Samsung Note 5 removes two key features: expandable storage and removable battery

While Samsung continues to radically change the Galaxy design, it's disappointing to see it apply those design trade-offs to the Note line. The LG G4 stands alone as the last flagship with a microSD card and removable battery.

Road warriors could always count on Samsung releasing a new Note in the fall with the highest specifications, microSD expansion card support, removable battery, gorgeous display, and S Pen functionality. That's no longer the case.

As Samsung continues to compete with Apple and change its design to more closely match the iPhone, the microSD card and removable battery features are now gone.

Samsung made these core design changes when it launched the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. When I wrote about these major changes, many commenters expressed disappointment with the news while stating they trusted that Samsung would keep these two features reserved for the Note line.

Unfortunately, that is not what happened. In the case of the Note 5, there isn't even a 128GB model so Note 5 owners will be limited to 64GB of integrated storage.

While the non-removable battery and integrated storage is likely acceptable for most users --just look at iPhone sales -- those who are on the road or in the field appreciate the flexibility of easily expanding storage capacity and slapping in a spare battery or two while away from the charger.

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The Note line is also much more expensive than the already high priced Samsung Galaxy devices, so buyers expect these devices to last for years. In that case, having a removable battery is desired for ensuring long life of the device.

It will be interesting to see if Note fans rebel against these design changes and if the excellent Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge become treasured devices. The Note line was the workhorse of the Samsung Galaxy universe, but with the modern design elements and trade-offs made to support the design, I wonder if another device will fill that role.

The LG G4 remains the last flagship standing with a removable battery and microSD expansion card slot.


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