Don’t look now: Chinese HTC One has a microSD card slot


We were originally ready to buy HTC’s story that the HTC One couldn’t have a microSD card slot because of its intricate, gap-free design. It’s one of the biggest features users have been missing alongside a user-removable battery. Well, it looks like one group of would-be HTC One owners will be getting at least one of those features once the device launches.

The Chinese HTC One will apparently sport a microSD card slot. That much is advertised on HTC’s very own site. Despite the HTC One having 32GB of internal storage (64GB in the case of those who buy the developer edition) folks are dying for the ability to be able to expand that even more.

It’s a seemingly weird omission for HTC to make at first, but the OEM’s need to design the Chinese version with dual-SIM support probably gave it the extra breathing room it needed to add the port. It’s slightly worthy to note that the device also has a removable backdoor, though this won’t grant users access to the battery inside.

How many of you were wanting this functionality for the HTC One and feel vexed by this revelation? Is 32GB enough for you or could you do with the ability to add up to another whopping 64GB? Let your frustrations be heard in the comments section below! PS: yes, the Chinese version is a tad thicker and wider than the rest, but we have a feeling users wouldn’t have minded less than a millimeter of extra girth for the ability to expand storage.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Dear HTC,
    micro-sd or no deal.

    1. Why do need a micro SD slot? 64 gigs are more than enough imo

      1. How about the people not buying unlocked or AT&T’s version of the phone? They’ll only get 32 gb which is enough for some people but not all.

        1. thats where the free 25 gb dropbox comes in handy

          1. Yes but then you are using data

          2. or wifi… or tmobile/sprint

          3. why yes, please let people use wifi when they are not around wifi. surely that’s a reasonable response.

            you should be part of EA’s PR team who said “100% online connection requirements are perfectly reasonable”

          4. im not saying wifi is a replacement for data, but when you are talking about 128 gb of stuff, you really arent using that all on the go in one outing. You probably have like all 7 seasons of friends stored at that thing. You could easily just swap out one season for another when you’re home or at work.

            You wont watch the entire season b4 the next time you’re connected to wifi. Im not saying its ideal, but not a “dealbreaker” by far

          5. Most modern games use 2 to 4 GB each. Each nandroid backup 2GB, titanium backup of my 200+ apps 5 GB. When you really use your phone to other things than media consumption you eat 32GB fast. Most cloud services are not available outside US and useless to restore nandroid from recovery or to play a new game

          6. If you really NEED the space then you need the space, but im just saying most people dont really NEED the space, its just more convenient for them. And media that’s very easily swappable on wifi or through usb does not have to count toward your data limit, which was the argument posted above.

          7. again, obviously microsd card is the best case scenario for the user, but for many people 32 or 64 gb internal doesn’t bother them at all.

          8. seriously. I’m using my 16gb nexus 4 and I have plenty space. wth are you guys saving? probably all you k-po

          9. Yeah, I have 16GB as well and still have about 10GB free space. I can’t imagine someone has to use all that data all the time, if you fill up 32GB there is going to be a lot of unused data just sitting on the phone. But I’m sure there is a few percent that would really need it, but the majority really doesn’t.

          10. except that the 25GB isn’t forever, and won’t help you with lots of things that need local storage.

            we really need to be looking at 128GB on phones by now.

          11. 128GB is overkill.

          12. there is no such thing as overkill with storage. Do you not realize how much storage 1080P video takes up? backing up high quality music from spotify? recording video of doing stuff on your phone? do you like to access things when you have a limited data plan?

            there are tons of legitimate and reasonable reasons to need more storage, now and forever. hint: storage demands don’t decrease with time.

          13. Just stream your porno vids instead of saving them.

          14. the trolling here is insulting. Why would it be porno vids?

            your failure to even remotely understand that people do use their phones makes you either a: a troll or b: ignorant. go away.

          15. If you honestly think that is trolling, then I don’t know what to tell you.

            It was just a bit of light hearted humor. Really though, you’re taking this pretty hard I only expressed my opinion that 128GB is overkill, there’s plenty of people that aren’t gonna want or need anywhere near that.

