The Best microSD Cards [Updated 2021]

As a photographer and tech lover, I found myself on the quest to find the best microSD cards out there. I want reliability, speed, and something that will let me push my equipment to its limits. This is my quest to find the ultimate Micro SD card.

Finding the best micro sd card available
Finding the Best Micro SD Card Available

I use my phone mostly for taking photos and videos of my adventures. Having a Micro SD card that can meet my demands and have enough storage for my 1-2 week travels of photo and video taking all day long is crucial.

I currently test and use these cards for real world use on a Samsung Galaxy S20 and GoPro Hero Black 9.

Before we jump in, you might be wondering which Micro SD card I ended up using after writing all this. My phone is currently rocking this:

Lexar High-Performance 633x 512GB microSDXC UHS-I Card w/ SD Adapter, C10, U3, V30, A2, Full-HD & 4K Video, Up To 100MB/s Read, for Smartphones, Tablets, and Action Cameras (LSDMI512BBNL633A)
  • Premium memory solution for smartphones, tablets, or action cameras
  • Quickly captures, plays back, and transfers media files, including 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video
  • Leverages UHS-I technology for a transfer speed up to 100MB/s

If you’re looking for the Best SD Cards – I’ve got you covered.

Last Updated: January 1, 2021.

  • GoPro Hero Black 9 Info
  • Nintendo Switch info
  • MicroSD 7.1 specification info
  • 8k MicroSD additions
  • PCIe/NVMe interface compatibility

The Problem with Finding the Best Micro SD Card

UHS, UHS-I, U1, UHS-III, and U3 are all buzzwords and jargon to look for on the packaging. The UHS signifies the speeds up to – up to being the operative phrase. This is important if you’re shooting HD or 4k video. Faster write speeds are needed in order to produce high quality video.

Even if you’re not shooting video, but running apps or games off your Micro SD card, a fast write speed will keep things running smoothly.

A lot of cards are advertised as UHS1 / U1 and support 4k, but this simply is not true. Manufacturers claim 10MB/s write speed is sufficient, but it isn’t! You’re going to start running into overheating problems and video that stops recording before you’re done. I’ve even encountered dropped frames in video I was hoping to be spectacular.

You’ve probably seen UHS-I and Class 10 on just about every Micro SD card you’ve checked out already. The SD association has come out with speed classes relevant towards video, too.

What Are The Differences Between SD, SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC?

SDXC devices are backwards compatible, so they accept SD and SDHC memory cards. SDXC memory cards must only be used with SDXC devices and should never be used in non-compatible devices.

Sd memory cardsSD standard – Up to 2GB SD memory card using FAT 12 and 16 file systems
Sdhc memory cardsSDHC standard – over 2GB-32GB SDHC memory card using FAT32 file system
Sdxc memory cardsSDXC standard – over 32GB-2TB SDXC memory card using exFAT file system
Sduc memory cardsSDUC standard – over 2TB-128TB SDUC memory card using exFAT file system
Capacityup to 2GBmore than 2GB
up to 32GB
more than 32GB
up to 2TB
more than 2TB
up to 128TB
File SystemFAT 12, 16FAT 32exFATexFAT
SD Logo Sd Sdhc Sdxc Sduc
Card SpecificationsSD32 x 24 x 2.1 mm, Approx 2g
microSD11 x 15 x 1.0 mm, Approx 0.5g
Speed ClassesNS modeC2, C4, C6
HS modeC2, C4, C6, C10,
V6, V10
C2, C4, C6, C10
U1, U3
V6, V10, V30
C4, C6, C10
U1, U3
V6, V10, V30, V60, V90
C4, C6, C10
U1, U3
V6, V10, V30, V60, V90

Micro SD Card Speed Classes

Microsd card speed classes
MicroSD Card Speed Classes – Credit: SD Association

For my own uses, I’ve found UHS-III / U3 and V30, V60, and V90 to be ideal for recording 4k video from my phone. Below are the fastest 128GB and 200GB micro SD cards. Anything else simply hasn’t made the cut for size, speed, and reliability.

