Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

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Whether you carry your media library with you, shoot a lot of 4K videos, or are looking to download a few movies ahead of a long commute, expandable storage is essential for many users. Thankfully, plenty of options are still available, although most of them are budget phones or mid-rangers with a few compromises here and there.

If you’re not looking to spend upwards of $1,000 on a flagship with 256GB or more built-in, take a look at our list of best Android phones with expandable storage. All you need is a stellar microSD card and any one of these spunky phones, and you’ll be all set to store as much data on your device as needed. With the right memory card, you can even store your apps on the microSD card.

At a glance

Best overall

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Best overall

Specifications

Display: 6.4-inch AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5

Chipset: Samsung Exynos 1380

Memory & storage: 6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2, expandable

Main camera: 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro

Front camera: 32MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 25W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: IP67

Reasons to buy

+

Five years of software updates

+

IP67 water and dust resistance

+

6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel

+

Great cameras for the price

+

Samsung’s software has plenty to offer

Reasons to avoid

Plastic build

No headphone jack

Not the best for gaming

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is significantly better than all other phones with expandable storage in existence today. This is largely because microSD card slots have been outmoded, so the best flagship devices no longer come with them.

We’re grateful that Samsung decided to keep the expandable storage option even though it discarded the audio jack with the Galaxy A54. You can still use Bluetooth for in-ear audio playback, but there’s no proper substitute for a memory card slot.

Samsung backs its A series phone with very likable cameras, guaranteed software updates for five years, and a robust IP67 rating. This means you can walk out of the house knowing full well that your Galaxy A54 5G can survive both water and dust exposure.

What you’ll love the most about this phone isn’t any of that. The gorgeous 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel is the star of the show. It’s sufficiently bright under the sun and has brilliant color depth and crispiness. The lovely display balances out the cheap plastic build, and you can always slap on a nice Galaxy A54 case to cover up that plastic in-hand feel. Bear in mind that the Exynos 1380 processor isn’t the best for heavy gaming though.

Best with stylus

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Best with stylus

Specifications

Display: 6.6-inch, FHD+, 120Hz, LCD

Chipset: Snapdragon 6 Gen 1

Memory & storage: 4GB (carriers)/6GB RAM, 128GB (carriers), 256GB, expandable

Main camera: 50MP wide, 8MP ultrawide

Front camera: 16MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 20W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: Water-repellent

Reasons to buy

+

Fantastic design with stylus built-in

+

Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is a great processor

+

Outstanding battery and fast charging

+

Decent 6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz LCD display

+

Three years of security updates

Reasons to avoid

Only water-repellent, no IP rating

One platform update

Motorola has worked hard to crawl its way to the top. What with its top-tier mid-rangers and excellent folding phone, we’re very happy for and with the brand.

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is a superb device with expandable storage because it comes with a stylus. This in itself is a unique feature that’s rarely ever seen on phones today. Your best bet is usually the Ultra model under Samsung’s S series of the year, but those no longer come with memory card support.

Motorola opted for the pleasing Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset for the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023), so you get consistently decent performance. The device also has a gigantic 5,000mAh battery paired with 20W fast charging, as well as a lovely 6.6-inch FHD+ 120Hz LCD display.

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is water-repellant by design, but that isn’t backed by any official IP rating. Also, you only get one major Android update. Security updates, on the other hand, are guaranteed for three years.

Best small phone

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony Xperia 10 V

Best small phone

Specifications

Display: 6.1-inch, OLED, 1B colors, HDR

Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G

Memory & storage: 6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB, expandable

Main camera: 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto

Front camera: 8MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, PD and QC wired charging

Water and dust resistance: IP65/IP68

Reasons to buy

+

Small enough for one-handed use

+

6.1-inch FHD+ 21:9 OLED display

+

Robust IP68 water and dust resistance

+

Snapdragon 695 5G delivers decent performance

+

3.5mm headphone jack with LDAC for Hi-Res audio support

+

5,000mAh battery

Reasons to avoid

No official charging speed declared

Does not support CDMA networks

Sony quietly releases new iterations of its Xperia phones every year, but they are a dying breed. It’s not because the phones are bad, though. Take the Sony Xperia 10 V, for instance. For under $400, you get nearly premium specs with a mix of mid-range features.

