I asked this question today:

What's the benefit of getting a phone with bigger internal storage that also has an SD card slot?

Which got put on hold for this reason:

"Technical support request — Questions asking about troubleshooting hardware or technical support for hardware are off-topic for Hardware Recommendations because the site is here to provide pre-purchase hardware recommendations and to recommend hardware for a specific task, rather than to support existing devices. You may get help on Super User." – ArtOfCode

And I have no idea why. Here's my question again in short:

I want to buy a phone. I can buy it with 8 or 16 GB of memory. Which one should I buy if it also has a card slot?

How is this a support question? I'm not asking for support for an existing device. I'd like to make an educated decision when buying a new phone. In other words, I'm here to get some pre-purchase hardware recommendations.

I reread my question again and am not sure how it came across as a support request. Is my question unclear? How can I modify my question to be on topic.

@ArtOfCode, please explain your decision.

2 Answers 2


I want to buy a phone. I can buy it with 8 or 16 GB of memory. Which one should I buy if it also has a card slot?

If that had been what you asked, that would have been on-topic. However, that's not what you asked - the emphasised question in your original post reads thus:

What's the benefit of getting the model with bigger internal memory?

That is definitely asking for technical advice/support about the capabilities of a phone.

As it stands, the question is also rather broad. Not only does it ask the question above, but it goes on to ask

Is there a significant difference in memory access time?


Anything else?

Particularly with the last question, that combination makes it rather too broad to effectively answer in a few short paragraphs.

If you could edit the post to something resembling your summary in this meta question, and knock out the additional questions, it would be on-topic.

  • 1
    It strikes me as odd as to how adding my thought process to a question could make it appear so differently. On other stack exchange sites this would be appreciated as research effort or context. How a question about a single feature of a phone would be considered "too broad" while there are other questions about entire phones is not very plausible to me either. Despite all that, I edited my question to dumb it down to the core question as per your request. Please take a look and tell me if there's anything still wrong with it. Thank you for your support.
    – user3966
    Jul 17, 2016 at 19:15
  • @null I understand your concerns, we hear that a lot. It's mainly because Hardware Recommendations as a site is so different to most other sites on the network - the premise is entirely different from any other site (except Software Recs), and the requirements and judgement of questions is much tougher here.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jul 17, 2016 at 19:23
  • The fact that this kind of request for product information is not in the scope of this site is going to continue to cause problems because intuitively it is the kind of thought process people have when choosing new products.
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 18, 2016 at 15:36
  • @AdamWykes Yes, it is. We've tried a few things to help that out, and are looking into a few more.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jul 18, 2016 at 16:27

I see what the problem here is. In my opinion, your question falls into a tiny gray area between off-topic tech support and on-topic acceptable questions. It's not asking for a single product given a specific list of requirements.

However, I have to disagree with ArtOfCode's closure here, though not by a wide margin. One of the major question foundations we established in the past was that asking about something that will directly lead to a product purchase is on-topic. The problem here is that whatever this could be is left in a tiny gray area (where your question sits).

So it's left to the community to decide which way to swing on something like this and I say it's on-topic because all you need to know before you purchase this phone is the trade-off between storage functionality and price.

  • 2
    This is different from what I experience on other sites of the network. Questions asking for specific product advice are frowned upon, because they get outdated quickly. Such questions get a lot praise here and seem to define the scope. On the other hand, asking for strategies on how to determine important product features (and not specific products) makes valid shopping questions on other sites. I created my question with that in mind. I feel the scope of this site is badly communicated. My understanding is that If I want to know what thing to buy, I should be able to ask about it here.
    – user3966
    Jul 17, 2016 at 14:31
  • agreed, and you make an excellent point about the usefulness of answers given over time here. What kind of resource is this site even supposed to be? Is it still upholding the original intent of the StackExchange family of sites? My answer to both of those would be "no" currently :(
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 18, 2016 at 20:56

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