Whether you’re shooting tons of video on a GoPro or a dedicated Nintendo Switch user, the best micro SD cards are essential. A micro SD card is a smaller version of an SD (Secure Digital) card, and the best micro SD cards share the same characteristics of their larger counterparts. They are reliable, fast, and offer plenty of storage space. When it comes to external digital storage, technology is rapidly evolving. Many of the best micro SD cards have caught up to regular SD cards and can offer very similar performance. These miniature versions are a dependable way to store data and are used in a wide range of devices including mobile phones, tablets, drones, dash and action cameras, and gaming devices.

With options that can hold up to one terabyte of information (and likely more in the near future), these little cards can hold a whole lot of information in a package that is smaller than the tip of a finger. We’ve sorted out the best micro SD card options and how you can find the right one for adding digital storage to your devices.

– Best Overall: Kingston 128GB micro SDXC Canvas Go Plus
– Best Value: Samsung 128GB EVO Plus micro SDXC Memory Card
– Best for Phones: SanDisk 128GB Extreme micro SDXC Memory Card
– Best for Video: Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB micro SDXC Card
– Best Large Capacity: SanDisk 1TB Ultra Micro SDXC Memory Card

How We Picked the Best Micro SD Cards

Methodology

With tons of options available, shopping for a micro SD card can feel overwhelming. We chose our top micro SD card picks based on reliability, capacity, and speed.

Reliability: Like any digital storage device, micro SD cards can fail. We chose highly-rated micro SD cards from trusted brands to lower the chances of this happening. Plus, some of these brands also have warranties to back up their confidence in their products.

Capacity: Most micro SD cards available on the market today are micro SDXC cards, which have a storage capacity over 32 GB and up to 2 TB. We included micro SD cards that span this range, starting at 32 GB and going up to 1 TB, which is the largest option available today. Some older devices still require micro SDHC cards, so we included a couple of those on the list as well. The range of options on this list should cover most consumer storage needs.

Speed: A micro SD card that is too slow for the task at hand is a major nuisance. Nowadays, there’s not much use in cards with less than a Class 10 speed rating (a write speed of about 10 MB per second), and even faster options (like U3 and V30 options, which both equate to a write speed of about 30 MB per second) are usually better. We chose micro SD cards with fast read and write speeds to handle a wider range of devices and tasks.

Related: Get even more storage with the best external hard drives.

The Best Micro SD Cards: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Kingston 128 GB micro SDXC Canvas Go Plus

Kingston

Why It Made The Cut: This micro SDXC card has excellent transfer speeds and comes in several high-capacity storage options to bring fast and dependable storage to a huge range of devices.

Specs:
– Card Type: micro SDXC
– Storage Capacities: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
– Speed Class: U3 / V30

Pros:
– Fast read and write speeds
– Excellent for smartphones
– Larger storage capacity options available

Cons:
– Not suitable for devices that require micro SDHC cards
– Starts at 64 GB, which may be too large for some devices

The Kingston micro SDXC Canvas Go Plus strikes an excellent balance among the most important features to look for in the best micro SD card: reliability, speed, and price. With a U3 and V30 speed rating, this micro SD card is a stellar choice for any device that needs a micro SDXC card, including mobile phones and tablets, gaming devices, and 4K drones and action cameras. The 128 GB model has read speeds up to 170 MB per second and write speeds up to 90 MB per second to handle tasks as intense as shooting high-quality 4K video and RAW photo files.

This level of performance means it is more than capable of storing apps and snapshots on a smartphone. This Kingston micro SD card also displays an App Performance Class rating, which denotes how quickly the micro SD card can open and process apps. This card supports A2 Application Performance Class, which means it’s one of the fastest options for smartphone use. Besides its fast operating speeds, this Kingston micro SD card is also made to handle daily life. It’s waterproof, shock-proof, temperature-proof, and X-ray-proof, all to ensure that data stays safe, whether your device stays at home or joins you on adventures. Plus, it also comes with an SD adapter for even more flexibility.

Best Value: Samsung 128 GB EVO Plus micro SDXC Memory Card

SAMSUNG

Why It Made The Cut: With excellent specifications and a cost-friendly price, this micro SD card is a top choice for those who want great performance without breaking the bank.

Specs:
– Card Type: micro SDXC
– Storage Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
– Speed Class: U3

Pros:
– Affordable
– Durable
– Decent range of storage capacity options

Cons:
– Write speed drops in lower-capacity versions (32 GB and 64 GB)

The best micro SD cards don’t need to be expensive, and the Samsung Evo Plus micro SD card is proof of this fact. Samsung makes some of the most popular and reliable memory cards available, and this pick is no exception. This micro SD card isn’t only consumer-friendly for its reasonable price; it also comes in a range of capacity options, ranging from 32 GB to 512 GB.

The larger capacity versions of this memory card are micro SDXC cards, but the Samsung Evo Plus 32 GB is a micro SDHC, which offers cost-friendly storage for some older devices. This means this memory card line is suitable for a huge range of devices, including smartphones, cameras, and gaming devices.

