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How to pick the best microSD card for your Android phone

androidpit sd cards 1
© nextpit

As we discover every time a major manufacturer decides to release a flagship phone without a microSD slot, Android enthusiasts remain passionate about our options to expand internal storage. But how well your microSD card performs depends on the class and speed of the memory card, as well as the capabilities of your phone. Here, we tell you everything you need to know to help you pick the best microSD card for your Android device.

Firstly, make sure your device supports microSD cards

Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, many smartphones don't have microSD slots and instead claim that the on-board internal storage is sufficient. And though from our perspective this seems ridiculous, we need to ensure our device has a microSD card slot.

You can inspect your device and see whether there is a microSD slot. If you need to, consult your phone's manual to open the device (or to find whether there is a microSD slot). If there is no microSD slot, well, you can't use a microSD card. If you want a phone that supports microSD take a look at the phones linked below.

androidpit sony xperia x sim sd slot
Firstly, make sure your device supports microSD cards. / © NextPit

What's the difference between SDHC and micro SDXC?

When buying a microSD card, you'll notice that it's either a micro SDXC or SDHC card. The difference between these two microSD formats is simply the amount of data they can store. SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) stores up to 32 GB of data, while SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) handles 64 GB and above.

Many lower-end devices don't support SDXC microSD cards, so it's crucial that you check your phone's compatibility before buying one. Most SDXC cards go up to 128 GB, but in March 2015, Sandisk revealed the world's first 200 GB microSD SDXC card.

androidpit sd cards 4
Make sure you know the different types of microSD cards before purchasing. / © NextPit

What does 'class' mean on a microSD card?

This one's important. MicroSD cards come in several different classes - Class 2, 4, 6 and 10. While these numbers may mean nothing to you (and leave you wondering what happened to the other numbers up to 10), they do in fact simply reflect the minimum rates at which these cards sustain data transfers. So a Class 2 card reads and writes data at 2 MB/s, while a Class 10 card does so at 10 MB/s. Suddenly it's not that complicated, right?

SDHC and SDXC speed classes

Class Minimum speed
2 2 MB/s
4 4 MB/s
6 6 MB/s
8 8 MB/s
10  10 MB/s

The 'Class' number directly reflects the minimum write speed of the card. However, top-quality cards can run much faster than this, with some of the best ones out there clocking read speeds up to 95 MB/s. One such card is the SanDisk Extreme Pro, which can be picked up for $33 at

What does UHS mean on a micro SD card?

Since 2009, certain microSD cards are also UHS-1 or UHS-3-compatible. While in theory, UHS cards can reach data transfer speeds of up to 312 MB/s, you are realistically only likely to attain the minimum transfer speeds listed below, because no smartphone currently supports the UHS standard. As such, UHS will make little difference to your microSD card speed at this point.

UHS speed classes

UHS class Minimum speed
1 10 MB/s
3 30 MB/s
androidpit sd cards 1
In theory, UHS cards can reach data transfer speeds of up to 312 MB/s, but this isn't realistic. / © NextPit

Will a better microSD card speed up my phone?

The most important question is whether picking one microSD card over another will improve performance on your phone, to which the short answer is 'yes'.

If you store apps and photos on your microSD card (what else would you use it for?), then a higher-speed microSD card will save photos faster, improve data transfer speeds when moving files between devices, and open apps stored on your microSD card more quickly. Note that opening apps on microSD cards may be a bit slower than if you store them on your phone's internal memory, because there's an extra layer of communication between your phone and micro SD card that needs to be carried out.

Darth Vader micro SD ANDROIDPIT
MicroSD cards do not necessarily speed up your phone. / © NextPit


As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when buying a microSD card, and hopefully the above guide will give you an idea of which one to buy. It's also worth sticking to reputable brands for microSD cards, such as SanDisk, Samsung and Kingston. Use the prices of these brands as a guideline as well - if you see a microSD card from another company that's five times cheaper than these, you should be wary of its quality.

Do you use a microSD card? Which size and type do you use for your phone? Let us know in the comments.

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Cory Schmidt

Cory Schmidt

A Minnesota native, Cory's background is in writing and editing. He received his BA from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and his MA from the University of Kansas. He joined the Android community in 2009 and is excited to be contributing at AndroidPIT.