Micro SD Card Video Speed Classes

Video classes have been assigned to better support high resolution video recordings. Supported formats for video recordings on MicroSD cards include:

  • 4k (V6, V10, V30, V60, V90)
  • 8k (V60 and V90)
  • 3D (V60 and V90)
  • 360 degree (V60 and V90)
Microsd card video speed classes
MicroSD Card Video Speed Classes. Credit: SD Association

Best Micro SD Card Brands

There are really only 6 brands you should consider when shopping for a Micro SD card. There are faster cards out there, but I like to consider reliability as an important factor. I don’t want a card to become corrupt with a vacation full of video and photos.

All in all, Delkin is my go-to Micro SD card brand. They have performed incredibly well across a multitude of scenarios and devices.

Delkin – Micro SD cards support up to 8k, includes amazing customer service , lifetime warranty [with a 48 hour replacement policy], and all their products are incredibly fast.

Lexar – I’ve used this one over the years and have never had a failure. Nikon also recommends this brand for their cameras.

Samsung – One of original favorites, based on speed and price.

SanDisk – Nikon recommends this brand for their cameras.

Sony – This is a brand I’d purchase when on sale, otherwise I’d choose another brand first.

Transcend  Great budget options for the price.

The Best Micro SD Card by Size

2TB Micro SD Cards

As of November 2020, there are currently no 2TB Micro SD cards on the market. However, when they are available, they will be in the SDXC and SDUC specification standards, as both of these support higher capacity sizes.

The 2TB Micro SD card scam

If you see a 2TB Micro SD card on Ebay, Amazon, or some other marketplace, it is fake and spoofed. You can buy it and plug it in, and it will show 2TB, but it will not hold that much data and will probably corrupt everything very quickly. They usually are hacked 32GB cards.

1TB Micro SD Cards

1tb micro sd card sandisk extreme microsdxc uhs-i micro sd sdsqxa1-1t00-gn6ma
1TB Micro SD Card SanDisk Extreme MICROSDXC UHS-I Micro SD SDSQXA1-1T00-GN6MA

SanDisk has three 1TB Micro SD cards announced, with only one currently available for purchase. Unfortunately, quantities are limited, so if you see it available, you’re going to want to buy it quickly.

SanDisk Extreme Pro MICROSDXC UHS-I Micro SD. –SDSDXXY-1T00-GN4IN.

  • Up to 170MB/s read speed and writes up to 90MB/s. Speed classes C10, U3, A2, V30.
  • CrystalDiskMark Sequential Transfers: 98.36 MB/s Read. 84.51 MB/s Write.
  • CrystalDiskMark 4KiB Transfers: 7.67 MB/s Read. 3.24 MB/s Write.

SanDisk Extreme Plus MICROSDXC UHS-I Micro SD. – Not yet available.
Up to 170MB/s read speed and writes up to 90MB/s. Speed classes C10, U3 , A2 , V30.

SanDisk Extreme MICROSDXC UHS-I Micro SD. SDSQXA1-1T00-GN6MA
Up to 90MB/s read speed and writes up to 60MB/s. Speed classes C10, V30, U3 , A2.

Micron c200 1tb micro sd card sdxc uhs-i
Micron c200 1TB Micro SD Card SDXC UHS-I

Starting the second half of 2019, the Micron 1TB Micro SD will be available to purchase.

Micron® c200 1TB microSDXC UHS-I card – Not yet available.
Up to 100MB/s read speed and writes up to 95MB/. Speed Classes V30, U3, A2. Micron 96-layer 3D QLC NAND.

512GB Micro SD Cards

The largest Micro SD cards readily available, a whopping 512GB, are rapidly dropping in price with the advent of new 1TB Micro SD cards.

