How to choose the best SD card for your Android phone

This Tutorial addresses:
  • Phones
  • SD Card
  • Android
JamieKavanagh
By ,

Mobile devices can be picky when it comes to the SD cards they are willing to work with. There is more to an SD card than just capacity and its size, which can make choosing an SD card harder than it should be. If you’re looking for the best SD card for your Android phone, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Capacity
SD cards some with a variety of capacities. The two main types of SD card are SDHC and SDXC. Both offer different capacity ranges.

• SDHC offers capacities of between 2GB and 32GB
• SDXC offers capacities of between 32GB and 2TB

The temptation might be to buy the largest you can afford but you need to check your phone to find out its maximum acceptable capacity. You will find this in the owner’s handbook. Typically, smartphones prefer SDHC cards with a maximum capacity of 32GB but check the owner’s manual to make sure.

Size
SD cards come in three sizes, SD, miniSD and microSD. Before buying a card, you will need to know which size will fit your phone. Again, your owner’s manual should tell you what you need.
• Standard SD cards are the largest and measure 32x 24x 2.1mm
• miniSD cards are slightly smaller and measure 21.5x 20x 1.4mm
• microSD cards are the smallest and measure a mere 15x 11x 1mm

Most smartphones use microSD as they are the most space efficient but check your owner’s manual to confirm.

Class
The class of SD card refers to the minimum read and write speed. In the case of SD cards, faster is most definitely better. The average user will likely use the SD card to store games, images, videos and apps so the faster the handset can read and write data, the smoother your experience will be.

The most popular SD cards come in four main classes:
• Class 10 SD cards have a minimum read/write speed of 10MB/s
• Class 6 SD cards have a minimum read/write speed of 6MB/s
• Class 4 SD cards have a minimum read/write speed of 4 MB/s
• Class 2 SD cards have a minimum read/write speed of 2 MB/s

It is important to note that SD cards also come as UHS-1 and UHS-3 (Ultra High Speed) class but not many smartphones are compatible with UHS yet.

How to tell what each SD card is capable of
SD cards will usually label each SD card and the packaging it comes in with its type, capacity and class. In the example at the top of the page, we can see that this is a microSD card with a capacity of 64GB, a Class 10 (the C with a 10 inside) and is also UHS-1 (the U with a 1 inside).

Choosing the right SD card for your Android phone
Different manufacturers have different specifications for SD cards. While most are microSD Class 10 compatible, not all are. So when choosing the best SD card for your Android phone, you first need to check your owner’s manual which should tell you exactly which cards are compatible. After that, the faster the card, the smoother the experience!



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