by Lyle Smith

Samsung EVO Plus microSD Memory Card Review (128GB)

Samsung has released the newest generation of their immensely successful EVO Plus microSD card line, citing various performance improvements, a new Grade 3 (U3) speed class, and more capacity. Available in capacities from 32GB to 256GB, the new EVO Plus line is designed for consumers looking for a performance-driven storage on their high-end smartphone as well as professionals who deal with high-resolution photography, videos and other media files. The revamped EVO microSD cards are also, unsurprisingly, one of the best dollar-per-GB ratio options on the market; a feature which seems to be par for the course over the past 5 years for Samsung as they continue to dominate this market.

The new EVO Plus cards are powered by the company’s advanced in-house NAND and are now able to potentially reach the industry maximum UHS-I read speeds of 100MB/s, a slight improvement over the last gen's 95MB/s specification. They also feature Samsung’s 4-Proof technology: x-ray proof, magnetic-proof, waterproof, and temperature proof. While the higher capacities are ideal for 4K video processing, the 32GB model is better suited for HD video, as Samsung quotes lower read and write performance.

Backed by a 10-year warranty, the new Samsung EVO Plus microSD cards go for an MSRP of $29.99 (32GB), $49.99 (648GB), and $99.99 (128GB). The pricing and availability of the 256GB model will be announced soon.

Samsung EVO Plus microSD Cards Specifications

  • Form Factor: MicroSD
  • User Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Bus Speed: Mode: UHS-I SDR104
  • Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 1 (mm) (L x W x H)
  • Weights: Approx. 0.5g
  • Performance
    • Speed Class: Class 10
    • Speed Grade: Grade 3 (U3)
    • Sequential Read: Up to 100 MB/s
    • Sequential Write: Up to 60 MB/s (Up to 90MB/s for 128GB and 256GB capacities)
  • Temperature Operating: -25°C to 85°C
  • Non-Operating: -40°C to 85°C Humidity 40°C, 93%, 500hr (storage)
  • Durability 10,000 mating cycles
  • 4-Proof Features:
    • Waterproof (IEC 60529, IPX7)
    • Temperature-proof
    • X-ray-proof
    • Magnetic-proof
  • EMC Certifications: FCC, CE, VCCI, NATA
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

Design and build

The new Samsung EVO Plus microSD continues to use the same branded design of the company’s flash cards (both SD and microSD lines) with its modern orange and white exterior. The only change from the last gen cards is that it uses the full word “plus” (vs. “+”) and the Speed Class 3 indicator.

Flipping the card over shows the 9 connector pins the model number, and the country of manufacture (Philippines). As is the norm with all new Samsung microSD cards, the new EBO plus line is also bundled with an SD adapter for compatibility with full-sized SD card slots.

Performance

In this review, we will compare the new Samsung EVO Plus to the following microSD cards:

Note: The SanDisk Extreme Pro is one of the company’s premium and most expensive offerings, while the EVO Plus line is Samsung’s mid-range card.

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the new 128GB model. Results were certainly much better than the older EVO Plus card (especially in writes), as it posted 92.15MB/s read and 84.62MB/s write. The previous generation 128GB Samsung EVO Plus microSD card hit sequential transfer rates of 84.9MB/s read and 19.7MB/s write, respectively. Moreover, the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC achieved reads of 90.9MB/s and writes of 74.7MB/s.

When comparing random large-block transfers, however, the new EVO Plus card fell behind in writes with just 1.15MB/s. Reads were much better at 85.72MB/s. In comparison, the last gen EVO Plus recorded 79.5MB/s read with 3.9MB/s write, which shows both a slight gain and a loss by the newest release. The SanDisk Extreme Plus posted read and write speeds of 85.9MB/s and 43.8MB/s respectively.

We also looked at looked at transfer speeds using a USB 3.0 connection on a previous generation MacBook Pro via the BlackMagic disk speed test--a Mac-specific tool mainly used to see how well it works with high-quality video. In this benchmark, the new EVO Plus microSD card gave a performance of 87.5MB/s read and 75.6MB/s write

Conclusion

To no one’s surprise, Samsung has released yet another solid microSD line. In addition to all of the same features of the older models, Samsung has doubled the maximum capacity of the EVO Plus cards to 256GB (though it won’t be available right away) for a total of four different capacities. This allows consumers to choose a model that will best suit their needs. Like all Samsung SD storage, these small memory cards are also a rugged bunch, as they feature increased water, shock, magnet, X-ray and temperature protection. 

Looking at its performance shows great results for both its class and price point. We put the 128GB model (which retails for just $100) through a variety of benchmarks, including our USB 3.0 BlackMagic disk speed test, where it posted 87.5MB/s read and 75.6MB/s write. During our 2MB a sequential test, the new EVO Plus card showed reads and writes of 92.15MB/s and 84.62MB/s, respectively, which is a massive increase over its predecessor in the latter category. While random 2MB reads hit an impressive 85.72MB/s, writes slowed down to a near stop at just 1.15MB/s--the only low mark in our tests. 

Pros

  • Samsung pedigree with a 10-year warranty
  • A modest improvement in performance over predecessor
  • New 256GB model

Cons

  • Random 2MB writes still a major weak point for the EVO Plus line 

Bottom Line

With noticeable gains over the previous generation, the revamped EVO Plus microSD card is better than ever, offering a new high capacity point with great performance at a great price.

Samsung EVO+ microSD cards on Amazon

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