Best micro SD cards: which model to buy in 2022?

Micro SD cards (XC, SC and HC) offer more flexibility to store more data on our devices (smartphones, Nintendo Switch, cameras and drones). When storage space starts to thin, you’ll always have a card to play. But it is important to choose the right model, because not all are created equal.

Our selection of the best micro SD cards in 2022

Smartphones carry more and more internal storage space, but this is not always enough. The applications are increasingly heavy and it is necessary to store photos, music, videos and other data. So many files that quickly fill the internal memory.

A micro SD card is therefore often necessary, even essential for devices such as portable consoles (Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck), cameras, GoPro cameras or even for drones. But choosing an SD card is not always easy. We must take into account the characteristics, but also the use for which it is intended.

In this buying guide, we offer you the best models on the market to find the perfect card for your needs. And in a second step, you will discover the characteristics to know for this kind of accessory.

SanDisk Ultra micro SD card: fast, reliable and capacities up to 512 GB

We start with the Ultra range of memory cards from SanDisk. This range is ideal for smartphones and is also aimed at those who want to be able to record videos in Full HD. SanDisk Ultra memory cards are class 10/U1, with a 10MB/s minimum write speed.

If you buy it for a camera or a drone, it is recommended for Full HD recordings even if its transfer speed can theoretically reach 120 MB/s. Sandisk Ultra microSD cards are also “A1” certified, a class defined for application loading speed.

This class guarantees a smooth experience with applications that load faster. Finally, note that these cards exist in capacities ranging from 16 GB to 512 GB. There is therefore enough to find the version that suits you best.

SanDisk Extreme: great performance and up to 1 TB of storage

If you plan to record videos in 4K, class 10 will not be enough for you. You can therefore turn to the SanDisk Extreme micro SD card whose range is above the Sandisk Ultra cards. It highlights the V30 certification for video recording. Equivalent to the U3 standard, this class offers a guaranteed minimum write speed of 30 MB/s. Enough to record 4K videos in good conditions on most devices.

In theory, their sequential speeds can go up to 160 MB/s in reading and 90 MB/s in writing. This high-performance memory card can work comfortably with smartphones, but also with cameras and drones, not to mention the Nintendo Switch. This range is compatible with A2 certification, which offers good application performance for a smooth experience on Android.

SanDisk Extremes are also designed and tested for rugged remoteness: extreme temperatures, water, shocks and X-rays. They are available in capacities ranging from 32 GB to 1 TB.

Samsung Evo Plus (2021) micro SD card: versatile, up to 512 GB of storage

The 2021 range of Evo Plus micro SD cards belong to the U3 class and are V30 certified. This gives you a guaranteed throughput sufficient to play and record videos in 4K UHD on most cameras and in Full HD in excellent conditions. These cards promise increased resistance and speeds of up to 130MB/s.

The Samsung Evo Plus 2021 memory card offers excellent value for money. You can use it with any device: smartphone/tablet, camera/camera or even with the Switch. She is moreover compatible with application class A2.

Supplied with an SD adapter, you can insert it into all devices with an SD or micro SD slot. Note that the speed of 130 MB/s is only obtained with the adapter supplied by Samsung.

Lexar Professional 2000x (UHS-II): up to 300 MB/s, the ultimate card for photo and video pros

The Lexar Professional 2000x memory card is built for photographers and videographers looking for extreme performance. She exploits the UHS-II memory buswhich allows it to offer a maximum throughput of 300 MB/s read and of 260 MB/s write. It comes in capacities ranging from 32 GB to 256 GB.

The Lexar Professional 2000x is certified V90which is equivalent to a minimum guaranteed speed of 90 MB/s for video recording. It is therefore perfect for filming in 4K in any condition, even up to 8K. Versatile, it is also compatible with devices that only support UHS-I with speeds of up to 100 MB/s.

Samsung Pro Endurance 2022: up to 16 years of non-stop recording

The Samsung Pro Endurance is a microSD card whose particularity is to offer maximum lifespan. It’s designed to provide years of continuous recording without the risk of dropping out. This feature makes it an ideal memory card for surveillance cameras and dashcams.

The 64GB version of this card is Speed ​​Class 10 or U1, which should be fine for recording up to Full HD. The 128 and 256 GB versions of the Samsung Pro Endurance 2022 are U3 / V30 certified. All offer sequential speeds of up to 100MB/s read and 40MB/s write.

