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SanDisk announces new super-fast 256GB Extreme UHS-I microSD card

Western Digital-owned SanDisk has announced new 256GB microSD cards, including the super-fast Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card. The new family of high-capacity microSD cards offer something for everyone, whether you wish to add storage to your smartphone or require new medium to store your RAW camera roll.

The 256GB of storage (should your device support said amounts being plugged in) will allow for saving of not only high-quality photos, but also 4K video, high-fidelity music, and more. The Extreme 256GB card from SanDisk delivers transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s, as well as write speeds of up to 90MB/s. The Ultra variant is perfect for smartphones and other portable devices.

As an added bonus, the new cards are both waterproof and shock proof. The Ultra 256GB card will be available in August for $149.99, while the super-fast Extreme will hit stores in Q4 2016 for $199.99.

Press Release

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI, China – June 29, 2016 – Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global storage technology and solutions leader, today introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD™ cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme® microSDXC™ UHS-I card – the fastest microSD card in its class. The new suite of cards also includes 256GB SanDisk Ultra® microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, the first 256GB card optimized for mainstream consumers. The new additions deliver leading speed and capacity in a fingernail-sized card, giving smartphone, drone and action camera users the performance and capacity they need to capture professional-grade videos and photos without worrying about running out of space on their device.

"Our microSD cards are now at the center of many consumer devices, and we're excited to not only raise the bar with the launch of the world's fastest microSD card, but to also offer a family of 256GB microSD cards that give consumers the flexibility they need to capture life at its fullest," said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of SanDisk product marketing, Western Digital. "As a leading global storage provider with one of the most trusted flash brands, we take pride in transforming the way consumers capture, store and share their content."

Whether taking pictures, shooting 4K UHD or Full HD video, or storing high-fidelity music, the new 256GB cards give consumers the freedom to capture and carry a massive amount of content on their devices without concern about storage limitations.

"At DJI we focus on creating easy-to-use drone technology for consumers to capture everyday exploration and photography, and our customers need quick and reliable access to their high quality aerial footage," said Eli Morgan Harris, strategic partnerships, DJI. "With the new 256GB SanDisk microSD UHS-I cards, they now have greater flexibility to capture their content on high-performance storage and the peace of mind knowing they can continue shooting when it matters most."

The Ultimate Combination of Capacity and Performance

The 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card delivers unmatched transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s**, allowing users to save time transferring large files, as well as write speeds of up to 90MB/s** for rapid capture of photos. Users can record an estimated 14 hours of 4K UHD video1 on the 256GB card, making it ideal for high-performance drones, action cameras, and 4K-capable smartphones, among other devices.

The 256GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, is ideal for Android-based smartphone and tablet users who don't want to worry about running out of space on their devices. The new card is capable of storing more than 24 hours of Full HD video1, and also features premium transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s**. At this speed people can move files quickly – up to 1,200 photos in just one minute2.

Built to perform in harsh conditions, the new cards3 are also waterproof, temperature-proof, shock proof, and X-ray proof. Additionally, the SanDisk microSD card line up is compatible with the SanDisk® Memory Zone app for Android™, giving users an easy way to manage and back up content on their device. The app is available for free through the Google Play™ Store4.

Heritage of Memory Card Innovation

The new suite of cards is the latest breakthrough offering to join the cutting-edge SanDisk portfolio of mobile memory solutions. The first to introduce 128GB and 200GB microSDXC, and 512GB SDXC™ high-capacity cards, SanDisk continues to pioneer technology that keeps up with consumers' evolving storage needs.

Pricing and Availability

The 256GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, will be available worldwide in August 2016 with a U.S. MSRP of $149.99. The 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card will be available worldwide in calendar Q4 2016 with a U.S. MSRP of $199.99.

The complete line of SanDisk microSD cards can be purchased at more than 300,000 retailers worldwide.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

27 Comments
  • Ultimate demon power!
  • Speed wise, how does this compare to that new-ish 256gb Samsung microsdxc card that came out/is coming out?
  • I have been waiting for this. Shut up and take my money.
  • ^this, I will be picking up a few for my GoPro's.
  • Pair this with the upcoming HP Elite X3 & you'll have a complete Windows 10 pc in your pocket!
  • Not so fast.. that's gonna be the Surface Phone... not HP! :P
  • *insert Dora girl meme* Why not both?
  • lol... So all Mexicans are Dora now?
  • Tf? By the way my comment was on the wrong thread lol
  • Buit may run on my L950XL too!
  • That's so nice
  • Wut! That's epic.
    Ps. It'd be good to write '$ USD' in the articles for us non USA residents to save the initial 'WOW ONLY $149!' Oh wait that's USD, it's $200 AUD' situation :)
  • Nice price!!!
  • Speed increase is marginal compared to previous generation. Cost increase not justified....
  • what does 3 indicate?
  • According to Wikipedia, the 3 is the speed class rating of the card, which is of 30MB/s.
    The SD Association defines standard speed classes indicating minimum performance (minimum serial data writing speed) to record video. Both read and write speeds must exceed the specified value.
    UHS-I and UHS-II cards can use UHS Speed Class rating with two possible grades: class 1 for minimum read/write performance of at least 10MB/s ('U1' symbol featuring number 1 inside 'U') and class 3 for minimum write performance of 30MB/s ('U3' symbol featuring 3 inside 'U'), targeted at recording 4K video.
  • So is this compatible with the Lumia 950 and XL and if so is only 200gb usable? I always thought the 200gb max was an odd number.
  • It should be. They usually go by whatever the highest capacity is at the time of said device's release - 735 specs say 128GB but I've been happily using the 200GB card for months now.
  • The max is 2TB but its always been set as 200GB. Properly because that was the biggest possible micro SD card available at the time.
    Throw in a 256GB and you'll have full access to the storage. Minus of course the usual conversions in disk space. 256GB is properly more likely only 210-220GB
  • I would go for the Extreme version. I had audio issues with slower cards when I recorded videos. I don't want to run into that problem again. I'm going to wait for Amazon to have a sale too. $200 is tough for me to justify for a memory card despite the speed and capacity.
  • This is why you would never see a micro SD slot on an iPad or iPhone. 
  • Id be interested in this but since OneDrive is so versatile, 60gbs of camera storage is sitting just fine there for me. Plus as an insider, I reset my phone so much that i rarely run out of storage lol
  • Wonder how well this will work for that new "Use as Internal Memory" feature in Android Marshmellow.
  • So will the 950XL take advantage of the faster speed? I have a 200GB card and of course it has slower write speed. I know there already are fast cards, just not 200GB. So what are the fastest write and speeds the 950XL is capable of? 
  • I will like to get this SD card for my Lumia 640 XL.
  • I welcome this.
  • I wonder how this will compare to the (annoyingly slow) 200gb "Ultra" I have in my 950 (and therefore the also newly annouced 256gb Ultra). Could I use more space? Always. Would I like it to be just a tad faster than the 200gb ultra card I have now? Abso-frigging-lutely (impression of Ned Flanders).