September 11th, 2013 by StorageReview Consumer Desk
Samsung microSDHC Plus Series Review (MB-MPBGB)
The Samsung microSDHC Plus Series ships in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities and is designed to meet mainstream consumer applications including implementation in smartphones and tablets. The Plus Series from Samsung is distinguished from typical flash cards with its higher performance rating of 48MB/s for read activity and 13MB/s for write activity. At the same time, the Plus Series is more affordable than the higher-end flash cards such as Samsung's own Pro Series. Positioned between value and enthusiast categories, Samsung's microSDHC Plus Series also features UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 6 video recording rating. What that boils down to is that the cards can perform quick transfers and handle HD video.
As we've mentioned with other Samsung products before, particularly with the SSDs, the company presents a strong value proposition to consumers by producing most of the components it utilizes in-house. That means that Samsung can offer higher levels of customer service and that they offer greater reliability. Along those lines, the microSDHC Plus Series can withstand exposure to magnets, shock and X-rays. Samsung says that the card can even tolerate up to 24 hours of seawater submersion.
The Samsung microSDHC Plus Series is available now at a street price of $14 for the 8GB, $16 for the 16GB and $28 for the 32GB. That price is inclusive of a 10 year warranty. Our review card is the 32GB model.
Samsung microSDHC Plus Series Specifications
- Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
- Data Transfer Speed: Up to 48MB/s read and 13MB/s write (UHS-I Interface)
- Voltage: 2.7~3.6V
- Operating Temperature: -25ºC to 85ºC
- Non-operating Temperature: -40ºC to 85ºC
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 0.59" x 0.43" x 0.04"
- Weight: .017 oz
- Warranty: 10 Years Limited
Design and Build
The Samsung microSDHC Plus Series card features a design near-identical to that of its enthusiast-designed sibling Pro Series. The lone difference is that on the Plus Series, there is orange font for the capacity information (versus white on the Pro Series). The top of the card also features speed class information and Samsung branding.
The reverse side of the card features 8 gold connector pins and had additional card information.
The Samsung microSDHC Plus card in this review is a 32GB capacity and is Samsung's mainstream offering, which sits between their enthusiast line and the lower-end commodity grade cards.
In this review we include the following comparables from our database of memory card reviews:
- Samsung Pro Series microSDHC 32GB
- Samsung Pro Series microSDXC 64GB
- SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I 64GB
Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the Samsung microSDHC Plus Series 32GB with IOMeter. Sequential read speeds measured 71.44MB/s, while write activity hit 20.08MB/s. These results were significantly higher than expected and actually compared similarly to the higher end Samsung Pro microSDXC in 64GB capacity which hit reads of 66.26MB/s and writes of 19.63MB/s and the Pro microSDHC 32GB capacity card which hit 67.94MB/s for read activity and 22.78MB/s for write. As a matter of scale, compared to the high-end SanDisk offering, the Extreme microSDXC posts read and write speeds of 89.41MB/s and 58.51MB/s respectively.
Switching to random large-block transfers, we measured 67.35MB/s read and 20.04MB/s write for the 32GB microSDHC Plus. The 32GB Pro microSDHC posted 63.24MB/s read and 5.25MB/s write, the 64GB microSDXC 62.24MB/s read and 19.29MB/s write and the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC came in with 82.10MB/s read and 41.54MB/s write. Again the Plus Series microSDHC holds up well against its Pro brethren, topping the performance of both. As we'd expected the card was bested by the SanDisk Extreme, which is also substantially more expensive than the Samsung Plus family.
Of course this nearly identical performance between the two Samsung families raises a question as to why someone should buy the Pro line at all. What often happens with the midrange and lower end flash products like memory cards and USB drives is that they are required to hit a minimum spec, but often exceed that spec depending on which bin parts are available. So if a higher grade NAND chip is available and the originally specced chip is not, then the consumer could actually get a better product as appears the case here. This makes testing midrange flash cards a little tricky, but as we've seen in the Pro series review, we hit the Samsung spec in our lab pretty closely, so it's reasonable to expect the same thing here; with the bonus of potential upside.
The Samsung microSDHC Plus Series is a consumer flash card in the mainstream category that Samsung quotes performance figures of 48MB/s for sequential reads and 13MB/s for sequential writes. The Plus Series features U1 Speed Class and Class 6 video recording ratings, which indicate that the cards are capable of reading and writing HD video and high-resolution images. The microSDHC Plus cards are offered in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities, and the price point is quite reasonable comparatively. The 32GB capacity that we've reviewed is available with a street price of roughly $28.
In terms of tested performance, the Samsung microSDHC Plus Series 32GB posted results well above the quoted figures of 48MB/s read and 13MB/s write. In our testbed the memory card came in right around 71MB/s for sequential reads and 20MB/s for sequential writes which was faster than the higher end Samsung Pro Series. As noted though, we probably just got a bit lucky with a higher grade than normal component inside. Samsung has historically always met their quoted specs, so even without the boost we saw, the card should hit the 48MB/s read and 13MB/s write numbers Samsung promises. Even at the quoted numbers and not our inflated performance, the card looks to be a good value for the throughput.
- Performance above quoted transfer rates
- Pricing is aggressive compared to others in the space
- Plus Series maxes out at 32GB
The Samsung microSDHC Plus Series is a flash card designed to enable consumers to avoid compromising on either value or performance. Instead, the microSDHC Plus Series ships with relatively low street pricing and impressive transfer rates.