by Lyle Smith

SanDisk Extreme PLUS microSDXC Memory Card Review

The SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card is designed for consumers looking for speed and performance on their smartphones, tablets, or cameras. Its UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and Class 10 designation, which is currently the fastest read-write performance class for SD cards, enables full 1080p HD video recording and playback ability as well as quick data transfer rates. SanDisk quotes up to 80MB/s for read activity and up to 50MB/s for write activity, which is right up with the other top-in-class cards in the microSD market. This seems to be the norm for SanDisk, as they constantly set themselves apart from their competition with quality memory cards they consistently release. SanDisk also states that their Extreme PLUS line are waterproof, x-ray proof, temperature proof, and shockproof.

The Extreme PLUS cards are also packaged with an always handy SD card adapter, so consumers can also access and record their data on any device with an SD card slot.

SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC UHS-I card comes in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB with street price of approximately $29, $45, and $95 respectively. The cards come with a lifetime limited warranty. Our review unit is the 64GB capacity.

Specifications

  • Models:
    • SDSDQX-016G-A46A - 16GB             
    • SDSDQX-032G-A46A - 32GB             
    • SDSDQX-064G-A46A - 64GB
  • Form factor: microSDHC (16GB and 32GB), microSDXC (64GB)
  • Available capacities: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Performance/speed: Up to 80MB/s read; up to 50MB/s write speed (32GB & 64GB); Up to 80MB/s read; up to 30MB/s write speed (16GB)
  • Card dimension: .59in x.043in x.03in (15 mm x 11 mm x 1.0 mm)
  • Operating temperature: -13ºF to 185ºF (-25ºC to 85 ºC)
  • Storage temperature: -40ºF to 185ºF (-40ºC to 85ºC)
  • Compatibility: Compatible with all microSDHC, microSDXC, microSDHC UHS-I, and microSDXC UHS-I supporting host devices
  • RescuePro Deluxe data recovery software downloadable offer
  • Support: Lifetime limited warranty

Design and Build

The SanDisk Extreme Plus microSD card looks virtually identical to other SanDisk microSD cards with its usual gold and red coloring; the only difference is the added “PLUS” text at the top right. Also displayed on the front is the SanDisk branding, class information, and capacity.

As the name of the SanDisk card states, it is compatible with any microSDXC device.

The rear side of the card shows the eight gold connector pins. SanDisk has made a very durable card once again, as it has been water proof tested up to 72 hours in 1 meter of water. The tiny, rugged card is also shock and x-ray proof.

Performance

In this review, we will include the following comparables:

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured transfer speeds from the SanDisk Extreme Plus microSD card with IOMeter. Sequential read and write speeds measured in at 92.0MB/s and 60.5MB/s respectively, outperforming the top-in-class Samsung microSDHC Plus 32GB, which clocked in at 71.44MB/s read and 20.08MB/s write. Its brethren, the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-1, boasted reads of 90.9MB/s and write speeds of 74.7MB/s and the lower-class Toshiba card measured 34.3MB/s read and 12.1MB/s write.

When comparing random large-block transfers, we measured read and write speeds of 85.9MB/s and 43.8MB/s respectively for the SanDisk Extreme Plus microSD card. The Samsung microSDHC Plus 32GB hit 67.35MB/s read and 20.04MB/s write, while we measured the SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC at 87.6MB/s read and 13.4MB/s write. The Toshiba microSD clocked in at only 33.1MB/s read and 1.6MB/s write.

The Extreme Plus version of the SanDisk microSD cards was able to slightly improve on the Extreme Pro version in the sequential read column with significant improvement when it comes to random large-block transfer write speeds.

Conclusion

The SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC Memory Cards are designed for consumers who want speed and performance on their smartphones, tablets, or cameras, quoting minimum performance figures of 80MB/s for read activity and up to 50MB/s for write activity. The Extreme Plus microSD cards are offered in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB; however, these performance-focus cards come with a commensurate price point. The 64GB model goes for a street price of roughly $95, though consumers will definitely get what they pay for when if they go for the SanDisk option namely reliability and speed.

In testing, the SanDisk Extreme Plus performed better than what was quoted, delivering 10MB/s faster in sequential write activity. In our random large-block workload, the Plus Series 64GB had a slight drop-off, but it still retained its top-in-class performance. Additionally, we compared these figures to the performance of its brethren the Extreme Pro microSDXC, SanDisk's other top-of-the-line microSD card, as well as the Samsung microSDHC Plus and the lower-class Toshiba microSD card. Unsurprisingly, the Extreme Plus Series out-performed its competition, even the Extreme Pro, though cards like Samsung is nearly $40 cheaper at roughly $62 for the 64GB model. That extra $40 dollars goes towards a significant boost in performance, however, so it is up to the consumer to decide whether or not they need these considerable gains for their high-end smartphones, cameras, or tablets. With its performance, reliability, and SanDisk's trademark life-time warranty, we think the Extreme Plus is a worthwhile purchase for enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Top-in-class performance
  • Reliable and durable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Premium performance comes with premium price tag

Bottom Line

The 64GB SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC cards offer high-end performance, rugged design and lifetime warranty support making them definitely worth the purchase for those who want the most out of the microSD slot.

SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC at Amazon

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