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Buying the right memory card can be big ordeal for the non tech savvy among us. It is essential to know that a right memory card could make your phone or camera achieve the optimal performance, while a wrong one can hamper your experience by slowing it down or to even loss of data. Here is a simple basic guide to explain memory cards in general.
Presently there are three types of major memory cards, they are :
1. Secured Digital Cards or SD Cards 2. Memory Sticks 3. CompactFlash
Amongst them the SD cards are the most commonly used ones. They are widely used in phones, cameras, tablets, etc. Apart from the regular stamp sized SD cards used commonly in cameras, there are two variants called Mini SD and Micro SD cards, with later being the more popular. The Micro SD cards are the ones that is being used in smartphones and tablets.
The Memory Sticks are designed by Sony to be used in some of their electronic products, while CompactFlash is used only in high resolution cameras. Since the most common type is the SD card that is what we are addressing in the next two parts.
Storage The standard SD card has storage up to 2 GB storage which is good enough for many users. That is enough space to fill almost 700 photos taken with an 8 mega pixel camera or around 450 if the photos are taken with 12 mega pixel camera.
However, there are variants like SDHC cards which has storage up to 32 GB and SDXC cards that has a maximum storage of 2 TB. Currently only a very few phones such as LG G4 supports the massive storage up to 2 TB. Always do remember that the more content you have, the more resources the device need to index the card leading to a slower performance in case of underpowered devices.
Speed Speed of an SD card is represented by ‘class’. There are classes ranging from 2 to 10. The numbers denote its minimum write speeds in MB/s. Class 2 cards which have a write speed of 2 MB/s are normally good enough for moderate use such as taking photos. For advanced photography and video features it is better to use a card with high write speeds, i.e. higher class. Speed is very important if your phone supports SD Cards and you plan to install apps on them.
A much faster variant of SD card is classified as UHS or Ultra High Speed. The UHS Class 3 has a faster minimum write speed of 30 MB/s, making it three times faster than a Class 10 SD card. The faster speeds also means the card is faster in accessing the data stored within. However, do note that cards classed as UHC won’t necessarily give you its high write speeds in an unsupported device.