Samsung claims performance is reason for return of microSD in Galaxy S7

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One of the most welcomed features of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the microSD slot even if Google’s adoptable storage is not available. Being able to add additional memory suited to an individual user’s needs has been a big selling point for Android devices compared to iOS devices and joins a removable battery as one of two features invoking strong feelings in potential buyers. When Samsung released the Galaxy S6 last year, they were roundly criticized for dropping both of these items. This year Samsung brought back the microSD slot and now they are openly discussing their reason for the one year hiatus of the feature in their flagship line.

Samsung’s Kyle Brown, who heads up technology, content and launch management for the manufacturer, says the key factor in the company’s decision regarding microSD cards was performance,

“At the time we launched the S6, we upgraded all the performance within the device. We upgraded to UFS 2.0, we upgraded to DDR4 RAM… we believed that having a memory card slot would slow down the performance of the device.”

The explanation may not satisfy everyone though. Some people have noted that other manufacturers like LG, HTC and Sony were able to successfully include microSD card slots in their devices that used similar, if not the same, hardware. Also unclear is what Samsung may have done to address any possible performance issues during the intervening year.

source: TechRadar


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina and possesses the CAPM credential from PMI. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3 along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.


  • ChuckN007

    The lack of an SD card is no issue in my Galaxy Note 5. It has 64 GB of on-board storage. I’ll never use half of it. If I did need more, I’d use the cloud.

    • Nila

      That’s great if you spend most of your life in the one city, rarely travelling, rarely in areas or places with no reception and have a huge monthly data allowance. For the rest of us, SD Card is a huge plus.
      Also, SD card is going to drain your battery a lot slower than streaming everything will.

      • ChuckN007

        What phone do you have, and how much storage, both onboard and in an SD card?

        • Nila

          I’m a poor man so I have an old Sony Xperia Z with 32Gb onboard and a 64Gb SD card. I’d put a bigger SD card if the phone (now 3yrs old) supported it.
          I travel constantly for work and so spend a lot of my life in an airplane or in a foreign country on roaming.

          • ChuckN007

            You are not the average phone user.

            For things that involve files of a significant size, either individually or collectively, they go on my Asus tablet with attached physical keyboard or my Acer laptop. Both have lots of storage, real keyboards, and screen sizes of 11″ and 15.6″. Any significant work will be done on those, not on even a Note 5, which is an awesome phone. Any significant entertainment will also be done on those.

            There are phones that support a 128 GB micro SD card, if that really matters to you. I don’t think it matters to many people. I thought it might matter to me before getting the 64 GB Note 5, but it doesn’t matter to me. The battery in the Note 5, which is non-removable, is also awesome. I thought that might be a problem, but it out performs basically every other phone. It lasts 48 hours most of the time, and it goes from 15% charge to 100% in about 1 hour.

            • Nila

              I’m aware I’m not the ‘average’ phone user but for me I want and need SD card. There is also the HUGE added bonus that if the phone needs to be or is reset, I do not lose everything I have on the SD card. If your phone ever goes in for repairs, they will factory reset it as part of the repair procedure and you will lose everything you have. By having all of that on the SD card you lose nothing.
              The built in battery also means that your $1000 phone will last 2, maybe 3yrs before the battery in it can no longer hold a charge, at this point you will have to replace it or pay a fortune to have the battery changed. Extreme case of built in obsolescence.

            • ChuckN007

              There are phones that have removable batteries and SD card capabilities. My last one, a Galaxy S 4, had both. I was concerned about both items for the Note 5. So I looked at the competitors that have those things. I didn’t like them as much as the Galaxy models. At the time, all the new Galaxy models were sealed up like a Note 5.

              You are left with choosing a brand that has the two features that a Note 5 (and many other phones today) lacks.

              I think you are “convincing yourself” about these things based on what you have and what you are used to. The switch was no problem for me. I think you are wrong about the factory reset subject and the battery life subject. You can always back up what’s on your phone, and you should do that regularly anyway. Do that as often as your content changes. Batteries don’t die in 2 years any more. Maybe when your phone was built. The removable battery in my GS4 was working as well after 2 years as the day it was brand new.

              The bottom line is that you choose from what’s available out there, and you can’t always get what you want from each manufacturer. And complaining about it probably isn’t going to change what at least Apple and Samsung decide to do with their phones.