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Does the Samsung Galaxy S24 series support expandable storage?
It used to be common to find microSD slots in Android phones, making it easy to expand their app space or carry your music and movie libraries with you. In 2024, however, those slots are increasingly rare, so it’s natural to ask if Samsung’s new S24 series supports expandable storage.
No, Samsung doesn't offer a microSD slot on any version of the Galaxy S24 — even the higher-priced Plus and Ultra models.
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Does the Samsung Galaxy S24 series have an SD card slot?
No, unfortunately. That’s true even with the more expensive S24 Plus and S24 Ultra, the latter of which does ship with an integrated S Pen, and starts at about $1,300. For comparison, that price tag is definitely enough to get you a laptop with an SD slot.
Samsung hasn’t included microSD in Galaxy S phones since launching the S21 lineup. At the time the company claimed it wasn’t necessary anymore, since customers could easily upgrade to higher storage tiers, but that argument likely fell flat with people who already had data on cards or recognized that microSD offers better bang for the buck. Today, you can get a 256GB Samsung card for less than $25.
So why would Samsung cut out the feature? Three reasons: manufacturing costs, design space, and upselling. An SD slot is an extra component to buy or manufacture and takes up space that could potentially be used for things like a processor and battery. That’s why 3.5mm headphone jacks are dwindling out of existence as well. Finally, without upgradeable storage, you have to pay upfront for extra memory if you’re worried about running out of room.
What storage options does the Galaxy S24 series have?
Samsung offers different levels of internal storage depending on your model. Here’s how they break down:
- Galaxy S24: 128GB or 256GB
- Galaxy S24 Plus: 256GB or 512GB
- Galaxy S24 Ultra: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
If you’re buying the base S24, it’s worth upgrading to 256GB if your phone is your primary camera and/or you’re expecting to cache a lot of music and podcasts. 512GB may be overkill for most owners, but there’s a case to be made if you like to play a lot of 3D games, cache a lot media for trips, or you plan to shoot a lot of video, especially if it’s in 4K. The key term here is “a lot.”
Only a tiny minority of people can justify getting a 1TB phone, at least in 2024. We’d only recommend it if you want few to zero restrictions on caching media, or you expect to shoot plenty of 4K or 8K video.
What are my alternatives if I want more storage on the Galaxy S24?
You do have options, but before we get to those, it’s important to caution that you should never skimp on internal memory. The last thing anyone wants is to miss out on recording major life events because there aren’t a few gigabytes free. Check out how much storage you’re using on your current phone — if you’re already bumping up against capacity, you’ll probably need to step up to a bigger storage tier when buying an S24.
That said, you may be able to avoid spending that premium if you can improve your efficiency. Here’s how.
Purge unused items in your internal storage
It’s easy to accidentally accumulate “junk” on a phone in the form of unused apps, redundant screenshots and memes, and cached music, movies, shows, and podcasts. There are various ways of freeing up storage space, but focus on apps first, since those can consume anywhere between a few hundred megabytes and a few dozen gigabytes. After that, start pruning unused offline saves for apps like Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube. Video, in particular, tends to hog a lot of storage, so if you still have a season of Friends or The Bachelor on your phone, it’s time to delete it.
Use cloud storage
You can potentially shift a lot of your files to cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Photos, only syncing them locally when necessary. Bear in mind, however, that while some services offer a little storage for free, you’ll inevitably end up paying for a subscription if you come to rely on them. File libraries grow over time, after all.
Use an external drive
Since every S24 is equipped with a USB-C port, there’s no reason you can’t connect a matching thumb drive or even a desktop-level external SSD. For obvious reasons however, this is only helpful for infrequent file access, such as watching movies and TV shows while you’re stuck on a plane. Avoid using an external drive for anything you need to access 24/7.
There’s no concrete number, but Samsung does provide the amount of usable space for each storage tier, which is what you’re really after. You get 101GB free on a 128GB phone, 219GB on a 256GB device, and 995GB if you choose 1TB. Interestingly, you’ll get either 453GB or 485GB on a 512GB phone depending on whether you’re buying an S24 Plus or Ultra.
Only if you’re shopping for an S24 Ultra.
The S24 Ultra comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB versions. It’s worth noting that as on any phone, usable space is slightly less, since some of that storage is consumed by the operating system.