          16. well, a joke is fine, and humor as well – but that was pretty lame.

          17. Maybe that’s what the carriers want, you use Dropbox and stream your content and they hope you use your data and go over, I see what you’re doing Verizon and AT&T.

          18. BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER!

          19. And if they’re not always around a good network connection? Or if they’re on a tiered data plan?

          20. Cloud Storage != Local Storage

          21. With no unlimited data that is almost useless unless you are around wifi. All the cloud storage is a data hog. I use play music cuz my one X is full and I use 16 gigs of data a month

        2. I convinced myself last year that the 16GB in the One X was enough. Although I have learned to cope and go about things differently, it is not enough. I am constantly having to pull stuff off and delete music/podcasts that I wish I didn’t have to.

        3. 32GB is enough for most people, not just some.

          1. you have it backwards. 32GB is enough for a few people, just not most.

          2. Really? Considering what site this is I’m not surprised there are people that are interested in more storage, but the fact is the average users don’t need that much space, 16GB is more then enough. Just because you want more space, doesn’t mean everyone else does.

          3. EDIT: sorry this comment was meant for antifud, below.

            Before you say things like “most people,” you need to look outside your own social circle of tech nerds and realize that MOST people don’t even know how to download an app, much less put big movies or other files on their device. Hell, MOST people only own a few dozen albums and primarily get their music from radio, Spotify etc.

          4. my social circle of tech nerds?

            what kind of BS is that? Most people do use their phones and fill up space. Maybe you don’t understand *technology* at all, but typically the demand for storage increases over time – it basically doubles every 3-4 years. This is a well known phenomenon, and studied to death.

            Please don’t assume some kind of anecdotal garbage that you don’t understand. People in my circle range from “how do I android” to “what’s android” to “I just rooted with JB 4.2.2. on infection 2.4 and I have a google glass”.

            Your comment highlights that *you*, sir, are part of the problem. This is not some magical “isolated” incident.

          5. Both Google and HTC are probably a little more clued in to what “most” people want than you, and they both seem to have decided that “most” people don’t really care about removable SD cards.

            I think it’s great that there are options and choice out there, that to me is the primary benefit of the Android ecosystem, so I’m not trying to say what YOU should or should not want. I’m only arguing that you are almost certainly wrong about what “most” people want or need.

      2. Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

        1. Do you need more than 64 gigs?

          1. I have over forty gigs of music on my phone, not sure how many movies and some very large games. Yes, I do.

          2. Some people have big music collections and it’s very important to them to have their entire collection on their mobile device. I used to be one of those people myself.

            But as a tech nerd you have to accept that companies build products for broader use cases than our own. Most people really don’t have big music collections, and most people are happy to use services like Spotify and Hulu for their media, rather than storing locally.

    2. i am sorry but if you need more than 32GB plus 25GB drop box you sir have a problem… and dont give me that BS about data cause all you have to do is wait till ur near wifi then offload to drop box… i dont know of anyone who actually needs more than 32GB… and if you do then its time for a new hobby lmao

      1. In China the need to store locally is greater with the given met there their networks are slower due to cencership thus cloud storage does not work as well plus 4g is not up yet in China. This is a major reason they are shining the iPhone in China. That and having to go through apple for everything.

      2. I’m a classical musician studying music theory, history, and education. I have way over 20gb of music just to keep track of different performances (when you have the same hour long symphony played by three different orchestras you see why it becomes a problem). Now add performances I record and such and it gets up there. I don’t store all this on my phone, but I’m sure some people do, so just saying.

        1. Just piggy-backing on the fact that you’re a musician, anybody that doesn’t understand the need for more storage space (both internal and external) either, A) Doesn’t travel enough or isn’t on the move enough to understand the value of hard files stored on a device (not requiring data connection) vs. relying on the cloud, and/or B) Doesn’t understand how important non-cloud stored files can be, when it comes to businesses that are all about transferring software data files. Whether you’re a musician, or in film or tv…all of those areas are too important to have the stored files that will play anywhere (even without data connection). Those that don’t understand this are the ones that are envious of those that work in industries they WISH they could work in.

