If you carry your media library with you, shoot a lot of 4K video, or are looking to download a few movies for a lengthy flight, expandable storage is essential. Thankfully, even in 2019 you still have plenty of options available, ranging from the high end with endless features packed in, to budget options if you don’t want to spend upwards of $1000 on a phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Since Samsung skipped microSD support with the Galaxy Note 10, the S10+ is still our runaway pick if you’re looking for the ultimate expandable smartphone. It touts a 6.4-inch screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor, along with an ultra-versatile triple camera system and a 4100mAh battery that’s nearly impossible to kill in a day. Add to that IP68 water resistance, and the S10+ suits almost anyone’s needs.
$1000 at Amazon
Great for one-handed use
Samsung Galaxy S10e
Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is perfect if you want a compact phone with high-end hardware. It’s a 5.8-inch version of the S10+, with all the same specs and features that make its larger counterpart great, albeit with a smaller 3100mAh battery and without the telephoto camera. The phone is surprisingly small and comfortable to use in one hand, and it’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than the larger S10 variants.
$750 at Amazon
5G-capable video powerhouse
LG V50 ThinQ
The LG V50 is a great phone for content consumption and creation. With wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras and a myriad of manual video controls, not to mention a huge 6.4-inch display, it’s great for shooting professional-quality video on the go. You can expand its base 128GB of internal storage by up to 2TB with a microSD card. It’s also one of the few phones with support for Sprint’s 5G network.
$950 at Best Buy
ASUS ZenFone 6
The ZenFone 6 features a unique design with a nearly bezel-less 6.4-inch display and two motorized rear cameras that flip to the front when you want to take a selfie. You also get clean Android 10 software, fast performance from the Snapdragon 855 processor, and a massive 5,000mAh battery that lasts well into a second day of use — all for nearly half the price of the competition.
$550 at Amazon
5G for cheap
The Moto Z4 is a decent mid-range device on its own, with a large 6.4-inch OLED display, a 48MP camera with pixel binning, and 128GB of expandable storage, but it’s made even better with Moto Mods. The 5G Moto Mod allows the Z4 to connect to Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G network in cities where it’s available, making this one of the cheapest 5G-compatible phones around.
$490 at Amazon
Best budget phone
The Nokia 7.2 epitomizes HMD Global’s efforts as of late. The phone combines Nokia’s classic industrial design with robust hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 660 chipset, a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with always-on HDR, excellent rear cameras, and a microSD slot for up to 512GB of expandable storage. With the phone running Android One, you can be assured that it’ll be one of the first to receive major software updates.
$349 at Amazon
MicroSD isn’t dead yet
With more flagship phones moving away from expandable storage (and some brands like Huawei switching from microSD to their own standards), you might think the format is becoming a dying breed, but don’t panic just yet. There are still plenty of great phones with microSD support, ranging from budget offerings to some top-tier flagships.
If you want the absolute best of the best with expandable storage, look no further than the Galaxy S10+. With it, you get nearly every spec under the sun, and that gorgeous 6.4-inch AMOLED display coupled with stereo speakers is ideal for viewing multimedia content. The triple camera array is also incredibly versatile, so you’ll want a lot of spare storage for all of your future memories.
If you plan on creating and consuming content though (or you want to experience 5G and have either Sprint or Verizon), the LG V50 might be a better choice. It packs the same triple lens system, along with powerful manual video controls so you can get exactly the right shot. And if you’re looking for the best possible deal, don’t knock the Nokia 7.2, which is a gorgeous phone in its own right for hundreds less than the alternatives and surprisingly decent cameras.