An In-Depth Review of the Top 6 Micro SD Cards on the Market
Micro SDs are used in virtually every device today. In our Micro SD card review we look at the various options available on the market today.
What is a Micro SD Card?
Micro SD cards are used in an assortment of devices to store data. Devices such as drones, phones and cameras may use this little card to store the content that you’re trying to save.
Which different kinds of Micro SD Cards are available?
It is important to understand the different markings on the various micro SD cards. They all relate to two factors: speed and capacity.
There are basically three different speed standards:
Classes are denoted by the letter C. A “Class 10” card would have a sequential write speed of 6MB/s. The speed does not apply to the typical phone use where data is written in random locations, therefore the random 4KB speed would be lower than the 10MB/s in this instance.
The Ultra High Speed System (UHS). A card that writes 30MB/s would be denoted as a “UHS class 3” card.
A UHS-I bus card will transfer data at speeds of up to 104MB/s, whereas a UHS-II bus has speeds of up to 312MB/s.
New to the scene are Video Class cards. They will use the letter V to denote sequential speeds. The range will be from V6 to V90.
o Micro SDHC: These are high capacity Micro SD disks that offer a storage capacity from 4 to 32GB.
o Micro SDXC: These are eXtended Capacity Micro SD disks that offer a storage capacity from 32GB to 200GB.
The Best Micro SD Card For You: A Buyer’s Guide
There are two factors to consider when buying your Micro SD card: purpose and performance.
Consider why you are buying a Micro SD card. If you are using it simply to store content on, then you won’t need blazing speeds. Whereas if you are using it in addition to your phone’s onboard memory, you need something with 4K writing ability rather than sequential memory.
That being said, buy your Micro SD card from a reputable dealer and stick to well-known brands that are instantly recognizable such as Samsung and Verbatim.
That being said, here are some general guidelines for the different devices that may require a Micro SD card.
- Action Cameras and Drones
4K video, or even 1080p, demands a card that’s rated at UHS-1 Class 3.
- Dash Cams
Ideally, you would follow the same specifications as for action cameras and drones. But you can get away with slower write speeds. I would start with a Class 10 and work my way up from there.
These vary from phone to phone, and a Micro SD card Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal performance.
The Top 6 Micro SD Cards
A Micro SD card review wouldn’t be complete without explaining how the rating system works. I compared the read and write speeds of each card. I was able to test the sequential speeds and the small file performance of each card.
Each Micro SD card test was carried out using CrystalDiskMark.
Samsung Evo Micro SD
The standout Micro SD which provides the best value for money is the Samsung Evo Micro SD. Samsung, a tried and tested brand, provides the best Micro SD card available on the market today. It is a 64 GB Class 10 UHS-1 car with a sequential read speed of up to 48MB/s which is average for a Micro SD card. However, its 4K reading speeds are where it puts its competitors to shame. With reading speeds of up to 9MB/s and a writing speed of 3MB/s, it’s performance in a phone truly astounds. Samsung has a 10-year warranty on the Evo, which reflects its confidence in the product. At around $24 it truly provides the best bang for your buck and is simply the best Micro SD card on the market.
SanDisk Extreme Plus Micro SD
With blistering sequential reading and writing speeds of over 90MB/s, SanDisk’s Extreme Plus comes in at strong number 2 in our Micro SD card comparison. It also doesn’t have to stand back in the random read and write speeds either with a startling 9.3MB/s reading speed and a 4MB/s writing speed.
This powerhouse Micro SD is available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB units. The SanDisk’s Extreme Plus card is only held back by its price of around $53 for a 64GB card.
Kingston Micro SD Action Camera
Designed for action cameras, this UHS class 3 card, this Micro SD card isreads and writes at astonishing sequential speeds, but don’t expect it perform well in your phone with very low random readings.
It has a lifetime guarantee and free technical support.
Verbatim Pro+ Micro SD
Halfway through our top 7 list is the Verbatim Pro+ Micro SD card. This card claims to have sequential reading speeds of 90MN/s and writing speeds of 80MB/s. However, the Micro SD card test revealed a sequential reading speed of 67MB/s and writing speed of 44MB/s, which are still perfectly respectable speeds. With an impressive random reading test of 12MB/s, but a disappointing writing speed of 1MB/s, this card is a mixed bag of sorts.
Lexar Professional 633x Micro SD
The Lexar Professional 633x Micro SD card is a UHS-I Class 1 Micro SD card. It comes with a dongle rather than an SD adaptor and is designed to be used in phones and cameras. It tested at a sequential reading speed of 92MB/s and a writing speed of 32.4MB/s. The 4KB random reading speed tested out at 7.7MB/s and a writing speed of less than 1MB/s.
However, the card is cheap and with speeds that will enable you to record 4K video, and it comes with an adapter.
Toshiba Exceria M301 Micro SD
The Toshiba Exceria M301 is the card which rounds up our list in our Micro SD card review. It has a sequential reading speed of 48MB/s but it tested slower with writing speeds testing at below 18MB/s. It had a random reading speed of 7MB/s and edging just over the 1MB/s mark for the random write speed.
Price-wise, you can’t go wrong with this relatively cheap Micro SD that provides decent performance.
How can I make sure that my micro SD card is real?
The best way to avoid counterfeit micro SD cards is to buy from a reputable vendor, and make sure that the card is still in its original packaging. Reputable sellers will also offer you a warranty.
How will I know if I have a fake micro SD card?
If your micro SD card is running much slower than expected, and isn’t covered by a warranty it probably is a fake card. If you bought it from a reputable vendor ask for your money back or for an exchange.
How can I look after my micro SD card?
Micro SD cards are extremely durable and are pretty much indestructible, as long as you don’t operate it in an oven or underwater. To be safe handle it in dry, moderate temperature conditions, and handle it carefully. Don’t bend it or handle it roughly. Buy a carrying case to keep your micro SD card safe and to protect it from wet conditions, dirt and the elements.
Can I remove my micro SD card while my device is still on?
Always turn your device off before removing your micro SD card. If your micro SD card is in a card reader and it is connected to your computer, unmount the SD card reader before removing the card. Failure to do this may lead to files being lost or corrupted.
Are UFS cards the same as Micro SD cards?
No, Ultra Flash Storage (UFS) is the successor to micro SD. They have a capacity of up to 256GB, and are five times faster than Micro SD cards. This means that UFS can read a 10GB movie in about 20 seconds. The regular UHS-1 card would read the same movie in 100 seconds.
The Samsung Evo Micro SD proved to be the star performer in the micro SD card test. This little micro SD card performed at optimal sequential and random speeds, and still is cheap enough to buy a backup or two. When next you are in the market for a micro SD card, choose the card which is right for you. Ask yourself what the primary purpose of your micro SD card is going to be. If you are going to use the card in your phone then the random 4K memory speed is important, or if you will be using it in a camera then sequential speed is king. Take the brand manufacturer into consideration so that you can be sure of a warranty, and make sure that it has enough storage space for your particular needs. I hope that this micro SD card comparison shows you that you can get top-class performance relatively cheaply. Remember that a wise shopper is a knowledgeable one.