Finding the Biggest Micro SD Card

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The biggest micro SD card currently available is 1TB, but not every one of the largest micro SD cards is made the same.

There are various speed options between the highest capacity micro SD cards, which make some models much better suited to use in a camera, phone or Nintendo Switch than others.

There is also a large price premium for the biggest microSD card over lower capacity versions that might be more appropriate for you. For example, instead of a 1TB micro SD card, why not get two, much faster 512GB micro SD cards for a lower total price?

This article covers all the options for those looking for the largest microSD card, including real-world speed tests, and shows you exactly what metrics you should care about in the highest capacity SD cards.


biggest micro sd card
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What Is the Largest Micro SD Card?

There are plenty of options of microSD cards available on the market today; however, if you’re looking for the largest microSD card, then the ones with the highest micro SD card capacity are typically 1000 GB or 1 TB cards.

The top high capacity micro SD cards not only have high capacities, but they offer high read and write speeds, which are essential if you’re writing a lot of data or recording high-resolution videos in 4K or Ultra HD and require plenty of space.

Some of the best brands that offer 1TB cards include Sandisk, Lexar and PNY, which are renowned for their high read and write speeds. For instance, the 1TB micro SD card from Sandisk offers claimed transfer speeds of 100MB/s to 120MB/s. We’ll see later in the article how these marketing claims stack up against real-world tesst.

If you are keen on getting a 1TB microSD card, then you should ensure that it is compatible with your device. Advice on this is covered below.


Brand Name vs Generic Micro SD Cards

When buying a microSD card online, you may be tempted by the extremely low prices and seemingly good-quality generic brands that you probably have never heard of. Generic micro SD cards typically don’t have any brand name, manufacturer information or contact details, or use a name that is completely unknown to you.

While these generic microSD cards are available at a fraction of the cost compared to branded ones, they are either unreliable or do not have the stated capacity. They are very slow, break quite easily, can cause data-recording errors, have compatibility issues and can stop working for no reason and when they do, you will end up losing all your data.

So, it’s always to spend a little bit more and opt for branded microSD cards, which offer better reliability, performance and other things such as image recovery software access, lifetime warranty, etc. And for this reason, we have considered only branded memory cards in this article.

samsung micro sd card

Micro SD Card Speed

According to the SD Association, memory cards are typically defined by their speed ratings, also called Speed Class. This refers to the absolute minimum write speed for SD cards and microSD cards. There are essentially 3 kinds of speed classes i.e., Speed Class, UHS Speed Class and Video Speed Class.

  • Speed Classes
    • Class 10: 10MB/sec, which is the fastest and ideal for HD video and still consecutive recording
    • Class 6: 6MB/sec suitable for HD video recording
    • Class 4: 4MB/ sec suitable for HD video recording
    • Class 2: 2MB/sec, which is the slowest is well-suited for standard-definition video recording
  • Ultra High Speed Classes
    • UHS Speed Class 1: 10MB/sec
    • UHS Speed Class 3: 30MB/sec
  • Video Speed Classes
    • V90: Up to 8K video recording
    • V60: 4K video recording
    • V30: Full HD or HD video
    • V10 and V6: Standard video

Speed classes are relevant only when you consider high-performance applications such as high-resolution videos that require Class 10 memory cards and above. For devices such as tablets, smartphones or cheaper digital cameras which have lower bandwidths, you might be able to get away with a Class 6 or Class 4 SD memory card, although this is not recommended for most users.

Read More:

What are U3 vs U1 speed classes?


Reviews of the Largest Micro SD Cards

These are the current largest SD cards, with the highest capacity of 1TB. There is no reason why larger cards will not be produced in the future, so keep an eye out for 2TB or even 4TB maximum SD card sizes in the next few years.

1. SanDisk Extreme 1TB

SanDisk Extreme 1TB

Specifications

  • Stated Read Speed: Up to 160 MB/sec
  • Stated Write Speed: Up to 90 MB/sec
  • Real-World Read Speed: 94.6 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 88.8 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB, 512 GB and 1TB

If you’re on the lookout for a micro SD card that offers a huge storage capacity, then undoubtedly, the SanDisk 1TB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Card has the largest SD card capacity of any card currently on the market.

