Devices like mobile phones, digital cameras, and camcorders always come with less memory than you need for storing your media. This is often done by the manufacturer to reduce costs. However, manufacturers provide memory card extension slots for users to upgrade memory as required.
This means that after buying a device you may need to shop for memory cards. Some devices provide memory slots for increasing your storage capacity. This is usually the case in digital cameras, mobile phones, PDAs, video game consoles, media players, and camcorders.
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Buying MicroSD Memory Cards for your Mobile Phone and Smartphone
When shopping for digital cameras, camcorders, or mobile phones it is important you check the memory capacity of the device. If this is not enough (which is always the case), you should then check whether its memory capacity can be upgraded.
You also need to know the types of flash memory cards supported and the maximum amount by which the device memory can be extended.
Before buying memory cards, check the manual or packaging of the devices you are buying the memory card for to find out the type of memory card supported by the device and the maximum capacity supported. Also check the memory card and make sure your device it supports your device. If in doubt test the flash memory card on the device you intend to use it in, before making payments. Buy only supported memory cards.
Some popular memory cards supported by devices include:
- SD memory cards (Secure Digital)
- MicroSD/MicroSDHC memory cards (Micro Secure Digital/MicroSD High Capacity)
- SDHC memory cards (Secure Digital High Capacity)
- SDXC Memory cards (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity)
- CompactFlash memory cards
- Memory Stick Micro M2
- Memory Stick Pro Duo
- Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo
- Memory Stick Duo
- MiniSD memory cards
SanDisk, Sony, Kingston, Panasonic, Fuji, and Transcend are some popular memory card brands available today.
Memory Cards for Mobile Phones and Smartphones
MicroSD memory cards are the most popular type of memory cards supported by mobile phones. In fact, almost all latest mobile phones with support for memory cards supports MicroSD memory cards, except for probably Sony Ericsson that uses Memory Stick Micro M2 memory cards. MicroSD and Micro M2 are used on mobile phones because they are small in size about the size of a finger nail. Note that a variant of the MicroSD memory card is the MicroSDHC, which supports higher storage than the MicroSD format. MicroSD memory cards above 4GB are actually MicroSDHC memory cards.
Note that a mobile phone that supports microSD flash memory cards may not work with MicroSDHC memory cards. However, most Smartphones with support for more than 4GB microSD cards will support both microSD and microSDHC memory cards, but always check at the store to be sure. Most Sony Ericsson mobile phones support Memory Stick Micro M2 memory cards.
MicroSD memory cards (including microSDHC) come in capacities up to 256GB. Memory Stick Micro M2 memory cards come in capacities up to 2TB (theoretical).
A number of microSD memory cards come with SD adapters so that you can connect your microSD cards into devices like digital cameras and camcorders that support full-sized SD memory.
So if you intend using your microSD memory cards on your camera as well as mobile phone, buy one that comes with SD adapter.
To store videos, pictures, games, and music on mobile phones and other handheld devices, you will most definitely need a memory card, as built-in memory is usually inadequate in most mobile phones. Make sure you buy the right memory card for your mobile phone. You can see the types of memory cards supported by your mobile phone on the manual or packaging.
Popular microSD memory cards capacities include 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Memory cards for Digital cameras, Camcorders, etc
Popular memory cards supported by digital cameras and camcorders are SD Memory cards, SDHC memory cards, Memory Stick Pro, Compact Flash, and Memory Stick Pro Duo. Like in MicroSD and MicroSDHC, SD and SDHC memory cards are similar except that SDHC memory cards are available in higher capacities (from 4GB).
Also devices that support SD may not support SDHC memory cards, but devices that support SDHC will support SD memory cards as-well. The memory card supported by a camera or camcorder will usually be written on the body or packaging.
Latest digital cameras and camcorders support SDHC memory cards (which includes support for HD) and Memory Stick Pro Duo.
Compact Flash memory cards are very popular with professional cameras. This is because of their high-speed read/write capability compared to other formats. It used in devices that require high-speed access to memory. Compact Flash is also more robust.
Memory Stick Pro, and Memory Stick Pro Duo are supported by Sony devices like Cameras, Camcorders, PlayStation Portable (PSP), media players, etc. Most other manufacturers support SD and SDHC memory cards.
These memory cards come in capacities of 2GB, 4GB 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Note that SDHC memory cards vary in terms of the read/write speed. SDHC memory cards are available in class 2 (2MB/s), class 4 (4MB/s), and class 6 (6MB/s). SD/SDHC memory cards now have a newer format called SDXC with even more capacity. SDXC memory cards are available from 64GB to up to 2TB.
Memory Card Reader
A memory card reader is a device that enables a user access data in a memory card from a device that does not read memory cards directly. It usually comes with a USB interface.
The memory card is slotted into the card reader and this is then connected to the intended device (usually a computer) via USB.
When buying a memory card reader, make sure it supports the type/types or memory cards you want to use it with. Multi-card readers read different types of memory cards.