Samsung EVO Select vs. SanDisk Ultra: Which memory card should you buy?

While both microSD cards come in multiple sizes, the Samsung EVO Select is the better choice for 4K recording while the SanDisk Ultra offers better value for those who don't record in 4K.

Samsung EVO Select vs. SanDisk Ultra: Tech specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung EVO SelectSanDisk Ultra
Storage size32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB
Read speed100Mbps100Mbps
Write speed90Mbps10Mbps
Speed classClass 10, U3Class 10, U1
Environmental protectionsWater resistant, heat resistant, mgnetic protection, x-ray protectionWater Resistant, heat resistant, magnetic protection, x-ray protection

The breakdown

As you can see from the spec list the EVO Select and the SanDisk Ultra have similar read speeds but the biggest difference is in the write speed. That's because the SanDisk is only classed at U1 instead of the U3 of the Samsung. The U Number tells you what class the microSD is when connected to devices using the UHS transfer bus. It's technical, but generally the higher the number the faster the write speed from the device to the card.

As the SanDisk only has a U1 rating it can only write data and around 10Mbps, which is perfectly fine for DSLR cameras capturing RAW files or taking pictures on your phone, but won't really be sufficient for recording in 4K on something like a GoPro. The Samsung Evo Select, however, has a U3 classification, which means it is capable of much higher write speed, around 90Mbps, and is the best choice if you are recording 4K video on any device.

While the Samsung is the faster of the two microSD cards the SanDisk does come in many more size choices. While it feels it would be better to always go for the biggest capacity, it may be better to select several smaller cards to make sorting media easier. The EVO Select comes in four sizes while the SanDisk comes in seven, including a massive 400GB model.

Is Samsung EVO Select or SanDisk Ultra a better microSD card for you?

To choose the right microSD for you we need to look at your use case. Unless you are specifically going to be recording video in 4K then the SanDisk Ultra is a better choice. At $26 for the 128GB version it is the cheaper option, and while not being as fast as the EVO Select, the choice in sizes gives you far more options.

Of course, if you do intend to record video at 4K then choose the EVO Select. The faster write speed is invaluable for recording great 4K video.

James Bricknell

James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.