Perfect for your action camera, drone or smartphone, this micro SD card offers excellent speeds for 4K UHD, app performance and fast transfer and can handle full-HD video, 4K UHD video recording and high-res photos.

The card is stated to read up to 160 MB/sec, which would allow you to transfer around 30 minutes of 4K video and 1,000 high-res photos in 3 minutes or less. It supports write speeds up to 90 MB/sec according to Sandisk, which is ideal for modern cameras.

In real-world testing the Sandisk Extreme has a sequential read speed of 94.6 MB/sec, and a sequential write speed of 88.8 MB/sec. The disappointing read speed is offset by the write speed nearly matching manufactuer recommendations, and makes this card excellent value for money.

The card has U3 (UHS Speed Class 3) and V30 (Video Speed Class 30) ratings that solidify its ability to enable you to capture full-HD and 4K UHD videos without any interruptions.

The card’s A2 Specification allows you to load apps faster and enhances your smartphone experience. The SanDisk 1TB Extreme card is waterproof, temperature proof, shockproof and X-ray proof and ensures long-lasting durability.

The storage capacity, performance and flexibility of the SanDisk 1TB Extreme make this largest SD card size a huge favorite with professionals on the move. The massive storage capacity of the SD card is a big advantage for smartphone users who can add up to 8x or more storage space on their phone, especially if you want to shoot 4K videos.

The SanDisk 1TB Extreme is also a simple and inexpensive way to increase the internal storage capacity for laptops including some models of Macbooks, Windows or Chromebooks. And, the sturdy and durable construction of the microSD allows you to use it in drones that can be operated in high temperature and harsh weather conditions.

Apart from the 1 TB capacity, the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Card comes in various other capacities including 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB and 512 GB.

  • Pros:
  • Best value for money trade-off between price and performance
  • Highest capacity SD card available currently
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Very fast performance
  • Cons:
  • Read speed does not quite match up to manufacturer specs
  • May be excessive if you don’t need 1TB storage space
SanDisk Extreme 1TB

2. SanDisk 1TB Ultra

SanDisk 1TB Ultra

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 120 MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Not stated
  • Real-World Read Speed: 92.8 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 33.4 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U1
  • Grade: C10
  • A1 Specification
  • Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB

Perfect for use with Android tablets and smartphones and MIL cameras, the SanDisk 1TB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card offers huge storage space, enabling you to store several hours of full-HD video. The card has an A1-rated performance that enables it to load apps faster.

The C10, U1 card has read speeds of up to 120 MB/sec that enable you to transfer 1,000 photos a minute; however, the card’s write speeds are a lot lower. The SanDisk 1TB Ultra also comes in a wide range of capacities including 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200 GB, 256 GB, 400 GB and 512 GB.

Real-world write speeds are around 33.4 MB/sec, while read speeds are 92.8 MB/sec. This is therefore not suited to 4K video recording, but is a significantly cheaper option than the much faster Sandisk Extreme.

  • Pros:
  • Reliable card
  • Large capacity
  • Good value
  • Cons:
  • Very write speed
  • Not great for 4K recording
SanDisk 1TB Ultra

3. Lexar Play 1TB

Lexar Play 1TB

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 150MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Not stated
  • Real-World Read Speed: ~65 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: ~33 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB

If you’re looking for an affordable memory card, then the Lexar Play 1TB microSDXC UHS-I-Card is a good option. Designed mainly for gaming, the microSD card is compatible with portable gaming devices, Nintendo Switch, tablets and smartphones.

The U3, V30 class, 1TB card offers ample storage space and has a stated read speed of up to 150 MB/sec, with the A2 rating ensuring fast performance. The Lexar Play microSD not only comes in 1 TB capacity but is also available in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. Overall, the Lexar Play 1TB memory card is a good option if you’re on a budget but require a large storage capacity.