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  • James Gepolongca Gentizon Weebgamer07 1
    James Gepolongca Gentizon Weebgamer07 Oct 30, 2021 Link to comment

    I buy a 64 gb xc sd card to my app data from my realme c11 (64 bit) as same old phones (32 bit) did, but didn't work. Any solution to this??

  • Mark G. 28
    Mark G. Aug 3, 2019 Link to comment

    Buy the best & buy from Samsung directly or from a reputable supplier.

    Remember you have a fairly expensive phone why would you put some cheap nasty card in it?
    You use a SD card to save your precious memories, they are not that precious if you insert a cheap nasty one.

    Buy the best, buy Samsung 😉

    • 1
      scooby405 Aug 19, 2020 Link to comment

      I went through samsung since my phone is a samsung I was sure they would get me the right SD card for my cell phone. NOPE I GOT IT AND IT IS TO BIG FOR MY SLOT, HE ASSURED ME IT WOULD FIT, I EVEN TOLD HIM IT WAS A SMALLER SD CARD. HE SAID YES IT WILL FIT.......WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 1
    rachelmduran Aug 12, 2018 Link to comment

    I have the Huawei p8 lite 2017 phone which has 16gb internal storage so I'm just wondering what gb of micro sd card will it need as was told to use a 16gb one but I can't transfer my apps over to it. Can anyone help?

    • 1
      Tony De Oct 2, 2018 Link to comment

      You I'll b able to move only the apps that the manufactur of the app itself let's. For example was up do not let's u mov the app. Super cell apps (games) maker let u move. If you co convert the SD card as internal memory (you can not mov the SD card out the phone number will serve only in that specific phone) then most apps you install later will b part of the "internal memory".

    • 1
      Abhishek Chaurasia Apr 16, 2021 Link to comment

      put your card in mobile then format it as internal storage then storage will be merged as internal storage then you can store apps in that.

  • Ayman Khaled 1
    Ayman Khaled Oct 29, 2017 Link to comment

    I have SandDisk Ultra microSDXC UH-1 card and my phone is Galaxy note 8 when i try to open a file stored in my SSD card its not opening and then I figure a temporary solution which is to create a shortcut of that file in my home menu which is working fine, but Please guys I need a permanent solution, any one has any idea ?

  • 1
    Jamie Meng Aug 21, 2017 Link to comment

    I need to get a SD Card for my Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime cellphone, but I don't know where to go to get a SD card for the right price. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a SD Card. I am open to any suggestions that you guys have. Thanks

  • Thirmani Tsp 1
    Thirmani Tsp Apr 8, 2017 Link to comment

    i am recently buy HTC desire 825 which is the best memory card for this mobile

  • Adnan Siddique 1
    Adnan Siddique Apr 4, 2017 Link to comment

    Previously I had a bad experience of using microsd card with my galaxy note 3. Whenever i try to play a game or open the camera app, my phone started heating from the place where sdcard was mounted. Many times I checked the memory card and notice it was heating and also causing the phone hardware to heatup. Since then I stopped using any external storage for my phones because 16 or 32 gb storage that come default with most android phones was enough for me.

    But now with the advancement of mobile phones the usage of android phones is rapidly replacing computer for most of daily tasks, the storage capacity can never be enough. So I am frequently getting out of storage with my honor 6x, I am deciding to get a 64gb memory card to make enough room for my storage hungry apps and media files. I hope this time I will not experience the same heating problems that I faced last time.

  • Jim Roberts 1
    Jim Roberts Mar 29, 2017 Link to comment

    I have two Blu Diamond M phones that are supposed to support micro SD cards up to 64Gb. I have various cards (Samsung, Sandisk and Kingston) of 16Gb and 64Gb that work with my Windows PC and the smaller ones work with my old Android 4 phone. The Blu Diamond can see the card, but can only load 2Gb of data onto it. Any more and it hangs. If I load up the card on a PC and put it in the phone, it sees the first 2Gb of data and dumps the rest in corrupt files in "Lost and Found". If I try formatting it on the phone as "internal" it gets to 20% (both sizes of card) waits 5 minutes then tells me the card is corrupt. (I can rescue it using an SD formatter program on my PC). Would a better, faster card solve the problem - or should I just dump the phones and stick with Android 4?

