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Best microSD cards for 2022: top picks for your camera, tablet, or drone

Run out of storage space on your phone or tablet — or need to add storage to your drone, camera, or security camera? One of the simplest options is to insert a microSD card. Sadly, not many smartphones and tablets support microSD cards these days. In particular, many of the latest flagship phones have banished the microSD card slot to history, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Samsung S22 Ultra — and if you have an iPhone or iPad, you’re also out of luck. Fortunately, some of the best Android smartphones and tablets do still support them, and if you've just purchased a new camera, security camera, or drone, you'll definitely want to get your hands on a microSD card from a reputable brand.

It’s best to fully understand how to use a microSD to get the most out of it. To see if your device accepts them, check the full specs for your device on the manufacturer’s website or check to see if there's a microSD card slot. On newer phones, they're generally part of the SIM tray. On other devices, check your manual if you're struggling to find it.

We’ve picked out eight of the best microSD cards around for phones, tablets, drones, and more, with options suitable for casual to professional use. You may want to look beyond this list, but we advise you to stick to well-known brands such as Samsung, Lexar, SanDisk, Toshiba, and Kingston. All prices are correct at the time of writing, but the microSD card market moves fast, so expect them to change.

SanDisk 32GB Extreme microSDHC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter
SanDisk Extreme 32GB
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PNY Premier-X 64GB microSD Card
PNY Premier-X 64GB
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SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB microSD card
SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB
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Kingston 256GB microSDHC Canvas Select Plus 100MB/s Read A1 Class 10 UHS-I Memory Card + Adapter
Kingston Canvas Select Plus 256GB
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PNY Pro Elite microSD Card 512GB
PNY Pro Elite 512GB
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Samsung microSD Pro Plus
Samsung Pro Plus 512GB
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SanDisk Extreme microSD UHS-I Card - 1TB
SanDisk Extreme 1TB
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Netac 32 gigabyte microSD cards two-pack.

Netac 32GB

Pros
  • Ultra-rugged design withstands extreme conditions
  • Up to 90MBps read speeds
  • Handy two-pack
  • Great for drones or action cameras
Cons
  • Write speeds are a bit slow

The first card on our list isn’t actually from one of the major brands we recommended sticking with a moment ago, but bear with us. Netac’s 32GB microSD card comes in a handy two-pack and is the card to go for if you’re using your phone or tablet in adverse conditions or switching it out frequently. Because it’s ultra-rugged, built to withstand extreme heat and cold, water, and shock, it's a great choice for action cameras or drones. It’s even X-ray proof. With up to 90MBps read speeds, it’s no slouch in the performance department either, though write speeds are a little slow at 10MBps. At $12 for a two-pack, it’s one of the more affordable options on our list, too.

Netac Micro SD Card 32GB
Netac 32GB
32GB SanDisk microSD card and SD card adapter.
SanDisk

SanDisk Extreme 32GB

Pros
  • UHS Speed Class 3
  • Read speeds up to 100MBps
  • Write speeds up to 60MBps
  • Lifetime warranty (most regions)
  • Comes with SD adapter
Cons
  • You may want a larger capacity if buying it for 4K video

Here’s a speedy SDHC card that offers read speeds of up to 100MBps and write speeds of up to 60MBps. This is a durable card with a lifetime warranty in most regions, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. It will have no trouble with 1080p video and can even handle 4K, though you may want a larger capacity if that’s what you’re buying it for. It is certified UHS Speed Class 3, V30, and A1 for Adoptable Storage. It also comes with a handy SD adapter. This microSD card is ideal for most cameras, drones, tablets, and phones.

SanDisk 32GB Extreme microSDHC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter
SanDisk Extreme 32GB
PNY Premier-X microSD card in 64GB capacity with U3 rating.

PNY Premier-X 64GB

Pros
  • UHS Speed Class 3
  • Read speeds up to 100MBps
  • A1 app performance lets you run apps directly from the card
  • Comes with SD adapter
Cons
  • Some reviews report receiving a faulty card

This SDXC card is rated as UHS 3 for faster transfers and offers a read speed of up to 100MBps (slightly lower for write speed). It’s a durable, reliable option from a reputable brand that has great reviews. A1 app performance means you can run apps directly from the card, making this an excellent choice for your phone, and it’s also no slouch for Full HD photography and 4K Ultra HD videography on DSLR cameras, action cameras, or drones. It comes with a handy SD adapter, too.

