by Adam Armstrong

Samsung USB 3.1 BAR Plus Review (256GB)

Samsung has updated its BAR USB drive with a modern design, more color options and much more capacity. The drive is now for USB 3.1 and comes with more performance, including up to 300MB/s in read speeds. The drive comes in a range of capacities with the top going up to 256GB, the previous BAR we tested topped out at 64GB. 

Being a portable drive, the BAR plus is designed to take a beating. The flash drive can take a drop (including into water) as well as handle being jostled around in a pocket or backpack, and can survive being put through an X-ray. The BAR Plus also has a key ring to make it harder to lose (assuming you don’t lose your keys easily).

The Samsung Bar Plus can being picked up for only $75 for the 256GB model. 

Samsung BAR Plus Specifications

  • Series: BAR Plus
  • Interface: USB 3.1
  • Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Performance: 300MB/s read
  • Water-resistant
  • Temperature Proof
  • Environmental
    • Operating temperature 0-60°C
    • Non-operating temperature: -10-70°C
  • Shock
    • Acceleration: 1,500g
    • Duration time: 0.5ms, Direction: x,y,z 3 times
  • Dimensions
    • WxDxH: 1.6 x 0.6 x 0.5 inches
    • Weight: 1.2g
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

Design and Build

Samsung has more or less stuck with the basic design of the BAR only giving it harder edges. The flash drive is offered in Titan Gray and Champagne Silver. The top of the drive has company branding and the bottom has capacity listed.


For performance we ran IOMeter on our HP Z2 Mini workstation. For this review we will be comparing the SanDisk BAR Plus 3.1 to the following drives:

When looking at sequential speeds, the BAR Plus posted read and write activity with 283.48MB/s and 61.84MB/s, respectively. Compared to the SanDisk Extreme Pro, the new BAR Plus trailed in performance to the former’s 415.4MB/s read and 353.7MB/s. Compared to the 3.0 version of the BAR, the 3.1 is a huge improvement with the original numbers being 47.61MB/s read and 43.75MB/s write.

With 2MB random the BAR Plus 269.31MB/s read and 56.01MB/s write. Again the SanDisk had a huge advantage with 321.92MB/s read and 187.19MB/s write. The BAR 3.0 only hit 32.94MB/s read and 15.93MB/s write.

For 4K random the BAR Plus was able to show a performance of 3,009 IOPS read and 1,884 IOPS write. This marks quite an improvement over the previous version’s 965.23 IOPS read and 22.07 IOPS write. 


The Samsung BAR Plus USB 3.1 portable thumb drive builds off of the previous design with improvements in everyway. The drive has a beautiful new design and comes in a few color options. The BAR is still able to take a beating but now comes in capacities as high as 256GB. The BAR Plus comes with a 5-year warranty and can be picked up for a very attractive price per GB cost.

For performance the BAR Plus is again an improvement in everyway over the older model. For sequential speeds we saw 283.48MB/s read and 61.84MB/s write, 2MB random gave us 269.31MB/s read and 56.01MB/s write, and 4K random read showed 3,009 IOPS read and 1,884 IOPS write. While it is not the fastest option (the SanDisk Extreme Pro 3.1 is faster, for a cost), the Samsung BAR Plus USB 3.1 offers ample performance in a beautifully designed small form factor. 

Samsng BAR Plus on Amazon

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