With a U3 rating, this micro SD card doesn’t skimp on speed. It has fast transfer speeds, with up to 100 MB per second read speeds and 60 MB per second write speeds (for the 128 GB version). This speed rating means this card is a good choice for recording full HD video — which is what most shoppers need for their devices — but it can also handle 4K video as well. However, keep in mind that the write speed drops significantly to 20 MB per second for the 32 GB and 64 GB version of this micro SD card. An SD adapter is included with this micro SD card, and to top it all off, the card is water-, temperature-, X-ray-, and magnet-proof as well.

Best for Phones: SanDisk 128 GB Extreme micro SDXC Memory Card

SanDisk

Why It Made The Cut: With an A2 App Performance Class rating and a wide variety of storage capacity options, this micro SD card is a great choice for mobile phones.

Specs:
– Card Type: Micro SDXC
– Storage Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
– Speed Class: U3 / V30

Pros:
– Rated A2 for faster app performance
– Handles everyday wear and tear
– Wide range of storage capacity options

Cons:
– There is a price jump when selecting higher storage capacities

When shopping for a micro SD card for a mobile phone, consider choosing an SD card that displays its App Performance Class, which indicates how fast the card can open and process apps. While grabbing a micro SD with this rating is not a necessity, cards that display this rating are ideal for smartphone use. SD cards with an App Performance Class symbol can have an A1 or A2 rating, with A2 being significantly faster. The SanDisk 128 GB Extreme micro SD card is a micro SD card with an A2 rating and excellent overall performance.

This high-performance card also has a U3 and V3 speed class rating, with read speeds up to 160MBps and write speeds up to 90MBps. You likely won’t need this level of performance for most mobile phones, but this micro SD card is fast enough to handle 4K video. If you have a smartphone that records in 4K (or if you want to stick this micro SD card in a GoPro, drone, or digital camera instead), it’s up for the job. It comes in a huge variety of storage capacity options, from a 32 GB micro SDHC card to a 1 TB micro SDXC card. Like other high-quality micro SD cards, this one is water-, shock-, X-ray-, and temperature-proof and comes with an SD adapter.

Best for Video: Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB micro SDXC Card

Lexar

Why It Made The Cut: With write speeds up to 120 MB per second, this micro SD card offers high-speed performance, ideal for recording high-quality videos.

Specs:
– Card Type: micro SDXC
– Storage Capacities: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
– Speed Class: U3 / V30

Pros:
– Great read and write speeds
– Damage-resistant
– Quickly captures extended lengths of Full-HD and 4K UHD footage

Cons:
– May not be suitable for 8K video

A fast enough micro SD card is a must-have for video recording, especially when you venture into the world of 4K and higher quality footage. Some cameras even demand a certain level of micro SD card and won’t let you record without it. For videographers and casual video-takers, the Lexar Professional 1066x 128 GB micro SD card is suitable for most uses.

This Lexar micro SD card has a speed capacity rating of U3 and a video speed class rating of V30. With maximum read speeds up to 160 MB per second and maximum write speeds up to 120 MB per second (for the 128 GB version), it handles full-HD and 4K video recording with ease. Made with action cameras and drones in mind, this micro SD card is also water-, shock-, vibration-, X-ray, and extreme temperature-resistant. To make it easier to transfer video files to a computer, it comes with a SD adapter. This micro SD card is great for video cameras, but it’s utility doesn’t stop there. With it’s high-performance specs, this memory card is also suitable for gaming devices, as well as an excellent choice for phones and tablets with its A2 App Performance Class rating.

Best Large Capacity: SanDisk 1TB Ultra Micro SDXC Memory Card

SanDisk

Why It Made The Cut: With options ranging up to 1 TB (including 200 GB and 400 GB versions), this micro SD card is designed with high-capacity storage needs in mind.

Specs:
– Card Type: micro SDXC
– Storage Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
– Speed Class: Class 10 / U1

Pros:
– Holds very large amounts of data
– Wide range of storage options, up to 1 TB
– Reasonably priced

Cons:
– Not as fast as some other options
– Not suitable for 4K video recording

For big storage needs, sometimes capacity is more important than speed, especially if you are looking for a cost-friendly option. The SanDisk Ultra micro SD line balances performance, storage capacity, and affordability, to offer micro SD cards as large as 1TB in capacity, without exorbitant prices.

While this micro SD card comes in a 1 TB size, it’s also offered in a range of capacity options — starting as low as 32 GB — to cater to different storage needs, including 200 GB and 400 GB options, to best balance storage and price. The wide range of options makes this micro SD card a great option for a gaming device (like a Nintendo Switch), phone, or tablet, especially for high-capacity storage purposes. Although it’s great for storage, this memory can also be used for other purposes. It has a Class 10 and U1 rating. With a maximum read speed of 120 MB per second and a minimum write speed of 10 MB per second, it can handle full HD videos, however, it is not ideal for recording 4K videos. The included SD adapter adds even more flexibility to its possible uses.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Micro SD Card

There are plenty of micro SD card products to choose from, and the technology is becoming increasingly more affordable so it’s not difficult to find excellent cost-friendly options. When choosing the best micro SD card for your needs, consider device compatibility, storage capacity, and speed.

