So again, Cloud - Okay for some things, but I would never put my full 100% trust into anything that I personally cannot control myself.

        Streaming music systems are not the question here, it's your connection to them, while that may not be the services fault, it sure can be your carrier or whatever is obstructing your access to them and causing a poor signal. The other part of this, some of those or most of them require a monthly fee ( Google's Play, Pandora ( Usage based ) and others... ). Then if you do use their free terms they hit you with commercials. I use Jango and it's 100% free but still has commercials at times. So while it may be good in some ways, I still have a very valid point as to having it on my mircoSD is still the best.

        HTC does not give a rats ass about it's customers. I know I had an HTC Evo 4G when it was first released. Used it for 2 years, had it rooted within the first six moths ( After I learned how that is ) because of how they respond to their customers. Oh and you can pretend all you want, but that microSD is highly looked at by a lot of users around the world, not just here in the states. Believe it or not, I know personally everyone that has bought a Samsung device that know within my own circle bought it because of this option and the battery as well. One guy I know had to replace his battery twice since his purchase of the GS3.

        HTC had a Brand at one time, they had it all just like Samsung, they threw it out the window when they started cutting back on features and dishing out crappy upgrades to their devices as well as talking to customers on their own website like they were dirt. You don't do that kind of consumer relations and keep your name for very long. The ones they did this too would also end up getting deleted, no doubt by a much smarter PR person who was a bit late on recognizing the problem, but eh, it happens.

        Samsung is not just about Brand, they do have a lot of quality to their devices even though people think aesthetics over quality. That's the problem now days, everyone puts looks first and everything else is just eh, whatever man! People need to get back to what they did when they were shopping for their first computer, looking at the hardware first and then if it looks cool too? Awesome!

        • MeCampbell30

          Yeah paying for music. That's almost as bad as paying for software. :|

          • RTWright

            I paid for every song on my device, which is more than I can say for 90% of the world. I happen to own thousands of CD's, have purchased from online as well...

      • CyanogenMod User

        Right because Play All Access has music that appeals to "everyone", oh wait it doesn't since I can't find any of the music I listen to on it but i'm not some hipster that listens to american music.

        • MeCampbell30

          Cool story bro.

          • CyanogenMod User

            What can't make a real argument after saying "Play All Access has more music than almost anyone's personal library"?

            If it has more music than my personal library then it should have all the music I listen to on there yet somehow I can't seem to find it.

  • http://www.omgitshuge.com/ OMG its HUGE

    OMG 64GB SDCard it's HUGE! Lol! but on a serious note, I hope the microSD never disappears from Smartphones or Phablets. Where would one backup too? (and please don't suggest the internal drive - ha ha). For me it a major selling point, in fact I will not but a device without one. The advantages of having a SDCard over not having one is obvious; backup, removable storage, expandable storage, more video, music, ROM storage on the go etc. Streaming music or video is not an option if one is has a small data contract, and depending where you are in the world, data contracts can be quite expensive (e.g. EE 4G network 500MB = £21 / $31 / €31) therefore having music and video on the SDCard is much more advatangeous. Your poll tells says it all though!

    • Prouddad

      What you said about backing up, is one of, if not the most important use of an sd card for me. I need my micro sd card to back up all my stuff with titanium backup. Really doesn't make sense to back up to internal ever. I had a friend that was backing up to internal and I was telling him "dude wth are you doing, backup to your external sd card"...he didn't listen and sure enough the next week he messed up flashing a rom or something, didnt backup to sd card, and lost everything.

      • http://www.omgitshuge.com/ OMG its HUGE

        Yes, Titanium Backup is the best in my opinion. Glad to see there are other clever folk out there. Internal backup is suicide. I have 3 different backups scheduled per week to my sd card (e.g. backup all apps, backup new apps only or backup updated apps). I flash many ROMS a week to my device and the sd card along with Titanium Backup has been the key to the whole process.

        • Prouddad

          I have the same backups set automatically on mine, for Tuesdays and Sundays at 2am! Titanium has already saved me a few times with being able too restore app data among other things, its the most important app i have. Awesome man, it is good to hear from people that have it all figured out too. :)

  • MeCampbell30

    SD Cards on on thier way out. Just like the microcassette of the past.

    • CyanogenMod User

      Tell that to the rest of the world where data plans are overly expensive and not everything is available online.

  • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

    I used to swear by microSD card support and refused to buy anything without it. Now, after getting a Chromebook and making the adjustments necessary to get the most out of that device, I find that I don't care anymore.The evolution of Dropbox, Google Drive, and Play Music have eliminated most of my previous needs for microSD cards. Granted, it helps that I have a phone with 32GB of internal storage. If I had the 16GB Galaxy S4, for example, I would be out of space by now and singing an entirely different tune.

    • RTWright

      Again, connection dictates use of those services. And the S4 has the microSD in it, so eh, not much of a valid point there.

      • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

        If I was arguing any point, it was that this isn't a line-in-the-sand issue for many of us. I absolutely needed to have a microSD card until, well, I didn't.

