Expecting the Galaxy Note 5 to have a microSD slot? Don’t

It’s been almost three months since the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge went up for sale around the world, but many consumers are still seething over Samsung’s omission of expandable storage on the two devices. It has driven many to opt for competing smartphones, and some of those that have bought either of the S6 devices have been very vocal about their displeasure on the fact that they can’t extend the available storage by buying a microSD card.

Many have raised the point that Samsung’s focus on making the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge thinner than previous flagships is among the top reasons why the company decided to skip a microSD slot. But whether we like it or not, Samsung’s decision was a wise one in the face of the fact that its two flagships feature the fastest internal storage technology in the market today. Dubbed UFS 2.0 (Universal Flash Storage), this technology is considerably faster than the eMMC 5.0 memory found in competing smartphones, and as tests from publications like AnandTech and GSMArena concluded, UFS 2.0 can write and read data almost two times faster than eMMC 5.0.

GSMArena also tested the Galaxy S6 against a Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 sporting one of the fastest microSD cards available, and still found the S6 to have a strong lead in terms of memory performance. It’s clear to see that a microSD card simply cannot match the performance offered by UFS 2.0 storage, and it’s one reason why anyone expecting to see expandable storage make a return on the Galaxy Note 5 is most likely to be very disappointed.

With the Galaxy S6 (and S6 edge), Samsung is offering consumers the best of almost every hardware feature out there, and it will no doubt be looking to replicate the same experience on the Galaxy Note 5. A microSD slot would simply be a detriment when it comes to things like storing apps, photos and other media; the reality that microSD cards will one day be unable to keep up with inbuilt flash storage has been a long time coming, and UFS 2.0 is simply too good to be able to coexist peacefully with an SD card.

This doesn’t change the fact that expandable storage will continue to be an important feature for a long time to come, but it’s a feature that might not remain on high-end smartphones for launch. Cloud storage is where manufacturers will direct users to, and while most of us would never prefer the cloud over a small card that we can quickly and easily swap out as needed, microSD slots might be on their last legs as far as flagship devices are concerned.

Update: As one of our readers rightly pointed out, there is another obstacle that would make it hard for Samsung to put UFS 2.0 storage and a microSD slot on a smartphone. SD cards and the eMMC 5.0 solution used on other flagships are able to use the same memory controller (the controller is what handles data transfer and communication with things like the processor), making it easier for them to exist in the same device. UFS 2.0, on the other hand, uses a new type of memory controller, and Samsung will have to find ways to interface the new controller with the one used on SD cards to be able to make them work together without affecting overall performance. It’s possible Samsung will find a solution to this in the future, but for now, it doesn’t look like a smartphone with UFS 2.0 storage will be featuring a microSD slot any time soon.

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Dennis Furlan
1 year 3 days ago

Again with the SD slot nonsense. The LG G4 provides everything the whiners say they want in a phone — namely, the SD slot and removable battery — yet sales of that phone, which were already not great, are down. Imagine that. Same thing with the HTC One M9. It has an SD slot, but sales are down — way down. Imagine that.

In my opinion, online tech commentary needs to get out of its bubble. What you want is often different from what consumers what. And it’s the latter that drives the industry, sorry to say.

1 year 6 days ago

The Developer Editions of HTC are looking better and better.

1 year 6 days ago

Wouldn’t be that bad not having an SD card if they offered a 128 GB model… my N7100 is a 32 gig model and I have a 64 card in it. Even Apple offers a 128 Gig model. The Note 5 has become essentially a middle 50′s Cadillac, laden down with a bunch of basic crap. You need an SD card to back up to because Kies never works properly. Kies is junk too.

1 year 8 days ago

Very simple: No SD card, no removable battery = goodbye Samsung hello LG

It’s kind of funny that the company who once called fixed battery users wall-hugers and made of them is now doing the same and trying every marketing speech to justify their decision.

