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Which Windows Phone 7 devices can you swap the memory card out on?

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The simple answer is all of them, but they can’t be swapped out on the fly like most of us are used to. The memory cards on Windows Phone 7 devices are dedicated storage that is configured during the initial setup of the device. If you want to upgrade a card, you have to totally reset your phone for it to recognize the card. Pretty much every Windows Phone 7 device that was released in the US has a card slot. The Samsung Focus is the only one that is wide open and inviting. Even though AT&T touted this in a video preview of the Focus prior to the US launch, they are now advising customers not to change the cards. T-Mobile came right out and said that the HD7′s warranty is void if you replaced it’s card.

Where are all the hidden slots on these phones?

Dell Venue Pro

If you can find one, you can pull a sticker off that clearly indicates a void in warranty if removed to reveal the slot. (Source: Engadget)

HTC HD7

This one requires you to remove a panel of the rear of the phone that is clearly not supposed to come off. I was going to try it with mine, but I decided 16GB would do until I worked up the nerve to dissect it. Arne over at the::unwired successfully pulled it off though.

Samsung Focus

This one isn’t hidden, but here’s where it is just in case.

HTC Surround

I haven’t seen anyone bust one a part to find out yet, but WP Central has a theory that it’s under the metal casing in the image above. It sure seems like the right size to house a MicroSD card.

It’s pretty clear by the lengths that the OEMs are going through to keep up out of those slots that they know something we don’t. Unless you can afford to void your warranty, I wouldn’t advice trying to access any of the hidden slots.

Chris is a former Microsoft MVP, Windows Phone. Chris works for AT&T, but his thoughts and opinions are his own and that he does not represent AT&T in any capacity online. ChrisLeckness.com

10 Comments

  1. quillaja

    11/11/2010 at 1:48 pm

    Let’s hope that MS makes cards swapable in some nearby future update because this is silly.

  2. Chris Leckness

    11/11/2010 at 1:51 pm

    I wouldn’t count on it. This has something to do with the way the OS handles memory and I think it would take some sort of rewrite to change it.

    • GoodThings2Life

      11/12/2010 at 12:37 am

      In previous generations of WM, you always had a choice of installing software to internal or external storage. It sounds like the new OS is pushing you to use external storage. There’s plenty of beneficial reasons for this including performance, expandability, longevity, and security. In fact, I believe it’s precisely the way the iPhone works as well– just that (AFAIK) it’s not replaceable memory either.

      Still, if you’re willing to do a hard-reset to defaults, there’s really no compelling reason not to allow SD swap-outs. In fact, even on Android it’s not as friendly to replace it as many think. You can still run into all the same issues you’ve described if you’re not careful, and you could on WM as well.

  3. GTaylor

    11/11/2010 at 2:32 pm

    Well there’s a good reason to keep my mobile computing off of a smart phone and my memory cards (that is plural) firmly, and yet easily removable, planted firmly in my HP IRAQ 211.

  4. Bethnglenn

    11/11/2010 at 2:36 pm

    Blasted handwriting recognition changes thing as they are posted. That is HP iPAQ 211 not iRAQ 211.

    • Chris Leckness

      11/11/2010 at 3:09 pm

      I know whatcha meant. :)
      That was (and probably still is) a great device.

  5. Michael Scordakis

    11/11/2010 at 5:19 pm

    with 25GB of free cloud storage with every Windows 7 Phone (Skydrive) why would you need more than 16GB on your actual phone? Plus the phone can Sling content, and stream content from your Windows 7 PC or Media Center.

    • Chris Leckness

      11/11/2010 at 5:23 pm

      I don’t want to live in the cloud really. I don’t want to be pushed there. I do use dropbox, but very infrequent. I want my media living on the device.

      • GoodThings2Life

        11/12/2010 at 12:33 am

        Agreed. I like having things locally accessible and using the cloud as a sync/share/backup point but I don’t want to live there, and I want control over what goes there. :)

  6. Ike Pigott

    11/23/2011 at 8:28 am

    To be honest, I never swapped cards. Ever.

    The most useful aspect of that was when I wanted to put a bunch of music on my phone, dragging the files from my hard drive to the card reader, then re-inserting into the phone.

    I can’t say for sure how many of the buggy issues I’ve had that involved memory management, but I feel confident in saying that my Focus has had none of them. From a memory management standpoint, it seems to work much better than my phone thinks it has 24G instead of two 8 and 16G silos.

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