May 15th, 2014 by Lyle Smith
Samsung microSD PRO 32GB Memory Card Review (MB-MG32DA/AM)
Along with the new line of SD cards Samsung announced last month, a new updated family of microSD cards were also released, all of which are also designed for different use cases for levels of high end digital imaging and mobile devices. The 32GB Pro unit, which like its SD Pro brethren, offers an impressive set of specifications with quoted read and write speeds of 90MB/s and 80MB/s (with UHS-1 interface) respectively. Samsung indicates that their microSD PRO line has the ability to capture photos and video 4x faster than typical microSDs, which is likely a legitimate claim based on these numbers as well as our recent reviews of the SD line. This allows them to seamlessly capture full HD video when using cameras.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s microSD line is also a tough set of memory cards, as they can survive up to 24 hours in seawater and can endure temperatures from -25°C to all the way up to 85°C. These little guys are also X-Ray-Proof and protect user data from damage caused by airport X-ray machines with the ability to resist up to 13 times the magnetic force of home theater speakers.
The new Samsung PRO microSD cards come in capacities of 16GB of 32GB (the 64GB unit is not yet available) going for a street price of $25 and $37 respectively. All cards are backed by a 3-year warranty. Our review capacity is the 32GB model.
- Model number: MB-MG32DA/AM
- Type: microSDHC Memory Card
- Class: 10
- Interface: UHS-1, compatible to HS interface
- Capacities: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB (not yet available)
- Data transfer Speed:
- Read: up to 90MB/s with UHS-1 interface
- Write: Up to 80MB/s with UHS-1 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): 0.59" x 0.43" x 0.04"
- Weight: 0.017 oz.
- Warranty: 3-years
Design and Build
As we mentioned in our previous reviews of the rebooted SD/microSD line, Samsung has completely rebranded its entire family of memory cards with a new, slick exterior design. The PRO microSD looks virtually the same as the Pro SD with its white and grey casing and distinctly printed white numbers that indicate its capacity (32GB in our case).
The Samsung logo located at the top, while the bottom indicates the speed class designation and microSD card type, which is Class 10, UHS-1 compatible to HS interface. Also included in the package is an SD adapter, which candidly states “SD Adapter for microSD.”
On its backside, you will see the 9 connector pins in addition to the model number. It also displays that the cards were manufactured in Korea and designed by Samsung.
In this review, we will include the following comparables:
- Samsung microSDHC Plus
- SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-I
- Toshiba microSD Class 10 UHS-I
- SanDisk Ultra microSDXC
Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the 32GB Samsung Pro microSD card with IOMeter. Sequential read and write speeds posted an impressive 89.3MB/s and 75.6MB/s respectively. Two of SanDisk cards showed the best results as far as read activity goes, with the Extreme Plus clocking in at 92.0MB/s read and 60.5MB/s write and the Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-1 boasting reads of 90.9MB/s and write speeds of 74.7MB/s. As for the other comparables, the prior-gen Samsung microSDHC Plus 32GB clocked in at 71.44MB/s read and 20.08MB/s write and the lower-class Toshiba card measured 34.3MB/s read and 12.1MB/s write. The SanDisk Ultra recorded sequential activity measured at 44.66MB/s and 14.29MB/s for read and write, respectively.
When comparing random large-block transfers, the Samsung Pro posted 85.8MB/s read and 10.2MB/s write, besting all of its competition on the read side (with the exception of the Extreme Plus by a narrow margin) but giving up some in write. The SanDisk Extreme Plus measured read and write speeds of 85.9MB/s and 43.8MB/s respectively, while the SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC scored 87.6MB/s read and 13.4MB/s write. The Samsung microSDHC Plus 32GB hit 67.35MB/s read and the SanDisk Ultra 20.04MB/s write and 43.98MB/s and 2.45MB/s for read and write, respectively. The Toshiba microSD clocked in at only 33.1MB/s read and 1.6MB/s write.
These results are not surprising due to the Pro line’s use of MLC NAND, which gives it a major advantage in both performance and endurance since most flash cards (like our comparables) use TLC and are often made from the lowest cost NAND available.
The new Samsung Pro microSD series is specifically designed for enthusiasts and professionals who use the latest high end smart phones, tablets and cameras and require superior performance from their flash cards. The Pro Series microSD cards come in three different capacities, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB though the 64GB unit isn’t yet available. The look-and-feel of the Samsung Pro microSD series really shines compared to competing cards with its sleek white and silver design. This tiny flash card is also water, shock, magnet, X-ray and temperature proof, which is an excellent set of rugged features for workers on the go.
There weren’t any surprises when we dive into the performance of the Samsung Pro microSD, which quotes an impressive 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write activity, supporting a UHS Speed Class 1 and Class 10 video recording ratings. We measured sequential read and write of 89.3MB/s and 75.6MB/s respectively, while random activity boasted 85.8MB/s and write activity hit 10.2MB/s. Though the write speeds were a little low in the random column, this is definitely a top-in-class microSD card for its intended use case that offers bar setting performance in sequential writes as well as substantial gains over the previous generation microSD Pro cards.
Pricing is also very competitive for the Pro line, which go for only $25 and $37 for the 16GB/32GB capacities respectively. In comparison to cards of similar class, this is essentially the lowest priced card from a well-known brand name (e.g. the SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB model goes for roughly $42, while the SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB model goes for $40). Like with all its newly released cards, Samsung is looking to set a new standard across the market as far as price and performance is concerned.
- Sleek design
- Bar setting performance in sequential write activity
- Great price
- 64GB not shipping yet
Enthusiasts, professionals, and mainstream users alike will find that the new microSD Samsung Pro line will deliver the performance and reliability needed for any high-end mobile device; all at a very competitive price point.