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Nokia: memory card slot would have "defiled" our phone

Nokia Lumia 920

By Barry Collins in New York

Posted on 5 Sep 2012 at 21:54

Nokia didn't include a memory card slot in its new flagship handset because it would have "defiled" the phone, according to a senior company executive.

The Nokia Lumia 920 comes with 32GB of storage, but omits the memory card slot found on its cheaper sibling, the Lumia 820.

When pushed on why Nokia didn't include a memory card slot, the company's executive vice president, Kevin Shields, told PC Pro it would have harmed the clean design.

"We started with the premise that we wanted an uncompromised physical form," Shields told us. "To put an SD card slot in it would have defiled it."

"Most people aren't using the storage in their phone, anyway," he added, although the Nokia Lumia 820, which has only 8GB of storage, does include a micro-SD card slot behind its removable cover, which Shields claims doesn't compromise the design.

The Lumia 920, on the other hand, has only two ports: a micro-USB charging port and the headphone socket. Yet, even that meagre number of slots caused headaches for Nokia's engineers, according to Shields.

"The micro-USB port is an RF [radio frequency] nightmare," he said, adding that it can interfere with the various other radios in the device without proper shielding. "Wireless charging is effectively a radio, so is NFC. Then you've got LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth - and you've got a lot of antennas."

Showing off the goods

Shields claimed the launch of the Lumia 920 finally allows Nokia to show off features - such as wireless charging and the company's floating lens technology - that it's been hiding away for too long.

"I find it frankly offensive that Nokia has been doing such spectacular work, and has been unable to tell the freaking world about it," Shields said. "There is real innovation that matters to me here."

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User comments

"The Nokia Lumia 920 comes with 32GB of storage, but omits the SD card slot found on previous Lumia handsets."

If the PC Pro team did not trot out their Windows Phone Phone joke and giggle like a bunch of schoolgirls every time Windows phones was a topic on their podcasts and actually looked at and tried the phones. Then you would know that no previous Nokia Lumia has had a SD card slot!

By chapelgarth on 6 Sep 2012


You're absolutely right, Chapelgarth. My mistake, now corrected.

Barry Collins

By Barry_Collins on 6 Sep 2012

Windows Phones

Strange comment...

Actually I think the PC Pro team have been very complimentary about Windows Phone and without the coverage on PC Pro I would not have been awaiting this launch with as much anticipation.

Windows Phone 8 could / should be a breakthrough moment but alas the next iPhone will get much more coverage even if, as expected, it is just more of the same with a few tweaks (bigger screen etc)

I think the market needs another big player on both the hardware and software, Nokia for hardware and Microsoft on software are the only people capable of shaking it all up, I only hope they are not too late as most people do not realise the significance of this launch - the mainstream media have hardly reported it even though it is (potentially) more significant than the upcoming iPhone 5...

By neil_aky on 6 Sep 2012

Not used...

I have a 16GB htc Mozart 7, a 32GB iPhone 3GS. a Sensation with 8GB and a Galaxy SIII with 12GB.

I have to say, I worried about the Sensation, but with my podcasts and audio books, I still had an average of around 2GB free on the 8GB SD card. The others never really crept above 10GB.

By big_D on 6 Sep 2012

Pure View Pump

I wonder if aesthetics was the main reason for not including the 808's larger sensor.

By magicmonkey3 on 6 Sep 2012

Most people aren't using the storage in their phone anyway

That quote on its own tells me that this bloke does not possess the ethos required to create the best required to put Nokia back on top. Just scraping by with 32GB.

By Alperian on 6 Sep 2012

Skydrive etc

With Skydrive and the home server support I dont need to store much on my phone directly. All my photo's and documents on Skydrive and music streams happily from my ome server.

By JStairmand on 6 Sep 2012


One reason why I chose the Siii over other smart phones was because of the SD card slot.

Relying on streaming isn't an option for me so having lots of local storage for media is very useful.

By tech3475 on 6 Sep 2012

If only it was on Android

All these features he's wishing he could tell the world about - if only they'd make an Android phone, maybe the world would care :P lol.
As for lack of SD card slot and 'cloud storage' - thats pointless for people who are underground, commuting, in buildings with poor reception, etc

By nniillaa on 6 Sep 2012


I sincerely hope you punched the bloke on the nose after making such an idiotic statement, because that's what it deserves.

Or is Nokia saying that it's incapable of making a well designed card slot?

By PaulOckenden on 6 Sep 2012

Enough storage?

Well my N8 has a card slot and it does not defile the phone at all. 32Gb might be enough, but a full load of Nokia maps for the whole world occupies a lot more than the 8Gb in the Lumia 820.

By Mark_Clayton on 6 Sep 2012


Neither WP7 nor WP7.5 supported Micro SD. So this would have been stupid on previous Lumias- talk about white elephants. WP8 does, so this is slightly strange. However, with SkyDrive I'll probably rely less on the SD side anyway.

By Rhidney on 9 Sep 2012

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