Most phones sold today come with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, higher phone memory means you have cough more money. The most annoying part is that a portion of this memory is tied up with the operating system. So if you have a phone with 8GB internal memory, you find that you can only use less than 6 GB for your music, pictures and new apps that you install. So if you are an audiophile, gamer, or habitual photographer, you may find you soon run out of storage space. The solution is either to buy a phone with more storage or invest in a good memory card.
Many smartphones minus iPhones, high-end HTC and Samsung phones have memory card slots. Whereas some of them allow the use of cards up to 128 GB, which far exceeds the needs of most users, some don’t have at all. So, today we take you through what do you need to know before buying a memory card or also known as microSD cards. Which model is right for you? You’ll find the answers below. Read on for the full rundown.
Are memory cards different?
Yes, MicroSD cards are different and are classified according to their storage capacity and transfer speeds. The Cards classified as;
- SD (Secure Digital) have capacities from 128 MB to 2 GB.
- SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards range in capacity from 4 GB to 32 GB.
- SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) cards is up to 2 TB.
Cards are also split into classes based on their write speeds. There are six main classes: 2, 4, 6 and 10, UHS 1 and 3. Check out the table below showing the minimum data transfer speeds for each class:
|Category/ class||Minimum data transfer speed||Speed level||Recommended maximum|
|UHS 3||30 MB/s||High speed||Records videos in 4K and 2K|
|UHS 1||10 MB/s||High speed||HD video recording, Full HD and continuous photo shooting|
|Class 10||10 MB/s||High speed||HD video recording, Full HD and continuous photo shooting|
|Class 6||6 MB/s||Average speed||Recording videos in HD and Full HD|
|Class 4||4 MB/s||Average speed||Recording videos in HD and Full HD|
|Class 2||2 MB/s||Low Speed||Recording videos in HQ|
Is my phone compatible with microSD cards?
As we said in the introduction, many phones accept memory cards, but it’s not a guarantee, there are some models that don’t. To find out whether your phone has a microSD slot, follow these points:
- Check your phone physically and look for the description ‘SD’ or ‘microSD’. This will indicate where the memory card slot of your phone is. Some are on the sides or under the battery (if it’s removable)
- Refer to the manual and see if it has a section on memory cards. This will show where it is, what types of card it accepts and how to insert a card.
- See the manufacturer’s website for technical specifications of your device. They’ll show you if it has a microSD slot. A simple google search always helps.
- Check specialized sites that keep data sheets of phone specs,
Which card can I choose?
Choosing the right microSD card for your device is based on two basic criteria: size and speed. If you plan to buy a card just to save documents, 8 GB or 16 GB will be sufficient. However, if your intention is to store lots of photos and video, the higher the storage capacity, the better. At this point, your choice will be determined by your budget, because memory cards with large storage capacities are usually more expensive.
If you plan to install apps on the memory card, we recommend that you buy one with a higher writing speed, Class 10 or higher. If you want to make videos in HD or Full HD, Class 6 or 4 cards are recommended. We don’t recommend Class 2 cards because they relatively slow. Whenever you can, get a card Class 4 or higher.
Do you use a memory card in your smartphone? What kind is it? Let us know in the comments.