If you’re looking to buy a new SD memory card or two for your smartphone camera and other applications, there are certain things that you need to know.
It’s not always as easy as just plugging them into an Android device and using whatever media player it comes with (for example). And if you’ve got something like a Sony Xperia Z5 which has built-in storage of its own, then again different rules apply.
So here’s some information on how to choose the right type of SD card for various uses, whether it be a standard one such as an 8 GB class 10 UHS-3 flash drive, or even something much larger such as a 64 GB Class 10 UHS-3 Flash Drive.
First off, let’s look at why you might want to have a specific kind of SD card in your pocket when you travel around town…
What SD card is best for dashcam?
The reason you’ll probably be interested in buying a particular SD card is because they come with extra features that make them more suitable for all sorts of purposes than normal ones. For instance, they can record 4K video footage that would otherwise require special equipment to do so. They also tend to support higher frame rates, faster transfer speeds, etc.
However, before you splurge on a top-of-the-line model, bear in mind that these newer models generally cost more money. So unless you already have a high-end phone, don’t expect to save too much cash by going with a lower spec version.
As far as price goes, while you could pick up a basic MicroSD card from Amazon for under $10, you’d end up paying quite a bit more for premium versions like the Samsung Pro 32GB High Speed Dual Interface Card ($40) or the SanDisk Ultra Plus 128GB SSD ($100), both of which were tested recently.
And if you plan on doing multiple backups over Wi-Fi, then a smaller capacity card may work better — but only if you don’t plan on transferring data via USB cable too often. If you find yourself needing to move files between devices frequently, then a bigger card will give you greater flexibility without breaking the bank.
You should also consider how many people in your group have access to the same phone or tablet. A 64 GB card might seem spacious enough until you realize everyone wants their own space on it! The easiest way to avoid this problem is to split the card down the middle after formatting it. This gives each person half of the total available storage. You can still share photos and videos, though.
Another thing worth remembering is that not every app supports the full range of file types. In fact, most apps aren’t designed to handle RAW images, nor are they capable of playing back HEVC content. As such, you won’t get optimal performance out of these large capacities if you try to play back video clips recorded on them.
Now that we understand exactly what makes up a “good” SD card, let’s take a closer look at some of the specs. We’ve identified three main areas where a good quality microSD card excels above others.
- Transfer Speeds & Data Rates
This first section looks at the theoretical maximum speed at which data transfers occur between the card itself and the computer reading/writing it. On average, a regular SD card running Windows reads about 23 MB per second, whereas a microSD card running the latest specification (UFS 2.0) tops out at around 90 MBps.
- Random Read & Write Times
A useful metric to keep tabs on is random read and write times. These figures represent the amount of time taken to copy data randomly across the entire size of the card, rather than copying individual chunks of data. Again, the highest spec microSD cards achieve nearly double the performance compared to regular SD cards.
- Maximum Operating Temperatures
Lastly, it’s important to check the operating temperature specifications of a given microSD. Some manufacturers state minimum temperatures instead, but those numbers can actually degrade over time. It’s therefore recommended to go with the absolute max rating whenever possible.
Most modern phones allow users to switch the internal clock frequency dynamically based on heat levels, allowing them to maintain optimum power efficiency. However, older smartphones simply throttle themselves automatically once the CPU reaches 80 percent usage. That said, checking battery life during extreme conditions is key.
Can you use any SD card for dash cam?
While most professional grade cameras usually require specialized adapters to accept certain kinds of SD cards, you shouldn’t necessarily think that means you’re stuck with having to purchase expensive accessories. There’s no real difference between a “regular” SD card and a microSD card aside from physical dimensions. Both fall within the same standards.
Similarly, if you want to record video footage straight onto a microSD card, you can certainly do so. All you really need is a compatible adapter and some sort of software package that works with the card format.
On the downside, however, you should note that microSD cards are slower than regular SD cards, especially since the latter has been able to increase its transfer rate significantly through several iterations. Also, the number of supported formats isn’t very extensive either.
That being said, if you’re planning to regularly backup your pictures and videos to cloud services, then a cheaper option might be to buy a compact flash storage unit. Those typically offer similar functionality with less hassle.
We recommend keeping a close eye on prices and availability online. Prices fluctuate rapidly and stock levels change constantly. Make sure you order early to ensure you get everything you need.
How long does a 64GB SD card last in a dash cam?
There’s no set answer to this question as it depends entirely upon what you intend to use the card for. Obviously, if you’re taking lots of photos and uploading them directly to social networks, you’re going to fill up pretty quickly. But if you’re mainly concerned with recording HD video footage, you can easily burn through hundreds of gigabytes in no time flat.
For general browsing, watching movies and TV shows, gaming, listening to music, etc., you probably wouldn’t notice the difference regardless of how big the card was.
But remember, if you’re trying to capture footage for broadcast news or sports events, then higher resolutions and higher frame rates are essential. Otherwise you might miss crucial moments. As a rule of thumb, you should aim to shoot in FullHD resolution at 60 frames per second.
Also, beware of the advertised storage limit for microSD cards. Most manufacturers quote roughly 20 hours of continuous 1080p video playback, but actual results vary wildly depending on factors including the brand, firmware version, hardware configuration, etc. To prevent disappointment later, test each card ahead of time and see how well it holds up to repeated viewing.
Is SanDisk Extreme good for dash cam?
SanDisk seems to dominate the consumer market for microSD cards, largely thanks to its aggressive pricing strategy.
Its flagship product is the SanDisk Extreme PRO series. According to reviews, it offers excellent value for money and solid performance across the board. While it’s not perfect, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a reliable microSD card for a decent price.
MicroSD cards are great options for anyone who needs a small form factor yet doesn’t care about shooting raw video footage. Just keep in mind that you mustn’t confuse them with Secure Digital Cards, which operate differently.
John has been a gamer since the early age of 7, playing a huge variety of single-player games, and MMOs, and even participating in LAN Tournaments for FPS games such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Ever since he found his passion in gaming & in technology in general, he has continuously increased his knowledge in software, programming & hardware and is now working at TechReviewTeam helping readers, answering questions, writing articles & reviews for the team.