Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Render KK

AH Primetime: Galaxy Note 5 – Looking For A MicroSD Card In All The Wrong Places

July 7, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Tech enthusiasts, we are a strange bunch – for months we anticipate, calculate, accept some rumors, while dismissing others, dissect leaked images and then the big day comes when the true specifications are released, followed shortly by the release of the device.  We then start a completely new round of testing, trashing, exalting and picking apart the actual device and pointing out its many design flaws.  Moreover, while all of this is happening, rumors startup about the next device and we move on, repeating the cycle.  This is the case of the Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 5…and possibly the Note 5 Edge or the Note Edge 2…no one knows for sure.

While the new Galaxy S6/S6 Edge may be labeled an overall success, some specifications still left a bad taste in our mouths concerning these new Samsung devices…because they were once staples of Samsung devices: First would be the sealed back and the non-removable battery.  This non-feature has many Samsung users very upset…I was one of them…but after the dust settled, I asked myself just how many extra batteries have I ever bought for my devices and how many times did I have the need to replace my battery…exactly zero times.  It is understood that a few ‘power users’ may always carry extra batteries with them, but for the majority of people, as long as a battery is large enough to last a day or day and a half, we are happy.

Second question we ask ourselves is why didn’t Samsung make the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge waterproof since they sealed up the device?  That would have gone a long way towards the acceptance of the whole ‘sealed device’ defense regarding a non-removable battery. At least Samsung ponied up to include wireless charging as a standard. The third item that really infuriated the buyers was the absence of a microSD card slot and leaving no way to increase the internal storage from the base 32GB or the optional 64GB and 128GB models.  While 64B or 128GB may be acceptable storage for most users, it comes at a much steeper cost than buying a cheap microSD card for that additional storage.  This is another area where Samsung could have made it a non-issue if they would charge less for the storage upgrade – a $100 an increment…outrageous.  I am sure that Samsung is looking at their archrival, Apple, and were telling themselves that if Apple can do it, so can we.  The only difference is that Apple was handling memory like that from day one – we expected more from Samsung.

Moving on to the Galaxy Note 5, most websites are predicting the same glass and metal design of the Galaxy S6 series. Many websites are also predicting the inclusion of a huge battery to help ease buyer’s non-removable battery fear. There are many also predicting the return of the microSD card slot on the new Galaxy Note 5, after all, if we are to believe the CAD picture released below, it clearly shows a ‘door’ of some sort on the side by the volume controls. What else could this be besides a cover for that card? Possibly the design used for the rumored dual-SIM model? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case I think we have to look for another answer.

Samsung introduced some new technology in the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge that will surely be carried forward to their Galaxy Note 5 – the first 14nm processor, the first DDR4 RAM in a smartphone and the new UFS 2.0 (Universal Flash Storage)…the fastest internal storage in today’s market.  This technology can read and write data almost two times as fast as the current eMMC 5.0 technology used in other smartphones.  This is the reason that Samsung eliminated the microSD card – it simply cannot keep up with the speed of the UFS 2.0 Flash Memory and this is why we will not see a microSD card slot on the Galaxy Note 5.  The card would be a detriment to the Galaxy Note 5 when trying to access the memory card.

We knew it was only a matter of time before the speed of the internal flash memory would outpace the memory cards.  The eMMC 5.0 used in devices uses the same ‘controller’ as the microSD card – the ability to exchange information.  There is not a microSD card with a ‘controller’ able to communicate with the new UFS 2.0 memory.  Until the time comes when new technology can allow the two devices to communicate, we may see many flagship devices pass on the expandable memory in favor of the new UFS 2.0 Flash Memory.  This will be especially true as cloud storage continues to be pushed as the wave of the future, and another reason the Galaxy Note 5 series will not have a microSD card slot.

Galaxy Note 5 Side View CAD