Unfortunately, real-world testing puts the sequential read speed at around 65 MB/sec, with write speed at around 33 Mb/sec, which is shows that you get what you pay for.

  • Pros:
  • Ample storage space
  • The card comes with 5-year limited product support
  • Cheaper for a 1TB card
  • Cons:
  • Has very low write speeds of 50 MB/sec or even less
Lexar Play 1TB

4. Sandisk Extreme Pro 1TB

Sandisk Extreme Pro 1TB

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 170 MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Up to 90 MB/sec
  • Real-World Read Speed: 96.3 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 87.0 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB

The Sandisk microSDXC Extreme Pro is a 1 TB microSD card that is perfect for computers, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, action cameras, drones and more. Offering a huge 1 TB storage, the card would be very fast if it matched its stated speeds, with reading speeds of up to 170 MB/sec and write speeds of up to 90 MB/sec.

Real-world testing puts the speeds at more like 96.3 MB/sec read and 87.0 MB/sec write, which is very good, but doesn’t really justify the much higher price of this model over the Sandisk Extreme.

The U3, V30 card is A2 rated for faster performance and app loading and is perfect for 360° video recording and virtual reality, The microSDXC card is sturdy and durable and can withstand tough conditions because it is waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof and shockproof.

  • Pros:
  • Good quality product from a well-known brand
  • Very high speeds
  • Large storage capacity
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Cons:
  • Very expensive
Sandisk Extreme Pro 1TB

5. PNY 1TB Pro Elite

PNY 1TB Pro Elite

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 100 MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Up to 90 MB/sec
  • Real-World Read Speed: 88.1 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 55.3 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB

You can do a lot with the PNY 1TB Pro Elite, which offers peak performance for tablets, smartphones, action cameras, drones, gaming consoles, surveillance cameras and more. The memory card offers read and write speeds of up to 100 MB/sec and 90 MB/sec respectively enabling you to capture and share high-res content very quickly.

Real-world testing puts the read speed pretty close to the maximum at 88.1 MB/sec, with lower write speeds of 55.3 MB/sec.

The V30, U3 technology makes the card perfect for HD photography and 4K ultra-HD videos, apps, music, etc. The card is A2 rated, which makes it ideal for app performance. The microSD cards are waterproof, temperature-proof, shockproof and magnet proof, making them durable and reliable. The card comes in various capacities including 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB.

  • Pros:
  • Durable card
  • Good read and write speed
  • Plenty of storage
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Cons:
  • Becomes quite hot in use
PNY 1TB Pro Elite

6. Samsung Pro Plus 512GB

Samsung Pro Plus 512GB

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 160MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Up to 120MB/sec
  • Real-World Read Speed: 92.7 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 85.0 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: U3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB

Built to last, the Samsung Pro Plus microSDXC card offers extreme performance and robust reliability, which makes it the perfect choice for digital media professionals, photographers, etc. The Class 10 rated, U3 card offers supercharged read and write speeds of up to 160MB/sec and 120MB/ sec that allow you to shoot 4K videos on your drone or smartphone.

Real-world tests put the read speed at 92.7 MB/sec and write speed at 85.0 MB/sec, which is significantly below the claimed speeds, hence the cards lower position in this list.

The card has an A2 rating that offers greater storage for games and apps. Surprisingly tough and sturdy, the Samsung Pro Plus comes with a 6-way peace of mind protection with its temperature, water, magnet, X-ray, wear out and drop protection and it can withstand up to 72 hours when submerged in seawater.

Backed by a 10-year limited warranty, the microSDXC card is long lasting. The Samsung Pro Plus microSDXC card comes in various capacities including 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB giving you all the storage space you want. This can be a good choice if you want two 512GB cards to make up your total capacity to 1TB, which helps to protect against card failures.

