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What is expandable memory?

For many phones, the storage onboard is what you get, and that’s it. Phones with expandable memory allow you to add storage if you find you need it in an easy and inexpensive way.

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When you’re looking into purchasing a new smartphone, you’ll notice a number in gigabytes listed after the phone model. For example, an iPhone XS is sold in three variants: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. That amount of gigabytes (GB) listed refers to the amount of core storage on the device.

As we all take more photos and videos on our smartphones, we tend to fill up that available storage rather quickly, at which point you’ve got to either offload some apps or videos to free up some space.

A phone with expandable storage via microSD cards makes it easy to bump up the storage on your phone via the use of tiny microSD cards.

What is a microSD card?

A microSD card is a tiny fingerprint sized storage device that can be inserted into a smartphone with expandable memory capabilities. Most cards offer somewhere between 32GB and 512GB of storage capacity. The current SDXC card format (which not every phone will support) supports a maximum size of 2TB. Though 2TB are not commercially available yet, they might not be far off. Nintendo's latest console, the Nintendo Switch supports up to 2TB microSDXC.

Which phones have expandable memory?

Modern handsets with support for microSD cards are listed in the table below:

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Battery size Overall rating More info More info
Oppo Reno 5G
6.6
inches

1080 x 2340

  • Display

    6.6 inches

    1080 x 2340

  • Rear camera

    48MP + 8MP + 13MP
  • Battery size

    4,065 mAh
48MP + 8MP + 13MP
4,065
mAh
View details
Samsung Galaxy S20+
Samsung Galaxy S20+
6.7
inches

1440 x 3200

  • Display

    6.7 inches

    1440 x 3200

  • Rear camera

    64MP + 12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    4,500 mAh
64MP + 12MP + 12MP
4,500
mAh
Not yet rated
View details
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
6.39
inches

1140 x 3120

  • Display

    6.39 inches

    1140 x 3120

  • Rear camera

    40MP + 20MP + 8MP
  • Battery size

    4,200 mAh
40MP + 20MP + 8MP
4,200
mAh
View details
Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition
6.5
inches

1080 x 2400

  • Display

    6.5 inches

    1080 x 2400

  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP + 8MP
  • Battery size

    4,500 mAh
12MP + 12MP + 8MP
4,500
mAh
Not yet rated
View details
Samsung Galaxy S9+
6.2
inches
  • Display

    6.2 inches

  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    3,500 mAh
12MP + 12MP
3,500
mAh
View details