How to buy the best microSD card for my Android phone? The BEST Type Class, Speed, and Brands!

how to buy best microsd card for my phone thumbs

Eventually as the smartphone’s storage size keeps getting larger, major manufacturers may sometimes decide to release flagship phones without an expandable slot. However that does not put down Android fans since they are always passionate about the options to expand internal storage will not fade out. Yet, to determine how well the microSD card performed, indeed depends on its specified class and speed of the microSD card with the capabilities of your smartphone. This is why we are about to teach you how to choose the best microSD card for your Android smartphone.

Before looking into buying a microSD card, make sure your device supports microSD cards.

Sadly to say, there are still various smartphones that don’t come with a microSD slot, since the internal storage is claimed to be sufficient. From our point of view, this seems amusing, but we must make sure that our device has a microSD expandable slot.

You can perform visual inspection on your device, especially on the sim card tray that will remark if there are any microSD slots. For older phones, the microSD card slot is usually located behind the phone and is required to turn off your phone or remove the battery in order to access it. For newer devices, the sim & microSD card tray holder is usually located at the side of the devices that require a “card pin” to open it up. Most of us would think of using a needle to open this tray, but please don’t do that because the needle is very sharp and can’t really open the tray, however paper clip is the alternative if you can’t find any “card pin”. If you have figured out that your device does not come with a microSD slot, then that’s pretty sure that you can’t use a microSD card to expand the device storage.

However, if you are considering buying a phone next time that supports an expandable slot for a microSD card, then you can take a look at the top 10 most popular phones that support microSD cards as listed here.

If my device does come with a microSD slot, what should I do next?

microsd card tray and card pin copy

You should then find out what is the difference between SDHC and micro SDXC?

Before you run to the store to purchase a microSD card, you should know either a microSDXC or SDHC card to buy. The actual difference between them is the microSD formats that defines the amount of data they can store. As per limitation, SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) can store only up to 32GB of data, whereas the new format of SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) provides cards that support from 64GB up to 2TB.

Various older or lower-end devices do not support SDXC microSD cards, thus it is very important to check your phone’s compatibility before buying one. SDXC microSD card can go up to 2TB, however the latest revealed capacity has currently reached 1TB at an expensive price. You can choose to buy smaller capacity at 64GB, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.

old microsd slot copy


You should also know what ‘class’ means on a microSD card:

There are several classes you should know that are available on MicroSD cards ranging from Class 2, 4, 6 and 10 before purchasing. The class numbers indicate the minimum speed at which these cards are capable to sustain data transfers. Simple to say, a lowest Class 2 card is able to read and write data at 2 MB/s minimum speed, while a Class 10 card can perform so at 10 MB/s minimum speed. At this moment, you definitely may find it very easy to choose and understand, right? For me, I would choose the Class 10 for top performance since most cards on sale were at class 10.




2 MB/s


4 MB/s


6 MB/s


8 MB/s


 10 MB/s

At higher performance microSD card, UHS can be your consideration as well:

The microSD cards are also UHS-1 or UHS-3 compatible starting 2009. Ultra High-Speed (UHS) speed class is the new generation bus interface for microSD and SD cards. Theoretically, UHS cards can reach data transfer speeds of up to 312 MB/s, however in realistically condition you are only able attain the minimum transfer speeds, reason being that there are not yet any smartphones currently supporting the UHS standard at such speed. Concluding this, UHS will in fact make little difference to your microSD card speed at this point or at higher minimum speed of 30MB/s with UHS class 3 as listed below.

UHS class

Minimum Sequential Write Speed


10 MB/s

30 MB/s

Will a better microSD card run at a higher speed on my phone?

The important question of choosing a microSD card over another will really help to improve the performance on your phone? The answer indeed is ‘Yes’.

Apparently you are storing apps and photos on your microSD card at most cases, so a higher-speed microSD card will indeed save photos faster and record video smoother, also improves the data transfer speeds when transferring files between devices, and boot up the apps stored on your microSD card much more quicker. You should aware that when the apps are stored on microSD cards, that can be a bit slower to boot up than if you store them on your phone’s internal memory, since there is going to be an extra layer of communication between your phone and the micro SD card that is required to be operated properly.

Does Android Apps Run Faster With Good microSD card?

With the newly introduced standard developed by SD Association in the year 2016, symbolized with a letter “A” and next to it is number. This application performance class tells you the card’s minimum random read and random write speeds which were theoretically measured in Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS).

Application Performance Class Pictograph (Symbol) Minimum Random Read Minimum Random Write Minimum Sustained Sequential Write
Class 1 (A1)* 800px-SD_App_Performance_1.svg 1500 IOPS 500 IOPS 10MBytes/sec
Class 2 (A2)** 1024px-SD_App_Performance_2.svg 4000 IOPS 2000 IOPS 10MBytes/sec

*The detailed preconditions and test are defined in SD 5.1 Part 1 Physical specification.

*The detailed preconditions and test are defined in SD 6.1 Part 1 Physical specification.

To date, you are looking at two available application performance Class 1 (A1) and Class 2 (A2) standards. For the Class 1 (A1) card are having capability of only recently launched into consumer space as having a minimum random write of 500 IOPS and minimum random read of 1500 IOPS, whereas for Class 2 (A2) card with minimum random write stands higher at 2000 IOPS and minimum random write at 4000 IOPS respectively.

In an actual case, the higher IOPS shown on the cards indeed allow smartphone device users with Android 6.0 (or higher) capable to install apps using Android Adopted Storage feature. In general, if users who used to install apps or games onto the memory card will notice reduced startup loading speed. However for game apps installed on the microSD card was in fact faster at booting up time on card supports the A1 standard than a regular microSD card. Be sure if you are storing tones of games or apps on your microSD card, remember to choose one with Application Performance Class 1 (A1) or Class 2 (A2) for faster applications boot up speed.

A crucial misconception about MicroSD cards does speed up your phone, which in fact does not. Though the contrast if you are comparing it with a computer upgraded with Solid-State Drive, which physically is replacing its internal storage but not happening within a phone.

Which MicroSD cards brands to buy?

If you are scrolling on the online store for a microSD card, make sure you are sticking to reputable brands such as SanDisk, Kingston and Samsung. Just check based on the prices of these brands to be your guideline as well whenever you see a microSD card offered from another company that is many times cheaper than these, and then you should be wary of its quality and after sales service.

To conclude on how to purchase the best SD card:

You have already witnessed that, there are various things to take note of when buying a microSD card, and we hope that you are confident enough with the above guide will supply you with sufficient idea of which microSD card to buy.

Have you just purchased a microSD card? What size and type of microSD card do you use on your phone? You can share your stories of buying a microSD card in the comments.

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