The only difference between an Iphone and a Samsung one will soon be the operating system nothing else. My Note 3 will have to hold up a bit longer I’m fine with that too.

1 year 11 days ago


1 year 13 days ago

So external storage won’t be an option, either? Yeah, right Sammy

1 year 13 days ago

This article is a futile attempt to disguise a money grubbing ploy as legitimate. With processor versatility being what it is today, we all know darn well expandable storage cannot slow down a device. If it can, you have failed to build a quality device. So, is this article a lie, or is Sammy a failure? I bet it’s both.

1 year 14 days ago

Then I won’t be considering this device in my next purchase round. Makes me sad. I need the card for the photos, videos, books, etc,

1 year 14 days ago

I would hope that at least ONE of their top smartphones would stay useful for users who demand the SD slot and a removable battery for their flexibility.
It is hard to believe that it pays off to try copying Apple by all means.

1 year 14 days ago

Samsung’s “spec over tech” strikes again. I’ll take microsd storage over this unnecessary read/write speed boost any day.

1 year 14 days ago

No SdCard No Note5

1 year 15 days ago

“GSMArena also tested the Galaxy S6 against a Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 sporting one of the fastest microSD cards available, and still found the S6 to have a strong lead in terms of memory performance”

Well to be fair the phones themselves can’t reach the advertised speeds of the MicroSD cards any ways, so kind of not fair to compare them in that fashion, Note 4 is capped out at Class 10, it’s not UHS-1 compatible which is the much faster speed, heck the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB I have, touted last year as the world’s fastest 64GB microsd card, was tested by reviewers online and hit over 100MBps…just the phone isn’t setup to enjoy the native speed of the card so it throttles it..

1 year 15 days ago

I have been a samsung faitful for quite a while and own the note 4. I couldnt wait for the note 5 until i heard this news about no sd card. One of the major reasons I dont go with Iphone, is no sd card. Samsung has have good things going for it as far as what customers want, but it seem like little by little they are deciding to drop these very things. This is a deal breaker with me. If there is no sd card, i will be purchasing another from another cell phone company such as HTC, they phones always have a premium feel and solid. Samsung has already been loosing customers and if the opt for no sd card l, they are going to take what could be the beast of all phones on the market with the note 5, and wind up with the big push in the decline of there phone empire. Its these little but important things to the consumer that sway us in our purchase of a phone. Remember Samsung customers are not status oriented like the iphone zombies. We are productive for personal use oriented!!

1 year 15 days ago

I love my Note 3 and was looking to upgrade to the Note 5 this year… If the Note 5 lacks a removable battery and a MicroSD card slot I will not be buying one. It really is a such a shame because it looked like Samsung was going in a great direction with the Note 4′s metal trim and gorgeous leather back.

1 year 1 day ago

yes i have the note 4 nice
i’ waiting for note 5 but if no MicroSD i will go aways from samsung
i start with samsung S2 S3 S4 S5 NOTE 4 pass the S6 bcoz no sd card

1 year 15 days ago

dude get the note 4, Ive had every note since the 2 and the 4 is every bit of an upgrade over the 3, better camera, better features, the screen itself is worth enough to switch, the clarity and sharpness of the colors and font, the glass itself is nicer when you swipe your finger on it than the 3 or 2, much much smoother, you should see how clear a 1440p video looks, blows everyone away I show, metal frame, heart rate monitor, finger print scanner, trust me when I tell you I am a note fanboy, you are better off with the 4, and if the 5 flops with no sd card and removable battery, I would snatch one up before everyone else does…

1 year 15 days ago

My expectations was the same. Now I rather buy Note4 or just stay on my Note3 running Note4 port. When samsung will realise that Galaxy S series is for average “Joe”, which is thorn between iphone and other android phones and will take phone for it looks, it might be too late. Samsung will release Note5 without key features like expendable storage and removable battery. They already dropped s-pen in their September release its called s6 plus. They should really release 3 flagships: Galaxy S, Galaxy S Plus and Galaxy Note. All for different kind of customers when note, being desinged for bussiness sector, should have top specs.

