Last Updated: July 4, 2017.
-Updated MicroSD card prices and info
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 S8, I went on a quest to find the ultimate MicroSD card to max the allowed space.
Table of Contents
- The Best Micro SDCards Reviews and Benchmarks
- GoPro Best MicroSD Cards
- Best MicroSD Cards bases on Video Classes V10, V30, V60, V90
- Fastest MicroSD Cards
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.
What Are The Differences 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
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)
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
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.
Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC 256GB
Sequential Read: 98.19 MB/s
Sequential Write: 87.75 MB/s
- Waterproof (IEC 60529, IPX7)
Lexar High-Performance microSDXC 633x 200GB
Sequential Read: 88.97 MB/s
Sequential Write: 33.69 MB/s
SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD
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
Best MicroSD Cards 128GB
Lexar Professional 1800x microSDXC 128GB UHS-II
Sequential Read: 272.322 MB/s
Sequential Write: 222.227 MB/s
Samsung 128GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDXC
Sequential Read: 88.70 MB/s
Sequential Write: 26.98 MB/s
SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC UHS-I
Sequential Read: 46.93 MB/s
Sequential Write: 13.89 MB/s
Sony 128GB Class 10 UHS-1 Micro SDXC
Sequential Read: 44.17 MB/s
Sequential Write: 21.48 MB/s
Transcend 128GB MicroSDXC Class10 UHS-1
Sequential Read: ??? MB/s
Sequential Write: ??? MB/s
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.
Best MicroSD Cards for GoPro HERO5 Black
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:
Best MicroSD Cards for 4k Video Recording and Playback
Best 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.
Best MicroSD v90 Cards
Best MicroSD v60 Cards
Best MicroSD v30 Cards
Best MicroSD v10 Cards
Fastest MicroSD Cards
If you’re looking for the fastest Micro SD cards, regardless of size, this is the chart for you. These are all MicroSD cards I have personally tested on my Samsung Galaxy S8 in real world conditions and everyday use.
Fastest MicroSD Cards Benchmark TestsMicroSD cards tested on Samsung Galaxy S8 using PCMark StorageMark
|Brand||MicroSD Card||MicroSD Model||Speed Class||Storage Score||External Sequential Read (MB/s)||External Random Read (MB/s)||External Sequential Write (MB/s)||External Random Write (MB/s)||Date Tested|
|Lexar||Lexar High-Performance microSDXC 633x 200GB UHS-I||LSDMI200BBNL633R||v10||4182||406.89||11.87||78.47||2.85||05/12/2017|
|Samsung||Samsung Memory 64GB Evo MicroSDXC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10||MB-MP64DA/AM||v10||3925||378.42||10.26||65.51||2.02||05/17/2017|
|Delkin||Delkin 32GB Microsdhc 500X UHS-I (U1)||DDMSD50032GB||v10||3912||399.23||11.56||81.82||2.13||05/17/2017|
|Toshiba||Toshiba microSDHC C16G 16GB Class 4||C16G||v4||3937||370.75||11.74||80.97||2.09||05/17/2017|
|SanDisk||SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I||SDSQUNC-064G-GN6MA||v10||3537||278||9.25||57.31||2.15||05/18/2017|
|Samsung||Samsung 16GB Class 6 Micro SDHC||MB-MS16DA/AM||v6||3773||409.05||11.57||79.47||2.27||05/18/2017|
|SanDisk||SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-I||SDSQUNC-032G-GN6MA||v10||3753||407.06||9.84||81.94||2.66||05/18/2017|
|Toshiba||Toshiba 16GB Micro SDHC Class 10||PFM016U-2DCK||v10||3847||352.98||9.89||78.16||2.06||05/18/2017|
Tips on MicroSD Card Care and Maintenance
Deleting Files and Formatting MicroSD Cards
- Format your new MicroSD card as soon as you plug it into the device.
- Always perform future formats in the device, whether phone or camera.
- Format when putting your MicroSD card into new devices.
If you’ve ever had a corrupted MicroSD card, you know how devastating it is to lose all of your data. The absolute best way to ensure your MicroSD 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 MicroSD 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 MicroSD 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.