Behold: The best tiny cards for storing your stuff.
microSD cards, where they’re supported, are a great way to add extra storage to an Android phone or tablet. You can easily offload photos, videos and music to the external card, thus freeing up valuable internal space for apps. And certain Android 6.0 and above phones even let you plug in a microSD and use it to directly boost your storage for all things — including apps.
But the microSD standard has been around for longer than Android, and not all cards are equal. So we’ve rounded up the best out there.
Samsung EVO+ 256GB
Samsung’s very-highest-of-the-high-end microSD card isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s the priciest on this list. But you’re also getting a winning combination of performance and storage capacity, with 90MB/sec write speeds and 95MB/sec reads, and an enormous 256GB of space.
That’s more than you’ll never need in a smartphone, and the high read/write speeds will help if you’re shooting lots of 4K video on a high-end phone like the Galaxy S7 (as too will that enormous capacity.) Better still, it’s water, temperature, X-ray and magnetic proof, so you needn’t worry about it getting damaged while you’re out and about.
Best value – capacity
PNY Elite 128GB
If you want a nice high storage capacity without breaking the bank, PNY’s UHS-I 128GB card is a good option — $ 34.89 gets you a staggering amount of storage, and with pretty fast read speeds to boot — up to 85MB/s. It’s about the lowest price we’ve seen for a 128GB card, and a great way to free up a ton of space on your phone or tablet.
What’s more, you can pay an extra $ 10 at checkout and get an OTG reader thrown in too.
Best value – speed
Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB UHS-II/U3
If speed is more important — for example, if you’re using Android’s Adoptable Storage feature to keep apps on your SD card — you might want to give this Lexar card a shot. It uses UHS-II flash memory and boasts read speeds of up to 150MB/sec. The capacity isn’t the greatest, but if you’re up for paying $ 14 more you can double your capacity to 64GB.
The Lexar card also comes with a USB reader for plugging into your PC.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB UHS-I/U3
This SanDisk card won’t break the bank at a little under $ 45, but offers a great balance of speed and capacity. 64GB should be enough for most people’s photo, video and offline music needs, while the card’s speed rating offers up to 90MB/sec writes and 95MB/sec reads.
The card also comes with a full-sized SD adapter, for plugging into a laptop or camera.