Phone storage explanation

Glory to God!
I am considering buying a Fairphone 3.
It say in the supportpage for the microsd card:
At the moment, Fairphone 3 doesn’t allow you to use your SD Card as phone storage.
We are currently working on this feature and might enable it in a future update.

What do you mean with phone storage?
Can I save pictures, documents, videos on a microsd card?
Can I put the apps on it? If not can I make the apps store pictures, documents on it automatically?
My google search didnt help me understand this.

God bless you in Jesu name.

There are two ways to use an SD card on an Android phone:

  1. as a separate storage device, so you have your phone’s storage and in a separate mount point you have your SD card, in the same way that a Windows PC displays hard drives separately.
  2. as part of the phone’s storage, so you only see your phone’s storage and that includes the space on the SD card. So all the available space, that on your phone and that on the SD card, is displayed as one big directory.

Option 2 has been disabled on the FP3 because it leaves users vulnerable to broken filesystems - if your SD card has a problem, it can break your entire internal storage.

Option 1 is still available. So the FP3 can use an SD card perfectly fine, it just uses it as a separate storage device. This has the added benefit of the user being able to take out the card, insert it into another device and use it (not possible with option 1).

As to your final question: some apps can be configured to store pictures and other files on the SD card from within the apps themselves (such as OpenCamera) - but not all of them. More possibilities for this will open up when a rooted OS becomes more widely available for the FP3.


Thank you, your answer was very informative.

God bless you in Jesu name

1 Like

Just to add in case you want to have a look at other phones …

  1. Google removed the easy possibility to incorporate an SD card into Internal Storage from recent Android, probably mainly for the reason @robbert.f was right to point out, so it is not only disabled on the Fairphone 3 but on other phones with recent Android, too.

  2. Incorporating an SD card into Internal Storage can still be done, but it’s more difficult now, and we don’t encourage doing this. Breaking Internal Storage via a corrupt SD card is not only a theory, this was reported happening in practice by several users here in this forum.


Hi there. Hope everyone is staying safe.

I’d like to jump in because I noticed that on my previous phone on Android KitKat (4.4), I had the possibility to move some apps to SD card. But on my new Fairphone 3 on Android 9, it seems that this feature is no longer available. Is it because of, how rmf explained it, it’s been removed (bummer)? Or is it something else?


Please have a look 1 post above yours.

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