Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones are serious media machines, yet the lack of expandable storage means you could run out of space if you shoot a lot of 4K video, or download a big selection of movies. Thankfully there are solutions to that lack of microSD memory card support.
The mighty new Pixel 2 XL might be a bit of a beast, packing a 6-inch OLED screen, powerful 12-megapixel camera and premium specs. Yet there’s one simple little thing that you won’t find hidden away anywhere on Google’s big blower: a microSD memory card slot.
No expandable storage on the XL, or indeed the standard Pixel 2, means you’ll need to be careful with that internal storage. Thankfully Google has been kind enough to stuff a minimum of 64GB of space inside these mobiles, although that’ll soon fill up if you shoot a lot of 4K home movies or try downloading lots of media and apps.
Read next: How to free up storage space on your phone
So what happens when that storage begins to run out? You can always clear the cache using Android Oreo’s handy one-tap feature, inside of the storage options. That’s simply a quick fix however; a band aid to stop a gushing wound.
Luckily there are ways of dealing with the limited storage of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Here’s our guide to adding more space to your Google handset, using external drives, WiFi storage, adapters and more.
How to expand the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL’s storage space: USB Type-C drives
External Type-C USB drives which support Android phones can be plugged directly into your Pixel 2’s charging port, to immediately expand the space on offer. This can then be used to transfer files to and from your handset on the fly, simply by connecting them.
Sandisk offers portable USB Type-C flash drives that work with phones, along with other manufacturers of course. We like the Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C, which may lack an exciting name and yet delivers solid performance. These drives come in flavours of up to 128GB, which can be read at speeds of 150MB/s thanks to that Type-C technology.
How to expand the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL’s storage space: WiFi drives
Wireless streaming from a WiFi-ready hard drive is another possible solution, and more convenient than using a cabled drive. This works particularly well if you want to carry a massive collection of movies and music, to share between two or more users at once.
Manufacturers like Seagate and Sandisk offer WiFi drives that can broadcast their own private wireless network and stream video and audio content direct to mobile devices.
One example is Seagate’s Wireless Plus drive (1TB or 2TB of storage for £120 or £160). This slender device can be used to transfer files back and forth from your Pixel 2 phone, or stream three different HD films to three different portable devices, to keep everyone in your clan happy.
Buffalo’s MiniStation Air 2 is another solid choice, offering up to 1TB of extra storage for carrying around a massive media collection.
How to expand the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL’s storage space: microSD memory card adapters
While the Pixel 2 phones shun microSD memory cards in their standard form, you can add a slot by purchasing third-party memory card adapters. These handy adapters plug into the Google phones’ Type-C USB port, and then all you need to do is slip a microSD card inside and it should be recognised by your Pixel.
One example is the HyperDrive USB Type-C Adapter. This supports full-sized SD cards as well as microSD, plus it adds on a full-sized USB port for attaching a flash drive at the same time. Storage coming out of the wazoo.
How to expand the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL’s storage space: Look to the cloud
If you own a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, the good news is you get unlimited space on Google Drive for the photos and movies you shoot on the phone. That includes uploads at full, lossless quality.
Of course, this generous limitless storage doesn’t extend to your other files, including music and films. Google Drive does deliver limited space for these things, while you can pay to get more storage.
Thankfully you can also create your own cloud storage at home, using a NAS drive. Check Amazon for affordable NAS solutions, which connect to your home WiFi and can be accessed from anywhere in the world – providing you have an internet connection.