microSD Buying Guide - Best Buy Canada

October 02, 2012

microSD Buying Guide

Your smartphone or cell phone only comes with a limited amount of space for you to store photos, videos, files, and contacts in your address book. Picking up a micro SD card can help you add even more room for everything you want.

microSD

What is a micro SD card?

A micro SD (Secure Digital) card is a tiny flash memory card that’s most commonly used in smartphones and cell phones but can also be used in GPS devices, audio players, gaming consoles and more. About the quarter of the size of a regular SD card, a "micro" card is roughly the size of your fingernail at just 15mm (height) x 11mm (width) x 0.1mm (depth).

Adapter

If you plan to transfer your files from your micro SD-enabled devices to a regular-sized SD device such as your computer, you’ll want to choose a card that comes with an adapter. You can easily turn your micro SD card into a full-size SD card quickly and easily.

Probably the best thing about adding a micro SD card to your digital devices is the power to extend your memory so you can store more files. Quite simply, if your smartphone includes 8GB of storage and you insert an 8GB micro SD card, then you’ll have 16 gigs to play with.

How to use your micro SD card

Adding more storage to your digital devices is super easy. Simply insert a micro SD card into the available slot and you’re good to go. You might need to go into your device’s settings and ensure that your files will be saved to the card rather than internal storage.

If you have an adapter for your micro SD card and you want to transfer files to a device that only accepts full-size cards, it’s a cinch to use too:

  1. Once you’ve saved files to your micro SD card, insert it into the adapter
  2. Insert your adapter right into your device’s SD card slot
  3. It should be recognized as a removable storage device that you can simply drag and drop files from
How to use your microSD

Features to consider

micro SD, micro SDHC, and micro SDXC

When you’re shopping for a memory card, you might see that there are three options for micro SD cards. And it’s really about size:

  • Micro SD (Secure Digital) cards are usually only up to 2GB in size
  • Micro SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards are usually only between 4GB and up to 32GB in size
  • Micro SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) cards are usually over 32GB and up to 2TB in size

The other major difference in these cards is price. A micro SD card will be considerably less than SDHC and SDXC cards, so if you don’t need a lot of extra storage, you might want to choose the less expensive option. However, if you’re shooting a lot of videos and snapping shots, you might want to consider more storage.

Check out the chart to help you determine how much space you’ll need.

  2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB
High-def movies
(MPEG 4/H.264)
20 minutes 40 minutes 80 minutes 160 minutes 320 minutes
10MP Photos 770 photos 1540 photos 3080 photos 6160 photos 12,320 photos
ACC/MP3 Music (128Kbps) 34 hours 68 hours 136 hours 272 hours 545 hours

*Please note: all numbers are estimates. Actual quantities will be dependent on your usage, different mode settings, etc.

Class Rating

Class Rating

The class rating of your micro SD card generally defines how quickly information can be read from or written to the card. For example, if you have a Class 4 micro SD card it will guarantee a minimum rate of 4MBps but depending on the card you choose, the maximum rate will differ. Micro SD cards have a top transfer speed of up to 6MB per second, while Micro SDHC cards top out at up to 20MB per second.

If you’re recording a lot of high-definition videos and snapping high-megapixel shots, you might want to consider a higher class rating (ie. Class 6 and above). A higher number will ensure that your device won’t slow down between shots while data is written to your card.

Compatibility

Compatibility

Check the specs of any smartphone and you might find that there are two storage options:

  • Memory – Built-in: this is the storage capacity that’s built right into your phone and can’t be removed.
  • Memory – Expansion Type: this typically lets you know what types and sizes of removable memory cards (like an 8GB micro SD card) your phone will support

Micro SD cards are used in almost all Android and BlackBerry smartphones, but be sure to check the specifications before buying a card.

Best Buy

Take the Next Step

Online or in-store, Best Buy carries a wide selection of micro SD cards in a variety of sizes to suit every need. Choose the one that’s right for you and start saving all your photos, videos, songs, and more so you can take them everywhere you go.

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