Is a removable battery and a microSD card slot a requirement for you to love the S5?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I have my ups and downs about Samsung, especially regarding some of their customer service practices. However, all of that aside, when you're just looking at Samsung phones there is certainly something to marvel about them. Not everyone will agree that Samsung phones have the most premium hardware design or the most beautiful Android skin, myself being one of them, but there is something about how popular Samsung has become that makes you wonder what it is about the company that people like so much. Sometimes it is the hardware, or the software, or perhaps it's just that Samsung has gotten to the point where the brand name practically sells itself. But for me, when I do evaluate what I like in Samsung phones, are "features" that weree once common but have lately become rarities.
If you guessed that a removable battery and a microSD card slot were the two features I admire, you probably read the title of the article. But it's true. I really do appreciate that thus far Samsung has stuck to its guns about the removable battery and keeping a microSD card slot.
I think my love for removable batteries and microSD card slots goes back to the fact that my first several smartphones were Androids and BlackBerrys, all of which featured removable batteries and microSD card slots. It was something I had become accustomed to, something that I took comfort in when it came to smartphones. It's what I knew. I knew that if my phone froze up (which they did) I could usually just pop a battery out, put it back in and voila! All better. When I needed to switch all of my media from phone to phone what did I do? I popped it out and put it in another phone (and prayed that it didn't somehow get damaged during the switch). I'm not saying they were perfect methods, but to me they were reliable methods - methods I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about giving up when I finally made the leap to iOS.
Since then, though, giving up a removable battery and microSD card is... well, to describe it as best as I can, I find it to be tolerable and not as bad as I thought it would be. Would I prefer a microSD card slot and removable battery? Yes, yes I would. But with more and more phones taking the non-removable battery, internal/cloud storage approach to things, it might not be too much longer where that design is even an option anymore, at least in flagship phones.
With the Samsung's new baby, the Galaxy S5, quickly approaching its due date, the thought did cross my mind on whether the removable battery or the microSD card slot will once again be featured on Samsung's latest flagship. It's something that they've strangely been known to feature, which is odd considering that it used to be such a common design to begin with. But along with Samsung being known to feature removable batteries and microSD cards, they're also highly praised for it by a lot of people. In fact, I would say that most people who purchase a Samsung device would put either removable battery or microSD card, most of the time both, in their top 10 favorite things about the device. I've even heard some Samsung owners say that the only reason they carry a Samsung device is for the removable battery and microSD card slot. Considering how popular Samsung is these days, I would say that it's a feature that is still highly desired by many.
I do hope that Samsung kept the design at least another year, because I think not including it would make a lot of people switch. It's not just about nostalgia either - I find that having a removable battery does have a lot of usefulness to it. In the very least, it gives people peace of mind. In the case that you need to replace your battery, you're not going to have to jump through hoop after hoop to get it taken care of. It is also fairly easy to find extended batteries for phones with removable back covers. As for microSD cards, it's nice to know you can upgrade the amount of storage in your phone if you want in addition to any internal storage given to you. Samsung is pretty good about providing a lot of internal storage as well, although in some cases it's mostly so TouchWiz can run properly as we saw with the Galaxy S4 (which initially took up half of a 16GB Galaxy S4's internal memory).
There are a lot of people, likewise, who don't care for removable features - but while their options are growing, the people who still prefer removables are quickly dwindling. I feel like, if nothing else, Samsung can be commended for keeping this old method around for people who do. It's not like they're losing much by keeping it. In fact, I would say it's working out pretty well for them.
Readers, I want to know what your thoughts are about this. If the S5 turns out not to have a removable battery and a microSD card, would you still stay with them? Would you switch to them if they ditched it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!