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April 8, 2018

Best Android Phones with Expandable Storage

by John_A

  • Best overall
  • Best for features
  • Other alternatives
  • Best mid-range option
  • Best budget pick

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

galaxy-s9-micro-sd-1.jpg?itok=V-RjwaOF

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The Galaxy S9 series takes what made the Galaxy S8 so good and fixes many of the minor irritations, including the placement of the rear fingerprint sensor. The screen is brighter, the software feels smoother thanks to a faster processor, and the camera is significantly improved in low light.

But Samsung didn’t mess with what counts for those who need additional space: in addition to 64GB of internal storage standard, there’s a microSD slot for up to 400GB of additional room, something we know a lot of you desire.

Bottom line: Both versions of the Galaxy S9 come with expandable storage, and are a couple of the best phones out there today.

One more thing: The Galaxy S9+ has more RAM, a bigger battery, and a secondary camera.

Why the Galaxy S9 is the best

A gorgeous phone loaded with features, and top-notch performance.

The Galaxy S9 series is the culmination of many years of Samsung learning lessons about what its customers want. Available in two sizes, 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches, the S9 and S9+ are beautiful phones. Both are made with curved glass and reinforced 7000 Series aluminum, and they’re about as compact as phones their size can be. They also have plenty of power and battery life, along with excellent cameras that offer superlative low-light performance.

Of course, these phones cater to power users, too: wireless charging, water resistance, headphone jacks, and, of course, expandable storage.

There’s 64GB of space built in, but that SD slot will ensure your Galaxy S9 never runs out of space for photos, videos, and music.

Best for features

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

galaxy-note-8-gold-back-full.jpg

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If you want something a bit bigger than the S9+, or want to partake of the excellent S Pen stylus, the Note 8 is your next best bet for a phone with microSD expandability.

The Note 8 features everything you’d expect from a modern Samsung phone — water resistance, wireless charging, and 64GB of storage, plus microSD. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip in the U.S., or Samsung’s own Exynos equivalent internationally, with a hefty 6GB of RAM for smoother performance.

Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is just about the most expensive Android phone you can buy right now, but with good reason — it’s also one of the very best.

One more thing:If you’re buying in the U.S., you’ll miss out on some of the more exotic color options, like blue and gold. (In Europe, you’ll have black and gold to choose from.)

Other great alternatives

Here’s the thing about microSD slots in Android phones: They’re not exactly a rarity. In fact, the majority of our favorite flagships from the past year have included expandable storage. A few great, recent examples include:

  • LG V30
  • HTC U11
  • Honor View 10
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The mid-range option

LG G6 (Prime edition)

g6-review-22.jpg

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LG’s high-end offering from earlier in 2017 now firmly fits into the “mid-range” category — meaning it doesn’t perform quite at the level of some of the others on this list, but it is possible to track down a G6 for considerably less than its higher-end rivals.

The features a tall yet ergonomic 18:9 aspect ratio, and it’s powered by the still-capable Snapdragon 821 processor, and 4GB of RAM. All that technology is wrapped up in a sturdy metal and glass design that’s both functional and beautiful.

Bottom line: The LG G6 is a solid all-rounder with capable cameras, and a hand-friendly 5.7-inch display, thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio.

One more thing: The version offered above is the Amazon Prime Exclusive model, which is only $420 but gives you everything you expect from the full-priced model (in exchange for Amazon software coming pre-installed).

Best budget pick

Honor 7X

honor-7x-8.jpg

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With a premium anodized aluminum chassis and dual cameras at the back, the Honor 7X doesn’t feel like a budget phone. The internal hardware is also surprisingly good, with the phone featuring a 14nm Kirin 659 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, and a 3340mAh battery. The 6-inch Full HD+ display is one of the best in this segment, and the first at this price point to boast the new 18:9 aspect ratio. The main 16MP camera at the back is joined by a 2MP secondary sensor that adds depth information to images, giving you an optional a bokeh effect.

The Honor 7X has a hybrid dual-SIM card slot, which means that the secondary SIM card slot doubles up as a microSD slot. It also runs Oreo, thanks to a recent update.

Bottom line: The Honor 7X offers a lot of value for its relatively low price tag.

One more thing: Like other Huawei phones sold in the U.S., the Honor 7X will not work on Verizon or Sprint.

Conclusion

If you want a phone that has expandable storage, the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ are your best options. Sure, they’re expensive, but the phones boast top-of-the-line hardware, a stunning metal and glass design, and some of the best cameras in this space. Water resistance and fast wireless charging make it an even more compelling choice. Add all that and throw in a microSD slot that supports up to 400GB of expandable storage and it’s easy to see why the Galaxy S9s are the most feature-rich Android phones around.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

galaxy-s9-micro-sd-1.jpg?itok=V-RjwaOF

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 series takes what made the Galaxy S8 so good and fixes many of the minor irritations, including the placement of the rear fingerprint sensor. The screen is brighter, the software feels smoother thanks to a faster processor, and the camera is significantly improved in low light.

But Samsung didn’t mess with what counts for those who need additional space: in addition to 64GB of internal storage standard, there’s a microSD slot for up to 400GB of additional room, something we know a lot of you desire.

Bottom line: Both versions of the Galaxy S9 come with expandable storage, and are a couple of the best phones out there today.

One more thing: The Galaxy S9+ has more RAM, a bigger battery, and a secondary camera.

Update, April 2018: We’ve replaced the Note 8 with the Galaxy S9 series, and clarified our selections in other price ranges.

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