Since purchasing my HTC 10 I’ve found my old Micro SD card feeling a bit cramped, it hadn’t gotten smaller but it’s practical size was drastically reduced thanks to the use of Pro mode on the 12mp camera, assuming the card was used for nothing but photo storage I had seen a reduction in space from over 16000 pictures worth of capacity to 1300, and this is prior to downloads, offline music for the few times I have no signal or wifi(mostly the basement at work) I also found myself using the new camera more than on my M8 due to the abilities offered from raw capture mode in combination with Adobe Lightroom(my preferred option for on phone editing of DNG files) and it’s desktop counterpart to take some pictures above and beyond what I thought possible with a smartphone.

The search

A quick Amazon search brought several larger options from a variety of well known names, but some carry more weight than others, disregarding generic cards as they often tend to be unpredictable both in quality and performance I was left with several options at a variety of price points and performance promises. Some stand out as overkill for a smartphone such as the Samsung PRO cards which claim 90MB/s write speeds, which have their applications but are excessive and unless your use case is very high amounts of 4k recording(which doesn’t actually need that speed for the bitrate the HTC 10 uses,  roughly 50mbit or 7MB/s) out of this array the 128gb cards stand out at the impulse buy price of 40 dollars, large enough to be a decent upgrade but not in the price range of the extreme 200gb and 256gb cards(both of which are tempting but too much currently) I settled on an Evo plus model counting on Samsung’s vertical integration(they make their own nand unlike some other micro sd manufacturers) to provide some tangible benefit compared to the other options.

Testing

chart

All benchmarks were run using a think pad S1 yoga with crystal disk mark 5.1.2 set to a 50mb test size.

Upon delivery I ran the card through a few cursory benchmarks and have it here in comparison to several other devices I possess including my previous SD card(a PNY class 4), a full size Samsung evo card, and pair of generic USB3 flash drives from microcenter. As expected the new card is an across the board improvement everywhere that matters for it compared to the older card, and absolutely excels in sequential read tests compared to it’s larger form factor sibling although falling short compared to it in write speed, it’s the sequential write number that has the largest tangible impact which I honestly wasn’t expecting, taking a RAW picture always resulted in a little processing popup for a few seconds between shots which I had attributed to the phone itself, that time was significantly reduced to just at or under a second now and was a result of saving pictures to the SD card other tasks such as importing them to Lightroom also improved. A weakness shown by most of these devices is their random I/O performance but this is a non issue for use as a media device in a phone although I would look towards something else if you’re hoping to use one as a bootable OS partition.

installation was quick and painless, and android adopted the card without issue merging it with my phones internal storage, pictures save faster than ever and I now have enough room to not worry about emptying my card every time I chose to take raw photos. Overall I’m very impressed, The card offers impressive speeds and capacity without being prohibitively expensive, price does bounce around a bit but I purchased mine for 41.70 on prime.

 

You can grab one here on amazon