This is why Micro SD cards will be phased out soon

Ever since the first iPhone was released in 2007 without a micro SD card slot, critics have bellowed, as to why it was made so. Apple has been all deaf ears, still making phones without an SD card slot. Did you think they were doing it blindly?

SanDisk UltraPLUS_micro_SDXC_200GB

Samsung has always been a proponent of doing the opposite to Apple. Making devices with removable batteries and most notably including space for external micro SD cards. This trend continued until the release of their latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge without a micro SD card slot. Have we ever thought to ask why the sudden switch?

You see; having a micro SD card slot is nice. It helps expand you phone storage, allowing you store more things or have more content on your device, but that’s about the only notable advantage you get.

On the flip side, using a micro SD card comes along with many issues. Asides the one ships with your device, buying a good and genuine memory card is difficult. Most of the time we buy fake ones which in turn greatly affects the performance of our phones.

Talking of performance, having a micro SD card considerably slows down your phone. Let me explain : When all apps are installed on the internal storage, they run smoother and more more efficiently with less lags. The reverse is the case when they’re installed on the micro SD card. This is because the phone takes more effort to read/write data from the ‘external’ SD card.

This is where you’re told to buy a Class 10 micro SD card, because that’s the one with the fastest write speeds, but then it still affects overall performance.

During the launch of the S6 , Samsung boasted that the device would not lag, this is backed by the fact that the phone lacks a micro SD slot.

Manufacturers should know this, If you must remove the micro SD card slot:

  • Make sure the internal storage is big enough (not that crappy 16GB of the TECNO Phantom Z Mini ).
  • Make sure to include the USB-OTG feature. This comes as a consolation to those that still need to be able to move files around.

Do you think scrapping the use of Micro SD cards is a good thing ? Your thoughts are welcome.

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33 comments

  1. I totally disagree with the precepts and prediction of this post.

    No, sdcard is going nowhere. This is shown from the continual strides being made in the size. Verily Verily, we will start seeing sdcard with capacity of up to 512 Gigabytes, even terabytes.

    Sdcard being phased out? No, sir.

    As regards the presence of an Sdcard slot affecting performance, that makes no sense to me at all.

    The presence of an Sdcard slot makes no difference to performance. It is the presence of the card in the slot that may affect it.

    .

    Also, with increased RAM size, your summation cannot be totally correct. There is better buffering as a result of more RAM space . Depending on the app in question, it may not be read /write intsnsive. To give improved performance as the sole reason for omitting an Sdcard slot is like limiting the top speed of a car to 80km/hr, because that’s the official speed limit.

    1. Sir the slot being ‘there’ is useless if it’s not being used. A waste of space. Increased RAM doesn’t affect speed of apps you and I know that, rather RAM facilitates better multi-tasking. The presense of SD card affects performance

  2. Well, I think it will always hurt removing that microSD card slot on mobile devices because it offers great choice for expansion of the internal storage without having to spend so much on premium services with huge internal storage. The issues of performance loss due to the presence of microSD card slot may be real but so is the pain of not having it.

    Maybe it’s time for the makers of microSD cards to brainstorm and give us something that will truly annul the effect of the exclusion of microSD card slot on our smartphones. Already they are doing that only they need to make it more affordable to drive adoption. I’m talking about something like wireless flash drives, something that you can just turn on on demand and move your stuff wirelessly between it and your mobile device and switch it off when you are done.

    USB On-The-Go mentioned in the article is another option which is already very popular and a given on all highend Android devices and I think some Windows Phone devices too. Combining USB On-The-Go and the wireless option will be great for sure. I believe Microsoft will be consolidating on the support of USB On-The-Go on their smartphones in Windows 10.

  3. The 100GB OneDrive storage on the S6/Edge is also noteworthy.

    If the consumer is ready to pay, the OEMs are ready to give you diverse options just like you have on the Apple ® brand whose tablets, phablets and phones come at different prices for the various internal storage capacities.

    USB-OTG is a welcome development, doing all you need with the 3GB RAM phones/tablet without using the PC for backup of important files would be great.
    The cloud storage option should be explored too.
    Once you have data to spare to backup all you need in the cloud with offline-availability for some selected files, you can hit the ground running anywhere life takes you so long as you have a functional phone/phablet/tablet/PC.

    1. cloud storage too data reliant, and so not for this backwater continent… relying on USB otg ; additional hardware and load and ain’t compact n cumbersome to say the least and data transfer much slower than mem card, so why not jes attach mem card on the go.

    2. USB OTG is not something you will be using every blessed day. Even if it will be, you aren’t installing apps on the external storage. So performance wise, we the users are benefitting

    3. @ Ehis, Samsung is providing for a global market, not just emerging ones. Most of their phones won’t be sold in emerging markets.

      There will be people in Nigeria who can cope with the slow networks and would gladly welcome the One Drive storage, bad network connections notwithstanding. And a lot of S6’s will be bought and sold locally.

    4. @Elroy, you’re biting your own tail. That’s the point: memory cases are a form of expandable storage which you CAN install apps to and use every blessed day.

      //Performance wise, we the users are benefitting.//

      Sigh. Elroy…your “arguments”…just read the other comments please.