          1. I’d like to add to the two very good points above and mention that both of you guys quite likely record in lossless formats like WAV or FLAC. I used to record my lectures in FLAC and without a minimum of 32GB I was transferring files off my device every few days.

            In addition some games are starting to get huge. If any of you guys have ever bought the Humble Indie Bundle then you may know that many of the desktop ports have a huge amount of assets and can be quite large. 300+ MB for a 2D game isn’t unheard of. Never mind about some of the larger 3D ones on the cusp of phones in the next year or so.

            How about those people who store HD video on their phones for plugging in an MHL cable to watch at a friend’s? Good luck fitting Blu-Ray quality video with 7.1 surround sound audio on the One.

            So what do I do if I want to store 5-6 hrs of 1080p video, hours of lossless music (since yes, I do have nice headphones to appreciate it and I travel for hours at a time), plenty of large games and apps.?

            32GB is an absolute minimum and the fact that I can’t expand the storage of my phone is ridiculous since this feature prior to the iPhone was standard on every device. Heck, even my Nokia 5800i Xpress Music and Sony Walkman W850i had expandable storage. The Nokia is a very early smartphone and the Walkman not a smartphone at all.

            The only reason networks are supporting devices with a lack of storage space is they can make money on the data used to stream files. However I’m not sure about you guys in the US, but in the UK even basic 3g signal can be extraordinarily patchy, never mind HSDPA. In addition there are only two networks that offer unlimited data and I very much doubt neither have the bandwidth to stream 40MB FLAC files faster than a crawl.

            Now I know that the One is USB OTG compatible, but with the fragility of mirco usb ports and connectors, you will understand why having something plugged into the device is risky. I might add if the port breaks you can’t charge your phone easily, especially since you can’t remove the battery.

            USB OTG is a loose hack for a situation that should never exist. It was really developed more for things like tablets, where you might want to connect a mouse or control your DSLR etc.

            My final point is if you are streaming, you are further squandering the One’s precious and limited battery life.

            Don’t even get me started on the none removable battery. No, as I have said on other sites, I use extended battery packs and they are not a replacement for switching out the battery. Once again this is a risky solution due to the risk of breaking your cable and or socket on either the pack or worse the phone. Besides the disadvantage of being tethered to a battery pack.

            In addition what happens when I want to pass the One down to family members? Battery health goes down and its capacity is far worse than when I bought it. Do I have to pay HTC a ridiculous fee to change the battery?

            I mean a lot of people don’t seem to look at this issue from every angle, only theirs. If I have missed something in this analysis, please inform me. I spend a lot of time thinking about these kind of things because after all, when you are going to purchase a flagship device for a lot of money, why wouldn’t you think about it?! Let alone why would I want to stunt my device as badly as they have done with the One, when as shown above by this article. There was no good reason other than corporate greed!

            Now if only Samsung could support developers and possibly make a design that is as beautiful and sturdy as the One I’d have my perfect phone. But out of all the compromises, I can compromise on custom firmwares as long as the Sammy firmware is acceptable. The build quality in some ways is an advantage. Replacing a plastic back is far cheaper than an aluminium one. I’m not prepared to compromise on hardware though! Not when I am stuck with a device for the next two years and my requirements might change.

          2. You are right, but you are also describing fringe use cases. Most people live and travel within areas where data service is readily available. Most people do not need to store giant work related files on their mobile device.

            People shouldn’t get upset when mobile device manufacturers, who are looking to sell tens of millions NOT tens of thousands of devices, do not cater to narrow use cases.

          3. In L.A., data service is everywhere…but, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t dead spots. Most people that live in L.A. are in their cars more hours of the year than they spend anywhere else. My response was specifically with regards to this statement made by Nick Mcalwee, “i am sorry but if you need more than 32GB plus 25GB drop box you sir have a problem… “…which, IMO, is such an ignorant statement to make. And I was only giving a small example of why the internal storage w/ microSD is ideal, to at least provide options for people of different demands. Nobody in this world will have the same exact needs.

