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We asked, you told us: You'd take 128GB + microSD over fixed 256GB storage

You would rather buy a phone with a microSD slot than a device with high fixed storage.
By
February 17, 2022
MicroSD card slot stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Expandable storage is not as common in premium phones as it was before. However, microSD slots are still pretty prevalent in budget and mid-range devices. Optionally, you can also get a phone with fixed storage and buy additional cloud storage if necessary. With all these different scenarios in mind, we thought of asking our readers what they would prefer — a 128GB phone with expandable storage or a fixed 256GB phone. Here’s what they said.

A 128GB phone with microSD storage or a fixed 256GB phone?

Results

We received a total of 5,790 votes in our poll and the results are pretty straightforward. A majority of the respondents (71.4%) prefer having 128GB of internal storage with an option to expand via a microSD card. Meanwhile, about 30% of the voters said they are okay with 256GB of fixed storage. The latter figure is a bit more than what we were expecting. It seems people are increasingly accepting devices with fixed storage as long as there’s a decent amount of space on offer.

Your comments

DBS: Storage + SD card is the superior solution. Here’s why. You buy the phone in 2020. At that moment, it looks like 128GB will be more than enough for you. You buy that. There are ZERO reasons for you to pay extra for more base storage.
In 2022, you realize all those nice pictures that “awesome” camera took, all those 4K and 8K videos you shot ’cause the camera could…all those things have eaten up all your storage. If you have a microSD slot you add in a microSD card with the capacity that better suits your needs, you expand the phone’s storage and done. Problem solved. If you don’t have a microSD slot you either have to take things out of the phone or you have to buy a new phone with more storage. Of course, greedy OEMs will prefer you to be forced to buy a new phone. For them, it’s better to give you fixed storage. For YOU, the CONSUMER, it’s a rotten deal.

nemo: Or and bare with me on this you take the pic/vids off your phone and put them on your computer for safekeeping… win-win freeing up space on your phone and have them stored in a safe place. Although I would not buy a phone without an SD card slot. Think future apps are getting bigger heck everything is getting bigger in size and fills up sooner so an SD card is a must. Unless you use cloud storage which I personally would never use.

aenews: While I fully support having a microSD, it should be noted that you don’t necessarily have to transfer to a computer. If using Google Photos, you can automatically back-up photos/videos and also free up device storage whenever needed. No micromanagement is necessary. Of course, this is more practical if one already has an Edu/work/institutional account with high or unlimited storage limits. But it can be done paid or low-cost as well. Personally, this has been a massive convenience for me and makes things so much easier.

mamoulian: No SD card slot just means that manufacturers get to overcharge for more storage, with little to no consumer benefit. I’ve never noticed SD cards being slower in general use.
Previously this worked in Samsung’s favor when comparing their prices to Pixel/OnePlus because I’d buy the lower storage model and a cheap card (or re-use one), but no more.

PhoenixWitti: Samsung was asking almost a $300 premium for an extra 512GB on the 22 Ultra. A card of that size is about $60. I’ll take the biggest internal storage option I can get, AND an SD card option.

Juan S.: Definitely SD card support, I’ve had phones die die, it was a relief taking the SD card with all the info out and swap it into the replacement device, try that without SD card. Nope!

HelloThere: I could easily do 512GB with no microSD card, but if I have to choose one of these options it has to be the lower internal storage with expandable storage.

dquilon: People love to vote for something logical but almost never back it up with their wallets.
Last year I ended up getting an Xperia 5 II with 256GB and WITH microSD storage that doubled its internal capacity. My wife recently traded her Pixel 4A with an Xperia 10 III partially due to having that slot with an extra SIM card/microSD.
Most people just stay “comfortably” with what Apple or Samsung (or Google) feed them.

Hochuha: If the price is the same, I’ll stick with the 256GB option. Best of both worlds it’s when you have a triple sim tray so that you can use two sim cards plus a microSD card at the same time (with few exceptions when eSIM is also supported, in which case you can go with a double tray pictured above).