If you are reading this article, it is surely because you do not know which microSD card to buy for your new phone, camera, recorder, etc. And, if you look closely at one of these cards, you may have doubts about each and every number and symbol you can read. Quiet. Today I will explain how to choose the best microSD card according to the use you are going to give it and, incidentally, recommend some of the best options you can buy.
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Which microSD card you should buy: know its parameters
When choosing one of these small storage systems, several details must be taken into account: the type of card , the class , maximum writing speed , if we want this card to record video or run applications from it (with the specification corresponding for this particular task). We will know each of these parameters.
Types of microSD cards
To start, the most basic data of a microSD card that you should know is its “type” . In the market we have, mainly, three: SD, SDHC and SDXG .
The differences between them are only found in the maximum capacity they allow to reach . Here is an illustration that will clarify this at a glance: microSDs are those that reach a maximum of 2G capacity; microSDHC up to 32 GB and microSDXG up to 1 TB of storage.
Kind of a microSD card
The next parameter that you must analyze when buying one of these memories is its “class” . This parameter focuses on the minimum performance you can give or, for you to understand easier, the minimum speed at which you work.
We can find five different classes, which are represented by a number surrounded by a circle on the card:
- Class 2 : with a minimum speed of 2 MB / s
- Class 4 : with a minimum speed of 4 MB / s
- Class 6 : with a minimum speed of 6 MB / s
- Class 8 : with a minimum speed of 8 MB / s
- Class 10 : with a minimum speed of 10 MB / s
Something you should keep in mind when buying a card today is that, in some cases, the manufacturer no longer indicates its “class” and this can be for two reasons:
- If the card is relatively current and from a known manufacturer (SanDisk, Samsung or Kingston, for example), it is most likely directly from Class 10.
- If we are facing a card that is too cheap and from a poorly known manufacturer, “prepare for surprise”, because it may be of a lower class.
Maximum performance or UHS
From here, whenever I refer to a microSD memory, I will be referring to Class 10 cards.
With the advent of 4K video recording and the needs of today’s cameras, the SD Association created a new parameter that refers to an improvement in the minimum speed of Class 10 cards. This parameter is the Ultra High Speed interface (UHS) , and there are three different versions:
- UHS-I Class 1 (I – U1) : with a minimum speed of 10 MB / s and a maximum speed of 50 MB / s
- UHS-I Class 3 (I – U3) : with minimum speed of 30 MB / s and maximum speed of 104 MB / s
- UHS-II Class 3 (II – U3) : with a minimum speed of 10 MB / s and maximum speed of 312 MB / s
But how is UHS represented in a microSD? Through two different symbols that serve both class and technology. While the class will be represented with its number within a “U”, UHS technology is represented with an I or II, as appropriate:
Specifications for video and applications
Finally, an important detail that you should keep in mind when choosing a card is the use that you are going to give it. It is not the same as you want to use it to record video, store multimedia content or to run an application directly from the card.
For this reason, there are two different specifications that the SD Card Association divides as follows:
Video Speed Class (V) : it is represented on the memory cards with the symbol of a letter “V”, which indicates the appropriateness or not (depending on the magnitude of the number that accompanies this symbol) which is the memory for a certain resolution of video This parameter acts according to its minimum writing speed. Here is a table created by the aforementioned association that describes all the possibilities.
Aplication Performance Class (A) : it is represented on these cards with the symbol of a letter “A”, which indicates the appropriateness or not (depending on the magnitude of the number that accompanies this symbol) which is the memory to store applications or data in she. This parameter acts according to the minimum writing and reading speeds in random and sequential mode. Here is a table that shows all the possibilities.
As an addition to all this, you should know a parameter that you can also find printed on one of these memories. This is the maximum “peak” speed that a card can reach. Normally it is usually represented with a writing speed in MB / s and, sometimes, it has a higher value than everything I just explained. Do not be fooled, so to speak abruptly, for this higher value of writing because, what continues to prevail, is the rest of the parameters.
What microSD card to buy?
After having explained each and every one of the symbols, parameters and values that you can find in one of these memories comes the big question, what microSD card should I buy? Well it depends on the use you want to give it.
Whenever possible, my recommendation is that you buy a card a little better than you need and that will allow you to use it quietly for a longer time (if you later acquire a better equipment where your capabilities are used more). For example, I dedicate myself to recording video in 4K resolution and, therefore, the card that best suits my use is part of an XG class 10 microSD, which is UHS-I class 3 and with the video specification V6 But, whenever possible, I will buy a UHS-II with the highest possible video certification.
SD card or microSD?
In this article I have told you everything you need to know about microSD cards but, of course, this information is exactly the same for an SD memory.
Perhaps the product in which you are going to use your new card has an SD memory slot but, due to ignorance, you are about to make the mistake of buying a microSD and using the SD card adapter that usually accompanies them. My recommendation, although it seems obvious, is that you use the type of card your team needs and avoid adapters by all means. These elements usually limit reading and writing speeds, in addition to deteriorating the life of the card.
The 7 best microSD cards you can buy
And, to make your selection work easier, I leave you the 7 best microSD memory options you can buy right now at Amazon: