I know most of you will answer YES to the question in the title of this article but you will be surprised by the different debates and arguments that revolve around this topic. Most of my friends including me obviously have come to own Smartphones in whatever category, whether mid or high-end as they are all available on the market — it’s all about how much you are willing to dish out to acquire one. Many decisions have to be made before buying a Smartphone now days but two are paramount; first is how long will the battery last and the other how much storage space one needs. I was reading an article last week about removable storage and batteries in smartphone by Brian Klug and it got me thinking. Thus decided to write my thoughts about those two topics. I would care less about removable batteries because it’s a no brainier, you can get an extra Galaxy S4 battery slap it into your phone and you are good to go. Let’s face it, unless battery technology drastically changes, the need for battery swapping will always be paramount. But removable storage is something am very passionate about, even if the phone I use currently doesn’t have the option to swap storage, I still think it’s important however to have this ability.
Android was never set up to integrate well with external storage
Part of what Brian said in his article is that there are a lot of trade-offs that you give up for removable storage and removable batteries and one of his points was the move to the unibody product design by Smartphone makers. This has been a common design in super high end phones like in the Nokia Lumias, iPhones and HTCs of late, where they can fit like a 3000mAh battery into a space that would only allow you to get a 2200mAh battery from a few generations ago with a removable back, which is very true. And really I don’t really miss removable batteries at all. If you have used Android powered phones for long, you can notice that the OS has never been set up to integrate very well with external storage, and this is something I find to be bazaar given how long the OS has been around. The most annoying thing is that the biggest apps (memory-wise) are the ones that want to camp onto your internal storage and not the external memory.
There are two things going on here, first a technology and software issue then there is the cooperate strategic issue that I have with Google and its control over Android and its displeasure with external storage. Basically what it comes down to is that Google doesn’t want you to have external storage which means having a high capacity phone. Look at its Nexus line of phones, it’s like they think we are going to do a lot of horrible things with a lot of storage. I think it would be better if Google treated internal and removable storage as one contiguous block of memory at least in software.
Original Windows Phones 7 phones, ended up being a nightmare especially for some OEMs
This has also been the Windows Phone argument too, if you remember the original Windows Phones 7 phones, which ended up being a nightmare especially for some OEMs likeSamsung whose products got really hurt because of external memory support issues. What used to happen was that this Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) had the micro SD card support and when you put your SD card in it, it would be formatted and you would never use that card for anything else ever again. It’s true that you can actually format and contain your storage on two different volumes or just make two logical drives or one logical drive which very possible from the software front. It could be integrated into Android very easily which can prevent you from taking it out if you are into the habit of swapping storage cards. But then of course with such a solution the point of external storage would be lost completely.
When it’s this tiny it’s just way too easy to lose so the removable aspect just becomes a pain
Another point is that Micro SD cards are just tiny, and the most common thing that people do with them, is lose them especially when they are not in the phone, I can’t tell how many I have lost so far. So I think removable media makes sense back in the days when it was something you could grab or handle like a CF (Compact Flash), cartridge or a mini disk. So when it’s this tiny it’s just way too easy to lose so the removable aspect just becomes a pain in the you know what. For sure I don’t know many people that are actively swapping their SD cards on a day to day basis.
Seriously it doesn’t cost $100 (UGX 250,000) to put more 16GB
The fact is that external storage is really not going to come back outside of the world of Samsung anytime soon. What I do wish would happen is manufacturers especially Apple would not charge such a huge premium to get a descent amount of storage built into their device. Seriously it doesn’t cost $100 (UGX 250,000) extra to put 16GB more storage it costs like $10 to $ 16, so it’s like the difference in price between a base level iPhone and an iPhone that has a usable amount of storage is so ridiculous.
Now days most of the flagship phones come with 32 or 64 GB options minus the Galaxy Phones, but if you want something cheaper it’s hard to find storage options. The HTC One mini is a good example — as that only comes in 16 GB and a lot of low end phones either have removable storage to keep their costs really low or smaller phones that you would imagine to be a little bit lower cost only come in 16GB options. For us who live out of the US where services like Google Music or some of the streaming options are not accessible, means buying a 16GB phone would be silent suicide, because before you know it will be down to 0 GB due do the music and What App videos and other media. So we only hope manufactures give us more storage at reasonable prices and we can do away with extra external storage which clearly doesn’t fly well with Android ecosystem.