Of course, there’s the microSD slot that allows you to expand the Xperia 10 V’s internal storage. Beyond that, you also get resilient IP68 water and dust-proofing, a generous 5,000mAh battery, and a really lovely 6.1-inch 120Hz OLED panel. Pop the hood, and you will find a Snapdragon 695 5G SoC. Pair that with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and it’s just enough power to handle daily tasks and apps for moderate use.

You won’t find an official charging speed from Sony, which is unbelievable in this day and age. According to GSMArena, you can expect an approximate 21W wired charging speed through the USB-C port. On the plus side, you do get the coveted 3.5mm headphone jack with LDAC for Hi-Res audio support.

Best cheap pick

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

Best cheap pick

Specifications

Display: 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED

Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G

Memory & storage: 8GB RAM, 256GB, expandable

Main camera: 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro

Front camera: 13MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 33W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: IP53

Reasons to buy

+

Snapdragon 695 5G with 6GB or 8GB RAM

+

Snappy 6.67-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display

+

5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging

+

IP53 water and dust resistance

+

Excellent pricing

Reasons to avoid

Inconsistent performance with dips

No CDMA support

Too much bloatware

The cult-favorite Xiaomi sub-brand continues to impress with the POCO X5. It’s incredible what less than $300 can get you, all things considered. While this isn’t a perfect phone, the mix of features makes it a value-packed buy.

The Xiaomi POCO X5 touts a bright 6.67-inch Super AMOLED screen that has a peak brightness of 1200 nits. That’s flagship-level brightness from a budget phone right there! On top of that, the display refreshes at a buttery smooth 120Hz, so it feels nice and snappy.

All that is powered by the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and a huge 5,000mAh battery. Xiaomi gives you 33W wired fast charging with the POCO X5. You also get an IP53 water and splash-proof rating, which is a rare find when it comes to Xiaomi phones.

Best affordable Samsung

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung Galaxy A24 5G

Best affordable Samsung

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch AMOLED, 90Hz

Chipset: Mediatek Helio G99

Memory & storage: 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB, expandable

Main camera: 50MP wide, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP macro

Front camera: 13MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 25W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: None

Reasons to buy

+

6.5-inch 90Hz AMOLED screen

+

Samsung’s usual five-year promise regarding updates

+

5,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging

+

Decent main camera

Reasons to avoid

So-so performance

Lacks any IP rating

Craving that signature Samsung look and feel but can’t afford much? Don’t worry, the Samsung Galaxy A24 5G is a fine choice when hunting for phones with expandable storage. The Galaxy A24 gives you an AMOLED panel that measures 6.5 inches wide and has an impressive 90Hz screen refresh rate.

Now this is nearly an entry-level device, but it has just enough going for it that it sits a notch above that banner. For instance, the Samsung phone is kept alive by a gigantic 5,000mAh cell. You also get a headphone jack and a 50MP main camera, even though it doesn’t hold a candle against the photographic capabilities of S series Samsung phones.

You are stuck with a mediocre Mediatek MT8781 Helio G99 chipset, which is okay for light usage but stutters with heavier usage. Still, if you must have a Samsung within a very tight budget, the A24 5G is a decent option.

Best fast charging

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Best fast-charging

Specifications

Display: 6.72-inch 120Hz LCD

Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G

Memory & storage: 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2, expandable

Main camera: 108MP wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth

Front camera: 16MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 50W SUPERVOOC ultra-fast charging

Water and dust resistance: IP54

Reasons to buy

+

Three years of security updates

+

Superb 50W wired fast charging

+

120Hz LCD screen feels good

+

Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

108MP camera is gimmicky

Only one major platform update

Like so many of the best budget Android phones, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G sports the 6nm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset. You can insert a microSD card in the slot and add more storage in a jiffy.

The Nord N30 5G has a lot of neat features, but the coolest one of them all is the 50W SUPERVOOC charging. Now that’s an incredibly fast charging speed that you certainly won’t find on any other phone with expandable storage.

The 108MP camera sounds amazing, but it’s actually more of a buzzword. As per our testing, the picture quality could be better. You will appreciate the snappy 6.27-inch 120Hz IPS LCD display though.