            And let’s be real here. If Samsung is able to sell millions offering phones with options on both internal storage, as well as a microSD slot…That’s pretty much a telling sign. I’m by no means a Samsung fanboy. I was actually not a Samsung fan, until I got the Note 2 a few months ago and many of my loyalties were to HTC for a very long time. Thing is, Samsung is outselling all of the Android manufacturers and one common thing that they offer that others don’t, options for different internal storage options AND a microSD slot.

      3. this is incorrect. Who are you to tell other people what they need? storage demands ALWAYS increase with time. It’s just that we’ve been stuck at 32GB forever. When you can buy a USB flash drive with more storage than your phone (and yet it’s the exact same flash storage in many instances), a lot is wrong.

        you may as well be the “640k is good enough for anybody” guy, and just as wrong (100%), too.

        Or why don’t you go back to 640k storage? you sir, have a problem – since obviously you are using a device which has more than that. and don’t give me that bs about data because you can use wifi. there, enjoy your argument turned around back at you?

        1. Actually the standerd is 16GB which would make 32GB a step forward. You actually make yourself look like an idiot by trying to look smart haha

    3. Try this to add your storage on HTC One: http://goo.gl/lfEXI

    4. I’m sure they will miss you.

  2. are the physical dimensions identical?

    1. nope…
      137.8 x 69.3 x 10.4 mm

      1. HAHA now stfu ppl, cause next it will be a plastic back… and then… something else… i knew there was more to this. its not the same phone, its china, come on man!

  3. A-holes.

  4. So they claimed that there was no space to put a microSD slot in the phone, but then they go and cram an extra sim+sd slot into the phone supposedly without altering dimensions? Seems legit.

    1. They did change the dimensions.

      HTC One without SD -137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm

      HTC One With SD – 137.8 x 69.3 x 10.4 mm

      1. that’s not much of a difference

    2. the Chinese version is a tad thicker and wider than the rest

    3. Clearly you can not/did not read the article…

      1. No, clearly you didn’t read it early enough. PS was added after I posted.

      2. Clearly you did not read the article early enough. PS was added afterwards.

  5. alright time to start importing phones….

  6. 32gb is more than enough, i always buy the most i can but never use close to it, ppl are crazy thinking they need more. i can see the point of being able to take it out to use in another device or something but just plug into your damn computer u lazy phucks and transfer a file.

    1. Guess I must be crazy. Or maybe it’s just that I have more than 32gb on my phone. Yeah, I think that is it. So maybe save your ridiculous statements for talking to yourself in the shower.

      1. that’s where i sing

        1. Maybe I’m projecting. I often have hypothetical arguments with people while I am in the shower. And yes, I am alone in the shower when this occurs.

    2. I could easily fill up 64gb and still want more. Just because you can’t see yourself using your device to it’s fullest potential doesn’t make those of us who can, crazy.

    3. my 32gb n7 is filled to the brim with games and apps. no space for multimedia.

  7. I find it sort of funny that they go to the length of making the back removable without making the battery accessible.

    1. Having a separate, removable battery would add a lot of extra components and space. As it stands, the battery is a very flat and thin package that is almost as tall and wide as the phone itself.

      Besides, removable batteries are so overrated. What percentage of Android users would you suspect ACTUALLY carry around a spare battery? Never mind the added potential for dirt and moisture to get into the phone, the flimsy back panel required etc.

      1. Smartphones bug and crash alot. My desire hd sometimes needs to have its battery removed to reset after a freeze.

  8. it also comes with bird flu free of charge

  9. Chris had commented on the whole SD card last week as not being so important. I tend to agree…if your on your second, third or forth smartphone, there’s no reasonable excuse for not knowing how much storage you need on board and on G drive, Dropbox, etc.

    1. All of the online storage options are great; however in my case my company blocks access to those sites and I’m on a shared data plan. So in my case a SD Card allows me to watch movies and carry a large portion of my music library around with me. If we had the option for a 64G Smartphone, I agree no need for an SD card.

