09-13-2017 02:00 PM
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  1. David Rosen's Avatar
    So I know plenty of people will probably get riled up over this, but I'm gonna ask it anyway...

    Do Android phones get slowed down by having an SD card installed?

    Before you jump right to the NO answer, because I know that most people think that this is one of the major plusses of Android as an OS, and everyone uses SD cards... Hear me out...

    I've had a T-Mobile G1, G2, MyTouch 4g Slide, Galaxy S3, Note 3 and Note 4. With every single one of them I've used SD cards. I've always had pitifully slow experiences, but I love Android so I stick around. It's always great when I first get it, or after a system wipe. But once I put in an SD card, things start to slow down. No I haven't been using the same SD card. Yes I've formatted the SD cards in various stages of using them. They're all top of the line, highly recommended cards. Whatever is recommended in the forums as the best of the best at that time is what I've gotten. They're not particularly full. The main reason I get them is for the camera, because all those pictures and videos can fill up my internal storage which I have to use for apps and games. I currently have around 10gb free on my 32gb Note 4. I wiped my phone (and formatted my 64gb card) less than a month ago because of bad performance. After getting all set back up and running great, I popped back in my freshly formatted 64gb card. Pretty much right away I started noticing the difference in performance. Now it's been a month and I actually have stuff on the card, and it's just dreadful. Opening the camera can take a solid 10 seconds. Sometimes I hit home and everything is just frozen for 5-10 seconds before the home comes back up. Opening Facebook brings up a white screen for at least 3-5 seconds. Opening the app switcher always takes 5 seconds (that's a known bug from what I've read). It's just laggy. It's awful. And again, I've formatted the card, so I know there's not some data on it that's causing the issues. As for whether or not it's the card itself? Well like I said, in a history of 6 phones, I've probably had 8 or 9 different cards. So while I haven't specifically tried a different card in THIS phone, I can 99% guarantee that a different card wouldn't make a difference. Plus if that WAS the problem... What did I get 8 or 9 bad cards out of 8 or 9 cards? is the microSD card industry that bad? haha.

    So anyway. I think this weekend I'm gonna figure out what is on my card currently since the last format (who knows what apps put what on there), and see if it will be cool for me to just pop out the card and try living SD-free for a little bit, even though it's gonna be impossible to manage storage with just the 32gb included. But if it works faster, then I'll know for sure.

    In the meantime, I'm just curious. Am I alone here? I know I'm not, because I have a couple friends who used to call me crazy but have recently started saying (and acting like it's THEIR observation and I never said it before) that Android with an SD Card in sucks. But I'm wondering in this forum, since I"ve gotten help in here in the past, who agrees with me?

    Here's hoping the T-Mobile variant of the Note 5 has a bare minimum of 64gb storage (praying for 128). I'll gladly pay extra for it.
    06-27-2015 01:04 AM
  2. plumcrazy's Avatar
    no....
    06-27-2015 10:12 AM
  3. Trees's Avatar
    I've notice similar time to open up the camera from the lock screen. Compared to my iPhone 6+, the Note 4 is slower when opening camera app from the lock screen. I also have my Camera app set to write pictures/video to the external SD card, and know I have missed a few moments that I wanted to capture due to the delayed opening.

    I'm going to experiment and see if setting the Camera app to use the internal storage media will make a difference. To do this I'm moving my audio files (approx 10GB) from internal to external storage. That should help free up enough space to use the internal storage for photos/video. I'd also like to see a much larger internal SD card option on the Note 5 like the S6 has (32, 64, 128).

    Update: Just moved all pictures back to the internal storage. Probably have a few duplicates, but now have 3.5GB free space left. As noted above, would like to see more internal storage space on the Note 5. 3.5GB, while it may seem like a lot, isn't worth it to me to have to worry about micro-managing. Moved photos from DCIM and Pictures back to the external SD card.
    06-27-2015 10:53 AM
  4. David Rosen's Avatar
    Well I just took out my SD card. Not sure what if anything it will affect but I'll be back in a few days to post my results. I truly 100% believe that SD cards slow down these phones.