OnePlus only promises one OS update for this model, but you get three years of guaranteed security updates.

Best international phone

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G

Best international phone

Specifications

Display: 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Chipset: Snapdragon 4 Gen 1

Memory & storage: 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2, expandable

Main camera: 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro

Front camera: 13MP

Battery & charging: 5,000mAh, 33W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: IP53

Reasons to buy

+

Big and beautiful AMOLED display

+

Hybrid dual-SIM slot

+

Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 delivers decent performance

+

IP53 water and dust resistance

+

Great camera, battery, and charging specs

Reasons to avoid

Not officially available in North America

Doesn’t support CDMA

Only one more platform upgrade

Xiaomi isn’t officially available anywhere in North America, but that isn’t stopping you from getting your hands on its products. You can import the spunky Redmi Note 12 5G from Amazon or any other retailer of your choice, as long as you’re okay with strictly GSM-only carrier support.

The Redmi Note 12 5G lives up to its predecessors, performing smoothly thanks to the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor. The hybrid memory card slot can either hold a microSD card or another SIM card. The 5,000mAh battery lasts for a day or two and it recharges at 33W.

The 48MP main camera captures impressive images and videos, as expected from any decent Xiaomi phone. In addition to that, the 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED screen is very nice, giving you lots of screen real estate. It gets fairly bright under the sun and the AMOLED panel is crisp.

Best eco-friendly phone

Best Android phones with expandable storage 2023

(Image credit: Nokia)

8. Nokia G60 5G

Best eco-friendly phone

Specifications

Display: 6.58-inch 120Hz IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Chipset: Snapdragon 695 5G

Memory & storage: 4GB/6GB RAM, 128GB, expandable

Main camera: 50MP wide, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP depth

Front camera: 8MP

Battery & charging: 4,500mAh, 20W wired charging

Water and dust resistance: Splash resistant

Reasons to buy

+

Built with around 60% recycled materials

+

Snapdragon 695 5G SoC

+

6.58-inch 120Hz screen

+

4,50mAh battery gives good backup

+

3.5mm audio port

Reasons to avoid

Only splash resistant

Nokia is very slow with updates

The Nokia G60 5G does not deliver as much bang for buck as some of the other picks in this list, but it’s a worthy mention. You get expandable storage via microSD, as well as two years of OS updates promised by Nokia. The downside here is that Nokia is extremely slow at pushing out said promised updates.

Of course, the main attraction here is the sustainability factor. The Nokai G60 5G is made of around 60% of recycled plastic. The company also promises that up to 84.5% of all of its materials can be recovered and then recycled. That’s incredibly good for the environment, making this the most eco-friendly device with expandable storage.

The specs of the G60 5G aren’t mindblowing, but they do the job. You get two-day battery from the 4,500mAh cell, 20W fast charging, a 3.5mm audio jack, a Snapdragon 695 5G processor, and a 6.58-inch display that refreshes at 120Hz.

Value phones are keeping microSD slots alive

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With most of the best Android 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, though the vast majority of them are budget offerings. Grab some of the best microSD cards, and you’ll be able to expand your storage with ease.

If you want the absolute best of the best with expandable storage, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. With this stunning phone, you get phenomenal value and rich features like 5G support for any compatible U.S. carrier. That gorgeous 6.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display coupled with stereo speakers is ideal for multimedia consumption. The camera array is also incredibly versatile, allowing you to capture some neat shots in varying conditions. You also get Android 13 out of the box, with four more major OS updates down the line.

In terms of full-blown flagships that offer expandable storage, you’re out of luck with the latest releases. You won’t find a microSD slot in the Galaxy S23 lineup or the Pixel 7 series. You’re better off with mid-range value phones such as the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) or the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. You’ll find the internals to be solid in both phones, pushing out smooth performance consistently. Both devices are great hits in the camera and battery departments, too.

If you’re looking to spend even less, though, the Redmi Note 12 5G and POCO X5 are also great options to consider. Both deliver performance well above their asking price and are some of the best cheap Android phones you’ll find, expandable storage or otherwise. Pair your phone with a reliable microSD card and you’ll be all set for the next couple of years.

Via: Androidcentral

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