I'm looking to get a 64gb micro SD card for my phone (Samsung Note 3 running Lollipop). The prices online run anywhere from $6 to $120. I read on a photography blog that there are speed classes and they recommended high speed for high res video. I'm looking to put my music files on it.

Is there any difference between a cheap card and a name brand? Do I need to worry about speed class for my smartphone? What about 128gb cards?

Note: I'm not looking for a brand recommendation, just what differences there might be between micro SD cards.

  • 1
    Generally a good rule is - "You get what you pay for.", to loosely quote Goldie Hawn in Protocol "If you paid 10 cents for a diamond, chances are, you have a diamond not worth a dime."
    – wbogacz
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 15:03
  • @wbogacz Nah, not always true. Sometimes it can be but a lot of times you're just paying for a name. Do you have any reason to think this applies here? Half the time things are made in the same factory with the same materials, the only difference being the screen printing on the front. A lot of things have to meet pretty stringent specs before they can use the trademarked standard. Some standards are looser than others.
    – Tom
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 15:15
  • A quick search on Google will provide links that help eliminate many of the cheapest SD Cards. Stick to the brand names for quality. Some brands are better than others, but non-brands just don't make the lists.
    – wbogacz
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


All SD cards are created equal – but some are more equal than others.1 There's quality for one (as wbogacz stated: "You get what you pay for" – you cannot expect a high-quality long-life product for free). Another criterion are the "classes" – and not only for speed, but also for energy consumption. As higher classes are faster, your battery will last longer for they eat less juice.

With cheap no-name cards you might draw a lucky one, but no guarantees for that. With brand names you get warranty: less risk of short live, and replacements when broken.

My recommendations for use with Android devices:

  • do not go below class 6 (too slow and too battery-hungry)
  • use a known brand with good reputation
  • better pay a buck more than to be sorry later
  • if money is an issue, better stick with a smaller good card than a cheap big one

1: freely adapted after Orwell's Animal Farm

  • Thanks. Was going to put $20 on a Samsung, but found one for 3 bucks more from a brand I'd never heard of with twice the read time specs. I'm thinking write times won't be as important for my uses
    – Tom
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 17:26
  • Samsung should be a good choice usually (SanDisk as well). And "thanks" should be an upvote on SE sites :)
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 19:17

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