    Side note. I know SwiftKey is a hugely popular keyboard replacement. And I sure do love it. But it sucks. Half the time there's lag bringing up the keyboardkeAnd sometimes it starts double typing and moving my cursor around just like it did right now. I'm purposefully leaving it as is just to prove a point haha ard. And
    Snappy Phoenix likes this.
    06-27-2015 04:47 PM
  5. Rukbat's Avatar
    1. If the card is fast enough, no, it won't slow the phone down, since the only time the phone looks at the card is during the initial media scan and any time you access a data file from the card.

    2. If you run apps from the card, it might slow the apps down - Android isn't designed to be used that way. (It happens that SOME apps can have SOME parts of them moved to the card and still run, but since Android is still looking for them in internal storage, that's very inefficient, and slows the phone down.)
    06-27-2015 11:09 PM
  6. David Rosen's Avatar
    OK so first a response to that most recent response... I'm so glad you said that about Apps on SD. I agree 100%... Android isn't meant to be used that way... Yet people constantly insist that we don't need phones with bigger internal storage because you can just install stuff to the SD card... Which is NONSENSE.

    Now unfortunately for everyone who thinks SD cards don't slow down Android phones... My phone has been running GREAT the last 2 days since removing the SD card. I forget if I mentioned this above, but this is a Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC. Everyone recommends it. It technically works FINE. It just makes my phone run slow. This is after a system restore and formatting the card. This is the 2nd card I've had with this phone. I've used other SD cards on my last few phones, all of which slowed the phones down. I simply don't believe that SD cards don't slow Android phones down anymore. Anyone care to talk me out of this decision? :-)
    06-29-2015 03:55 PM
  7. David Rosen's Avatar
    Just so you all know... I still stand by my thoughts that SD cards ruin Android phones... However, after about a month since this post, and not using an SD card the whole time, the slow down has returned. My phone is unbearably slow. It's horrendous. I'm debating doing another factory reset, but I really don't want to. I'm just gonna get the new next best phone (note 5 most likely) and then that will be great for a few months before it probably gets crappy again.

    I'm starting to wonder if it's just a Samsung thing? I've always loved Samsung devices, and made excuses for the bad performance (and no I'm not gonna root and flash roms to get good performance)... But this is awful.
    08-12-2015 07:41 PM
  8. nahoku's Avatar
    Slow is a relative term. The fact that your phone is slow even without a SD card means your expectations may be too high. Nothing is instant.

    As far as SD cards, yes, I would think it would slow down things compared to if whatever is being read would load straight from the internal memory instead. There is a controller to consider. That being said, I don't think my Note 4 is slow. There are millisecond delays, but nothing I don't expect. I heard some people experience 3 - 5 second delays when opening some app, but that's not what I experience. More than likely, those people are experiencing problems not related to how the phone is actually meant to operate. There's something else going on.

    These days, SD cards are quick. Writing/reading 4K video from a SD card is nothing to sneeze at.

    YMMV!
    08-12-2015 08:02 PM
  9. sparksd's Avatar
    I agree, something else is going on. For months I have had a Samsung 128GB SD card installed in my Sprint Note 4 with 80 GB are in use and I don't have any lag or slow-down issues (my other devices I can compare with - iPad Air 2, 2013 Nexus 7, and an Asus TF700T tablet). In the absence of a hardware fault, these devices do not just slow down over time of their own accord - something installed causes it, whether it be an app, data, or a problematic system service.
    08-12-2015 09:39 PM
  10. eshropshire's Avatar
    I think the whole process on testing SD cards is very user dependent. What do you have on your SD card. If your phone speeds up when removed I bet you had some App running on the card. Or may have an app that is hitting the card. Also speed could be very dependent on the speed and quality of the card.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    08-12-2015 11:11 PM
  11. David Rosen's Avatar
    I think I'm just anti TouchWiz now haha. There's gotta be something to blame and I can go down the list one by one and every app/game installed is something popular with good ratings that I've read about on major sites, so there's no reason for me to think I'm using crappy apps that will bloat my phone down. The phone is a nightmare lately. 5-10 second loads for everything. And I just restored like a month ago and don't feel like doing it again.

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
    08-26-2015 11:26 PM
  12. nahoku's Avatar
    How old is the phone? Still under warranty? Maybe its hardware related and you need to return/replace it. If you've been living with a laggy phone (seen enough of your posts here), then maybe it's time you try to talk to where ever you bought it from and see what can be done.

