There have been many arguments for and against removable storage on smartphones. Will the microSD era come to an end soon? Possibly, but not the way many of us think.
Instead of debating whether to keep the microSD slot in future devices or not, Samsung, a world leader in advanced memory technology, posed a different question: What if we make a memory card that is so much better than its predecessors so our customers will not have second thoughts about whether to buy the card and a device that supports it? How would people like if we make their expandable phone storage to be as fast as an SSD drive?
Therefore, to satisfy customer’s need for speed and innovation, Samsung is the first company to announce a series of UFS (Universal Flash Storage) removable memory cards, offering storage capacity of either 32, 64, 128, or 256 gigabytes, and performance speeds that exceed considerably the older formats.
The UFS cards have sequential read speeds of up to 530 MB/s — five times faster than the best microSD cards, and similar to the sequential read speed of the most widely used SATA SSDs. That means reading a 5 gigabyte, full HD movie in roughly 10 seconds, says Samsung, compared to a UHS-1 microSD card which manages the same thing in around 50 seconds.
Writing speed is also significantly improved, with rates up to 170 MB/s, nearly double the performance of the very fastest microSDs. This allows a DSLR camera to save 24 pictures (around 1,120MB) within 6 seconds as opposed to 32 seconds.
“Our new 256GB UFS card will provide an ideal user experience for digitally-minded consumers and lead the industry in establishing the most competitive memory card solution,” said Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering, Samsung Electronics “By launching our new high-capacity, high-performance UFS card line-up, we are changing the growth paradigm of the memory card market to prioritize performance and user convenience above all.”
While the design of the new cards looks similar to a microSD, the PIN configuration on the back is non-compatible. We’ll just have to keep an eye out for possible future announcements of devices that support the new standard. The price and availability of the cards haven’t been announced yet.