        I only recently moved to a place with a decent broadband connection, so I'm well aware of the limitations of cloud services. And by "singing an entirely different tune," I was saying I would have a microSD card if I were using a Galaxy S4, even though I don't feel the need for one with the phone that I have.

        Cloud services and streaming services are not an end-all, be-all replacement for microSD cards for all people. In my current personal circumstances, though, they are.

        • LANCE

          cloud services use DATA just my normal use is 2gigs of my 4gig plan, when we can have unlimited data for cloud services i will stop my bitching when that happens..PS Verizon sucks,still have another year on contract >_<

  • Marc Edwards

    if there were an option in there of if you had an unlimited data plan would you be willing to abandon your sd card it would be better. because then i might actually consider giving up my sd slot. until the day that unlimited data plans are common place and internal memorys sufficient for my music library (10 years or so, i bet) i will outright refuse to buy a phone if it lacks the sd card slot.

  • Freak4Dell

    Too bad there's not an option for "I don't really care either way." It's nice to have, but it's not a factor in my decision to buy one phone over another.

  • Aditya Sunkara

    please guys not just US theres life outside the place. Just take a look at asian countries and then ask the same question

  • uniquename72

    I travel a lot and fill my mSD card with 1080p movies, which I watch in hotels via HDMI. I also live in Las Vegas, and no carrier covers 100% of the surrounding desert, so I need to keep a fair amount of music on my phone for raod trips.

    Until a phone company wants to give me 64GB (minimum), I'll only be buying phones with mSD slots.

  • JWolf_PDX

    You'll have to pry my two 64GB MicroSD cards(1 in my Note 2, the other in my Note 10.1) from my cold dead hands. Until 4G entirely replaces 3G then having an extension to the paltry 16GB(~11 available on most devices) will be a requirement. Whether I'm holed up in a tent camping or on a plane(Have you tried streaming a 720p movie on airplane wifi? I haven't but from what I've heard, it would be virtually impossible) I will want somewhere to store media that I can consume without requiring a network connection.

    I am a gamer and many of my games take 1-2+ GB of space. I also store movies, music, etc. Since no phone that I want offers a 64GB option then I have to rely on the device having expandable storage. Until 64GB becomes the norm then my buying choices are limited, which again, has not been a problem, to those with a MicroSD slot.

    • Prouddad

      ^^what he said

    • Prouddad

      I currently have 27gb of games on my sd card in my note 2!! Im rooted, and they all play perfectly straight from my sd card :) Im a heavy gamer myself and couldn't imagine not having an sd card now that ive had one for a while! I have like literally 1000 games in my note 2 lol, 100s of nes and snes and n64 and sega and gba games, all of which I play with a ps3 controller on this phone :) I love it!

      • Prouddad

        22gb out of the 27gb are large file play store games not roms

  • Prouddad

    I own a 16gb (10gb useable) verizon note 2 and have installed a 64gb micro sd. Also installed a 9300mah battery. Anywho, I will never again own a phone without expandable storage or a removable battery. All the extra storage space is soooooo helpful for me. And the battery that easily lasts 2 to 3 days on HEAVY use is the icing on my cake.

  • Idon’t Know

    Slow, unreliable, don't work with Google apps.

  • Pengwn

    I will actually prefer my newer devices to not have an SD card slot after this arrives in the mail.


    I'm just going to load up a bunch of shows to an SD card and keep it plugged into that lil guy.
    Edit: That is if OEMs, namely google.. I'm really looking at you goog, to increase the base storage limits.

    • Steven S

      I am also a backer of that ks project :-)

      altho it is a great device, it uses the micro usb port .. so it can Not be available while charging the phone ... unless charging via wireless

      Murphy's law dictates you Will want access to the card while charging, lol

  • bsmoove69

    I won't need a sdcard in my phone when we have 4g LTE available in every corner of the nation and every carrier offer true unlimited 4gLTE data plans so I can completely rely on cloud storage. I will still need a phone with a sdcard slot until we have such a data plan with no caps or throttle available everywhere I go...

  • Nata Greer

    I rip all the kids movies and put them on my Phablet (Note 2) just so when we're out and they get bored I can toss them Mickey Mouse or whatever else they might want. Needless to say this uses lots of internal storage. 64gb expandable in my phone is a necessity.

  • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

    Well ... Expandable storage is a must for me. I keep porn and (music) videos on my phone which eats a lot of storage. It's a smartphone, not an mp3 player, i want more than just listening to music on it.

  • kleinjl

    microSD is useful, if there is not a better expansion now.
    it's a weak tech, i lost info in a card and no way to recover, no low level image access, no s.m.a.r.t, in a tech viewpoint its crapy, but it fill the need of removable storage, low power, small size... so I need it.
    The improve will be ssd, exist low power sata ssd, but in smartphone and tablet we need tiny/nano size, nano esata connector, for nano form factor, that not exist today, so still we need microSD.

  • tom rose

    What I really want is phone with plenty of internal memory (32Gb+) AND an externally accessible slot (or two) for SD or micro-SD so that I can swap in and out different movies, photos, music and documents. Hot-swappable would be "icing on the cake".

