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Support Alternatives to S6? Must have removable battery, MicroSD slot

I have been using Samsung Galaxy S3 for over two years. I have been planning and saving money to change to Samsung Galaxy S6 this year. However, I have just read that Samsung Galaxy S6 will have built-in non-removable battery and no MicroSD slot. Both are non-negotiable deal breakers for me. So now I am looking for alternatives.

I am looking for alternatives but equivalences to the S6 from other manufacturers, specifically newer Android phones that were recently released or will be released in the next few months. The phone must have: removable battery and MicroSD slot. I am not familiar with LG, HTC, Motorola or any other Android manufacturers and their phones. I have been told that those other manufacturers have already phased out removable batteries and MicroSD slots some time ago. However, I do not know if that is the truth. I certainly hope not.

So. Please give me several recommendations. Thanks.


#1 ktchong, Mar 3, 2015 Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
If you're looking for a flagship this year with a removable battery, I'm pretty sure you'll be out of luck. Both the S6 & M9 are using irreplaceable batteries and it looks as though the LG Flex 2 is the same.

No word on the G4 or the rumoured HTC M9 Plus but I wouldn't hold out much hope.
#2 El Presidente, Mar 3, 2015
Both HTC and LG have sd cards

The LG has a removable battery, but we haven't seen the 2015 version yet.

We have seen the new HTC One M9, it doesn't have a removable battery.

You're asking for other phones - what regional or carrier preferences do you have?
#3 EarlyMon, Mar 3, 2015
If I have to downgrade to a "below flagship" phone to retain removable battery and MicroSD card, I will.

There is no way any manufacturer battery would last me a full day of usage. I often do not get a chance to recharge my phone for more than a day. I have always replaced the manufacturer batteries on my phones with the highest-capacity extended batteries. My current phone S3 has a 7200mAh battery that I just replaced in January. That new battery barely lasts a day for me. That is why S6 is not gonna work for me.
#4 ktchong, Mar 3, 2015 Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
Last year's LG Flex didn't have a removable battery either but I think that the 2014 flagship for them was the G3, and sales on it went through the roof over the removable battery, sd card, and the QHD screen.

If you're going to downgrade, go to that - or wait and see what the LG G4 brings. Hard to imagine it will have a sealed battery.
#5 EarlyMon, Mar 3, 2015
I am currently with MetroPCS in Los Angeles. I have been planning to switch to another provider, most likely T-Mobile.

I really prefer no contract. However, I am okay with signing a contract, but I really prefer no longer than a year. Does any carrier still offer a one-year contract? Or do they all require two years nowadays?

I do not mind paying full price ($600 to $800 is okay) for an "unlocked" phone. However, if I have to bring an unlocked phone into a network, I want to be able to use the full data features on the phone. (I really do not know how that works, so I am making assumptions here.)
#6 ktchong, Mar 3, 2015
I think everyone is stuck at two years but if anyone is offering contract flexibility, it's T-Mobile. Don't recall their latest offering.
#7 EarlyMon, Mar 3, 2015
T-Mobile it is then. Los Angeles.
#8 ktchong, Mar 3, 2015
Does anyone know if LG G4 will have removable battery and MicroSD card slot? What's the likelihood?
#9 ktchong, Mar 4, 2015
No one knows if LG G4 will have removable battery and MicroSD card slot yet, but the LG G3 had both so there's a chance the G4 will as well.
#10 kate, Mar 4, 2015
Samsung Galaxy S5 has both as well... but then Samsung pulled a fast one and removed both from S6.
#11 ktchong, Mar 4, 2015
Could happen.

But LG used to have sealed batteries and no sd - until last year and their sales boomed on the G3.

It's true, they might pull a Samsung, but with the huge outcry they'd have to be crazy to not keep on and scoop up the disgruntled S6 shoppers.

Then again, they're all crazy so you're right, we just don't know.
#12 EarlyMon, Mar 4, 2015
Since you don't seem to mind having a giant, 3cm thick brick of a phone, I would suggest getting an LG G3 if you want to upgrade immediately, or wait for the G4 to see if it will have a removable battery, then adding a battery like the 9000mah one for the G3. If you really like Samsung, the S5 is arguably almost as good as the LG G3.

There are also the cases with batteries in them that plug into your USB port, like the extended battery cases for iPhones. I imagine there will be some good ones for the S6, maybe even ones that include a microSD card reader on them if that's technically possible (like this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/budgie/exodrive-cases-the-only-microsd-expandable-phone-c).

I'm curious...what do you do all day if you're burning through a 7200mah battery in less than a day? The S3 has terrible battery life compared to what the S6 has. What kind of screen-on times do you need and are you playing CPU-intensive games or just browsing or video watching?

Also, how do you use your microSD cards to where you absolutely need it?
#13 snake2332, Mar 12, 2015
Just an update:

LG has unveiled G4. It has a replaceable battery and MicroSD expansion slot! Thank goodness. Which means I will migrate from Samsung Galaxy to LG.
#14 ktchong, May 7, 2015
The microSD card probably has to do with cheaper storage? Not sure why anyone would need a microSD card on the S6 when it is giving you 128GB internal storage. Even with a 64GB storage it's already huge for a phone.