      For someone who calls himself a “9ja Geek”, I’m surprised you’re so against SD cards.

  4. make them nor try am… SD card gives u option. even if tis a 128gb phone, I will still appreciate that I can still expand d memory. well for Chinese phone makers seems it ain’t going nowhere. better they optimize SD cards themselves and also how the phones read and access the content, and stop complaining of it causing lag. feel Samsung jes wanted to form different… bs set of peeps

  5. I will agree with Elroy.I had always said it that sd card is a burden on phones and should be done away with while i advocated the boosting of internal memory on phones.Seems the manufactures are listening.
    Sd card on mobile phones is being gradually fazed out,forget about whether we now have 200gb and the rest.
    Newer phones like innjoo one plus some premium ones are experimenting this now by deliberately eliminating sd card slots sharing a space with sim slots.
    And again manufacturers are beefing up the gigs of their internal storage,starting first with premiums,and some budget phones,trying to make it go down the ladder across to entry level ones.Thats the way mobile technology is going now hence the need to add some ‘incentives’ like free cloud storage and the rest.Thats the way i see it having read a lot about this on the net.

    1. so u want the right to expand memory taken. even a phone with 256gb with mem card port has privilege of expansion n if at that time the use can add a 256gb mem card giving the use 512gb n not stuck with what the manufacturer feels is right. no matter the internal memory, SD card expansion choice freedom is sacrosanct

  6. Samsung has been threatening to do this for some time, so the S6 with no St drive is not surprising.

    Since 2007 there have been many phones produced without SD cards and they’re still making them. The fact that Samsung is now taking this well trodden Road should be no surprise.

  7. SD cards no way, what if I’m changing from an os to another or device to another will cloud backup be feasible when data isn’t cheap. I’m too old to be doing tweaks to get cheap data, rather I rely on network providers to make it cheap. As for the performance issues it’s not noticeable.

  8. To all those saying “SD cards will die”:

    1. I remember an article on this site about two years ago when Mr Mo all but prophesied the death of regular SIM cards (mini-SIM) in favour of micro-SIMs. Well, what do you know, all three of my SIM cards today are mini-SIMs!

    2. The supposed “lag” in reading from SD cards is minimal…merely a few seconds at most. I for one have never noticed it.

    3. May I remind you that no matter how slow read/write from SD card is, read/write from wireless storage or external storage (USB OTG) is ALWAYS slower, just like data tethering is always fastest via USB, as oppossed to BT or WiFi.

    4. Puh-lease, I would much rather have a tiny card in my phone than have to connect a flash drive or external storage via OTG. “One-handed usage”, anyone?

    5. As for cloud storage, I don’t need to tell you that data COSTS. As well, a server or power or other hardware failure on your storage provider’s end leaves you unable to access your data.

    Think, people, THINK!
    Bad post, Elroy.

    1. sd card is going nowhere for sure

      data tethering or data transfer,be clear bro.
      cos modem aint faster than wifi

    2. @okechukwu: Tethering. You know, when tethering, the data is passing via your phone between the PC and the Net. Similar to having an external hard drive connected to your computer. It’s faster when the connection is wired, especially if it’s a short wire.

  9. I’ve used a phone with and without a sd card n the performance issues are kinda obvious with start-up time and app launch times. But sd cards will always be relevant. Content size is growing smaller, games for instance? Imagine I didn’t have an sd card on my Archos gamepad 2 where I store tons of psx, dreamcast, ISO images, emulator roms. I’d have to carry my external hard drive (and that’s even more external than my sd card, meaning slower speeds, greater bulk) if I wanted to play a game, or should I cloud em and use 700mb of data cuz I feel like playing a classic? OK, u may say that’s a tab and not a phone. I can manage without an sd card if I have a secondary device with better content consuming form factor, but still I’ll rather stick with a device with an sd card.

  10. The OEMs are playing on us! This “different variants with different storage sizes” merely gives them a reason to create a more expensive version of the same phone, when you could get a cheap memory card AND a cheap phone with low storage.

    1. very annoying tactics.. say I love a model of their phone, d phone gets full n I realise I need more space, so I churn out more money to get a higher memory version?.. that’s jes modern slavery

  11. Another good point: flexibility and easy data transfer via SD cards. With internal storage, you would have to send all files via BT or WiFi…imagine transferring 16GB worth of files over Bluetooth…a real pain.

  12. Cloud storage and USB OTG are meant for BACKUP purposes, or for files accessed only once in a while, not for files you regularly use.

  13. I can see people here going all the way to make reseach and contribute.Thats the beauty of it.Thanks to Elroy.We all are learning one thing or another thru the coversation.Manufactures do need this as part of their research so also we end users to assist us in making choices.So keep the conversation going.
    As for me i have learnt sth new.However as years roll by the issue of sd card on phones may die natural death as being thought of by manufacters giving way to a new alternative in form of strenghtening of internals forming part of advancement in modern technology.DO NOT SAY I TOLD YOU.

  14. To all those talking about “the slot occupies needed space”: Funny enough, the Vivo X4 Max, the world’s thinnest smartphone, has a microSD card slot

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