    Complaining about it won't do anything because all you're going to get is advice to clear cache and factory reset the phone.
    toenail_flicker likes this.
    08-26-2015 11:46 PM
  13. Ujjwal Sehgal1's Avatar
    I have just registered on this forum so i can comment on this thread.

    I have been having the same issues for months. Could not believe how laggy my Note 4 was. I would click multitasking button and count to 10 before anything happened.

    Fairly light use and relatively few apps.

    I have disable most notifications to stop apps running in background and the usual disable S voice via home button etc...

    The phone at times was very unusable freezing for random reasons. Even when typing using either stock samsung key board or google keyboard.

    But ver the last 2 months with consistent resuls I can remove the SD card and the phone feels like a new phone instantly.

    I have tried a sandisk class 10 card 64GB and a Samsung class 10 32gb and both cause the lag.

    I have formatted them in the phone, left them blank and within a day the lag returns. Without the sd card it runs smoothly. Right now i have had the phone sd card less for 2 weeks and it still runs perfectly.

    Any one found any solutions ?
    David Rosen likes this.
    08-27-2015 04:44 AM
  14. Gunny94's Avatar
    1. If the card is fast enough, no, it won't slow the phone down, since the only time the phone looks at the card is during the initial media scan and any time you access a data file from the card.

    2. If you run apps from the card, it might slow the apps down - Android isn't designed to be used that way. (It happens that SOME apps can have SOME parts of them moved to the card and still run, but since Android is still looking for them in internal storage, that's very inefficient, and slows the phone down.)
    Best answer right here.

    Never install Apps on SD Card, only if you have too. Internal storage read/write are much faster and in case of SD Card fragmentation the reading will be much slower.

    If you use for example a high San Disk or Evo Pro, you won't have any fragmentation or read/write issues because the card is fast enough to carry his own weight.
    toenail_flicker likes this.
    08-27-2015 05:14 AM
  15. David Rosen's Avatar
    I've considered getting a replacement but that's like what, $150-175 (T-Mobile insurance)? Plus if everything technically works, just slow, its hard to imagine it's hardware... Maybe it is... But it just seems weird it would work but "badly" haha.

    Also I never install apps to SD... HOWEVER that brings up a wonderful point... All the nerdy forum types who claim its ridiculous to want a lot of internal storage because you can just pop an SD card in and have all the storage in the world... I hate those people. Haha.

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
    08-27-2015 03:14 PM
  16. nahoku's Avatar
    All the nerdy forum types who claim its ridiculous to want a lot of internal storage because you can just pop an SD card in and have all the storage in the world... I hate those people. Haha.
    ^^^ That's nice of you.

    I don't think there's anyone in the world that wouldn't want a ton of internal storage on their phone. Unfortunately, manufactures don't want to give that up. They think that 32gb is enough. But after the system and apps eat up about 10gb, what do you have left for other things? You don't seriously believe people buy large SD cards for apps, do you? LOL! More like for high def music, videos, and photos.
    David Rosen and ehstaley like this.
    08-27-2015 09:28 PM
  17. David Rosen's Avatar
    ^^^ That's nice of you.

    I don't think there's anyone in the world that wouldn't want a ton of internal storage on their phone. Unfortunately, manufactures don't want to give that up. They think that 32gb is enough. But after the system and apps eat up about 10gb, what do you have left for other things? You don't seriously believe people buy large SD cards for apps, do you? LOL! More like for high def music, videos, and photos.
    Haha I don't really HATE them :-)

    But I do find them so annoying when they act like I'M the crazy one for wanting 64gb or even 128gb or even more internal storage for apps, when they're going "WHY??! YOU CAN JUST PUT AN SD CARD IN!" I actually do the most gaming of any of my systems (and I have all the major systems) on my phone nowadays. And that 32gb (minus 10+gb for system like you said) goes away QUICK. And yea, if you'd read the comments, you would think a lot of these people actually DON'T want the space. I know it doesn't make sense to not want it, but they act like anyone who wants a phone with more than 32gb internal is just ridiculous.
    nahoku likes this.
    08-27-2015 10:16 PM
  18. nahoku's Avatar
    Well, I don't think they actually "don't want it", they more or less placate themselves because they can add a SD card. I'm fairly positive that if their phone came with 200GB internal storage, they would be ecstatic! I know I would!
    toenail_flicker likes this.
    08-27-2015 10:26 PM
  19. muzzy996's Avatar
    I dunno . . I'm of the opinion that if a user's lag issues are temporarily resolved by a full factory reset/wipe and then they return as the user's software is restored then there's likely something wrong with an application or the interaction of multiple applications or corrupted data on the user's microSD etc. etc.