  • amberseattle 2
    amberseattle Jan 11, 2017 Link to comment

    Can someone tell me how to clear a micro SD card. I have a 64g SanDisk ultra xc 1 card and used it for months in my note 4 and something happened. If it try to move an app over to it (through app to SD card app) it says there is no room. There should be a lottttt of room. I am using an 8g one now and it transfers over just fine, everything works fine. I bought an SD card reader thing and tried it out but I have NO idea what i am doing. If anyone can help I would so appreciate it. Id like to use my 64g if possible. Also i need to find a place to help me understand what to do once I have the card connected to my computer. THANKS

    Only for you

    • 2
      Only for you Jan 15, 2017 Link to comment

      hello. Just connect the sd card reader to your pc with the sd card in it, then format it by right clicking the drive, make sure its in FAT32, not NTFS or exFAT. watch a video on how to format sd cards and you will be fine. You are having issues with sd card probably due to your phone not being able to support it.

    • Bill Morris 1
      Bill Morris Jan 23, 2017 Link to comment

      Amber, Phones usually require you to dismount an SD card. If you take it out without dismounting it and try and read it in a computer you might damage it and lose your data. There is a utility in the phone to do this for you. Many phones won't accept an SDXC (over 64 GIG) you'll have to use an SDHC card.

  • amberseattle 2
    amberseattle Jan 11, 2017 Link to comment

    Hoping someone can help me. I bought a San disk ultra 64gig micro sd xc. I don't know much about sd cards but just did some reading. It worked fine for months and then something happened. When i try to transfer an app to the sd card it acts like it's going to move but then says there is no room on the card. If i look at the storage in settings there is only 4.4 g's used. I am using a 8 gig that is working fine now but when i bought the 64 i was excited and didn't think i would need another one for quite a while. I have a Samsung note 4 if that helps. Thank you very much for reading.

  • KC Turner 1
    KC Turner Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I have a galaxy 5s 5 active active I want to know what kind of SD card do I need to get for it I have an 8 gigabyte in it now that's not big enough going to have to buy a new one just need to know. I have had nothing except problems with this phone

    • Green KMH 1
      Green KMH Jan 8, 2017 Link to comment

      Now, 1/7/17 you can get a samsung 128gb SDXC CLASS 10 for about 50$ at wallmart. Or a 64gb for 20$. Both will work fine on most phones with a microsd slot and most have a 10 yr. warranty so think big and transfer it and your files with your next phone.

  • 2
    Tim Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I used mostly SanDisk cards in all my galaxy phones. Over time they would fail but I was eligible for a replacement update in both cases. I switched over Samsung's brand and have not had a problem since! The speed of transfers increased as well as the overall proformance of the phone. I would suggest if you have an Samsung phone use a Samsung Sdcard. Everything just works much better. As I stated I have had 2 different speed cards fail from the company everyone will tell you is the best. Until phone makers decide to make large capacity storage in their phones the ability to add storage will always be important. But you don't want your storage media failing just because either.

    Green KMH

  • George Wise 10
    George Wise Dec 30, 2016 Link to comment

    I've been using a Samsung 64GB card for almost a year now in my GS4. All music (about 23 GB) and I couldn't be happier. It has performed flawlessly. I'm currently looking forward to the GS8 release hoping that I can afford the largest phone storage model and enhancing it with the largest SD card storage possible.


  • 55
    skyrail Dec 27, 2016 Link to comment

    I've been using a sandisk 64 Go sdxc class 10 for several month, until now. I am going to replace it with a 128 Go (same specs).
    A soon as I remove my sd card, I noticed a noticeable increase of my Android phone.
    I have 80% of my apps moved to extsdcard.
    So I am asking if I should stick on using an extsdcard to host my apps or only for media files.
    Keep key/most used apps in internal memory card, move others to external card, or switch to a faster sd card?
    Which one would suit Galaxy S5 G900F in the last case, if I want a device wihout noticeable slow down?
    It is currently doing well, but not always responsive in the second (or 2 ou 3s).

    Steph Longbridge

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