    Of course Google wants to sell you devices with fixed amounts of memory ... then when it is not enough you have to buy a whole new phone.

    The big advantage of having removable memory cards is that it effectively beats the limit of 16/32/64 Gb that you can carry with you. My present phone takes micro-SD up to 32Gb which is nowhere near enough to hold my photo and music collections, but by organising my data into <32Gb chunks I can get at it all with the minor inconvenience of switching off the phone and taking off the back to swap cards - just as I swap SIM cards when travelling to another country so as to get locakl rather than roaming charges - and will continue to do so until it is time to upgrade to a dual SIM device.

  • Steven S

    it doesn't matter how much storage the device has, altho at least 16gb is required

    the sd card is partially "extra" storage, sure, but it is actually dynamic, swappable storage

    I will change up the gigabytes of music, movies, and other media on My card at will .. moving them between phone, tablet, laptop .. they are My media of the day/week etc

    I will backup and restore to the cards daily/weekly etc

    the cloud sounds great, but relies on wifi/data availability and speed and let's face it, that availability and speed is not consistent nor reliable except in a small number of locations on this planet

    I only use the cloud for backups

    maybe when the "cloud" evolves to the "air" in 10 years and is available and reliable everywhere, I'll give up My instantly available, always fast, hot swappable sd cards

  • Herb

    My wife's 16Gb IPhone 5 runs out of space continually since she takes a lot of photos. 32Gb would have been nice. Or maybe an SD Slot ...

  • http://Twitter.com/AllMobileMedia All Mobile Media

    I am a convert. I like and prefer the smoothness of a seamless experience. My HTC ONE is all internal and I have had ZERO app issues. I'm in love. I spring for largest available storage and keep it moving.

  • Shanon Coleman

    As a galaxy s4 person a sd card is the best thing feature you can have. I mean don't get me wrong i have nothing against a non sd card phone but still i love being able to have access to my storage without using wifi, data or etc. SD CARD is everlasting it can go far beyond a phones storage. Without a sd card slot your not limitless and if you ever want to fully put your phone to a factory reset a phone under five mins use a sd card to backup all your stuff to sd. But when you have a non external drive you have to use Google drive and all these other things that takes up data from a cellular level. I like not having to worry about storage plus you have more control over your phone. Streaming i don't think will ever over come it and doubt data plans will get any better. There's Always an ''if''. by the way cloud storage is just a waste of time. You spend a lot more time streaming and trying to put stuff on cloud storage. When it comes to data,cache, documents sd card is the God of all storage. Its cheaper nobody wants to waste money and wait on a upgrade. Slip a sd card in and bam! Its there always. Its a need not a want.

  • Physio

    I had xperia zl with non-replaceable battery, after 2 months of using it the battery died,
    it needs a battery replacement but it takes time, or maybe they'll replace it with a new handset, I wouldn't know.

    Luckily I backed up my data regularly on my micro sd and pictures are stored directly on it so imagine if I don't have micro sd slot, I might lose precious data and pictures. So yea micro sd is a must, even more than removable battery.

  • Paul Russell

    All things being equal, I would rather have a phone [or tablet] will less internal memory and expandable memory than a device with more internal memory but only having a finite amount with no way to add more. With phones now being people's digital cameras, camcorders, and music and video players, storage is becoming an ever increasing problem. Some people may say that cloud based streaming and storage services are the solution to the ever decreasing amount of on board storage, however these services could be limited by the country you live in & the access & affordability of mobile data

  • BMC1

    I travel very often for work around the world, must haves for my smartphone is the micro sd card and removable battery. A few years I have been fond of HTC's however after their recent board decisions for their top of the range phones I have bought Samsung. S3, Note2 and Note 3. I dont like the amount of bloatware on the Samsung range, but it has the 2 essentials for me. Sorry HTC , Sony etc.

  • Ronald Li

    I used HTC Desire X (2012 Version), one thing i noticed is that the phone doesnt care if i had a 8GB microSD card installed in the phone, the app storage quota is still 1GB and I can only use 500mb... :-(

  • meee

    All phones should have an sd card slot. Why not. Most phones come with 16GB. If there is a version with more, you may a lot more money. I store my music, and pictures on the sd slot because it makes it easy to transfer to my computer when I need it. I don't always want to have to plug my phone in, or use the cloud.

  • Vijesh Yechury

    I am stunned by the way you spoke of streaming! You may have a good network, internet connection or data plan, but still you don't have ultra battery. Using internet causes battery drain. It is always advisable to stay off the net unless you have no choice on a mobile phone. Otherwise be prepared to charge it twice every day

  • humpity

    Many a times I want to transfer photos to a friend's phone. The most convenient hassle free way is external storage. No software, no plan, no need to connect. Simple as daylight.

  • Wyatt Walters

    Being a huge music fanatic, running up into the 60GB mark of music, yes I do need an SD Card, my internal storage on my Sony is already filled with apps and photos and all that stuff, I like having all my music at my finger tips. Want to listen to Eminem? Right there. Want to listen to some Metal? Still there. With my busy oilfield life I don't have time to be pre-planning my music selection for the day.