Best MicroSD Cards 2022 | Best Memory Cards

Popular Mechanics; Courtesy PNY

Despite many devices coming with high levels of built-in storage these days, microSD cards remain an in-demand accessory for many electronics enthusiasts. These memory cards allow users to add more storage to various electronics, to save data separate from a host device, and to transfer data from one machine to another. Install yours in your camera, drone, video game console, smartphone, and more. For their small size, microSD cards are one powerhouse accessory. I selected ten microSD cards for different devices and use cases to help you find your ideal option.

Best MicroSD Cards

The Expert: As a technology journalist, I have followed many electronics brands for the good part of a decade, reporting on their product launches and reviewing several products at publications including Newsweek Media Group, Business Insider, Lifewire.com, GearBrain.comand Online-Tech-Tips.com as well as at my own blog TechieSupreme.com. I’ve also heard the executives of many of these brands speak at conferences over the years and work with product managers to learn more about various developments.

Specs to Consider

Capacity: These days, capacity options range from 16 gigabytes to 1 terabyte, but what capacity you need depends on your use case. A microSD card with a smaller storage capacity might be ideal for an Android smartphone that just needs a little extra storage or an infrequently used point-and-shoot camera for quickly transferring images to your computer. Meanwhile, a microSD card with more storage might be ideal for a DSLR camera or a professional-grade drone.

Many average users can play in the 128- to 512-gigabyte space. It’s rare that you will need to go beyond that unless you’re a professional who knows what you’re doing or you’re willing to spend the money on more capacity.

Speed ​​Classes: The Speed ​​Class refers to the write speed of a microSD card, or how long it takes for a file to save to the card. The current standard is C10 (Class 10), which offers a minimum write speed of 10 megabytes per second. Practically speaking, today’s microSD cards far exceed this amount. Higher rates are U1 and U3. Lower rates are virtually obsolete at this point.

The Video Speed ​​Class is a newer standard for write speed that allows for the highest resolution images and video. There are five Classes—V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90—offering write speeds between 6 to 90 megabytes per second. V30 and higher, which support 4K and 8K video, tend to be more common.

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Application Performance Class: The Application Performance Class determines how fast and well a microSD card can communicate with and transfer data to and from a device. This metric is especially important for electronics that use apps, such as smartphones and computers. The ratings are A1 and A2, with the latter performing more than twice as fast as the first standard.

Formats and Transfer Speeds: There are other nuances in microSD cards to consider, such as SDHC versus SDXC formats. MicroSDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity; this format includes lower capacity cards, up to 32 gigabytes. MicroSDXC stands for Secure Digital Extra Capacity. As you might guess, this format is for cards with higher capacity, between 32 gigabytes and 2 terabytes. It’s not simply a matter of capacity, though. Certain tech is only compatible with certain card types, so make sure your microSD card will work in the device you need it to. MicroSDXC cards are more common, though microSDHC options are often still available and can often be cheaper.

You can also look into whether you want a UHS-I or UHS-II microSD card. These are additional speed metrics. UHS stands for Ultra-High-Speed, and UHS-I denotes a transfer speed of 104 megabytes per second. UHS-II denotes a transfer speed of 312 megabytes per second. This is overall just another upgrade in the standard, and what you choose might simply come down to how much you want to spend.

How We Evaluated

To recommend the best microSD cards, I prioritized models from the top and most respected brands on the market. Because there are a variety of microSD cards with different read and write speeds, Speed ​​Classes, and format types, I considered what ways users are most likely to use a microSD card and found models to meet those needs.

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