Nov 13 AT 12:34 PM Nick Gray 45 Comments

Building the perfect Nexus phone: storage


Today’s continuation of our Building the perfect Nexus phone series focuses on a topic which not many of us can agree on. One of the main issues among Android enthusiasts is the debate over storage options. We live in a world where more of our data lives in the cloud and it can easily be accessed over WiFi and cellular networks for consumption on the go. The cloud can technically host all the content we own, but there are times where’s it’s simply more convenient to have data stored locally. For that, there are a few options – integrated storage, expandable storage or a combination of both.

On a technical level, Android devices perform better with integrated storage, but the limitations and price gouging are hard to put up with when Google’s promise for Android is an open ecosystem intended to give consumers choices. Most Nexus phones and tablets have not included expandable storage slots and that may have something to do with Google’s agenda to have the worlds information all stored in the cloud.

While the cost of NAND flash memory has dramatically dropped over the past few years, the savings haven’t really been passed on to consumers. Most high end smartphones these days come with 16GB of internal storage, but the jump to 32GB typically costs an additional $50. Yes, $50 may not seem like much, but it’s an outrageous markup considering that consumers could purchase a 64GB microSDXC class 10 card from Amazon for the same price. HTC has increased the value proposition of the HTC One by making 32GB of internal storage the standard for its base model, but there’s still an additional $100 hurdle for those who opt for the 64GB HTC One.

Expandable storage comes with a lot of advantages. Today’s microSD cards are dirt cheap (and they keep getting cheaper by the day) and they are easily swappable. Unfortunately, the inclusion of expandable storage slots in mobile devices is on a decline. By removing the slot, manufacturers are able to design and build devices in a different manner, but as we saw above, it also gives them a lot more control over the device’s cost and the ability to exponentially increase their profit margins.

You know the facts, but we want to know your opinion. We have two questions for you:

Be sure to leave a comment if you feel the need to express your thoughts on the matter.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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