    2. Drive, dropbox, etc require internet connection, which isn’t always necessarily solid, and /or data, which isn’t necessarily always solid/or unlimited. That’s reasonable.

    3. Besides they reasonable excuse of using our phones differently than you.

  10. I smell a conspiracy with the US phone company’s for milking data charges…

    1. I would love to see someone pull apart one of the US versions to see if there might actually be something in there, just disconnected.

      1. 1) ifixit already tore it apart so we would know if there was (spoiler: there isn’t)

        2) the Chinese version is thicker and wider (as pointed out in this story) to have the additional plastic back piece in there to hold the dual SIM and SD slot.

        1. I figured it was a thin hope…but oh well. :)

          1. Nice pun.

          2. Sadly, that only happens when I’m not trying.

      2. I promise IFixit will have a tear down, but I am sure that there will be nothing there.

    2. Oh Comon! If you’re gonna go the conspiracy route at least be a bit more creative. I smell a conspiracy! China is conspiring with South Korea to starve the U.S. out of our God given right to have expandable memory slots. After we’re distracted with our data charges they plan to sick the rich fat spoiled north Korean man boy leader on us. His weapon of choice will be a continent to continent ballistic missile. Since he doesn’t have functioning nuclear warheads he’s going to load it up with Kingston micro SD and watch us loath in our self pitty as we try and load them into our phones to no avail.

      1. Lmao! Priceless !

  11. It is definitively very convenient for having extreme quality tracks downloaded as well as movies that I could watch when there is no internet connectivity (e.g. business traveling). Other than that, pretty much my content lives in the cloud.

    1. i have that. but i dont need more than 32/64gb on my phone plus 23gb free cloud. ppl just want to be like the jonses, dont want anyone to one up them. Everyone should be happy with what we have. what we have is AWESOME! cry over something worthwhile ppl not this.

      1. It is very convenient, not necessary. I use Spotify and Netflix all the time. I do not need content downloaded/

  12. Honestly, while I like having the option of a micro sd slot, this is a non-factor for me now. I used to really value having expandable storage and a removable battery, but having owned both the HTC One and HTC Evo 4G LTE (neither of which have removable batteries), I can honestly say that I’ve had no concerns on either. The battery life on both got me through the work day (and usually until I went to bed), and the 32 gigs of storage are more than enough for me (especially with Dropbox). I love the design of the HTC One, and if these are the tradeoffs that have to be made for the unibody chasis, I’m okay with it.

    1. Old phones are great for GPS traces or as bluetooth media players. Old phones with non-removable batteries have to always be connected to a power supply as the lithium batteries just won’t take a charge after a few years of use.

      1. That’s true, and I won’t deny that some people will use them as such. I would assume the more typical use would be to keep the phone until an upgrade (at which point a trade-in of some sort is done for the older phone), so I don’t think that’s a huge concern for most people. I do totally understand why people want a removable battery, I’m simply adding my anecdotal evidence as to why it doesn’t matter for everyone.

  13. Personally I think people need to draw the line between phone and tablet. While I love my phone and all it can do, I don’t watch movies or tv on it nor do I like to read anything more than an article or news story. If I want more of a media companion I go bigger to a tablet or laptop, much easier on my aging eyes.
    So, no sd slot doesn’t bother me due to the way I use my phone plus, problems in the past have usually been associated with the sd card that I currently have, partitioned and all it can still cause problems. There are other ways around expandable memory.

    1. I think for a lot of power users, they don’t draw that line, hence the desire for more storage space.

      With that being said, I’m in the same boat as you; I store a lot of my music on the phone, but aside from that and photos, I don’t need the space for much. I don’t watch movies on the phone, and any video I watch is streaming (usually nothing more than Youtube, but every once in a while Netflix). If you aren’t making your phone a full-fledge multimedia player, 32 gigs should be fine, I would think.

  14. finally some sensible ppl commenting :P lol

  15. I use the expandable storage for one reason, ease of transferring data to new or backup phone. I have dropped a phone before and it was useless after the drop…what if all my pictures, movies, etc was on the internal memory…. Of course when you send it in, you never get your phone back, and you know they aren’t gonna download it put it on a flashdrive or dvd and send it to you… Just my 2 cents.