Compatibility

Not every device works with every micro SD card, so make sure to check compatibility before purchasing. Many devices will specify a suitable micro SD card type and maximum storage capacity.

Micro SD cards are broken down into a few categories depending on storage size. Most micro SD cards on the market today are micro SDHC (Micro Secure Digital High Capacity) or micro SDXC (Micro Secure Digital Extended Capacity). Micro SDHC cards store more than 2 to 32 gigabytes of storage, while micro SDXC store more than 32 gigabytes up to 2 terabytes of storage, according to the SD Association. Before shopping, check which type of micro SD card your device needs.

Micro SD cards are too small to fit in regular SD card slots without a little bit of help — and that’s where SD card adapters come in. Some micro SD cards come with an adapter for use in larger SD card slots.

Storage Capacity

At this point in time, micro SD cards range in storage capacity up to 1 TB of storage. However, with how quickly products advance in the digital storage market, it shouldn’t be long until even larger storage options are available.

Consider how much storage space you will need and choose an appropriate option from there. Common micro SD card sizes include 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512 gigabyte cards.

Speed

One important metric of micro SD card performance is the SD card’s speed class. The ideal speed depends on your usage; for example, a professional photographer or videographer will need very fast speeds to save high-quality footage as quickly as possible, while you won’t need that level of performance for a dash cam.

The most commonly displayed speed classes used to categorize micro SD cards include the original Speed Class, UHS Speed Class, and Video Speed Class, all measured in megabytes per second (MBps). For standard or Full HD video, as well as for consumer use in smartphones, tablets, and other devices, speeds of 10 MBps and up should do just fine, whereas you’ll want to look at cards in the 30 MBps and up range for shooting RAW images or 4K video.

Speed Class displays the minimum write speed (how quickly a file can be “written” or stored onto the card) of a memory card, displayed as a number (2, 4, 6, or 10) in a “C” symbol. Speed Class categories include Class 2 (at least 2 MBps), Class 4 (at least 4 MBps), Class 6 (at least 6 MBps), and Class 10 (at least 10 MBps).

UHS Speed Class also shows minimum write speed, but for micro SD cards that support the UHS speeds. This metric is displayed as a 1 or 3 in a “U” symbol, to represent U1 (at least 10 MBps) and U3 (at least 30 MBps).

Video Speed Class is the minimum sequential write speed for shooting video, displayed as a “V” symbol and a number (6, 10, 30, 60, or 90). The number represents the minimum write speed, so a V6 card has a minimum write speed of 6 MBps, while a V90 micro SD card has a minimum write speed of 90 MBps.

Micro SD cards often also display their maximum read speed, which is how quickly the SD card can “read” or access its stored files, measured in megabytes per second. On a good micro SD card, expect read speeds over 100MBps.

FAQs

Q: What is a micro SD card?

An SD (Secure Digital) is a small and removable memory card. SD cards are used to store and transport digital data like photos, videos, games, and files. They are commonly used in consumer electronics like cameras, laptops, and gaming consoles. A micro SD card is a smaller version of an SD card used in a range of devices that require their smaller size, such as smartphones, drones, and dash and action cameras.

Q: How much does a micro SD card cost?

Micro SD cards are very affordable, especially considering how much storage space they squeeze into a small card. Average prices range from around $10 to upwards of $100. Cost is directly related to the card specs; as performance improves and storage capacity increases, you can expect a higher price.

Q: Why are micro SD cards cheaper than SD?

Due to consumer demand and market competition, micro SD cards are increasingly more affordable and can come at a lower price than regular SD cards, even with similar specifications.

Q: Will a micro SD card work with my PC?

Yes — however, many computers don’t have a micro SD slot. With the help of a SD card adapter or a micro SD card reader, you will be able to insert a micro SD card into a PC. Keep in mind that formatting may be required on some devices.

Q: Can I use a micro SD card with a device that only supports SD cards?

Yes, with a suitable adapter, a micro SD card can be used in devices that only have an SD slot.

Q: Can I use the same card with different devices?

Yes, in many cases, the same card can be used with different devices, as long as the device is compatible. This makes micro SD cards an even more cost-effective choice for both storing and transferring data.

Related: Get connected with the best modems.

Final Thoughts on Micro SD Cards

The Kingston 128GB micro SDXC Canvas Go Plus is one of the best micro SD card options available with excellent transfer speeds, including an A2 App Performance Class rating which means speedy use in mobile phones. For those looking for a more cost-friendly option, the Samsung 128GB EVO Plus micro SDXC Memory Card is an affordable choice that still boasts excellent specs, like good transfer speeds and plentiful storage capacity choices.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post. 


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