SD speed class: best SD card for Samsung devices
Andrew | On 16, Dec 2014
If you are wondering whether SD speed class matters the very short answer is yes (read more here). Regardless of the size of external storage card you are looking to buy (SD / Mini SD / Micro SD) you’ll notice a speed class symbol clearly printed on both the packaging and storage drive itself. The speed class provides an indication of the storage card’s data transfer rate – that’s the speed at which the drive reads and writes. Lower speed class cards may slow down your Samsung mobile or Samsung digital camera and hinder it’s performance. Higher speed classes are more likely to allow your device to run smoothly with less lag whilst your device is utilising the external memory.
There are three different SD card formats – SD (Secure Digital), SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), and SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended capacity). The difference the three SD card formats is the file system (the way the storage organises files) and the capacity of the card. The latest format is SDXC which supports all currently available speed classes and can store up to 2TB of data. Most modern devices will support all of these formats but always check the manual before buying.
So let’s move on to the speed classes – all six of them. The paragraphs below provide an overview of each speed class and the tasks they are best suited to perform. We’ve written the information below based on the SD Association’s classification of SD speeds – they are the body governing SD standards. Remember that read and write speeds will also affect the speed at which mobile apps stored on Micro SD cards can run. Here we go…
It’s cheap but definitely not cheerful – avoid.
Read and write speeds: 2 Mb/s
Great for: SD video recording.
What we think: Avoid! You’ll find SD class 2 cards for cheap and there is a reason for that – they are slow. Plus who wants to be restricted to SD recording when your mobile can record in full HD… or even 4K?!
It’ll record 720p but we don’t recommend it.
Read and write speeds: 4 Mb/s
Great for: 720p video recording.
What we think: Getting faster – at a push you can use this card to record full HD video but these cards aren’t very fast. If you are looking for a budget buy we strongly recommend you spend a couple of pennies and go for a Speed Class 6.
The budget buy.
Read and write speeds: 6 Mb/s
Great for: HD video recording.
What we think: A good budget buy. A SD Class 6 card will not be very quick but it will do the job and is good for high definition video recording. We would recommend that this is the minimum speed SD card you buy for your Samsung Galaxy Mobile / Samsung Digital Camera or any other device which has a SD card slot.
Our recommended buy for standard users.
Read and write speeds: 10 Mb/s
Great for: HD video recording whilst simultaneously taking photos
What we think: This is the card that will comfortably deal with anything a standard smartphone / digital camera user will throw at it. It will allow you to record HD video on your Samsung Galaxy S5 and take pictures at the same time. Unless you are a heavy user your Samsung Galaxy device will be happy with a Micro SD Speed Class 10 card. If you need more muscle, and your device is UHS SD compatible you may also want to take a look at UHS 1 SD cards.
Ideal for heavy users who don’t shoot 2K or 4K videos.
Read and write speeds: 10 Mb/s
Great for: Large size HD videos and recording real-time broadcasts.
What we think: If you are a heavy user and your phone / camera supports the UHS standard this is the SD card for you. The only thing this bad boy can’t handle is recording 2K or 4K videos – however it’s very happy with huge HD videos. Just make sure your device is UHS compatible before buying!
Overkill – unless you shoot 4K movies and have a 4K screen
Read and write speeds: 30 Mb/s
Great for: 2K / 4K video recording
What we think: Unless you really really must get onto the 4K wagon early, or you are a serious tech nerd who already has their Samsung Curved OLED 4K TV, this is a complete overkill. However if you are ready to go and shoot tonnes of 2K / 4K movies, your device is UHS compatible, and you are a heavy user with some cash to spare, then this is the card for you. It’s the best speed class on the market right now.
Conclusion: Which is the best SD card for my Samsung Device?
A SD Speed Class 10 card will suit most standard users. However, you may want to invest in a UHS 1 SD Card for that extra performance boost – especially if your device is compatible with the Ultra-High-Speed SD cards and you are a heavy user that likes shooting loads of HD videos. For the rest of the cards don’t touch Class 2 and class Class 4 with a barge pole and forget Class 6 unless you are on a tight budget. As for UHS 3 – it’s the fastest on the market but a bit pointless and a massive overkill unless you shoot 2K and 4K videos.
Whatever you decide – stick with a well known manufacturer and check the reviews on Amazon to ensure you are buying a legitimate quality product. If you want to stick with Samsung – here are the cards we recommend. Click the link to read the reviews on Amazon.