1 year 15 days ago

It’s a disease. It always affects superiors, the disease known as arrogance
We have seen Nokia They get it and even completely collapsed,
I wish Samsung could heal itself of this disease quickly
“It seems that the rabbit will be preceded by the turtle”
I ‘ve never thought or expect that I would buy Huawei phone one day
but with the Samsung stubbornness, It seems that my next phone will be Huawei.

1 year 16 days ago

I care more about a replaceable battery than I do about an sdcard option. If there’s no removable battery for the Note 5, I’ll be opting for something else.

1 year 16 days ago

without sdcard i dont buy note 5 i chose another phone like LG

1 year 16 days ago

Samsung should either find a way to combine the 2 controllers or offer the higher storage models at a competitive price!!!
Why should I care about UFS 2.0 speeds for my media files if the premium I need to pay is 10 times that of a larger microSD?
I’ve been a loyal Samsung customer and have owned several Galaxy S models along the years, but this decision only has made me a LG customer.

1 year 16 days ago

So , we will cross fingers for a basic 64GB memory UFS 2.0. on the Note 5 with a good price closed to the Note 4…

1 year 16 days ago

The point of the micro sdcards is so you don’t have to carry anything else for extra storage. It is right there “in” your phone. I do not want to have to carry and otg cable, external hard drive or pendrive everyday. I only want to carry my phone. Reason I have a filled 64gb storage is backed up apps, roms, pictures, videos, device backups. I am not sure if custom recoveries have the ability to use otg anyways. Something to try later, but in the end it is just more crap to carry around. Might as well as carry a laptop lmfao.

1 year 16 days ago

FTW, all the criticizers who have been complaining about the lack of micro sd cards, there is something that each one of you have to know. There is a feature called OTG using which you can connect an external harddrive/pendrive to any Android phone. I have a 1 TB external drive which can fit in a pocket. I have tons of 4K movies in it and my S6 Edge plays them with no fuss. None of you watch movies in their day to day life, It is hardly required when you travel. So when you are travelling, you can watch them by carrying a tiny sized 128 gb pen drive which costs less than $10 and is cheaper than your micro sd. 32 gb will be more than enough for most of the users.

Ready fight with anybody on this. Anyone up for it?

1 year 15 days ago

dude are you serious so Im supposed to carry my external 1TB drive everywhere I go with my phone? that’s ridiculous, id rather carry 128GB in the size, literally, of a human thumbnail on the go and have your way of the otg when I get home, but whos gonna carry all this stuff on the go?? Hey you got an outlet? I need to plug in my external drive so I can watch this movie

1 year 15 days ago

you have a really good point. you may just have changed my way on smartphones. i do alot of downloading. i also watch alot of movies. i was getting furious with them taking the sd cards away. then buying a pen drive that way less than the sd card or even cheaper than a cloud service. hell yeah!!!

1 year 16 days ago

This is bullshit. The fast reading of memory not linked to os… is cuz ure sd is slow… i own sm g900h with 128GB SD. I move all my apps to sd. And works perfectly. . Samsung know there’s sales drop cuz they greedy. Alot of users buy s5. Note 4 cuz they want sd. If samsung gonna keep acting like that . Chinese phones with sd. Would make samsung stop making phones. And lg and all Chinese mobile manufacturers would rise

1 year 16 days ago

no removable battery and no expandable sd card slot okay why you buy a samsung phone just go for iphone 6s and you will get more than 4 years update with newer features and most apple problem in software solved in jailbreak and not going to lose warranty cause no knox things that detect root / note edge is samsung last good phones in 2015 and we well see

1 year 16 days ago

32gb without the ability to extend the storage with a microsd wont be enough. im filming, taking pictures listening to flac music alot. note 5 is a no go for me.

1 year 16 days ago

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