In this article, we have highlighted things you need to know before buying a memory card for your smartphone.
A smartphone is a device where you prefer to keep almost everything that is digital, including photographs, documents, videos, memos, and more. Hence, the chances are quite high that you will soon run out of storage space on your smartphone, and you would surely want to create or find a way to get more space.
Unfortunately, if you are an iPhone or iPad user, you do not have that choice of adding extra space. However, as an Android smartphone user, you might be just lucky to add that extra storage space with the help of a memory card.
Before jumping into buying a memory card, do check your smartphone’s specifications about adding external memory. Find out whether the phone has a slot for microSD, typically the present generation phones have a place like the SIM tray inside the phone for inserting microSD. After confirming the expandability of your smartphone memory, there are few more factors that you need to consider before purchasing the card apart from the price.
There are two different varieties of microSD cards, depending on their capacity. SDHC acronym for Secure Digital High Capacity cards has a range of storage capacity from 2GB to 32 GB. Secure Digital Extended Capacity or SDXC has a more expansive memory holding capacity, i.e., from 32GB and 2TB in size.
Depending on the size of external memory that your smartphone can support, you have to decide which memory card you should buy. For example, Samsung Galaxy 9 supports a memory card up to 400GB. However, a memory card of 512GB size might not work.
Both SDHC and SDXC support Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface, and has three variations depending on the speed:
- UHS-I, up to 104MBps
- UHS-II, up to 312MBps
- UHS-III, up to 624MBps.
These speeds are an indicator of the rate at which the data can move depending on the circuitry. While UHS memory cards can still function on older smartphone slots, it would not achieve its optimum speed, instead might work at just 25MBPS.
Determining the speed of the memory card that your smartphone can support is important, but it can be a bit difficult compared to identifying compatibility and formats. Typically, six indicators represent the speed of the supported card, and all of them can be used by a manufacturer:
1. Speed Class: Indicates the minimum write speed of a memory card in megabytes per second.
2. UHS Speed Class: Shows the minimum write speed of the microSD card that supports the three categories of UHS.
3. Application Performance Class: The speed shows the minimum write speed that is sustained at 10MBPS with the minimum random write and read speed, which is measured in IOPS (input/output operation per second). This speed ensures an adequate level of performance of Android apps when they are stored and ran on the card. Hence when you are planning to have a card where you can install Android apps, this is a feature that you should take into account when buying a memory card for your smartphone.
4. Video Speed Class: If you are considering expanding your phone’s memory for video recording, this is a criterion you should look into when buying a microSD card. Video Speed Class sets minimum sequential write speed that is crucial when shooting videos, the higher your smartphone’s camera resolution is the faster speed you would require.
5. Rated Speed: Not all manufacturers print this speed on the card, but those who do write the speed in megabytes per second showing the maximum speed of the product so that you can select the fastest card.
6. Relative Speed: This is another way to market the card by showcasing the speed of the card while referring to the old CD writing days. So if a microSD card has something like 100 x 150KBps, it means the speed of the card is 15MBps.
Selecting a memory card that best suits your smartphone should be determined by the purpose for which you intend to use it. It does not always mean that buying an expensive card with high speed and most massive memory is best for your phone. Purchasing a UHS-II card can be costly and you might even fail to see its benefits if it is not being used for the right purpose.
So, if you are planning to buy an expandable memory card with which you can shoot 4K videos and store them, look for a card that has better Video speed and size. On the other hand, if you intend to store apps, then look for a memory card that has a higher rating in the Application Performance class.
There are several cheaper and unbranded memory cards available in the market. Such cards rarely undergo rigorous and severe testings, thus making them unreliable. Such cards can make your data vulnerable, result in data loss, or make your smartphone prone to malware attacks. At times, these cards themselves can have malware which can eventually harm your smartphone.
Choosing the correct card:
If you want your phone and data to be secure, you might have to pay a bit more to get a microSD card from a reputed brand. Also, be careful of the fake microSD cards that you may find in a sale that is offering huge discounts.
Additionally, depending on the kind of performance and the purpose for which you want to use the card, you might have to pay a premium price. It is better to avoid buying from an unauthorized retailer and only trust the reliable online sellers while ordering memory cards as they are crucial for the proper functioning of your smartphone. Moreover, a fake or low-performance memory card can do more harm than good to your smartphone.