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Good New Phone That Takes SD Cards?

I am thinking of retiring my Galaxy S8. My wife and I travel, and on our last trip, her S22's camera produced pictures with much better lighting than the ones we got from my phone. Her skin is dark, and the S8 tends to make her disappear.

Maybe there is a way to fix this on the old phone. I don't know. The S22 seems to compensate automatically.

My big problem with newer phones is that some don't take SD cards. I can slap a 256GB card into my S8, fill it with photos and video on a trip, pop it out, and shoot everything into my PC for editing and storage. My wife's phone will have to be purged eventually, and transferring files is not as fast.

Is there another phone I should look at? I want something no bigger than an S22, and I'm not interested in the latest gadgetry or bloatware. I just want a good camera and an SD card.
Why not just plug a modern phone with fast UFS storage directly in to the pc?
SD cards are increasingly problematic and phones with internal 256gb or 128gb are becoming the norm.

Off hand : the Sony Xperia 5 IV fills your criteria, but is expensive.

Without SD card support the Asus Zenfone 9, Xiaomi 12, and the less expensive Moto Edge 30 Neo are recommended.

I would suggest you revise your thinking and just get a good compact phone that has good image processing, a good chipset depending on your budget, and let the SD Card GO... :)


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So which Verizon phones which take SD Cards do you wish someone to recommend.

Your options are increasingly limited with SD card support. Many people still want to store apps on them (you only mentioned media which they are now intended for) and don't accept they have limited read / write cycles.
Also, depending more on the card brand, they just fail anyway.

I can have a look at Verizon later, but I'm in the UK.

The Samsung A52s (not A52, or A53) is very good if it's available. It has what you want, plus OIS.
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GSMArena have a "phone finder" tool that allows you to specify your requirements and shows you phones that fit them. There's a link here to a search I just did for phones with the requirements: Android, current, released 2021 or 2022, bar or folder, card slot. There are hundreds of results, so you'd probably need to narrow it a bit further.

Of course many of these are midrange or low-end phones: many of which will be more powerful than your s8, but not top of the heap. Samsung feature heavily here, as it's only the Samsung flagships that no longer have card slots.

There's nothing wrong with microSD, though storage mounted on the mainboard is faster and more reliable. You might find that a modern phone with a higher USB class than your s8 will transfer quicker than you are used to your s8 doing, but that does require digging into the weeds of the specs (there are phones out there that still only support slower USB transfers).
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What's problematic about SD cards? I have them in a bunch of devices, and I have no problems.
Nothing, just avoid those cheap, bargain-bin, knock-offs. For the most part, a good, brand-name microSD card is a reliable storage media.
Back in their early days, SD cards were a lot less stable but that's an old legacy matter that unfortunately some people can't move past. Since that time, well over a decade ago, there's been a lot of very active development with SD card storage, especially with solid-state media in general, so now just shop around for a brand-name microSD card and don't use price as the priority, the retail market is sadly flooded with any number of crappy knock-offs.

As @Hadron suggested, use the Phone Finder service at GSMArena site to narrow down your search for a phone upgrade:
Keep in mind it involves just hardware specs, and in your case the main point is apparently a really good camera. So it's not just a matter of selecting a phone that has a versatile, high res, high F-stop camera module(s), but the software, the camera app, is also a major part. That's something that you'll have to do more extensive researching because that involves actual user reviews.
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Finding a new phone that takes microSD cards (and has a great camera) is almost impossible. I have 512GB cards and even a 1TB card here, and no phone in which to put them! A consideration might be an OTG drive, which has USB-C on one end; USB-3 on the other, and 256GB somewhere in between.
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SD cards are far more convenient when you change phones. All your data is just instantly there. Music, photos, etc.

Without, you have to wait sometimes hours for everything to download again from 'the cloud' assuming it's all there still (I've heard horror stories of folks losing their entire music collection on Google Drive due to a copyright dispute on one song!)

Also, if the phone ever gets busted, the SD card usually survives along with the data on it. So don't let any naysayers or futurists say 'ClOuD iS tHe FuTuRe!'.

But sadly, since the camera is the LAST thing I care about on any phone (I got both SLRs and a great Kodak EasyShare that work fine) I can't help you decide which. The S8 (which I had for a few months) had an excellent camera from what I remember, but I was only taking pictures of landscapes with it. The only time a phone camera did anything decent was when I got lucky taking a photo of a pet deer with a Samsung flip phone from Verizon back in 2009.

Seems today that features on smartphones are no longer important. They only seem intent on making them impractically large and bland these days. What I would give to go back to 2010's variety of phones.
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You can, as long as you don't need to use the port for anything else at the same time. But you don't want to walk around with a card reader sticking out of the phone for long.

Also why bother with a card reader for this: a USB-C flash drive will do the same job (I have one that is smaller than any card reader and can be plugged into a USB-A socket as well - which I now see The Chief suggested earlier).
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I've heard horror stories of folks losing their entire music collection on Google Drive due to a copyright dispute on one song!
That's why it's good to encrypt your files before uploading them to the cloud (using an app such as Cryptomator)! There's too much that can go wrong when you let some big company read and edit your files. Also: You should keep local backups of your files on a USB disk, or external hard disk, or something.
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