    This is why I never opt into automatic backup of my devices (because when I do, Google auto restores onto new devices bringing potential problems right along with it). Instead I root and manage my own full backups both using custom recovery and Titanium and I store my backups on external SD.

    As far as microSD cards go, Class 10 ain't necessarily fast . . don't go by Class . . go by actual read and write ratings. Typically write speeds of microSD cards are specified unless the card is a high end one. If a write speed specification isn't given for a card then don't assume that it matches the read speed but rather that it's slow enough that the manufacturer is purposely omitting the information due to low performance. By nature of the quality of RAM and the controller internal memory is always faster than external microSD on the mobile devices.
    08-27-2015 10:31 PM
  20. toenail_flicker's Avatar
    All the nerdy forum types who claim its ridiculous to want a lot of internal storage because you can just pop an SD card in and have all the storage in the world... I hate those people. Haha.
    I want both. Give me a ton of internal and a ginormous extSD. Just because I can.
    David Rosen likes this.
    08-28-2015 08:37 PM
  21. natehoy's Avatar
    An SD card can slow a phone down, and have bad effects on the phone. This is especially true under a couple of circumstances.

    1. It's a slower SD card and you tell your phone to write things like pictures and movies to it. This not only increases lag from picture to picture as the image is written, it take more power.

    2. A file gets corrupted on the SD card, and the Android System service continually tries to index it, fails, repeats, fails, repeats, etc. That can be disastrous in terms of CPU utilization, overall system performance, and battery life.
    muzzy996 likes this.
    08-28-2015 08:47 PM
  22. David Rosen's Avatar
    2. A file gets corrupted on the SD card, and the Android System service continually tries to index it, fails, repeats, fails, repeats, etc. That can be disastrous in terms of CPU utilization, overall system performance, and battery life.
    I think this is the reason. Unfortunately there's like nothing you can do about it because stuff like that seems to always happen when using an SD card with a phone. Which is why I'd rather just have 128gb internal storage. Or even 256gb. Or more. :-)
    08-29-2015 11:56 AM
  23. muzzy996's Avatar
    I think this is the reason. Unfortunately there's like nothing you can do about it because stuff like that seems to always happen when using an SD card with a phone. Which is why I'd rather just have 128gb internal storage. Or even 256gb. Or more. :-)
    I recall a case where a user placed several hundred media files (i think it was comics) onto a card and had continous media server scan issues despite formatting the card multiple times. There was a bad file within the batch somewhere from the source and in a case like that placing the bad file into internal memory would still cause issues. Point being, the external card isn't always the source of corruption but I do get your point, more internal is better in general.
    08-29-2015 03:22 PM
  24. toenail_flicker's Avatar
    Or more. :-)
    :twothumbsup:
    muzzy996 likes this.
    08-29-2015 07:39 PM
  25. natehoy's Avatar
    I think this is the reason. Unfortunately there's like nothing you can do about it because stuff like that seems to always happen when using an SD card with a phone. Which is why I'd rather just have 128gb internal storage. Or even 256gb. Or more. :-)
    I'd rather have more internal memory, too. But it's also relatively expensive, and still not expandable beyond whatever comes in the phone.

    It's all in the trade-off. I like the idea of being able to take 32GB of music if I went to Canada (where data is EXPENSIVE) for a few weeks. That way I don't have to find a WiFi hotspot to download the specific albums I might want on a given day. Could I use an OTG to copy a few albums in? Sure. And I would consider that an acceptable alternative if phone manufacturers started pulling SD slots entirely. But it's not as convenient.

    I guess I'd rather have 256GB *and* a $2 slot I never put a chip in, just in case I ever want to put a chip in it.
    toenail_flicker likes this.
    08-31-2015 08:28 AM
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