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Samsung Exploits 3D NAND To Tackle SanDisk With 256 GB EVO Plus MicroSD Card

Samsung unveiled its beefy EVO Plus 256 GB MicroSD card, which unseats SanDisk as the current MicroSD density leader. SanDisk introduced its 200 GB Ultra MicroSD card in March 2015, but it is widely believed to employ 15nm planar TLC NAND, whereas the new Samsung EVO Plus features its 48-layer 3D TLC V-NAND. 

The UHS-1 Class 10 EVO Plus offers up to 95/90 MBps of sequential read/write throughput, which should satisfy the needs of most common applications, such as 4K video recording, high-resolution photography and other mobile applications. In contrast, the SanDisk Ultra 200 GB offers up to 90 MBps of sequential read speed, but no write speed is listed in its specifications.

Samsung is exploiting the advantages of 3D TLC NAND to beat the SanDisk offering on both density and performance, but both offer the same 10-year warranty period.

For now, the Samsung EVO Plus retails for $249.99, which will buy you enough storage to hold up to 55,000 photos, 12 hours of 4K UHD video, 33 hours of full HD video, or up to 23,500 MP3 files.

The SanDisk Ultra 200 GB can be found for around $80, which works out to $0.40-per-GB, whereas the 256 GB EVO Plus weighs in at $0.97-per-GB. The smart money says to wait a week or two until the early-adopter tax subsides; Samsung will have to be more competitive on the price front, and likely will be. The faster speed of 3D NAND is a nice bullet point on the specifications list, but the MicroSD card space tends to be driven by value. 

It goes without saying that the EVO Plus is waterproof, magnetic proof and X-ray proof, as nearly all MicroSD cards are, but Samsung threw in claims of it being temperature-proof, as well. This might lead some users to mistakenly deploy the EVO Plus into industrial applications, where high heat tolerance typically demands extra dollars. We are sure the fine print will hash that out, but make sure to investigate the claim before using it in high-heat applications, which are notoriously harsh on NAND-based storage, such as vehicle video recorders.

The new card will be available in 50 countries, including the U.S., Europe and China in June 2016.

Paul Alcorn is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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  • wifiburger
    this might a stupid question !? what happens if you drop one of these ? in the same package that you usually find 64gb you have 256gb+ does it become fragile ?
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    this might a stupid question !? what happens if you drop one of these ? in the same package that you usually find 64gb you have 256gb+ does it become fragile ?
    No moving parts, so droping a tiny light-weight flash drive is not going to do anything bad to it. The issue with these tend to be that the flash itself goes bad and makes the drive useless over time... or if you somehow chip or break it. But droping it, no, you would be hard pressed to break it that way.
    Reply
  • mark0718
    Samsung 4-Proof Features
    Operating temperatures of -25°C to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F),
    non-operating temperatures of -40°C to 85°C (-40°F to 185°F).
    Withstands standard airport x-ray machines and the magnetic field
    equivalent of a high-field MRI scanner.

    per:
    https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-electronics-introduces-the-evo-plus-256gb-microsd-card-with-the-highest-capacity-in-its-class
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Just after I went and bought a 128GB for my phone. But man that price is pretty crazy. I paid $50 for my 128GB. This is 5x the price.

    Still would be nice and should work in any phone that supports the 200GB MicroSD cards.
    Reply
  • targetdrone
    But will it work in the Galaxy S7?
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    17950084 said:
    But will it work in the Galaxy S7?

    Yes? Any phone that supports a 200GB MicroSD will support a 256GB MicroSD. And the S7 supports a 200GB MicroSD.
    Reply
  • Zircon57
    17950084 said:
    But will it work in the Galaxy S7?

    Yes? Any phone that supports a 200GB MicroSD will support a 256GB MicroSD. And the S7 supports a 200GB MicroSD.

    And to further clarify, I believe that the specification that lets a phone support a 200GB card also theoretically allows for up to 2 TB (SDXC standard - over 32GB-2TB SDXC memory card using exFAT file system)
    Still plenty of room for them to expand capacities, it's just the cost that is the prohibitive factor now.
    Reply
  • Darkk
    It won't be long till we start seeing 1TB SDXC cards which 4K recording will benefit from.
    Reply
  • LordConrad
    This should give me plenty of room for extra channels on my Roku box. :-D
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    17950888 said:
    17950084 said:
    But will it work in the Galaxy S7?

    Yes? Any phone that supports a 200GB MicroSD will support a 256GB MicroSD. And the S7 supports a 200GB MicroSD.

    And to further clarify, I believe that the specification that lets a phone support a 200GB card also theoretically allows for up to 2 TB (SDXC standard - over 32GB-2TB SDXC memory card using exFAT file system)
    Still plenty of room for them to expand capacities, it's just the cost that is the prohibitive factor now.

    Well in theory it should support the max file size of the file system it uses minus any OS or hardware limitations.
    Reply