The World of MicroSD Cards: Functions, Types, and More – If you have a smartphone in your hands, chances are it has one of the MicroSD cards available on the market.
Have you ever wondered what their main function is? Whether there are differences between one and another? The truth is, there are differences, and you should know them.
Modern electronic devices that store files always need a little more space. That’s why smartphones, digital cameras, and even drones require one of these cards. Each of them can offer different storage capacities to devices that support them.
So, let’s dive into the world of MicroSD cards and discover their primary function and the differences between various models. Stay with us in this article to explore everything about them.
What Are MicroSD Cards?
When we talk about MicroSD cards, we’re referring to a secure digital card, as it translates in Spanish. It’s also known as a removable flash memory card that can be used across various devices, provided they have the necessary slot and support the specific card you have.
The primary purpose of these cards is to store information of various formats digitally. This can include programs, applications, files, documents, photos, and more, just like a pen drive. They are mainly used in electronic devices where it’s necessary to store files, such as smartphones, cameras, tablets, and more.
Thanks to these cards, you can expand the storage of your device’s internal memory, especially in phones, as they provide additional capacity for storing desired files.
MicroSD cards are categorized by the SD Card Association into the following types:
The difference lies in their storage capacity, making it easy to identify when purchasing one.
Key Features of MicroSD Cards:
Now that we understand the purpose of MicroSD cards, let’s explore some of their standout features to help you identify them more easily when shopping for one.
MicroSD cards come in different sizes to fit various devices. They can be divided into three sizes:
- MicroSD measures 15 x 11 x 1 millimeters
- MiniSD measures 21.5 x 20 x 1.4 millimeters
- Standard SD measures 32 x 24 x 1.4 millimeters
Capacity and Speed
MicroSD cards come in three main types (SD, SDHC, or SDXC), each with different storage capacities and speeds:
- Most standard MicroSD cards offer a 2 GB capacity with a transfer rate of 25 MB/s and compatibility with FAT12, FAT16, and FAT16B file formats.
- MicroSDHC cards typically range from 4 to 32 GB with speeds of 50 MB/s to 150 MB/s and compatibility with FAT32.
- MicroSDXC cards offer storage from 50 GB to 200 GB, with speeds ranging from 50 MB/s to 312 MB/s, and use the exFAT file format.
It’s worth noting that due to increasing storage demands, MicroSD card models with capacities of up to 2 TB (2048 GB) are now available, offering ample space for storing a wealth of information on your device.
How to Differentiate MicroSD Cards
In this section, we’ll describe how to identify a MicroSD card so you can determine the specific model you’re purchasing. Pay attention to these details to ensure you know what you have in your hands:
- Brand: The top of the card often displays the card’s brand. Recognizable brands include Kingston, SanDisk, ADATA, Transcend, Samsung, Sony, among others.
- Class Indicator: On one side, you’ll find a number indicating the card’s speed class. Classes typically range from 0, 2, 4, 6 to 10, though classes lower than 4 are rare.
- Capacity: The card’s capacity is reflected on the bottom, helping you distinguish between SDHC and SDXC cards.
- Type Indicator: The card’s classification (MicroSD, MiniSD, or standard SD) can be found in the center of the card, along with its size.
- Capacity Indicator: Lastly, the card’s capacity is often labeled, ranging from 2 GB and extending up to 2 TB. Common capacities include 8, 16, 32, and 64 GB.
MicroSD Card Classes
The SD Card Association has categorized MicroSD cards into different classes, each with varying speeds that determine their performance quality. Let’s explore these classes and the speeds they can achieve:
Class 2 (C2)
These cards have a minimum read speed of 2 MB/s. However, they are now rare due to the need for faster formats and lower capacities.
Class 4 (C4)
Class 4 MicroSD cards offer minimum speeds of up to 4 MB/s, making them suitable for recording 720p or 1080p videos. They were quite common in the last decade with capacities ranging from 4 to 8 GB.
Class 6 (C6)
These cards are more prevalent today, offering capacities of 16, 32, and even 64 GB. They have minimum speeds of 6 MB/s, allowing for 720p and 1080p recordings. Some Class 6 cards can even handle 4K video recording with a Video Class 6 certification.
Class 10 (C10)
Class 10 MicroSD cards are highly sought after for their performance. They can be further divided into various models:
- A model that reaches 90 MB/s with V90 certification, enabling 8K videos at 60 to 120 FPS.
- A model with speeds of up to 60 MB/s and V60 certification, offering similar video capabilities to the previous version.
- Cards with speeds of up to 30 MB/s, carrying UHS C3 and V30 certification, allowing for 1080p and 4K recordings at up to 120 FPS.
- Finally, a smaller model with a speed of 10 MB/s, featuring UHS C1 and V10 certification, suitable for 720p, 1080p, and 4K recordings.
Each of these MicroSD card models serves as a valuable resource for your electronic devices. In the case of phones and cameras, they are essential for expanding storage. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand their specifications and how to identify them when making a purchase.
Choosing the Best MicroSD Cards on the Market
The ever-growing demand for storage in electronic devices has driven MicroSD cards to continually evolve. In the coming years, we may see models integrated into devices or offering even larger storage capacities.
In conclusion, MicroSD cards have become indispensable tools for expanding storage on various electronic devices. Understanding their types, capacities, and speed classes empowers you to make informed choices and get the best performance out of your gadgets.
As technology continues to advance, expect even more impressive innovations in the world of MicroSD cards.