The 10 Best MicroSD Cards for Any Device

The 10 Best MicroSD Cards for Any Device

Popular mechanics; Courtesy of PNY

Despite many devices featuring high levels of built-in storage these days, microSD cards remain an in-demand accessory for many electronics enthusiasts. These memory cards allow users to add more storage to various electronic devices, back up data separately from a host device, and transfer data from one machine to another. Install yours in your camera, drone, video game console, smartphone, etc. For their small size, microSD cards are a powerful accessory. I’ve selected ten microSD cards for different devices and use cases to help you find your ideal option.

Best MicroSD Cards

The Expert: As a technology journalist, I’ve followed many electronics brands for the better part of a decade, reporting on their product launches and reviewing several products in publications such as Newsweek Newsgroup, Business Intern, Lifewire.com, GearBrain.comand Online-Tech-Tips.com as well as on my own blog TechieSupreme.com. I’ve also heard the executives of many of these brands speak at conferences over the years and work with product managers to learn about various developments.

Specifications to consider

Ability: These days, capacity options range from 16 gigabytes to 1 terabyte, but the capacity you need depends on your use case. A microSD card with a smaller storage capacity may be ideal for an Android smartphone that just needs a little extra storage or a little-used compact camera to quickly transfer images to your computer. Meanwhile, a microSD card with more storage might be ideal for a professional-grade DSLR or drone.

Many average users can play in the 128 to 512 gigabyte space. It’s rare that you need to go beyond that unless you’re a professional who knows what you’re doing or are willing to spend the money for more capability.

Speed ​​classes: Speed ​​class refers to the write speed of a microSD card or the time it takes to save a file to the card. The current standard is C10 (Class 10), which offers a minimum write speed of 10 megabytes per second. In practice, today’s microSD cards far exceed this amount. The highest rates are U1 and U3. Lower rates are pretty much obsolete at this point.

Video Speed ​​Class is a new write speed standard that delivers the highest resolution images and videos. There are five classes – V6, V10, V30, V60 and V90 – offering write speeds between 6 and 90 megabytes per second. Versions V30 and higher, which support 4K and 8K video, tend to be more common.

More data storage solutions: The best external hard drives • The best SSDs for faster loading times • Hard drives for your PC

Application performance class: Application Performance Class determines the speed and quality with which a microSD card can communicate with and transfer data to and from a device. This metric is especially important for electronic devices that use apps, such as smartphones and computers. The grades are A1 and A2, the latter being more than twice as fast as the former standard.

Formats and transfer speeds: There are other nuances in microSD cards to consider, such as SDHC versus SDXC formats. MicroSDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity; this format includes lower capacity cards, up to 32 gigabytes. MicroSDXC stands for Secure Digital Extra Capacity. As you might guess, this format is for larger capacity cards, between 32 gigabytes and 2 terabytes. It’s not just a question of capacity, however. Some technologies are only compatible with certain types of cards, so make sure your microSD card will work in the device you need. microSDXC cards are more common, although microSDHC options are often still available and can often be cheaper.

You can also check if you want a UHS-I or UHS-II microSD card. These are additional speed measurements. UHS stands for Ultra-High-Speed ​​and UHS-I indicates a transfer speed of 104 megabytes per second. UHS-II indicates a transfer speed of 312 megabytes per second. This is basically just another upgrade from the norm, and what you choose may simply depend on how much you want to spend.

How we rated

To recommend the best microSD cards, I favored models from the most reputable and respected brands on the market. Since there are a variety of microSD cards with different read and write speeds, speed classes, and format types, I’ve looked at the ways users are most likely to use a microSD card and j ‘ve found models to meet these needs.

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