I use a lot of microSD cards, mostly because I flash a lot of custom ROMs on my Android smartphones and I wanted to find out which microSD card is the fastest in the world.
For this shoot, I am using three of the best Class 10 microSD cards from Samsung, Sony, and SanDisk, the Samsung 64GB PRO rated at 90MB/s, Sony HighSpeed MicroSD rated at 95MB/s, and the SanDisk Extreme PRO rated at 95MB/s.
First, I did a read and write speed test using a free software called Check Flash by a Russian developer.
After doing tests on all the microSD cards, I found some interesting results.
For this particular test, I used my Kingston USB 3.0 microSD card reader.
The SanDisk Extreme performed the best with read speed of around 90MB/s and write speed of 54MB/s.
Samsung came second with read speed of 85MB/s and write speed of 45MB/s.
Sony came last with read speed of 65MB/s and write speed of 30MB/s.
Now all of these manufacturers state their cards transfer at or faster than 90MB/s. Well, reality tells you different results and that is why I did this test.
I also did some real file transfer tests because I want to see real results for myself, not just rely on a speed test software.
I was able to write 2GB file to a Sandisk Extreme PRO card in just 27.76 seconds, to Samsung PRO in 28.13 seconds, and Sony card in 38.61 seconds.
For reading, I copied a 2GB file from the microSD cards to my computer, Sony actually came up first at 20.86 seconds, SanDisk next at 22.80 seconds, followed by Samsung at 23.88 seconds.
Now, for write speeds, my real life tests confirmed the Check Flash software while my read speeds were slightly different.
But remember, these speeds are still faster than any other slower microSD cards out there, you can’t go wrong with any of these, I am just showing the nitty gritty. If I were you, or if you were me, I would simply buy the cards that are priced lowest out of these 3. Since prices on these microSD cards fluctuate, I would really just shop for the best prices.
Now, how fast does your microSD card have to be to record 4K videos with newer phones like Note 4, LG G3, etc…etc…?
A typical 4K video on a smartphone consists around 50,000kbps of data bitrate, which translate to around 6.25MBps. Remember, a small b stands for bit and big B stands for byte. There’s 8 bits in a byte. This means if your microSD can write at 6.25Mbps or higher, you should be fine.
For 4K video recording in general, you may want to stay with Class 10 with the highest transfer rate. I’ve done fine using lower class microSD cards to record 4K videos, I’ve used Class 6, even down Class 4. But the problem becomes apparent when you try to record longer than a minute, sometimes your camera may stutter or prematurely ejaculate. Yeah, that sucks when you are recording your newborn daughter and your card fails. Also, I found that through personal experience of using many microsd cards, higher Class microSD cards in general last forever and have zero errors.
And my most important advice to you is to stay away from cheaper brands like PNY. I’ve literally had them fail upon using them for the first time. I know you know that I know you like saving money but cheaper microSD cards are simply pain the ass and you will end up paying more if they fail, nevermind broken marriagess.
If you don’t transfer a lot of data, take 4K videos, nor flash a ton of custom ROMS like myself, then stick with a lower speed card, but I still recommend staying with at least Class 10, try the Samsung EVO microSD cards, they are cheap yet very reliable and still fast enough.
So, where to buy these cards?
Stay away from retail stores, especially BestBuy, this is the only item in their store they rip you off. They literally charge you 20-30% margin over prices you can get on Amazon, or at least get them to do price matching. Also, watch out for seasonal sales. Every couple months, Amazon will have a really good sale on microSD cards, last year I picked up a bunch of Samsung PRO and Sony 95MB/s Class 10 microSD cards for around $25 each. And I will put some links in the description to Amazon, just check it every week and get a good deal on it.
Overall, SanDisk wins this shootout but I’ve had more SanDisk microSD cards fail on me so my choice goes to Samsung or Sony, both of which never failed on me so far and their cards are much cheaper.
Here’s a list of the micro SD cards I recommend:
My two favorites are Samsung and Sony, I’ve had ZERO failed cards while I have around 5 failed SanDisk cards. Besides that, SanDisk cards are overpriced.
If you don’t need the fastest cards, you can try Samsung or Sony’s 40Mb/s Class 10 cards instead:
- Samsung Evo micro SD 48MB/s
- Sony micro SD 40MB/s
- SanDisk Ultra 48MB/s – I’ve had 5 failed micro SD cards on SanDisk Ultra cards, DO NOT BUY! One day they just stop working and you lose everything.
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