  • Pros:
  • Excellent reliability
  • Fast read and write speeds
  • Backed by a 10-year limited warranty
  • Good value
  • Cons:
  • Lower read and write speeds that specs
Samsung Pro Plus 512GB

7. Samsung EVO Select 512GB

Samsung EVO Select 512GB

Specifications

  • Read Speed: Up to 130 MB/sec
  • Write Speed: Up to 90 MB/sec
  • Real-World Read Speed: 96.3 MB/sec
  • Real-World Write Speed: 87.0 MB/Sec
  • UHS Speed Class: Grade 3
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • A2 Specification
  • Capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB

Offering excellent speed and reliability, the Samsung EVO Select microSDXC card enables you to get the most from your devices, whether you want to capture, transfer or store high-res photos, 4K UHD videos, music, etc. easily and quickly.

The Grade 3, Class 10 card offers super-fast read speeds of up to 130 MB/sec and write speeds of up to 90 MB/sec. The microSDXC card offers huge storage sufficient for 150,300 photos, 78 hours of full-HD video, 24 hours of 4K UHD video and 77,300 songs.

Real-world testing puts the sequential read speed at 96.3 MB/sec and write speed at 87.0 MB/sec.

Compatible with a range of SD and microSD devices, the Samsung Evo Select card comes with 6-proof protection and can withstand extreme temperatures, magnetic fields, X-ray machines, drops, wear and 72 hours submerged in seawater.

The microSDXC card comes in varying capacities including 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. Built to last, the card also comes with Samsung’s 10-year limited warranty.

  • Pros:
  • Ultra-fast performance
  • 6-proof protection
  • Comes with a 10-year limited warranty
  • Affordably priced
  • Cons:
  • Some users report much lower read and write speeds
Samsung EVO Select

Final Thoughts on the Biggest Micro SD Card

There’s only a handful of micro SD cards with a max size of 1TB, with all of them being fairly expensive. For most people, it might make more economical sense to buy two 512GB cards, which as you can see above share very similar read and write speeds with the 1TB cards in practice.

So, make sure that you have a good reason for buying a 1TB card over multiple smaller versions, although try not to go below 512GB, as card performance tends to drop off beneath this level.

Either way, for me the Sandisk Extreme offers the best trade-off of price and quality, with Sandisk being such a well-known brand that you are unlikely to see any memory card failures, even over a period of years.

largest micro sd card

FAQs

Do 1TB Micro SD Cards Exist?

Yes, there are many brands such as Sandisk, PNY, Lexar and Kingston that have 1 TB micro SD cards. And, even though you may find several old reviews online that claim that these SD cards are fake, this is no longer the case. As long as you buy a reputable brand, that will ensure that you don’t land up with a dud.

Avoid unknown and unverified sellers and purchase your SD card from the manufacturer directly or a reputable vendor. However, if you’re shopping online—from Amazon, for instance—then ensure that the product is sold and shipped by Amazon, not a third-party seller.

Are Cheap 1 TB MicroSD Cards Real?

Often, the generic microSD cards that you find online are fake. These are typically available on sites like Amazon, eBay, etc. for rock-bottom prices. It is a good idea to stay away from microSD cards that don’t have brand names on them or where the manufacturer is unverifiable.

However, microSD cards generally sold by reputable brands such as Sandisk, Samsung, PNY, Lexar and Kingston tend to be authentic. And, even if they are expensive, they offer better performance, reliability and keep your data safe.

Do They Make a 2 TB SD Card?

Today, the biggest SD card in existence is 1TB (1,000 GB). 2 TB SD cards are not yet in existence, but the SD Association approved 2 TB SD cards way back in 2009, which at that time was the theoretical maximum.

However, 2 TB cards never really materialized because the need for such a large capacity in memory cards is restricted to a very niche market. Even the worldwide demand for 1TB cards is just around 0.3% and so the market for anything above 1TB is minuscule and does not make sense for manufacturers.
Also, the cost of 2 TB SD cards would be extremely high, and so 2 TB do not exist because there is currently no demand for them.


Read More:

Sandisk Extreme vs Extreme Pro Comparison

How much 4K video can a memory card hold?

PNY vs Sandisk Comparison

Sandisk Extreme vs Extreme Plus

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Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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