|Announced Capacity||32 GiB|
|Formatted Capacity||29,80 GiB|
|Price||Amazon.com – $11.50
Amazon.co.uk – £8.99
AliExpress – €8.19
This is what vertical integration means… almost.
When it comes to memory devices, Samsung is the the undisputed king of the hill, leading both DRAM and NAND markets, and a very relevant player on all semiconductor markets, including NAND controllers. With this in mind, we expect nothing short of a very competent display of performance from any Samsung branded product.
In this review we focus com Samsung EVO MicroSDHC 32GiB card which is Samsung entry level product. Samsung presents this as a Class 10 card, advertising it’s 48MiB/s performance, which as usual probably refers to it’s read performance. This may lead us to think it is limited by an UHS50 bus.
Although the lowest offering from Samsung, neither the packaging nor the card itself shows any of the telltale markings of the lower cost offerings: solid and full color packaging a property printed microSD card, although not flawless, it does leave a feeling of a solid product. As usual, there is an anti counterfeiting device present in the form of a dual hologram and scratchpad.
Looking deeper into the card, there’s only one detail standing out: there’s no model name on the CID register. When looking at the formatted capacity we got a welcome surprise: 29,8 GiB is probably the highest value we’ve ever seen. This may indicate Samsung considerers the used flash devices have sufficient endurance to survive with a low spare area, or on the other hand, Samsung just decided to create bigger flash devices than usual. Regardless, this points to a well designed product.
Compressible Data Tests
The initial results with compressible data confirms our initial assumption: this card only supports UHS50, as read tests results are limited to around 43 MiB/s. This is in line with what is advertised, but is somewhat disappointing. When looking at the mixed test results, the same limitation is clearly present, as performance on Mix 1 test is in line with read tests. However, on the Mix 2 test, which stresses write performance, performance start showing interesting results, at more than 22MiB/s. This may indicate that overall write performance is interesting, which is actually true: write performance is surprisingly high for a low end card, at more than 22MiB/s in all cases, which handily doubles on Class 10 requirements, and trounces our baseline card by a very significant margin. We need to stress the importance of this, as it is the first card able to surpass the baseline 5 year old SD card on this test.
Random Data Tests
What kind of figures would a solid product show? Performance resilience on random data… What does this card show? Bullet proof performance. Read operations, although limited by the UHS50 bus, maintain exactly the same values on both compressible data and on random data. This is exactly what would happen when the flash devices are not the weakest link, but the UHS bus. Furthermore, when looking at the mixed operations, things continue to roll, in a very good sense. Mix 2 tests, stressing read operations are almost in line with pure read operations, and Mix 1, stressing write operations, are simply the best we’ve seen on low end products, giving us great hopes on the pure write tests.
Finally, the cherry on top of the cake. Write operation test figures are the best we’ve seen on low end products, raising the bar to values in excess of 22 MiB/s on every single block size, trouncing our baseline SD Card by a comfortable margin, and setting a class of it’s own: 20+ MiB/s. Looking carefully at the numbers, we can take a number of informed guesswork: there is no compression mambo-jambo here. Samsung designed the product in such a way that it it was either not necessary endurance wise, nor performance wise. We were not expecting anything less.
Conclusions and final remarks
This microSD card is the best overall low end product we’ve tested thus far, having one single flaw: raw read performance. Write and mixed performance are simple the best, which gives this card a number of perfect use cases. If you own a recent DSRL camera, this is the best card you can get on the low end range. Build quality is remarkable. User addressable storage is the highest amongst low cost cards, giving a definitive edge on the price per GB rating.
If you need a microSD card and this is available for purchase, you can’t go wrong, unless your only concern is read performance. Recommended!
- Unmatched write performance for a low end card
- Very high formatted capacity
- High mixed operations performance
- Limited read performance, using UHS50 bus
- Why aren’t all cards at least like this one …?
To find out how this card stacks against the the competition, read our MicroSD card shootout.