phones with expandable memory

A few years ago, high-end phones with expandable memory started to become a dying breed. However, the feature is still around even if it’s not as universal as it once was. There are still many great phones that include a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand the storage on your phone. Here are the best ones you should know about.

Best phones with expandable memory:

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list of the best phones with expandable memory regularly as new devices launch.


1. Samsung Galaxy S20 series

samsung galaxy s20 plus Google Fi phone expandable

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S series consists of three phones: the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. The Ultra model offers the most of the three, sporting a large 6.9-inch display, as much as 16GB of RAM, and a triple-camera setup at the back (108MP+48MP+12MP) along with a ToF sensor. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset and packs a 5,000mAh battery.

The Galaxy S20 Plus is next in line, coming with a 6.7-inch display and a triple-camera setup at the back featuring 64MP, 12MP, and 12MP shooters, and a ToF camera. The phone packs a 4,500mAh battery and 12GB of RAM. It’s powered by the same chipset as the Ultra model.

The regular Galaxy S20 is very similar to the Plus model. The major differences are that it comes with a smaller 6.2-inch display, packs a smaller 4,000mAh battery, and lacks a ToF sensor. All three phones sport a microSD card slot, an IP68 rating, and wireless charging. And no, none of them have a headphone jack.


Samsung Galaxy S20 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 48, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra rear panel expandable

Although the Galaxy S family is the most popular line of Samsung phones, the Galaxy Note line takes the power and versatility of the S line a few steps further. This is especially true with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

While the standard Note 20 does not have support for expandable storage, the bigger and more expensive Note 20 Ultra does, up to 2TB. It features the Snapdragon 865 Plus (or the Exynos 990, depending on market), 12GB of RAM, and a 6.9-inch AMOLED panel with the Infinity-O punch hole. The design is equally attractive, though not necessarily massively different from the S line.

On the downside, the Note 20 Ultra doesn’t offer a 1TB option, but the 512GB of storage you get with the high-end model should be enough for most people.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP + Laser AF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

3. Sony Xperia 1 II and 5 II

Sony Xperia 5 II in the hand

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Sony’s latest pair of flagships pack the Snapdragon 865 chipset under the hood. You’ll find 8GB of RAM along with either 128 or 256GB of storage on the Xperia 5 II. It also adds a microSD card slot for additional storage. You’ll find three 12MP cameras at the back as well as an 8MP front-facing camera.

If you go for the slightly larger Sony Xperia 1 II, you’ll get 256GB of expandable storage across all models. However, you’ll have your choice of either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. It comes in with a 6.5-inch display made of impressively tough Gorilla Glass 6 and you’re looking at a 4,000mAh battery to keep you moving.

Like most other Xperia phones, the weirdly named pair of phones comes with side-mounted fingerprint scanners. The Xperia 5 II comes with a 6.1-inch 21:9 display that makes the phone quite lanky. However, there’s also a high 120Hz refresh rate. You also get an IP68 rating and even a headphone jack. However, the 4,000mAh battery lacks wireless charging. Overall, it’s still one of the best phones with expandable storage you can get.


Sony Xperia 5 II specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 1,080 x 2,520 resolution.
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Sony Xperia 1 II specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 1,644 x 3,840 resolution.
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Motorola Moto One 5G Ace

Motorola One 5G Ace rear in hand

Motorola’s Moto One 5G Ace is one of the best phones you can get with expandable memory, and it’s also one of the most affordable. Costing just $400, the mid-range device comes in with an impressive display and a massive battery to match.

You won’t find the most incredible spec sheet on this list, but the silver 5G Ace sticks to what it knows. It packs 4 or 6GB of RAM as well as 64 or 128GB of expandable memory and a two-day 5,000mAh battery cell. While we have our questions about Motorola’s use of 5G, there are plenty of other reasons to grab the 5G Ace even if they’re not in the name.

Motorola tapped a triple camera setup to lead the 5G Ace, but it leaves something to be desired. The actual interface is nice and easy to use, but the quality isn’t what we’d call an “ace.”


Motorola Moto One 5G Ace specs

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 750G
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. LG V60

LG V60 top half of back 1 expandable

The LG V60 ThinQ is the latest flagship offering from the Korean manufacturer. This phone is both powerful and one of the best-looking devices currently on the market. It comes with 128GB of storage and a microSD card slot.

The LG V60 is a 5G phone with all of the specs you’d expect from a flagship. It offers 8GB of RAM, the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset, and a massive 5,000mAh battery. Of course, there’s also a microSD card slot onboard. Additionally, the phone features a Quad DAC and a headphone jack.

Two other great perks the LG V60 offers are wireless charging and a dual-screen accessory for multitasking. Although the second screen costs extra, it makes the V60 one of the most versatile devices you can buy without the worries you might have with a foldable.

The 5G flagship also has improved cameras. On the back, you will find a main 64MP camera, accompanied by 13MP ultra-wide and ToF sensors. Unfortunately, the selfie camera is still housed in a notch, but it’s a tiny one that’s relatively easy to ignore. Overall, however, the LG V60 is one of the best phones with expandable memory you can get.


LG V60 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64 and 13MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

Samsung Galaxy A71 5G rear panel

The Samsung Galaxy A71 5G offers some great hardware, including support for 5G networks, at a reasonable price. It has a big 6.7-inch display, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card slot for additional storage. You also get a large 4,500mAh battery.

You’ll find four cameras at the back, including a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro camera, and another 5MP sensor to collect depth information. There’s also a 32MP front-facing camera onboard. If you want to get a 5G phone that doesn’t cost a lot, the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G is a perfect choice. 


Samsung A71 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Exynos 980
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

7. Motorola Moto Edge

Motorola Moto Edge rear view

There’s a lot to like about the Moto Edge. In addition to being one of the best phones with expandable storage (up to 1TB), it has a solid 4,500mAh battery that will keep you going for two days without a problem.

The phone has a 6.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor, and 4GB of RAM, along with 128GB of onboard storage. You also get a triple rear camera setup, with a 64MP main camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, and a 16MP ultra-wide and macro camera. Other specs and features worth mentioning include a 25MP front-facing camera, dual speakers, and a headphone jack.

While you don’t get premium features like wireless charging or an IP rating, you do get a lot for your money overall. Motorola has also announced a successor in the form of the Moto Edge S. It’s still brand new, so it’s tough to find on sale in most markets, though it’s among the first phones to ship with the Snapdragon 870 chip onboard.


Moto Edge specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 16MP
  • Front camera: 25MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

8. Xiaomi Mi 10i

Xiaomi Mi 10i review rear back panel

The last model on our list of the best phones with expandable memory is also one of the newest models on the list. Xiaomi’s Mi 10i landed in early January 2021, and it packs a solid mix of mid-range and flagship features. Just keep in mind that its availability is a bit limited at this point.

See also: Xiaomi Mi 10i review

For starters, the device packs a hefty 6.67-inch display with a central punch hole camera. The display keeps you on the move with a 5G-ready Snapdragon 750G chip and 128GB of expandable memory. You can take your choice of 6GB or 8GB of RAM and the 4,820mAh battery should offer plenty of power.

The real star of Xiaomi’s budget-friendly show might be the quad-camera setup, however. It kicks off with a 108MP main shooter, flanked by an 8MP ultrawide lens, 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor. On the front, you’ve got a 16MP camera to capture all of the selfies you can ask for.

 

Xiaomi Mi 10i specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD
  • SoC: Snapdragon 750G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,820mAh
  • Software: Android 10

These are our favorite phones with expandable storage, although there are plenty of other great options out there as well. We’ll update this post with new models once they hit the market.