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Galaxy S7 and LG G5 Have SD Card Slots, but Skip Android 6.0’s Adoptable Storage

samsung galaxy s7 adoptable storage

Within the last two days, we have seen both Samsung and LG unveil some really, really cool smartphones for 2016. Samsung gave us the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, and LG showed off the G5. Samsung’s phones will be here in a couple of weeks, while LG seems to need some more time to get everything buttoned up. All three phones are about as next-gen as you can get in terms of technology, thanks to their Snapdragon 820 processors, QHD displays, innovative camera experiences, and more. But there is one area that has already turned away potential buyers – handling of expandable storage via microSD slot.

As you know, Samsung ditched the microSD slot last year, but decided to bring it back this year with support for up to 200GB of additional space. LG never ditched the SD slot and has brought it back for the G5 with support up to 2TB (!). While we are all excited to see SD support in both, each company has decided against using a feature that could really enhance the storage experience. We’re talking, of course, about Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s new Adoptable Storage

What is Adoptable Storage, you ask? With Adoptable Storage, Android is allowing the system to “adopt” an inserted microSD card to give you one big block of storage space that is formatted and encrypted to your phone. When adopted, your phone treats the storage (after it runs a benchmark to determine if it is fast enough to keep up) like it would internal storage, which means it can “safely store both apps and private data for all users.”

This is what your storage situation would look like before adopting an SD card and then after.

android 6.0 adoptable storage android 6.0 adoptable storage

Before adopted vs. After adopted

What are the benefits of Adoptable Storage? There are few, but most importantly, by adding an SD card’s capacity to your phone, so that it is adopted and recognized in the same as internal storage, you are giving yourself the opportunity to greatly expand your phone’s internal storage. You can then install more apps than ever. If you don’t adopt an SD card in Android 6.0, you can’t do that. You’ll still be able to keep all of your photos and videos and music collection on your SD card like you have in the past, but the apps are out. If you consider phones like the G5 or Galaxy S7 potentially using up a whole lot of internal storage to house all of their bloatware and bloated skins on top of Android, your space for app installation isn’t exactly large.

The other piece I would point out is that adopting is much more secure than not adopting. With an adopted card, your phone encrypts it so that only that phone can use it. If someone were to steal your SD card and slap it into another phone, they wouldn’t get very far as it won’t mount. With a non-adopted SD card, anyone with an SD card slot can access the contents of your SD card.

What’s the big deal with Samsung and LG not allowing for Adoptable Storage? I just touched on it, but the basic argument is that since all three of the phones are essentially only launching with 32GB of storage in the US, your internal storage is limited to just that without Adoptable Storage being active. LG and Samsung have used up quite a bit of internal storage in the past for their bloatware, pre-loaded apps, and skin, so it’s safe to assume that we will be stuck with a similar situation here. For example, the Galaxy S6 last year used up almost 10GB of space out of the box, before you ever installed a thing. If you owned the 32GB model, you were left with around 23GB of space to use for apps.

Why would LG and Samsung do this? At this time, they are giving off the impression that they are worried about Adoptable Storage being confusing, scary, and maybe not all that user friendly (Or maybe customers just don’t want it.). They are more than likely worried that a customer will use Adoptable Storage, not knowing exactly what they are getting themselves into, and then yanking out an SD card and really screwing things up on their phone. That’s a valid concern, of course. But is it the correct move to just fully disable the option all together? We tend to lean towards it always being best to give people options or the ability to choose for themselves rather than just limiting them.

NOTE: As some of have pointed it, though Samsung hasn’t said anything along these lines, another reason for not including Adoptable Storage could have to do with read/write speeds of SD cards. Internal storage is typically much faster than SD cards and Samsung or LG could be worried about there being a performance hit.

Time for you to make a decision. You have lived without the option for adoptable storage up until Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so this is all pretty new territory for most of us. In the past, all we wanted was an SD card to store things like photos, videos, and music. But now that we can take that a step further, this thought of Samsung and LG denying us is a bit unsettling, especially since you can’t go out and buy say, a 128GB G5 or S7.

