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Best MicroSD Cards for 2016

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Last Updated: November 5, 2016.
-Added new 4k and 8k MicroSD card information

This post has been updated to a new version. Read the article here: Best MicroSD Cards

As a photographer and tech lover, I tend to gravitate towards the best of the best when it comes to the technology products I own, which is why 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.

I use my phone mostly for taking photos and videos of my adventures. Having a MicroSD 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. Upon recently upgrading to a Samsung Galaxy S7, I went on a quest to find the ultimate MicroSD card to max the allowed space.

Table of Contents / Skip To

Best MicroSD Cards 128GB
Best MicroSD Cards 128GB

The Problem with Finding the Best MicroSD Cards

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 MicroSD 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 MicroSD card you’ve checked out already. The SD association has come out with speed classes relevant towards video, too.

The Difference Between SD, SDHC, and SDXC

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.

MicroSD 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.

MicroSD 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

The Best MicroSD Card Brands

There are really only 5 brands you should consider when shopping for a MicroSD 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.

Lexar – One of my personal favorites. Nikon also recommends this brand for their cameras.

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

SanDisk – Nikon recommends this brand 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.

Choosing the Best MicroSD Card For My Smartphone

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Best 200GB MicroSD Cards

There are currently only three 200GB/256GB MicroSD cards out there, and each of them are amazing cards. You can’t go wrong. However, the Lexar 200GB is my all time MicroSD card favorite. 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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC 256GB” package_sub_heading=”MB-ME256DA/AM” package_price=”$183″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F29pnwj5|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 98.19 MB/s
Sequential Write: 87.75 MB/s

  • Waterproof (IEC 60529, IPX7)
  • Temperature-proof
  • X-ray-proof
  • Magnetic-proof
[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Lexar High-Performance microSDXC 633x 200GB” package_sub_heading=”LSDMI200BBNL633R” package_price=”$80″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F29urBrN|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks:
Sequential Read: 88.97 MB/s
Sequential Write: 33.69 MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD” package_sub_heading=”SDSDQUAN-200G-G4A” package_price=”$80″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1XQkszp|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]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[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Best MicroSD Cards 128GB

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes” el_class=”five-columns”][vc_column width=”1/6″ el_class=”lexar-margin-fix”][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Lexar Professional 1800x microSDXC 128GB UHS-II” package_sub_heading=”LSDMI128CRBNA1800R” package_price=”$130″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1RByfeR|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark
Benchmarks
:
Sequential Read: 272.322 MB/s
Sequential Write: 222.227 MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Samsung 128GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDXC” package_sub_heading=”MB-MC128DA/AM” package_price=”$39″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1RBzg6x|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark
Benchmarks
:
Sequential Read: 88.70 MB/s
Sequential Write: 26.98 MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC UHS-I” package_sub_heading=”SDSQUNC-128G-GN6MA” package_price=”$40″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1MEGqj5|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark
Benchmarks
:
Sequential Read: 46.93 MB/s
Sequential Write: 13.89 MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Sony 128GB Class 10 UHS-1 Micro SDXC” package_sub_heading=”SRG1UY2A/TQ” package_price=”$33″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1MEHraJ|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark
Benchmarks
:
Sequential Read: 44.17 MB/s
Sequential Write: 21.48 MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][vc_column_text][ultimate_pricing design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”gray” package_heading=”Transcend 128GB MicroSDXC Class10 UHS-1″ package_sub_heading=”TS128GUSDU1″ package_price=”$44″ package_btn_text=”Buy From Amazon” package_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2F1MEIqYy|title:Buy%20From%20Amazon|target:%20_blank”]CrystalDiskMark
Benchmarks
:
Sequential Read: ??? MB/s
Sequential Write: ??? MB/s[/ultimate_pricing][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″ el_class=”hide-column”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We have a clear winner out of the best MicroSD cards. The Lexar 1800x is incredibly 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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_id=”gopro”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Best MicroSD Cards for GoPro HERO5 Black

gopro hero5 black microsd card

GoPro Hero5 Black comes with an option for a 64GB Sandisk Extreme Plus MicroSDXC Card (SDSQXSG-064G-ANCMA), but is that really the best you can do? With the ability to record 4k video and RAW, having a fast MicroSD card is going to make a world of difference, especially now that the new GoPro Hero5 Black can support UHS-III. 64GB is going to fill up fast.

The GoPro Hero5 Black’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:

Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC 128GB UHS-II/U3 (Up to 150MB/s Read) W/USB 3.0 Reader Flash Memory Card LSDMI128CBNL1000R ($87)

Samsung PRO Select Micro SDXC Memory Card, 128GB, 95MB/s (MB-MF128DA/AM) ($89)

SanDisk Extreme PLUS Micro SDXC UHS-1 Card, Black, with Adapter (SDSQXWG-128G-ANCMA) ($99)

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Best MicroSD Cards for 4k Video Recording and Playback

 

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Best MicroSD Cards based on Video Speed Classes

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

Best MicroSD v90 Cards

Best MicroSD v60 Cards

Best MicroSD v30 Cards

SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQXVF-128G-GN6MA) ($67)

SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQXVF-064G-GN6MA) ($30)

Best MicroSD v10 Cards

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12 Comments
  1. I really appreciate that you’ve stopped to help those of us (like me) who really needed a great breakdown of the differences between MicroSD Cards. You put techie info into language we can all understand and use. Thank you so much for this great explanation. I’ll be sharing this page with my hubby because he’ll absolutely love all this wonderful information too!

  2. This is a really helpful post. Thanks so much! Learning the breakdown of difference between MicroSD cards is just the information I was looking for. I appreciate your informative, detailed, and accessible blog. Thanks!

  3. I am just looking at buying more SD cards and I was trying to find information on which are the best. We got some that didn’t meet our needs for my sons’ Go-Pro cameras. I pinned this so I can refer to it. Thanks!

  4. There are currently no phones (nor tablets either, I think) that have UHS-II nor UHS-III sockets (which have an extra row of contact pins) and very few of any sort of device that have those sockets for micro-sd cards. UHS-II micro-sd cards are compatible with micro-sdxc sockets. I don’t think there are any UHS-III micro-sd cards as yet. So before paying extra for a Lexar UHS-II card, make sure you will get use out of the UHS-II. The speeds of the card, without a UHS-II socket, will be much lower. Lexar usually only manage around 40MB/second for writing for their top-of-the-line UHS-I micro-sd cards, slower than many other UHS-I devices for writing, but are faster for their read speeds.

    1. Colin, that’s a really good point. I’m going to have start looking into the latest phones to see what can take advantage of UHS II and UHS III. 4k and VR keeps on gaining momentum and these are important things to consider when buying phones and MicroSD cards. No sense in buying a $150 card if its speeds won’t be used.

      1. There is no UHS-III bus interface, only UHS-I and UHS-II. The important thing with SD Cards is the UHS Speed Class, designated as U1 or U3. Soon everything will be stamped with Video Speed Class (V6 V10 V30 V60 V90) and we can be rid of this confusing UHS name.

    1. Brandon, you are absolutely correct. I fixed the misinformation and updated with some of the new video speed classes for MicroSd cards. Thanks for pointing that out!

      And I’m with you on V60 and V90. Pretty stoked to throw those into my phone for 4k recordings. The fast reading is great for apps too.

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