Home Consumer Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card Review (512GB)

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card Review (512GB)

by Brian Beeler

Samsung expanded their popular line of microSD cards today, launching the Samsung PRO Plus microSD card, alongside the more mainstream EVO Plus microSD card. Both come in a variety of capacities topping out at 512GB. The highlight with this refresh though is definitely performance. The new cards support UHS-I (DDR200) which means the new microSD PRO Plus can top out at 160MB/s reads and microSD EVO Plus can hit 130MB/s. Of course, a good reader makes a big difference, Samsung includes one with these cards.

Samsung expanded their popular line of microSD cards today, launching the Samsung PRO Plus microSD card, alongside the more mainstream EVO Plus microSD card. Both come in a variety of capacities topping out at 512GB. The highlight with this refresh though is definitely performance. The new cards support UHS-I (DDR200) which means the new microSD PRO Plus can top out at 160MB/s reads and microSD EVO Plus can hit 130MB/s. Of course, a good reader makes a big difference, Samsung includes one with these cards.

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card – What’s New?

Looking specifically at the Pro Plus, a name that’s been used before by Samsung, let’s take a look at what’s new this time around. It’s been a little while since the high-performance line of microSD cards has been refreshed by Samsung. As noted, the big update is around performance. The Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card comes in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. All three of these have the same performance spec, coming in at 160MBs read and 120MBs write.

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card flat

To get the top performance, Samsung suggests using their card reader that supports UHS-I DDR200. The microSD card reader is tiny at just 18.00 x 32.05 x 7.60 (mm). It’s USB type A, which is either good or bad, depending on your system. Desktop and many Windows users won’t care, Mac and thin and light users may need an adaptor for the adaptor, or they’ll need a USB type C adaptor that can handle UHS-I DDR200.

What’s not new but equally important to the performance is the physical protection and warranty the card offers. Starting with the easiest, the warranty remains at 10 years on this card. Given how small these cards are, it’s more likely you’ll lose the card before it breaks. To that point, Samsung does very well to ensure their microSD cards are ready for an active lifestyle.

samsung microsd card features

Samsung calls this, “6-multi proof protection.” The six parts include water, temperature, x-ray, magnetic field, drop, and wear-out.

  • Water: the cards can survive 72 hours in a meter of seawater
  • Temperature: handles temps in the 25°C to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F) range
  • X-ray: great for travelers, the cards are protected by airport scanners (100mGy/210sec)
  • Magnet: resists magnetic fields of up to the equivalent of a high-field MRI scanner (15,000 Gauss)
  • Drops: can handle falls from up to 16.4 feet (5m)
  • Wearout: the cards support a minimum of 10,000 insertion cycles

Most of these protections are quite practical and should give Samsung PRO Plus microSD card owners a pretty confident feeling knowing the cards can hang through life’s contortions. Of these, we really enjoy the wear-out protection, as we’ve had lesser cards lose reliability or even the ability to be read, with worn pins.

One last thing to note is that Samsung provides an authenticator tool for their memory cards. With rampant knock-offs of most popular tech all over the place, this is a handy free tool that will validate that you have a genuine Samsung card. Or not validate in the case you’ve been scammed.

The Samsung PRO Plus microSD card are available in 128GB ($34.99 MSRP), 256GB (54.99 MSRP), and512GB ($109.99 MSRP). The bundle with adaptor adds $5.

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card Specifications

  • Form Factormicro: SDXC
  • User Capacity:128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Bus Speed Mode: UHS-I SDR104 / UHS-I DDR200 with Samsung microSD Reader
  • Dimensions: 15x 11×1 (mm)
  • Weight: Approx. 0.25g (Card only)
  • Speed Class: Class 10, V30
  • App Perf. Class: A2
  • Speed Grade: Grade 3 (U3)
  • Sequential Read Speed:  Up to 160MB/s
  • Sequential Write Speed: Up to 120MB/s
  • Temperature
    • Operating: -25°C to 85°C
    • Non-Operating: -40°C to 85°C
  • Durability:10,000 mating cycles
  • Warranty: 10 year limited

Performance

We tested the Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card with the Samsung reader on our Lenovo ThinkStation P520 testbed.

Samsung PRO Plus microSD Card performance

Starting with the popular Blackmagic benchmark, the card posted almost exactly what the spec sheet says. In our case, we saw 153MB/s read and almost 120MB’s write. The write number pegs the spec sheet and the read number is close enough, given the variability of this test.

Switching to synthetic testing using iometer, we again see an impressive array of results. Moving to large block activity, 2MB random read delivered 136MB/s while 2MB random write results were 90MB/s. 2MB sequential reads came in at 151MB/s and writes were 117MB/s.  4K random read IOPS came out at 2,505. 4K random write IOPS were 834.

Overall these numbers are excellent, we rarely see a microSD card pop its head above 100MB/s in large block testing. There’s little doubt that for this form factor, the Samsung PRO Plus microSD will easily handle whatever is asked of it. It’s the fastest microSD card to ever come through our lab.

Conclusion

Samsung does a great job with its microSD cards. microSD cards aren’t exactly flashy, they just kind of chug along and do their job. But as resolutions have increased, both content creators and consumers need their micro media to keep up. Samsung handles this need well with the Samsung PRO Plus microSD on that front, delivering the best microSD performance we’ve ever seen. On its own, the large block sequential numbers are very strong coming in at 151MB/s read and 117MB/s write. But the card was very good even at large block random.

Samsung PRO Plus microSD inserted

The value Samsung provides isn’t limited to just performance, however. Their card protection scheme is excellent, while not a tank, it will handle life’s daily challenges with ease. It’s rated for more insertion cycles than most could ever need, at least 10,000. And there’s water protection, x-ray shielding, and so on. Couple all of this with the 10-year warranty and the Samsung PRO Plus microSD is easily the best microSD card out there for those who need a high-performance offering.

Samsung microSD cards at Amazon

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