Moreover, the lifespan is not the same depending on the storage capacities. She is from 35,040 hours for the 64 GB version (more than 4 years of continuous recording), 70,080 hours for the 128 GB version (more than 8 years of recording) and 140,160 hours for the 256 GB version, i.e. an endurance of more than 16 years.

However, the manufacturer’s warranty remains limited to 3 years for the first and 5 years for the last two. In addition this card is very resistant and will survive temperatures between -25°C and 85°C and up to 72 hours of insertion in water.

What is the difference between micro SD, SDHC and SDXC card?

The first thing to know is simply the meaning of the acronyms SD, SDHC and SDXC, the first obstacle when talking about flash memory. In truth, it’s very simple: these names do not indicate a different technology between each memory, but simply their maximum size.

  • microSD : micro SD or MicroSDSC (with SC for Standard Capacity) have a maximum capacity of 2 GB, but they are the most compatible, since they can be used in any device.
  • micro SDHC : These cards have a capacity between 2 and 32 GB and can only be used in devices that support micro SDHC and micro SDXC cards, but not older devices that only support micro SD cards.
  • micro SDXC : these cards have a capacity greater than 32GB and can theoretically go up to a breathtaking capacity of 2TB. Large capacity micro SDXC cards are not necessarily compatible with all devices.

So there’s really nothing to worry about on this side: you can, to simplify the matter, talk about a microSD card all the time. The point on which you must pay attention, however, is the maximum capacity accepted by your phone. Nowadays, almost all smartphones are compatible with the SDXC format… but the maximum supported capacities differ. This information is given in the data sheet of your smartphone.

The different speed classes of a micro SD card

Your SD card will serve as your storage memory, which means that your smartphone will have to read the information it contains as well as write new information on it. Also, its read speed (the time the system will take to read the information) and its write speed (the time the system will take to save new data) must be sufficient, so as not to slow down your use. A slow SD card is a slow smartphone after all.

There are speed classes which define in an acronym the speeds guaranteed by SD cards. “C” classes start from 2 and scale in increments of 2 up to 10 (except 8). The number after C is the minimum speed in MB/s.

There are 2 UHS (U) speed classes: U1 and U3. Class U1 offers a minimum guaranteed speed of 10 MB/s and Class U2 a minimum speed of 30 MB/s. The theoretical maximum speeds depend on the type of UHS bus and there are two. the UHS-I bus offers a maximum theoretical throughput of up to 104 MB/s and the UHS-II buses a theoretical maximum flow of 312 MB/s.

The U1 and U3 cards can operate both the UHS-I bus and the UHS-II. The U3 class therefore does not necessarily offer speeds of up to 312 MB/s, unless it uses the UHS-II bus.

Finally, the most recent acronym is V and it categorizes SD cards by their minimum speed for recording videos.

Class C Minimum write speed (guaranteed) Video recording
C2 2 MB/s SD / 480p
C4 4 MB/s HD / 720p
C6 6MB/s Full HD / 1080p
C10 10 MB/s Full HD, even 4K
U-class Minimum write speed (guaranteed) Video recording
U1 10 MB/s Full HD, even 4K at low frames/second
(U2) 30 MB/s Comfortable in 4K
Class V Minimum write speed (guaranteed) Video recording
V6 class 6MB/s Full-HD
V10 10 MB/s Full HD, even 4K at low frame rate
V30 30 MB/s Comfortable in 4K
V60 60MB/s 4K at over 60fps
V90 90 MB/s Comfortable even in 8K
microSD Speed ​​Classes

New Application Performance Classes

The new application performance classes provide an indication of performance for applications such as Android smartphones and tablets. With these new standards, you can record directly to the card, run apps or games at high speeds.

Operating systems process data at random intervals, which involves input/output per second (IOPS). IOPS are therefore important when talking about the performance of SD cards on smartphones. High IOPS equals low latency. For now, there are classes for application performance: A1 and A2.

All correspond to a minimum speed of 10 MB/s but the IOPS performance differs. Whether your micrSDXC card is A1 or A2 approved, this means that it is optimized for good application fluidity.

Class A Minimum write speed (guaranteed) Minimum shuffle Minimum random write
A1 10 MB/s 1500 IOPS 500 IOPS
A2 10 MB/s 4000 IOPS 2000 IOPS

So much for our buying guide to the best microSD cards. Finally, we invite you to consult our file which explains how to choose the right microSD card.

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