    1. sync with computer (htc sync?) import important pics to your pc? or upload to cloud? we get 25 gb cloud free and you can turn on instant upload when you take pics.. (and you can always just keep the ones you want on there for safe keeping)

      1. And with data caps you’ll only have to pay extra $$$ to always upload stuff to the cloud.

      2. HTC sync is a piece of garbage and always has been. cloud storage is not a fix for needing local storage.

    2. Just adding to your statement but idk anyone that only keeps their data on one physical memory. What would then happen if your memory card corrupted? I myself keep everything backed up to my pc even if I have an sd card and I also use cloud storage. So yea an sd card is nice to have but essentially I believe people don’t always put all their eggs in one basket and I’m willing to forgo a removable battery and microsd for a more aesthetically pleasing and rigid smartphone.

    3. Just try this to add your HTC One storage: http://goo.gl/lfEXI

  16. They can have their slightly thicker, removable back and sd card slot and toss in lint, moisture and dirt.. i’ll keep my solid, thinner, large enough memory phone the way it is! PERFECT!

    1. Moisture maybe, lint and dirt? What are you some sort of cotton and mud farmer?

    2. I agree. I just think people are looking for a reason to hate on the One. I bet more than half of the people complaining about removable batteries never remove their battery, or do so very rarely. I had extra batteries for my S2 and S3 and very seldom used them. I just wasted money on extra batteries. 32GB is more than enough. Besides, you can’t add apps to SDcard anymore, so, unless you have your entire music collection on there, what’s the point.

      Besides not have a SD card slot is more secure because of the lack of proper filesystem permissions on them and with Google adding multiple user support, how will the SDcard work with that?


  18. Thats why i wont buy i have a upgrade right now silver no sd slot no thanks the s4 looks the same all plastic no thanks ill wait for the next round Note 3 maybe

  19. That’s very old news.

  20. We can’t forget that android is for a unique, customized user experience. When people start saying, “Well, I didn’t need that feature anyway so I’m glad the option wasn’t even included…”, it starts to sound a lil bit like our fruitful & featureless counterparts out of Cali. And again, everyone uses the phone differently, so why not include every feature possible so that you at least have an OPTION.

    1. There are other options, which are different phones.

  21. If I get a HTC one I’d love to import this one.

  22. The HTC One front facing speakers should get any design element award for the next 2 years. That said, HTC will need to put a3000 mAh battery and a 5 inch screen on the Verizon variant (in addition to the sd card) before I would buy it.

  23. I’m with you guys on this why not in every version. This is dumb. Sometimes HTC is just messed up.

  24. For me, at least, cloud storage is for backing stuff up, not having it be your primary access point to your info. Why would I want to have to stream my personal videos to show someone when I could just have them instantly open on my phone?

  25. No SD card = no buy for me. Been down that road with my Motorola RAZR Maxx.

    1. *Facepalm* There is an SD card slot on the Razr.

  26. Hopefully this means that a future version of HTC One will have a removable back providing for SD card and battery swap so we can all shut up. :]

    Personally if I had to choose between SD card or battery swap on a phone I’d have chosen the battery swap option.

  27. This is one of the reasons I have avoided HTC products lately. The One was the difference maker however the GS4 swayed me away. Yes, I am a huge memory user. I download music, movies and games onto my phone therefor memory is very important to me. I have 32GB internal with a 64GB card. And I use almost all of it. HTC could take the top spot in the smartphone market if they were to use their heads and actually give on the micro SD slot. something so small could have been included into the design from the very beginning, and they could have kept the solid aluminum body by just putting the slot on the side or bottom of the device. HTC just doesn’t commit 100% when they create a flagship, and that has been hurting them.

  28. If this would have been released state side, I would have bought it.

  29. And I don’t think it support 4G LTE… China does’t has 4G yet…

  30. This is for HTC One without sd slot: http://goo.gl/lfEXI !!!!

  31. Well…

  32. I wish they would have brought this one out in the US with a removeable battery.

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