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Does the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 have an SD card slot? How the phone handles expandable storage

If we had our way, all smartphones would come with some form of expandable storage, including the latest foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Most of us store loads of videos, pictures, and other files on our phones — from the menu for that new Mexican place to the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting — not to mention the numerous games and apps that take up storage space. Sadly, it seems like many phones today have confined the microSD card slot to the history books.

Most older Samsung phones and some recent A series devices, like the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, do have microSD card slots. However, the same can’t be said for newer devices like the S22 series or Samsung’s latest foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip 4. As much as we wish it had one, the Z Flip 4 does not come with an SD card slot.

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The cover screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as the SD card slot was also missing from the phone’s predecessor, the Galaxy Z Flip 3. It wasn’t expected that Samsung would change that with the Flip 4, but it still makes the lacking SD card slot disappointing.

Even though it’s not a complete surprise, it could still be a frustrating realization that the storage variant you buy is all you’ll ever have. In recent years, the high cost of manufacturing and shipping phones with microSD support has seen the feature vanish from most flagship devices. Manufacturers have simply sacrificed external storage for lower costs and sleeker designs — and it looks like the 3.5mm headphone jack is swiftly going the way of the SD card slot, too.

What’s the difference between microSD storage and internal storage?

Worried about buying a phone that doesn’t have a microSD card slot? It’s understandable to stress that your phone may not have enough onboard storage. But it’s important to bear in mind the key differences between microSD storage and internal storage. Back in the day, you could only store files such as photos or videos on your phone’s microSD card, but more recently, it’s possible on some phones to format microSD cards to allow them to store apps.

Yet you might not want to do this even if your phone has an SD card slot. SD cards don’t perform like your phone’s internal memory. They’re slower for your phone to read or write data from, which in turn slows down your phone. Storing apps that you use frequently on your microSD card is likely to make them run slower and could even cause your phone to freeze.

Most phones nowadays offer various storage options to choose from, so you should be able to find a variant that works for your storage needs. If you can’t afford the model with more storage, all that means is you’ll likely have to delete unwanted photos, videos, and other files a little more frequently — no bad thing if your goal is to have a more organized camera roll.

With 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, there are plenty of options to suit all needs.

Storage-friendly alternatives to the Galaxy Z Flip 4

At $1,000, the base model of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 already packs 128GB of internal storage space, and you can upgrade to 256GB or 512GB of space if you like. If you really, absolutely can’t imagine life without expandable storage, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the phone we recommend. You get the same 128GB of storage as the Z Flip 4, but that’s expandable via microSD card up to 1TB — more storage than anybody could ever feasibly need or use.

Stepping away from Samsung, the Nord N200 is another alternative to consider. True, you only get 64GB of onboard storage, but there’s a coveted microSD card slot to increase storage, and the phone comes in at under $210. If you don’t mind a slightly older device, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are also both excellent options with expandable storage.

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