Samsung evo plus 512gb microsd card
Samsung EVO Plus 512GB MicroSD Card

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB Micro SD Card MB-MC512GAEU

  • Up to 100MB/s read speed and write up to 90MB/s.
  • Speed Classes 10 and U3.
  • CrystalDiskMark Sequential Transfers – Read: 92.72MB/s. Write: 81.83MB/s.
  • CrystalDiskMark 4KiB Transfers – Read: 16.25MB/s. Write 4.02MB/s.
Pny u3 pro elite microsd card 512gb
PNY U3 Pro Elite MicroSD Card 512GB

PNY U3 Pro Elite MicroSD Card – 512GB – P-SDUX512U3100PRO-GE

  • Up to 100MB/s read speed and write up to 90MB/s.
  • Speed Classes 10, U3, V30, A2.
  • CrystalDiskMark Sequential Transfers: Read 96.39MB/s. Write 84.33MB/s.
Lexar high-performance 633x microsdxc uhs-i card 512gb
Lexar High-Performance 633x microSDXC UHS-I Card 512GB

Lexar High-Performance 633x microSDXC UHS-I Card 512GB LSDMI512BBNL633A 

  • Up to 100MB/s read speed and write up to 70MB/s.
  • Speed Classes 10, A2, U3, V30.
Kingston digital sdcr/512gb canvas react 512gb microsdxc

Kingston Digital SDCR/512GB Canvas React 512GB microSDXC

  • Class 10 UHS-I U3 speeds up to 100MB/s read, 80MB/s write.
  • Made for Android1.
  • Waterproof, shock and vibration proof, x-ray proof, and temperature proof.
Pny elite performance 512gb sdxc p-sdx512u3h-ge

PNY Elite Performance 512GB SDXC P-SDX512U3H-GE

  • Class 10 UHS-I, U3. Up to 95MB/sec speed, Full HD and 4K Ultra HD video recording
  • Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty

400GB Micro SD Cards

Sandisk Ultra 400GB Micro SDXC – SDSQUAR-400G-GN6MA

Sandisk ultra 400gb micro sdxc - sdsquar-400g-gn6ma
  • Class 10 UHS-1. Data Transfer: Read Speed 100 MB/s Maximum. Write Speed 10 MB/s Minimum. Up to 100MB/s transfer speed.
  • A1-rated performance. 
  • Shockproof, temperature extremes, waterproof, x-ray proof

256GB Micro SD Cards

PNY Elite-X microSD 256GB – P-SDU256U3100EX-GE

Pny elite-x microsd 256gb – p-sdu256u3100ex-ge
  • Up to 100MB/s Read Speed
  • Class 10, U3, V30 performance
  • A1 (App 1) performance allows for apps to run from microSD card

Samsung 256GB U3 MicroSDXC EVO Select – MB-ME256GA/AM

Samsung 256GB EVO Plus Class 10 UHS-I microSDXC U3 – MB-MC256GA

Samsung 256gb evo plus class 10 uhs-i microsdxc u3 - mb-mc256ga
  • Same cards, different branded name based on where you buy.
  • Up to 100MB/s & 90MB/s read & write speeds respectively; Class 10 UHS-1.
  • Certified waterproof with IEC 60529 and IPX7 rating.
  • 10-year limited warranty.

SanDisk Ultra 256GB microSDXC UHS-I – SDSQUAR-256G-GN6MA

Sandisk ultra 256gb microsdxc uhs-i - sdsquar-256g-gn6ma
  • Class 10 UHS-1. Data Transfer: Read Speed 100 MB/s Maximum. Write Speed 10 MB/s Minimum. Up to 100MB/s transfer speed.
  • A1-rated performance. 
  • Shockproof, temperature extremes, waterproof, x-ray proof.

Kingston Canvas React 256GB microSDHC –  SDCR/256GB

Kingston canvas react 256gb microsdhc -  sdcr:256gb
  • Class 10 UHS-I U3 speeds up to 100MB/s read, 80MB/s write.
  • Made for Android1.
  • Waterproof, shock and vibration proof, x-ray proof, and temperature proof.

200GB Micro SD Cards

The Lexar 200GB is my all time MicroSD card favorite at this size. For the price, speed, and reliability, this was one of the easiest purchases of my tech life. I happily recommend this card to anyone who has similar demands as my own.

