Fortunately, choosing a memory card today is much easier than 10 years ago, when each manufacturer of technology experimented with its own formats. Today, everything has “settled down”, and this has greatly facilitated our task.
In most cases, we need a memory card for a smartphone. It can, for example, store media files (photos, videos), thus unloading a small amount of permanent memory from these files. True, not all models of modern smartphones support the use of cards.
Choose a memory card: format
The first thing you need to know is in what formats they exist.
- SD cards (Secure Digital) 24 x 32 mm are used in laptops, cameras, camcorders, game consoles.
- microSD cards 11 x 15 mm are used in smartphones, tablets, audio players, e-books.
Almost all microSD cards come with an SD adapter. It increases the size of a miniature memory card. Using an adapter, the same card can be transferred from a smartphone, for example, to a camera. A microSD card with adapter is the most convenient and cost-effective choice today.
Choosing a microSD card: types
Not all cards of the same size are the same. For example, microSD has several subtypes: outwardly they are no different. :
- microSD: 2 to 4 GB, they are almost out of circulation.
- microSDHC: High capacity cards – from 4 to 32 GB.
- microSDXC: Ultra high capacity cards – 32 GB and above (Currently available cards up to 2 TB).
The type of card is usually indicated on its front side with a special marking.
There are two rules to follow when choosing the type of memory card:
- Each new generation of cards is backwards compatible with the previous ones. That is, you can insert a microSDHC generation card into the microSDXC memory card slot, and it will work. But the opposite is simply not possible. Therefore, before choosing a memory card, open the instructions for your device and find out what type of memory card it supports.
- Also, check the maximum amount of memory supported by your device. If the instructions say that you can insert a memory card up to 32 GB into your smartphone, there is no point in buying a 128 GB microSDXC card for it – it simply does not recognize the “extra” gigabytes.
If you choose a memory card for a smartphone, the best option is microSDHC gigabytes of commercials for 32. It costs only 600 rubles, you can find it even cheaper.
Memory cards vary in terms of data processing speed. Depending on it, they are divided into classes: 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. These numbers indicate the read and write speed: from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps and higher. So a card with a speed class of 10 can theoretically read and write data much faster, just 10 is a solid minimum.
The speed class is indicated on the front side of the card by a number inscribed in the letter “FROM“.
Everything is clear here: the higher the speed, the better. There are no restrictions here. Focus on how you want to use the card: if you want to write 4K video on it, then choose speed class 10. For the average smartphone user, class 4 is enough, but you are unlikely to find such dinosaurs.
Memory card for the DVR: how to choose?
Standard Ultra High Speed (UHS) – it is a technology of ultra-high speed of work with data. Cards with support for UHS technology have a speed that is no longer measured in megabits, but in tens of megabits per second. All cards with UHS support are speed class 10.
In terms of UHS support, when choosing a memory card, you need to know the following:
- UHS version. There are UHS-I and UHS-II – cards are marked with Roman numerals I and II, respectively. UHS-I cards are supported by most modern devices – smartphones, tablets, cameras. UHS-II cards are only used in some top models so far, as they have additional contacts soldered in and they require a non-standard connector. Check the instructions for which version of UHS your device supports.
- UHS speed. It is indicated on the front side of the card by a number inscribed in the letter “U»: either 1 or 3. In the first case, the card works with data at a speed of 10 Mbps. In the second – at a speed of 30 Mbps.
UHS-II cards are needed by rare professionals. They are designed to handle heavy, ultra-high quality multimedia content quickly, such as those found in the TV industry. For most users, such opportunities are not only not needed, but also inaccessible. For a smartphone, a card marked UHS-I 3 will already be ultra-fast – you can watch movies in 4K and shoot high-quality video using a steadicam anyway.
What size card should I choose?
Of course, you will be told that “the more – the better”, but this is not entirely true. Firstly,
32 GB (capable of 40 minutes of Full HD video): suitable for smartphones, tablets and compact cameras, provided that you are not fond of shooting in high resolutions and RAW format
64 GB (capable of 1.5 hours of Full HD video): optimal for smartphone owners, also a good option for any cameras and DVRs.
128 GB (almost 3 hours of Full HD video): useful for laptops, photo and video equipment. Even when shooting in RAW, you can fit over 1000 photos, which is quite enough.
256 GB or more: can be considered as an intermediate storage option (for example, for transferring files) or for professional use.
If you are looking for a memory card for your dash cam, be sure to read our selection guide. It’s not as simple as with smartphones.