by Lyle Smith

Samsung EVO SD Memory Card Review 32GB (MB-SP32D)

Last month, the Samsung EVO line was launched alongside updates to the PRO and Standard SD and microSD cards, all of which are designed for different levels of high end digital imaging and mobile devices. We recently reviewed the 64GB Pro card and found it to be one of the best, if not the best, offerings of its class. This time around, however, we will be looking at the Samsung 32GB EVO SDHC card, which offers a more mainstream profile than the Pro line. Even so, Samsung’s new EVO line of SD cards are still specced to offer decent speed and performance to enable full HD video recording and high resolution pictures. Also worth noting is the new EVO branding for memory cards, which shares that of Samsung's line of high-performing but value-priced SSDs. 

As for the specifics of its performance capabilities, the EVO line of SD cards support Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) Class 1 level performance and are quoted to offer read speeds up to 48MB/s. For write activity, Samsung simply states that it is "slower than transfer speed." Like the other newly released Samsung SD cards, the EVO line is designed to withstand some pretty tough conditions, this includes being water and temperature-proof, withstanding up to 24 hours in seawater as well as in temperatures ranging from -13ºF to 185ºF. Additionally, Samsung states that it also protects user data against damage caused by airport X-ray machines, resists up to 13 times the magnetic force of home theater speakers, and can take a hit-and-run by a 1.6-ton vehicle and survive; well intact.

The Samsung EVO line of SD cards ship in capacities of 16GB and 32GB for a street price of roughly $15 and $25 respectively. All cards are backed by a limited 10-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Model: MB-SP32D
  • Type: SDHC Memory Card
  • Class: 10
  • Interface: UHS-I, compatible to HS interface
  • Capacities: 16GB, 32GB
  • Performance: Up to 48MB/s transfer speed with UHS-I interface
  • Voltage: 2.7~3.6V
  • Environmental Specs:
  • Operating Temperature: -25℃ to 85℃
  • Non-Operating Temperature: -40℃ to 85℃
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 1.26" x 0.94" x 0.06"
  • Weight: 0.07 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited 10 years

Design and Build

Like its Pro brethren, the EVO memory cards sport newly designed exteriors and branding. The EVO line has a nice looking orange and white casing as well as distinctly printed white numbers that indicate the specific capacity (32GB for our unit). The Samsung logo is vividly located at the top. Additionally, the speed class designation and SD card type are also located on the front side of the card. Since it is an SD card, it is likely that it will remain inside a device for most of its lifespan so the look and feel isn't as important as other storage devices; however, Samsung's new design is very refreshing to see, as SD cards are usually plain ol' black with printing on top.

To further protect data, a sliding lock mechanism for data protection is located on the side with the Lock indicator on the front. When you turn the card over to its back, you will see the 9 connector pins as well as the model number. It also indicates that the cards were manufactured in Korea and designed by Samsung.

Performance

In this review, we will include the following comparables with their respective advertised performance numbers:

The only SD card similar in class is the Samsung Plus 32GB. The others are used as a matter of scale.

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the Samsung 32GB EVO SD card, which posted write activity at 19.0MB/s and read activity at 44.6MB/s, the latter of which was just below what was quoted by Samsung. Its top-end Pro brethren boasted impressive sequential read speeds of 91.6MB/s, while write activity hit 79.5MB/s. The Samsung Plus Series card measured 70.0MB/s read, while write activity hit 19.82MB/s. The 64GB Kingston SDXC recorded sequential read and write speeds measuring 89.6MB/s and 59MB/s respectively while the Lexar Professional 600x SDXC posted 81.3MB/s read and 44.3MB/s write.

Switching to random large-block transfers, we measured the Samsung EVO SD card at 44.0MB/s read with a very impressive 31.6MB/s write. It's write activity was surprisingly much faster than the Pro series--almost doubling its speed--which scored 18.95MB/s write and 85.5MB/s read. The other Samsung card, the Plus series, measured 66.1MB/s read and 19.7MB/s write. As for the remaining comparables, the 64GB Kingston SDXC boasted 86.8MB/s read and 11.2MB/s write, while the Lexar Professional marked in with an activity of 79.6MB/s read and 10.8MB/s write.

Conclusion

The Samsung EVO Series line is designed for mainstream consumers looking for reliable memory cards to use in their digital cameras, DSLRs, camcorders, and PCs with a blend of performance and price in mind. The EVO Series SDHC cards come in just two capacities, 16GB and 32GB. Like the Pro line, the Samsung EVO series really stands out from SD card market with its attractive design, which comprises of a white and orange body. Though it's likely that users will rarely see the card itself once they insert it in their device, it's a nice bonus to have. As far as its build goes, the small memory card feels sturdy and rugged in our hands, which is was a given as its build is identical to Pro line. In addition, the Samsung EVO SD cards are water, shock, magnet, X-ray and temperature proof, a great feature for consumers who are often on the go in various types of environments and situations.

When diving into its performance results, it certainly seems like an interesting case. The EVO 32GB quotes 48MB/s read (oddly enough, Samsung does not indicate a specific potential write activity on the official product page), with a UHS Speed Class 1 and Class 10 video recording rating. This allows users to have optimal read and writes even with HD video. The EVO performed essentially what was expected of it, with the exception of phenomenal write activity that was posted in one of our tests. We measured 44.6MB/s read and 19.00MB/s write in our sequential activity transfers tests, while random activity boasted a 44.0MB/s read and a bar setting 31.6MB/s write. The EVO's write performance in our random activity tests outperformed all of its comparables, including the Pro, by a significant margin. 

The EVO line is also priced very well, going for only $15 for the 16GB model and $25 for the 32GB capacity. As we stated in our last review, Samsung seems to be bent on changing the market with their flash media cards the same way the company has done with their SSDs: impressive performance at a market leading price point. Their EVO line of SD cards only enforces this point.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Good performance, most notably in the random large-block transfers write column
  • Fantastic price

Cons

  • None

Bottom Line

The Samsung EVO SD line offers great design, performance, and pricing, which results in a must buy for anyone looking for a quality SD card for their digital camera, DSLR, camcorder, or PC with an affordable price point.

Samsung EVO SD Memory Card at Amazon

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