Lexar High-Performance microSDXC 633x 200GB – LSDMI200BBNL633R

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 88.97 MB/s
Sequential Write: 33.69 MB/s

SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD – SDSDQUAN-200G-G4A

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 86.32 MB/s
Sequential Write: 42.1 MB/s

MacBook Pro Benchmarks
2.4GB Read: 0:48 (minutes:seconds)
2.4GB Write 2:41 (minutes:seconds)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Benchmarks
Sequential Read: 20.61 MB/s
Sequential Write: 17.31 MB/s
Random Read: 7.86 MB/s
Random Write: 0.77 MB/s

128GB Micro SD Cards

Lexar Professional 1800x microSDXC 128GB UHS-II – LSDMI128CRBNA1800R

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 272.322 MB/s
Sequential Write: 222.227 MB/s

Samsung 128GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDXC – MB-MC128DA/AM

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 88.70 MB/s
Sequential Write: 26.98 MB/s

SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC UHS-I – SDSQUNC-128G-GN6MA

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 46.93 MB/s
Sequential Write: 13.89 MB/s[

Sony 128GB Class 10 UHS-1 Micro SDXC – SRG1UY2A/TQ

Sequential Read: 44.17 MB/s
Sequential Write: 21.48 MB/s

We have a clear winner out of the best MicroSD cards. The Lexar 1800x is extraordinarily faster than the runner up, Samsung’s Evo Plus. The Lexar MicroSD card is geared for the uber professional and priced accordingly. If you are shooting a ton of 4k video, this is the card for you. Your phone should handle recording like a champ without hitting buffer limitations.

Samsung, a distant second, is a great choice if you’re recording 4k in short bursts and need a more economically priced option.

The Best Micro SD Card for Your Device

Android Phones

The best MicroSD card you can use with your Android phone is going to be the highest capacity, especially cards which support A1. A1 means you can put apps on your card and it will run incredibly fast. This is especially useful if you play games on your phone.

Look up your phone specs which you are using, see the max capacity MicroSD card available, and then start going down my list above, starting with the highest. Most flagship phones as of writing this paragraph in 2018 will support 200GB size cards.


Mavic 2 pro best microsd card for drone

If you are flying a DJI Mavic 2 Pro or similar drone, documentation recommends: UHS-I Speed Grade 3 rating microSD card is required due to the fast read and write speeds necessary for high-resolution video data. Card sizes officially supported by the Mavic 2 Pro are 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.

There is no reason to buy less than 128GB – you will not want to risk running out of space mid-flight or while recording a series. These are the best options for your drone MicroSD:

Lexar Professional 1800x microSDXC 128GB UHS-II – LSDMI128CRBNA1800R

Samsung 128GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDXC – MB-MC128DA/AM

SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC UHS-I – SDSQUNC-128G-GN6MA

Sony 128GB Class 10 UHS-1 Micro SDXC – SRG1UY2A/TQ

GoPro Hero 9 Black

The GoPro Hero 9 Black, released in 2020, comes with support for way more Micro SD cards than any of the previous models and with a ton more capacity. Seasoned users of GoPros know that recording for more than 20 minutes at a time can induce crashing cards and overheating. I know I’ve had footage ruined plenty of times, especially on hot summer days with the camera sitting out in the sun for hours.

While not the comprehensive list offered by GoPro’s documentation, these are the highest rated cards in terms of reliability and speed for capturing that epic 5k footage without your GoPro Hero 9 Black failing at the worst time.

GoPro lists 49 different cards as compatible, but as a professiona user, these are the only four Micro SD cards I’d ever consider. Note: The max size was linked – you can buy a smaller size, but larger are not officially supported.

The card I am currently using? The Lexar 1800x 128GB, with the Sandisk 256GB as my backup/secondary when traveling.

GoPro Hero 8

Oh, there is nothing here on purpose. Get either the 9 or 7 – you’ll thank me later.

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Gopro hero 7 black

The GoPro Hero 7 Black comes with a free Micro SD card, but you might want some more for extra recording storage. With the ability to record 4k video and RAW, having a fast Micro SD card is going to make a world of difference, especially now that the new GoPro Hero 7 Black can support UHS-III. Your card will fill up fast!

The GoPro Hero 7’s use Micro SD cards up to 256GB in size.

GoPro Hero 6, 5, and 4

The GoPro Hero 5’s biggest MicroSD card is going to be 128GB. Here are some great 128GB MicroSD cards for your GoPro HERO5 Black. These are only cards which support UHS-III and nothing less:

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is compatible with Micro SD cards up to 2TB in size.

