by Lyle Smith

Samsung PRO Plus MicroSD Memory Card Review

Announced earlier this month alongside the EVO Plus line, the Samsung PRO Plus microSD cards are the company’s latest enthusiast offering designed for levels of high end digital imaging and mobile devices. The previous PRO model we reviewed showed bar setting performance at a great price, so it’s unsurprising to see an upgraded release almost exactly a year later. That being said, the new PRO Plus line features a slight increase in read and write speeds quoted at 95MB/s and 90MB/s respectively (compared to the previous 90MB/s and 80MB/s), which satisfies both UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) and Class 10 performance levels (the previous version only supported Class 1). The PRO Plus line also come in capacities of 64GB and 32GB, with the 128GB model to be released at a later date, which is a pretty big boost in storage.

Like its EVO brethren, the new PRO Plus line comes with upgraded Samsung 5-proof features, allowing the tiny memory card to be waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, magnetic proof and shock proof, as well as the ability to withstand 72 hours of being submerged in seawater. This is a 48 hour increase from its predecessor, which is a pretty significant upgrade. Samsung also guarantees that their new memory cards will be able survive operating temperatures from approximately -25°C to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F) and non-operating temperatures from around -40°C to 85°C (-40°F to 185°F). Lastly, data on the PRO Plus microSD cards will be unaffected by the X-rays and can resist up to 15,000 gauss magnetic force.

The Samsung PRO Plus line of microSD cards come in capacities of 32GB and 64GB (as stated above, the 128GB unit is not yet available).  All cards are backed by a 10-year warranty. We will be reviewing the 64GB model.

Samsung PRO Plus Specifications

  • Product Type: microSDHC Memory Card
  • Class: UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) and Class 10
  • Series: PRO Plus
  • Interface: UHS-I, compatible to HS interface
  • Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB (not available yet)
  • Performance:
    • Read : up to 95MB/s with UHS-1 interface
    • Write : up to 90MB/s with UHS-1 interface
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

Design and build

Like its EVO companion, the Samsung has updated the colors of the PRO Plus line though it has the virtually the same layout and design. The microSD card has a light grey color fill on top branded with the Samsung logo and black fill on the bottom, both which are separated by an red line. The front of the card displays information such as the capacity, card type, and speed class, the latter which is the former which is Class 10, UHS-3 compatible with HS interface. The backside of the PRO Plus card shows the 9 connector pins as well as the model number and also indicates that the card was manufactured in Korea.

In addition, the PRO Plus line also comes with an SD adapter for compatibility with full-sized SD card slots.

Performance

In this review, we will include the following comparables:

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we recorded transfer speeds from the 64GB Samsung Pro Plus microSD card with IOMeter. During these tests, Samsung Pro Plus posted read and write speeds posted an impressive 89.2MB/s and 83.7MB/s respectively. Though its predecessor the 32GB Samsung Pro microSD card had slightly fast reads with 89.3MB/s, the Pro Plus model had better write results than the Pro, which measured 75.6MB/s. The two SanDisk microSD cards still boasted the best read activity, 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..

During our random large-block transfers, the Samsung Pro Plus posted a very impressive 86.1MB/s in read activity though it had much slower writes with only 4.7MB/s. The previous Pro model had slightly slower read results with 85.8MB/s while having double the write performance with 10.2MB/s. As far as the other comparables go, 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. 

Conclusion

The new Samsung Pro Plus line of microSDs are designed for media professionals and power users looking for a solution to handle storing and transferring professional-grade photos and 4K UHD video content created from high-end DSLRs, smartphones, tablets and modern action cameras. The Pro Plus Series microSD cards are currently available in two capacities, 32GB and 64GB, while the 128GB model is expected to be released in the near future. Like the Evo Plus, these tiny storage devices have also been upgraded with more durable technology compared to the previous line, guaranteeing protection from water, shock, magnet, X-ray and high temperatures by Samsung. These are very desirable traits for workers on the go.

The performance of the Samsung Pro Plus microSD during our tested benchmarks showed interesting results. We measured sequential read and write speeds of 89.2MB/s and 83.7MB/s from the card, respectively, while random activity boasted 86.1MB/s in read activity with a much slower 4.7MB/s in writes. These results were a bit uneven compared to the previous version of the Samsung memory cards, which recorded sequential reads and writes of 89.3MB/s and 75.6MB/s and random activity of 85.8MB/s and 10.2MB/s, respectively. This showed both gains and losses in performance. Having said that, this is certainly among the best-in-class microSD cards out there and will provide the performance needed (and then some) for its intended demographic especially due to its bar-setting sequential write performance.

Pros

  • Fantastic performance; bar setting seq. writes
  • Great reliability features

Cons

  • Mixed performance compared to predecessor; not much improvement

Bottom Line

The very durable Samsung Pro Plus line of microSD cards are a great addition to the company’s impressive portfolio of flash memory products, offering great performance at a incomparable price.

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