PNY Premier-X 64GB microSD Card
PNY Premier-X 64GB
SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB microSD card with a USB 3.0 card reader.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB

Pros
  • UHS Speed Class 3
  • Read speeds up to 300MBps
  • Up to 700MBps write speeds
  • Supports 4K video recording
  • Comes with USB card reader
Cons
  • Expensive compared to other options

With this SanDisk Pro card, you get read speeds of up to 300MBps and write speeds up to 700MBps. This card supports 1080p Full HD, 3D, and 4K video recording with ease and is UHS 3 rated. An excellent choice for pro photographers or anyone who takes a lot of photos (or stores a lot of data on their phone), this card also comes with a USB 3.0 card reader, handy for quickly uploading your data.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB microSD card
SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB
256 gigabyte Kingston microSD card and SD card adapter.
Kingston

Kingston Canvas Select Plus 256GB

Pros
  • UHS Speed Class 3
  • A1 app performance lets you run apps directly from the card
  • Read speeds up to 100MBps
  • Includes SD adapter
Cons
  • No support for 4K video recording

This UHS 3 card is A1 rated, so it’s optimized for use in Android phones. It supports up to 256GB at a cost that fits many budgets, and it can easily support 1080p video recordings. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t have a write speed capable of executing 4K video recordings, but it does have an improved read speed of up to 100MBps. Your purchase also comes with an SD adapter.

Kingston 256GB microSDHC Canvas Select Plus 100MB/s Read A1 Class 10 UHS-I Memory Card + Adapter
Kingston Canvas Select Plus 256GB
PNY Pro Elite 512GB MicroSD Card.

PNY Pro Elite 512GB

Pros
  • Run apps directly from the card
  • Waterproof, shock-proof, and magnet-proof
  • Fast read and write speeds
  • U3 and V30 ratings
Cons
  • Can handle 4K video, but there are better options available

If you’re not sure you need 1TB of storage — but 256GB seems like too little — this 512GB microSD card from PNY is the perfect middle ground. True, it’s not the fastest, with read speeds of up to 100MBps and write speeds of up to 90MBps, but it’s a great option for your phone, as it runs apps directly from the microSD card. Its high capacity also makes it a great choice for security cameras, so you won't be swapping the card out every time it's full. Its U3 and V30 ratings mean it can handle 4K video, though if this is your main reason for buying the card, we recommend upgrading to the SanDisk Extreme 1TB instead. It’s also waterproof, shockproof, and magnet-proof, so it’s a great choice if you frequently switch your card between devices.

PNY Pro Elite microSD Card 512GB
PNY Pro Elite 512GB
Samsung Pro Plus 512GB MicroSD Card.

Samsung Pro Plus 512GB

Pros
  • Read speeds up to 160MBps
  • Write speeds up to 120MBps
  • U3 and V30 ratings
  • Support for 4K video recording
Cons
  • Quite pricey

The Samsung Pro Plus embodies excellent speeds at a reasonable price when it comes to price and performance. It has read speeds of up to 160MBps and write speeds of up to 120MBps, with various storage capacities that fit your needs. Additionally, with its U3 and V30 ratings, this card can even handle 4K video with ease, making it perfect for use with the latest DSLR cameras. Therefore, we recommend this card as it is optimized to take advantage of your Samsung mobile devices — even if the latest Samsung flagships don’t include space for microSD cards these days.