Dash Cams

Selecting a Micro SD card for your dash cam means you will want to prioritize reliability and temperature tolerance. Your vehicle will be subject to extreme temperatures when you’re not in it, and the last thing you want is for your recorded footage to become corrupt when you need it most.

MicroSD Cards for 4k Video Recording and Playback

MicroSD Cards based on Video Speed Classes

I’m still gathering info on v90 and v60 certified MicroSD cards. Some manufacturers have claimed equivalent speeds, but have not received an official certification, so I won’t list them until that happens.

Micro SD v90 Cards

Micro SD v60 Cards

Micro SD v30 Cards

SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQXVF-128G-GN6MA)

Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC 256GB UHS-II/U3 – LSDMI256CBNL1000R

SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQXVF-064G-GN6MA)

Micro SD v10 Cards

SanDisk Ultra 256GB MicroSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQUNI-256G-GN6MA)

Transcend 128GB MicroSDXC Class10 UHS-1 Memory Card with Adapter 60 MB/s (TS128GUSDU1)

The Absolute Fastest Micro SD Cards

If you’re looking for the fastest Micro SD cards, regardless of size, this is the chart for you. These are all Micro SD cards I have personally tested on my Samsung Galaxy S20 in real world conditions and everyday use.

Tips on Micro SD Card Care and Maintenance

Tips on microsd card care and maintenance Deleting Files and Formatting Micro SD Cards

  1. Format your new Micro SD card as soon as you plug it into the device.
  2. Always perform future formats in the device, whether phone or camera.
  3. Format when putting your Micro SD card into new devices.

If you’ve ever had a corrupted Micro SD card, you know how devastating it is to lose all of your data. The absolute best way to ensure your Micro SD cards stay healthy is to only use the device, whether phone or camera, to delete files off the card. NEVER use your computer. The same goes for formatting. Always use your phone or camera to perform the format function. Using your computer to delete or format data off your Micro SD card greatly increases the chances of the card becoming corrupted over time. Just be sure you want to format, as it is not reversible.

Transferring Files off Micro SD Cards from Phone to Computer

I use Dropbox to easily and quickly move files back and forth from my phone to computer. Whether Android or iPhone, this has always seemed to be the easiest method. Dropbox will automatically upload new photos from my phone while on WiFi, then download them to my computer immediately.

Every now and then, or immediately upon returning from a vacation, I’ll hop on my computer and move the photos out of the Dropbox folder and into my Photos folder. Its a couple steps to get used to, but if you’ve tried saving photos off your phone, you know a couple steps is a lot easier than constantly pulling out hair, losing photos, or having to delete photos to make more room on your phone.

Last update on 2024-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

31 thoughts on “The Best microSD Cards [Updated 2021]”

  1. “Lexar – I’ve used this one over the years and have never had a failure.”

    My experience in phones and various other applications is a near 100% failure rate and you have to pay to ship back the card to get a replacement (minus the time they let me take video of smashing it) No idea of a common activity doing it but phones, cameras, singleboard computer, dead, dead, dead,. To make matters worse, if you don’t encrypt the contents, you are sending the full contents of the card for them to browser. Hope no one takes nudes using a lexar, had a crypto wallet, list of passwords (stupid in itself). Their cards fail into a READ-ONLY mode, so you can get your data fine and dandy, but that is it. I don’t trust them and have thrown the last few in the microwave for 1s a few times while testing inbetween to not have it explode and be ovious, but just kill access. Easier method I use now is a super cheap 3-6v to 400kV step up transformer. Basically a stun gun but don’t do it on the card, attach electrodes as secure as possible (clamp) and zap the leads. Lower voltage in means less damage out which is good when trying to protect everything a phone can use a SD Card for these days.

    Zap away, I’m on card 16 and they’re used in low IO devices now.

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, what an indepth review of SD cards. I always wondered about the differences between the different brands and identifications and now I know. Although, I have to admit I’m still confused about RAW and 4K benefits. Thanks for this review.

  3. 2 things.

    Is there any chance you can list the NAND technology of the cards? TLC, MLC or SLC?

    And can you fix the code, part of the page is showing the code and making it very difficult to underages the article (this is in both Chrome and Samsung Internet on my Android phone).

    Otherwise a very informative article, thank you.


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