Will the Galaxy S21 have a microSD card slot?

Will the Galaxy S21 have a microSD card slot?
One thing that Samsung fans absolutely love is the presence of a microSD card slot on their phone. Whether you use it or not, having the extra peace of mind that you can easily expand your storage whenever you need to is always appreciated. Especially in a world where popular manufacturers are actively stifling storage on their phones (*ahem* Google Pixel).

But the latest rumors surrounding the Galaxy S21 series sounds a bit concerning. Reportedly, the small Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+will not have a microSD card slot. The rumor mill says that the S21 Ultra is the only one that will probably, maybe, possibly still have a microSD card slot.

Will the Galaxy S21 have a microSD card slot? The rumor mill says: no

This isn’t a first for Samsung. The company has been testing the waters for removing the microSD card slot ever since the Note 10 duo launched. The big Galaxy Note 10+ had expandable storage, but the smaller and cheaper Note 10 did not.

Then, the whole Galaxy S20 trio still had a microSD card slot and even the budget Galaxy S20 FE that launched half a year later had the commodity. But when the Note 20 duo came to be, we had the same deal — the “cheaper” Note 20 didn’t have a microSD slot, the expensive Note 20 Ultra had it.

It seems that this change is trickling down to the S series

Now that we see that Samsung has been toying with the idea, the rumors sound very, very plausible. The “affordable” S21 phones may very well come with no microSD card slots, but there’s still hope for the S21 Ultra.

If the Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn’t have a microSD card slot, it’d be a weird misstep

Over the past couple of years, Samsung flagships have been pushing the boundaries on storage. Almost 3 years ago, the Galaxy Note 9 launched with a 512 GB storage option, which could further be expanded by a 512 GB microSD card. A grand total of 1 TB of space… on a smartphone! That was insane, power users loved it and lauded it.

Since then, Samsung has proudly launched 512 GB models of its top-shelf smartphones with an expansion slot on the side, and a certain subgroup of users has been happily buying it. It’s the one thing that sets a Samsung flagship apart nowadays. A niche feature, which you can brag about and store more data than your actual laptop can hold.

The Galaxy S6 made this “mistake” before, but times are different now

The Galaxy S6 generation is ancient history by now, but let me bring back some bad memories. It was the result of “Project Zero” — Samsung’s initiative to reimagine its premium line phones. This is when we lost the removable battery commodity, but got the pretty metal-and-glass slabs that we know and love today.

So, with the Galaxy S6 line, Samsung went full Apple and not only removed the microSD card slots but offered the phones in three storage tiers — 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB. Each one adding a $100 to your bill, as you might imagine.

The backlash was immense and sales were… not as good as Samsung had hoped.

So, next year, Sammy backtracked on that decision and launched a Galaxy S7 with a microSD slot. And guess what — the Galaxy S7 was a booming success.

With all that said, could the Galaxy S21 be repeating this mistake?

I don’t think so. Mainly because — nowadays — the default storage we get in phones is very, very generous. Gotta remember — back in the Galaxy S6 days, we only had 32 GB of space in the phone, around 9 GB of which was already taken by the operating system. Nowadays, phones launch with 128 GB of internal storage, which is pretty roomy. As per rumors, the S21 and S21+ will also have 256 GB storage options.

Yes, powerusers that refuse to use cloud backup for their photos and videos will be irked, but I don’t think we will see backlash as big as in Galaxy S6 days. It’ll mostly be fine.

Related phones

Galaxy S21
  • Display 6.2 inches 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 4000 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI
Galaxy S21+
  • Display 6.7 inches 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 4800 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI
Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Display 6.8 inches 3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Quad camera) 40 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless