Inexpensive and easy to find, the microSD memory card makes it easy to add storage, whether it’s for a smartphone, Nintendo Switch, or your GoPro. To help guide you, we have chosen for you the best microSD cards of the moment.
Released in 2005 with a staggering 16MB capacity, the good old microSD card has come a long way! Sold at increasingly attractive prices, microSDs are a great way to increase the storage space of a smartphone, camera, or even a Nintendo Switch.
However, be careful: the performance of the latter is much worse than that of internal storage. Therefore, it will be better to store non-critical data there, such as photos or music, and keep the internal storage for applications. However, we have a guide for moving apps and content from your Android smartphone to the microSD card.
Beware of fakes
Wildly popular, microSD cards are probably the most counterfeited high-tech product to date. The markets are full of cards that are sold at unbeatable prices and present the graphic identity of the best-known brands.
Buying them, however, will be a terrible miscalculation. Speeds are often mediocre, capabilities are not respected, and cards tend to get out of control quickly. For more security, stick with resellers with storefronts, avoid markets and do not hesitate to return any product that seems suspicious to you. A blurred print on the card or its packaging is a common clue.
If you’re looking for a good external drive to copy data from your microSD card, check out our dedicated guide. And if you prefer a USB key to back up your data, take a look at our guide to the best keys.
Sandisk Ultra from 16 to 512 GB: the microSD card for everything
Sandisk’s new Ultra range is today a very good option to increase the storage of a smartphone. Now compatible with the A1 standard, they can quickly load the applications installed on them and offer a reading speed of up to 100 MB/s. The range is very complete and offers storage capacities of 16, 32, 64, 128, 200, 256 GB, 400 and 512 GB for prices ranging from 6 to 135 euros.
This very versatile card will fit many devices, from your smartphone to your Switch to your camera. That said, if it’s performance you’re looking for above all, specifically for shooting in UHD at 60 frames per second, or making it easier to transfer lots of images from your mirrorless camera or access them more quickly, you’d better go with it. for more efficient cards. . We recommend that you opt for UHS-3 (U3) compatible cards.
Depending on your uses, we advise you to opt for the 64 GB, 128 GB or 200 GB references that present the best value for money in the range and that will undoubtedly meet your needs.
Samsung EVO Plus: good value for money
If you are looking for more performance, while maintaining a contained price, we advise you to turn to Samsung and its Evo Plus range. These high-quality microSD cards are UHS-3 (U3) certified. This certification allows them to reach a writing speed of up to 90MB/s, which will bring you more convenience for 4K videos.
As you will have understood, this range will appeal to video fans who are looking above all for additional storage space to record hours of trouble in high definition. If it is especially in this area that you will benefit the most, you will also get a performance gain on Switch or smartphone.
Sandisk Extreme: The fast microSD card for everyone
The new Sandisk Extreme range has all the certifications you would expect from a modern microSD card with UHS-3 and V30. Plus, it’s one of the first A2-certified consumer microSD cards, ensuring it handles more operations per second for better performance of apps stored on it.
They’re less affordable than Sandisk’s Ultra and Samsung’s EVO Plus SKUs, but they guarantee excellent performance and can be a worthwhile investment for those who use a microSD card on a daily basis in a smartphone. You can do anything with it.
Sandisk Extreme Pro 64 GB: speed above all else
If you’re looking for the fastest card possible, you’ll have to pay the price for good read and write speeds. The Sandisk Extreme Pro caught our eye.
In the 256 GB storage version, it achieves 140 MB/s writing and 200 MB/s and offers one of the best IOPS performance on the market. However, to get the most out of it, you’ll need a UHS-II compatible device and a memory card reader.
Finally, the price is particularly high! But if you need the fastest, look no further.
What about microSD card readers/adapters?
The memory card reader is often a device we forget about and that’s a shame. The readers built into our PCs are really slow and won’t be enough to get the most out of a fast card.
Therefore, we recommend a microSD and SD card reader, to connect via USB-A or USB-C.
What to look for before buying a microSD card?
Which microSD card for which use?
Not all cards are the same, quite the contrary. Two cards of the same capacity can have very different speeds and therefore will not cover the same needs. A 4K video enthusiast will favor a high write speed, while a Switch will especially benefit from a good read speed.
To guide us, we will use three types of certifications.
- The UHS Speed Class: Measures sequential write speed and is shaped like a U with a number. Therefore, a U1 will correspond to 10 MB/s and a U3 to 30 MB/s.
- Video Speed Class: Measures sustained write speed and is shaped like a V followed by a number that describes performance.
- Some cards have an application performance class label, designated as A1 or A2, which guarantees a certain amount of IOPS, as well as a sustained write rate of 10 MB/s.
If you plan to do video, choose at least a U3 or V30 compatible card. Faster cards exist, but they have limited compatibility due to a different number of pins. Make sure your device supports them.
For a Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, there’s no need to break the bank: it only supports U1 cards. Putting in more money will not improve load times.
How much storage capacity do I need?
Before buying a microSD card to increase the capacity of your smartphone, tablet or game console, you must first know what storage capacity you expect from it. 32 or 64 GB is enough to store your music and some videos, but if you want to store more movies, apps, and games, you’ll need more storage. Today, we recommend taking 128 GB as the “default” capacity.
MicroSD, SDXC, SDHC… does that change anything?
Yes, in theory… in practice, not much. Basically, these terms refer to different storage capacities. SD(SC) card for “Standard Capacity” goes from 128MB to 2GB, SDHC (High Capacity) up to 32GB, SDXC (Extended Capacity” up to 2TB. other things like bus speeds, which involve different connectors In practice nowadays almost all products support all standards, you only have to look into it if you want to add SD card in old device i.e. pre 2010.
In 2018 a new version of the standard was announced: the SDUC that brings the maximum capacity to 128 TB, at the same time that the SD Express 8.0 format was defined, which allows the cards to use a PCI-Express 4.0 link and therefore achieve speeds of 3.9 GB/s. A small peculiarity, however: SD Express, independent of SDUC, can also be implemented on SDHC and SDXC cards. However, there is currently no commercial model available.
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