by Josh Shaman

Samsung SDHC Plus Series Review

The Samsung SDHC Plus Series memory card slots into the performance category, wedged between value and enthusiast and is designed for DSLR cameras and full HD camcorders. Served up in capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB, the Plus Series flash cards feature a blend of both solid performance and low pricing. At the lower two capacities, the Plus Series cards are roughly $1/GB, but when you move up to the full 32GB capacity that maxes out the SDHC format, the per-gigabyte cost drops to about 70 cents. Along with that, Samsung rates the Plus Series at figures as high as 48MB/s for read activity and 13MB/s for write activity.

More and more consumers are looking for devices that essentially aren't slow and offer at least a mid-tier level of performance. With the continued drive of digital cameras featuring robust megapixel specs and with DSLRs and HD camcorders continuing to grow their hold, consumers are demanding two main criteria. First, they want the value they're used to with flash cards, but secondly, they also require performance to speed up in-camera processing and to enable greater efficiency in transferring images and videos.

The Plus Series cards meet those requirements with UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 6 video recording ratings and with the aforementioned performance spec of 48MB/s and 13MB/s (R/W). On top of this, the current Samsung line of SD flash cards all feature high levels of quoted durability. The Plus Series, along with its siblings, can withstand exposure to magnets, water, shock and X-rays.

The Samsung SDHC Plus Series is available now at a street price of $8 for the 8GB, $15 for the 16GB and $23 for the 32GB. With the flash cards, users also receive a 10 year warranty. The flash card we're testing is the 32GB. 

Samsung SD Plus Series Specifications

  • Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
  • Data Transfer Speed: Up to 48MB/s for read activity and 13MB/s for write activity (UHS-I Interface)
  • Voltage: 2.7~3.6V
  • Operating Temperature: -25ºC to 85ºC
  • Non-operating Temperature: -40ºC to 85ºC
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 1.26" x 0.94" x 0.08"
  • Weight: .07 oz
  • Warranty: 10 Years Limited

Design and Build

The Samsung SDHC Plus Series is designed as a mainstream SD card offering. The top of the card is gray with an orange trim outlining the card. There is also Samsung branding as well as speed class and capacity information. There's also a slide lock on the side. When the card is locked, you can't modify or delete the data on the card.

On the reverse, there are 9 gold pin connectors, and Samsung has also printed on some more card information here.

Performance

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the Samsung SDHC Plus Series 32GB with IOMeter. Sequential read speeds measured 70.00MB/s, while write activity hit 19.82MB/s. Random large-block transfers measured 66.13MB/s read and 19.71MB/s write. 

We also tested the SanDisk Extreme SDHC UHS-I 16GB. Its sequential read and write speeds measured 44.58MB/s and 40.01MB/s respectively, while random large-block transfers measured 42.57MB/s read and 5.93MB/s write.

Conclusion

The Samsung SDHC Plus Series memory cards ship in capacities starting at 8GB, hitting 16GB and topping off at 32GB. While the cards features the UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 6 video recording ratings as well as quoted transfer rates up to 48MB/s (read) or 13MB/s (write), they are still priced economically. The cards are thus in the performance category in Samsung's lineup, slotted just beneath the Pro Series high-performance cards. The Plus Series is therefore a fit for DSLR cameras and full HD camcorders. It's a great card for consumers who need reliable storage for their daily camera use that can stand up to the elements and provide them with mid-tier transfer and activity performance.

While the Samsung SDHC Plus card featured ratings of 48MB/s and 13MB/s for sequential read and writes, it actually produced figures right around 70MB/s and 20MB/s - well above Samsung's quote. Even compared to the higher-end Samsung SDXC Pro Series, those figures are fairly competitive, even edging out the Pro in random large-block transfers. The SDHC Plus also provided greater random large-block marks than the SanDisk Extreme SDHC UHS-I 16GB, though the SanDisk did provide better sequential write activity speeds. Given the very low cost of the Samsung SDHC Plus flash card, it's a strong offering.

Pros

  • Performance quite a bit higher than quoted
  • Nearly kept pace with higher-end Pro Series

Cons

  • 32GB maximum capacity for this series

Bottom Line

The Samsung SDHC Plus Series comprises the two benefits most important to consumers searching in this space: value and performance. The cards are relatively inexpensive without sacrificing transfer rates, even outperforming their quoted specs. 

Samsung SDHC Plus Series at Amazon.com

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