The Galaxy S21 line is dropping the microSD card.
Looking for a phone with a microSD card slot? You’ll want to stay away from Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 line.
Having been present on earlier Galaxy S phones, Samsung is finally dropping the microSD card slot for expandable local storage on its latest devices. Although the move is not completely surprising — Samsung didn’t include the option on last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip foldables — it does mean you will need to be more thoughtful in choosing how much storage you want your new phone to have when you buy it.
Our first look at the new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus
“Over time, SD card usage has markedly decreased on smartphones because we’ve expanded the options of storage available to consumers,” the South Korean electronics giant said in a statement. Samsung starts the base storage for its entire S21 line at 128GB, with a 256GB option available for just $50 more. Those looking to maximize their storage, however, will need to pony up $1,380 (£1,329, AU$2,149) for the S21 Ultra, which is the only phone available with 512GB of storage.
Although a number of Android phones now ship with 128GB of storage space as the default option, rival Apple’s iPhone 12 and 12 Mini still start at 64GB of storage. Only the pricier iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models have a base storage of 128GB, though Apple never supported expandable storage for its phones.
For those looking to offload files, Samsung notes that its new phones support the latest wireless technologies including 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, which should lead to faster uploading and downloading of files saved on cloud storage platforms like Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google’s Drive.
Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.