Selecting the right micro SD memory card can often be overwhelming. Considering the diverse range of classes and the specific purposes they serve, it is easy to make wrong decision purchase. With more than 5 different speed classes, each defined by their own unique parameters, making an informed choice requires some understanding of these classifications. In this article, we’ll explore these classes, focusing primarily on their intended uses. By the end of this discussion, you’ll gain a clear understanding of how to choose the most suitable micro SD memory card for your purpose.
Purpose 1: Action Cameras and Drones
This category is for high-performance memory cards. When choosing a card for an action camera, look for labels like U3 and V30. ‘U3’ indicates a minimum write speed of 30 MB/s, which is ideal for 4K video recording. On the other hand, ‘V30’ stands for Video Speed Class 30, also guaranteeing a minimum write speed of 30 MB/s for smooth video capture.
Purpose 2: Mobile Phones and Tablets
Most mobile devices use microSD cards for expandable storage. For general use, a Class 10 microSD card is typically adequate. However, for apps or games that require faster read/write speeds, microSDHC or microSDXC cards with U1 or U3 ratings are recommended.
Purpose 3: Regular Photography
For regular photography, micro SD cards like Class 10 or UHS-I are often sufficient. They offer a good balance of speed and capacity for storing high-resolution images.
Purpose 4: Professional Photography and Videography
Professional cameras often require faster and larger capacity cards like SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) with UHS-II or UHS-III interface. These cards are ideal for high-resolution photos, burst photography, and 4K or 8K video recording. However, micro SD cards with very good write speeds often suffice.
Purpose 5: Dash Cams and Security Cameras
These devices often require memory cards with high endurance, as they continuously overwrite old data. Look for microSD cards labeled as ‘High Endurance’ or ‘Max Endurance’ which are built to withstand the constant writing cycles these devices perform.
Bonus: Gaming Console (Nintendo Switch)
SanDisk and Lexar produce excellent micro SD cards that are specifically optimized and licensed for use with the Nintendo Switch. These cards are tailored to work well with the gaming console. On average, a Nintendo Switch game is about 10GB in size.Because of this, it’s a good idea to choose a micro SD card with as much storage capacity as possible. This way, you can avoid the inconvenience of constantly switching cards when you run out of space.
Having a larger storage card means you can keep more games on your Nintendo Switch at one time, making your gaming experience more seamless and enjoyable. Here are our top picks for micro SD cards that are ideal for the Nintendo Switch:
Note that storage expansion for the PS5 is a different story. There are compatibility issues and a balance between space and performance to consider. We have an entire article dedicated to discussing that topic.