In 1956, IBM introduced the first disk drive in the world. It was as big as a vending machine, it cost more than a house, and it could only store 3.75 megabytes – about the size of a single song in MP3 format. Today, over 60 years later, a smartphone can hold several thousand times more data, yet fits in your jeans' side pocket. Boy, has technology evolved!
Storage space, however, is one of those things our phones never seem to have enough of. They are burdened by heavy apps and offline music, by high-resolution photos and videos, all of which eat up precious gigs. That's why many smartphone makers, including Samsung, LG, Sony, and Motorola still allow storage expansion via micro SD cards, even on their latest and greatest phones. Popping in one of these cards is an easy and cost-effective way of adding additional data space to a Galaxy S20
, Galaxy Note 10
, LG V60
, Motorola Edge
, HTC or Xperia phone.
Not all micro SD cards are made equal, however. Not all of them can keep up with the read and write speeds certain tasks can demand – shooting 4K video or quick sequences of photos, for example. Also, micro SD cards come in a broad range of capacities, which might make picking the right one even more tricky. So, we thought we'd make your life easier by gathering up the best micro SD cards for any phone supporting micro SD storage expansion.
512GB micro SD cards (or larger)
Samsung Evo Select
Available in a broad range of capacities, the Samsung Evo Select can provide all the space you may ever need on your phone. The largest offering in the series packs a whopping 512GB! This particular model is also not that expensive (around $129), considering the capacity. You can fit 77,000 high-quality audio tracks, 150,000 high-res photos, or 24 hours of 4K 60fps video on that card. For consumers who don't need quite as much space, the 128GB micro SD variant is the most cost-efficient in the series, priced at around $25 as of this writing.
The Samsung Evo Select micro SD cards offer up to 100MB/s sequential read speeds, which is more than enough for everyday tasks. These micro SD cards work great with tablets, laptops, action cameras, DSLR's, drones, smartphones, Android devices and more.
SanDisk Extreme 1TB
If you want the highest possible capacity and speed for whatever reason, you have to go to extremes. The SanDisk Extreme 1TB microSD card offers read speeds up to 160MB per second and comes with a record-setting 1000GB capacity. Of course, you must be prepared for the extreme price, too. The 1TB version normally costs around $450 but there are sweet deals out there and you should look out for them (the SanDisk Extreme 1TB micro SD card is almost 50% off on Amazon at $233 right now) If you pair this card with a Galaxy S10+
1TB phone, you'll end up with more onboard storage than many laptop and desktop computers. The SanDisk Extreme 1TB is the biggest micro SD card available at the moment, though you should check if your phone supports SD cards with such capacity. There's also a lifetime warranty for this one, so you'll have peace of mind if you decide that you need that much storage on your phone.
High-endurance micro SD cards
The Kingston Endurance is the best micro SD card for every video enthusiast out there. It's optimized to withstand write intensive applications such as home security & surveillance cameras, which means it will work great if you like to record long videos with your smartphone. Better yet, the A1 designation indicates the card's ability to handle Android applications great, as well. The card is available in capacities of up to 128GB and strikes a good balance between performance and cost.
SanDisk High Endurance Video
It's true that high-endurance micro SD cards are perfect for dash cams, home monitoring systems and other video-intensive applications but that doesn't mean you can't use them in a smartphone. Quite on the contrary. Opting for such a card will grant you extra durability, especially if you overwrite the card often (record lots of videos, frequently install and delete apps.) You can get a 256GB model for around $50 which is a great deal.
Fastest micro SD cards
SanDisk Extreme Pro
SanDisk's top-grade micro SD cards offer read/write speeds up to 170/90MB per second making them one of the fastest micro SD cards out there (smartphones support UHS-I speeds, capped at 104MB/s but still, the Extreme Pro will get you right there.) This kind of performance allows them to function flawlessly with the latest high-end Android phones. The A2 rating indicates they're fast enough to work great with apps, while the V30
rating ensures they can be used for recording 4K video and bursts of photos. This card comes in four capacities, from 64GB right up to 400GB. You can get a nice 256GB micro SD card version for around $60 and it will solve all your storage issues, no matter if we're talking about multimedia or apps.
Affordable micro SD cards
Samsung Evo Plus 128gb
You don't have to cough out huge amounts of money to get a good micro SD card. The Samsung's Evo Plus range is one of the best-selling micro SD cards out there and for a good reason. You can get a 128GB version for around $20 and it will get the job done. It's a great package - decent speed, capacity, and price. The Evo Plus will tackle every task you throw at it. It's a standard when we talk micro SD cards. As simple as that.