  • Mohammed Taher

    I hope they get this feature back in a the next update at least for the lg g5 cause I want it .

  • bigbird

    I want the option!

  • Steven Fischer

    so look at it like this, granted most of everyone here is smart in how to move files from one device to another. I do phone support for a large cell company, to which disclaimer, my view are that of my own and do not reflect the values or views of said company. Now I can see why samsung truly decided not to do this, and I don’t think it has anything to do with how fast an app opens or read/writes or whatever. in a lot of cases with things ranging from network issues, to an app not opening correctly. what is one of the TS steeps that the OEM IE samsung requires us to do? Remove the freaking SD card from the phone and then power the device back on. why does no one ever think about hey what happen if the SD card becomes corrupted. it’s quite funny how often this does happen. and when most people don’t even know how to move a picture, from the phone to a freaking PC/MAC and by most I mean 99% so yeah I can see where samsung is coming from by deciding not to use Adoptable Storage. this is the part that makes me mad about any person that really knows tech, you dumb asses often forget that

  • DaBig Guy

    User should be able to decide what is best for them. First would like to be able to easily get rid of bloat I didn’t want, freeing up more of the 32GB internal memory. I more than likely would not turn on Adoptable Storage just so it would be easier to transfer unencrypted photos from my phone to the computer or music back to card with a card reader. But hey, I fill up that 32GB internal memory I guess I’m turning on Adoptable Storage and transferring data via USB cord.

  • Matthew Johnson

    This is total BS. Just got my s7 edge. Most apps CAN NOT be moved to sd card. About 1/2 my apps could. The biggest data hog apps could NOT be moved. Apps that I did have on my sd card with my S5 and on my last phone, an LG G3. Major fail, Samsung. Smh, i want to like this company but they continue to drop the ball. If i cant move my apps sell me phone with bigger storage, at least 64gb. Wtf…

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    I’d love to use this on the s7 with a fast 200gb card

    However there is the issue of longevity

  • krubby

    Looks like the Turbo 2 will get this with their Marshmallow update coming tomorrow. The S7 looks awesome but this is one thing I might like over that phone with my Turbo 2

  • Zeoxzy

    And yet i’ve got an xperia z2, which allows some data from apps to be moved across to the sd card. And we’re talking about freeing up gigabytes of data from the internal storage.

  • Dick Bailey

    Assuming US offerings are limited to 32Gb, the lack of adoptive storage eliminates these devices from my potential purchase. Too easy to fill games to use up available storage.

  • Bay_Ranger

    May not be true? –“LG public relations rep Monica Levy said of the G5,
    “Happy to inform you that LG’s newest flagship does support Android’s
    adoptable storage feature.”

  • Shirleyjcolbert

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  • they brought back the SD slot. awesome!

  • Oh good, now I have another reason to hate Samsung.

    Too bad that LG is in on this too, though, the G5 interested me.

  • Islam

    i want Adoptable Storage with 128Gb SanDisk extreme and make that to internal storage. Samsung why did you do his?

  • Ichigo Uzumaki

    I saw the adoptable storage on my MXPE when I inserted the microSD card. I went with the other option since I sometimes take the sd card out of the device and plug it straight to the computer to transfer data since it’s faster this way. They do warn you that if you use adoptable storage that you won’t be able to access the data stored in the SDcard on another device. Only Samsung and LG know why they screw this up….

  • Tomek G

    I, for change, like the idea of REMOVABLE storage, so I can put multiple smaller SD cards to store media and easily transfer them from other devices.

  • JimmyHACK

    I figured it was a given that being this soon it wouldn’t be used with many phones. Not to many the few common issues with it so far (updated apps moving, card unmounts).

  • Thelmadhiller

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  • tansuperman

    This is total bs. Where is the option . just two companies that are worried about people buying the 32 gig only. Total bs on Samsung and lg

  • Phredator

    If your SD card ever dismounts for any reason, as mine has done a dozen times, your phone will crash.
    The crash under these conditions would be particularly nasty to put back together again.
    I have to say that if they have this option I would not use it

    • tansuperman

      Don’t buy cheap SD cards. Buy Samsung SD cards. They work