However, as mentioned before, your only choice for a user replaceable battery for now would be going for an S5 or LG G3, both of which is still a massive upgrade from your current S3, or waiting it out for the LG G4.
#15 chanchan05, May 7, 2015
you could try a Note 4
#16 fordguy00, May 7, 2015
I hear this all the time and I'll tell you why I hate it - here's what it translates to:

"If you're not happy with what Samsung offers and how I have assessed storage, you're using your phone wrong."

SD card users have a love / hate relationship with the cards.

When it's more hate, fine, get the Samsung.

When it's more love, get a phone that supports it.

No matter how many ways people say what they prefer about sd cards, someone has an argument for it.

Pros: Cheaper, cheaper to configure post-purchase, easy to change as your needs do post-purchase, easy to interchange with other devices or pc without having your phone chained down, has been encrypt-able from day one (it's called secure digital) without needing a vendor solution, and my favorite reason that's just as valid - just because.

Cons: can go bad, can create support problems, can get ripped off buying a counterfeit, slower to use, can't store apps (seriously the 2010 solutions for that are just stop gaps).

The truth is that everyone learns to live within their storage budget, measured in GB and money.

Here's another thing - some people hate Samsung. Just like some hate HTC, or Apple, or Sony, or whatever.

But not getting why some people need an SD card or why some people need a larger or removable battery is like not getting why some people need to eat eggplant or own a dog instead of a cat.

I freaking hate eggplant and love cats and dogs but so what ok. :D

Android is all about choice.

Samsung is offering less in some areas but more in others.

The more in some does not negate the less in others.

Samsung may claim it does and that may work for you but it is not going to work for everyone.

And NOT because they don't get it.

Cheers. ;) :)
#17 EarlyMon, May 7, 2015
I misquoted. I was supposed to be replying that to snake's post where he ask why the user wants a microSD card.

I just meant that, in the S6's case, this is offset by the fact that it offers the storage up to 128GB. So an SD card isn't necessary for that particular model.

It's not I don't get why people want SD cards. I get them. I was trying to say, for this particular model, it's not necessary.

Plus knowing Samsung, they're gonna release a "less premium" variant with an SD card.
#18 chanchan05, May 7, 2015
Unless someone wants one. ;)

Necessary is up to the user and it's not always about size.

Example - tell me how to remove storage from the S6 so I can let it take hours transferring work-related private data with my pc and plug in alternative storage and leave my desk at while the transfer sits and cooks away, to go gather more GB of data with my phone.

Without an SD card, even with 128 GB version of the S6 - I can't.

I'd have to change my habits because my choice was limited.

Do most people do that? Of course not, probably a small minority.

But if I need to be able to do that, it's a necessity.

Necessary only has an individual meaning - not a global one.

My smartphone has freed me from +99% of the cases where I had to drag a laptop around.

Maybe I could look for an OTG-USB burner - that would unchain me. And limit my actions because optical disks are not huge.

But it would just be shifting the sd support problem to slower optical disks. Or a portable usb drive with OTG-USB. That puts me back dragging around more junk and having another battery concern.

There's no wrong answer here - that's my point. ;) :)
#19 EarlyMon, May 7, 2015
I can answer the question about the use of an SD card slot. Over the years I have collected over 1100 songs in an itunes library that I WILL NOT purchase again on the Play Store. Spotify is not an option at this point, because I'm not going to hunt after indie artists, or artist who have not made their work available. And why use up my data plan if I don't have to? I also have movies and other recordings from vacations overseas and upload that stuff while overseas just to put it on social media gets expensive quickly. Sure, my 8GB device with my 16GB sd card were perfect back in 2012, but 3 years later, I've had to upgrade to a 32 card slot and I've already ran out of space on the device twice already (I'm an app user that just happens to play a lot of games). Also, switching phones just meant throwing everything over to the card slot and not losing anything. It's easy to say just get the 32gig or 64 gig models, but whose to say that's enough? The sd card slot was a better and cheaper alternative. That flexibility is why I've never had an iphone.
#20 topman5, May 13, 2015
If 128 GB is not enough for you, you are not shopping for a smartphone. You are shopping for a supercomputer.
#21 fordguy00, May 15, 2015
Actually I didn't want to go through the hassle of transferring everything over to a phone every time I got one. Even if I kept everything on a cloud server when I got a new phone I would have to bring every thing over again and again. If I was able to keep everything on an SD card then all I was doing was just switching it out.
#22 topman5, May 15, 2015
I refer the honourable member to the previous reply:

#23 Slug, May 16, 2015
They already have. The A5.
#24 fordguy00, May 16, 2015
For me, the swappable battery is more important than the MicroSD card slot. The factory-installed battery does not have enough juice and is simply not enough for me.
#25 ktchong, May 24, 2015