Samsung microSD Pro Plus
Samsung Pro Plus 512GB
One terabyte SanDisk microSD card.
SanDisk

SanDisk Extreme 1TB

Pros
  • Plenty of storage space
  • UHS Speed Class 3 and V30 ratings
  • 160MBps read speeds
  • 90MBps write speeds
  • Supports 4K video recording
Cons
  • Some reviews mention defective cards

If your main priority is storage, then look no further than the 1TB option from the Sandisk Extreme line. This product comes with expanded storage options, and its UHS 3 and V30 Speed Class ratings both mean it’s capable of handling 4K video recording with ease. The card’s read speeds measure at about 160MBps, and its write speeds reach up to 90MBps. You’ll want to ensure your device is fully compatible with maximizing that potential performance. On top of all of these excellent performance features, the card also received one of the highest possible A2 ratings for its storage capabilities on Android devices. This is a great choice for your DSLR camera, action camera, drone, or security camera, and packs all the storage you'll ever need — but it's an equally good buy if you have a compatible phone or tablet and don't want to worry about running out of space.

SanDisk Extreme microSD UHS-I Card - 1TB
SanDisk Extreme 1TB

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you consider when buying a microSD card?

There are a handful of things to consider when you’re choosing a new microSD card for your phone. Obviously, the price and capacity are going to be factors, but you also need to make sure that the type of card you buy is supported by your device and that it’s suitable for your needs. This includes thinking about things like SDHC and SDXC, Speed Class ratings, Application Performance Class, and more.

SDHC or SDXC?

SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity, and SDXC stands for Secure Digital Extended Capacity. The only real difference is the range of data they can store. You’ll find that SDHC microSD cards range from 2GB to 32GB in size, while SDXC microSD cards can range from 32GB up to 2TB in size, though the biggest microSD card we’ve seen so far is 1TB.

What are Speed Class ratings?

You’ll probably come across a slew of number-symbol combinations printed on cards and their packaging. These are Speed Class indicators that refer to a microSD card’s minimum sustained write speed. Write speed tells you how quickly data can be saved to the card and is expressed in megabytes per second (MBps). It’s useful to keep in mind when shopping for certain use cases like video recording. There are currently three classes: Speed Class, Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class, and Video Speed Class. The original Speed Class is denoted by the write speed enclosed in a large “C,” while UHS Speed Class is shown with a Class number inside a large “U.” The mark for Video Speed Class is a stylized “V” followed by the write speed. Here’s how the minimum speeds for the different classes break down.

Class Minimum write speed
2 2MBps
4 4MBps
6 6MBps
8 8MBps
10 10MBps
UHS 1 10MBps
UHS 3 30MBps
V6 6MBps
V10 10MBps
V30 30MBps
V60 60MBps
V90 90MBps

Most reputable microSD cards these days will have at least a Class 10 write speed rating. These are just minimum requirements, and many cards are capable of faster speeds than their rating. A Class 10 card may offer 95MBps, for example. Read or transfer speeds are likely to be respectable — around 100MBps — across many options as well.

What is Application Performance Class?

The SD Association also has a standard called Application Performance Class, which is designed to highlight microSD cards that are suitable for use in smartphones and tablets. The A1 rating means that the card can manage random read input-output access per second (IOPS) of 1,500 and write IOPS of 500. The A2 rating indicates random read input-output access per second of 4,000 and write IOPS of 2,000. This is ideal for quickly opening apps and processing tasks. These A1 and A2 cards are worth looking out for if you intend to format your card as internal storage in an Android device, something Google calls Adoptable Storage.

How do you choose a microSD card for your needs?

If you are simply focused on adding storage capacity for downloaded files and casual pictures and videos, the lower Speed Class ratings will do just fine for your phone or tablet, provided your device has a microSD card slot. make sure you check this, as there's no card slot in many of the latest flagship phones.

Content creators shooting a lot of video, pro photographers, or drone enthusiasts will want to look for higher-end Class 10 and UHS microSD cards, at the very least. These will be better equipped to handle 4K resolutions and high frame rates of 60 frames per second or 120 fps. Android power users may want to consider cards with the App Performance Class designation.

In any case, you’re obviously going to want the highest speed, highest capacity microSD card you can get for the lowest price. We would advise you to factor in the brand reputation and the reported performance and reliability. Check out the warranty terms, just in case something should go wrong. You also need to be careful where you buy. If you’re going to use Amazon or eBay, then read some customer reviews and watch out for fake microSD cards, because they’re disappointingly common.

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