The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Memory Cards

Two Mini SD memory cards on blue background close up


Things You Should Know About Memory Cards


Today, almost all devices come with good internal storage, however, there is still a need for these devices to support memory cards. From smartphones to portable game consoles and cameras, a memory card is an essential piece of technological equipment. Not only are memory cards critical to storing images and files, memory cards today are continuously improving, especially in speed, storage capacity and durability.


What are the Different Uses of Memory Cards


Memory cards are essentially used to store electronic data. This can be anything (depending on the device) from photos, music, movies, games, documents, programs and much more. Memory cards (also referred to as flash memory), are essentially chips that allow users to write and rewrite data multiple times. 


Some of the key features of a memory card is its small size and the ability to retain data without a power supply. This allows it to fit into a variety of portable consumer devices.


Importance of Having a Memory Card


Memory cards play a vital role in today’s new age technology. Without memory cards, users won’t be able to save anything on their mobile phones, cameras or game gadgets. The tiny chips are mostly available on mobile or in a camera.


Memory cards are reliable because they have no moving parts (unlike hard drives). Memory cards have a non-volatile memory that maintains the stability of the data on the card – The data on them are also not threatened by the loss of power source.


Where to Buy Affordable Memory Cards


There are plenty of memory card options made available to users and can often be confusing. Luckily Storables has made it easy for users to find the most affordable memory cards in the market.


Types of Memory Cards


Memory cards come in a range of sizes (both storage wise and physical shape). Highlighted below are several types of memory cards for users to consider:


SD cards have a non-volatile memory which is extremely helpful in keeping the data stable. It means that the data isn’t threatened by the loss of power source and doesn’t need to be refreshed periodically. 
MiniSD cards use the same technology as SD cards, which means that users get all of the advantages of an SD card but in a smaller package. These smaller SD cards are used in devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players.The MiniSD cards are often sold with an adapter which allows users to use the card in a normal SD slot or USB port.
MicroSD cards are like SD cards but a lot smaller in size. Devices that use these MicroSD cards range from ultralight/small laptops and mobile devices all in the name to save space. Similar to the MiniSD card, adapters are also sold with the MicroSD card to ensure users are able to use the card in a normal SD slot or USB port.
A MultiMedia card, also known as a MMC is a form of solid-state memory introduced by SanDisk in 1997. It is typically used as storage media for a portable device in a form that can be easily removed for access by a PC. It measures at 24mm x 32mm x 1.4mm and is similar in size and shape to an SD card. 
Sony has designed many flash memory cards for digital storage in cameras, camcorders and other handheld devices. The first memory cards designed by Sony were introduced in 1998 with 4MB and 8MB capacities. Sony also designed memory sticks as I/O devices for cameras, GPS and Bluetooth modules, however, they were not widely used.
A SmartMedia Card is a media storage device that consists of a flash-memory chip which stores data. The first card was developed by Toshiba and over the years, SmartMedia cards have been manufactured with storage capacities ranging from 2MB to 128MB. A typical SmartMedia card has a NAND-flash chip embedded on the thin plastic cover card. SmartMedia cards with higher storage capacities come fitted with multiple linked chips.
The xD-Picture card is a proprietary format developed by Fujifilm and Olympus for use in their digital photography products. The xD-Picture cards have been designed to minimise power consumption to ultimately save the device’s battery life. Very few new cameras are designed to be compatible with these cards making the xD-Picture card almost irrelevant in today’s market as it’s being phased out.


Proper Usage of Memory Cards


By following the below five tips on using your memory card properly, you will most likely expand the lifespan of your memory card:


1. Delete images on your computer and not on your camera

Deleting images from your card while the card is in your camera can actually shorten the life of your memory card. The general rule is that the fewer times you add or remove data on your memory card, the better. Erasing all of your images at once after uploading them to your computer means it’s just one erase cycle rather than lots of them (if you delete them one at a time from your camera).


2. Always format the card in your camera

Before using your camera, be sure that the memory card is appropriately formatted. To structure the card specifically for the camera you’re using, it’s important to always format it in your camera. Reformatting in a different one or via your computer can cause errors.


3. Stop shooting before the card is full

Most cameras have a number on the screen indicating how many photos you can take before you’ve filled the memory card. The only problem with that number is that it’s just an estimate, and if you end up taking another photo once the card is actually full, you risk corrupting the whole card. Rather than risking this issue, just leave some extra space by leaving a few shots empty on the card.


4. Never shoot when the battery on your camera is low

Your camera’s battery is nearly as important as your memory card, so it’s important to not skimp on batteries and try to avoid pushing it to the limit. If you’re shooting on a low battery, there is a chance that it’ll run out just as your camera is writing to your memory card, which could cause you to lose all of your data. To prevent this loss, try and switch out your batteries as soon as your camera indicates that the current one is low.


5. Stop using the memory card when you see errors

Regardless of what error pops up in your camera or on your computer (after you plug in the card), stop using it immediately. If you’re unsure about what to do, try visiting your closest camera repair shop for a solution.


Lifespan and Care Tips or Memory Cards


Memory cards are a lot more hardy than many other forms of storage, however, it’s important to note that it still requires some care to ensure your data is protected and the lifespan of your memory card is maximized. Always try and format a new or pre-used memory card in your camera before using it to take photos – Some cameras won’t work if the card has been formatted in another device. Always try to keep all of your memory cards in a case when not in use (the case is usually supplied with the card) and don’t remove the card while the device is still switched on or writing data to the card.



Most people forget this, however, it’s important to reformat your memory card every now and again. This will wipe any data, images, file names on the card and set it up afresh for your camera. Of course you should only be doing this AFTER you’re downloaded any images on the card, otherwise, you will lose them. 


It should also go without saying, but try to keep your cards dry and clean and don’t expose them to extreme temperatures (i.e exposed to direct sunlight). Also try not to drop, bend or puncture the cards as this will damage them.


What are the Limitations in Using Memory Cards


There aren’t many limitations of using a memory card, but the most common one is that it can easily break, get lost, misplaced or even crushed if treated roughly. Memory cards can also fall prey to data corruption at any point in time just like any other storage device.


Overall, memory cards are undoubtedly among the best media backup devices for your device and can be relied upon to save your data and never let you down if used and cared for properly.


How Memory Cards Help Your Device to Save Files


Inside a memory card is circuitry that includes flash memory – The circuitry controls the flow of electricity when writing or erasing data on the flash memory chip. Each memory card would be compatible with just about every operating system that might want to access the files in that system. 


How to Transfer Files Into Your Phone Memory Card



There are a few ways to transfer your files into your phone’s memory card – Listed below are ways to get the data from your laptop or PC to your Android phone.


Using a USB cable


The old standard way for moving data from your laptop or PC to your phone is via a USB. It’s still a quick and easy way as long as you’ve got a compatible cable on hand. You can also do this on a Mac but you will need to install the Android File Transfer software first. This method is good for copying large amounts of data.


Through your Cloud accounts


Data cloud in the hand


The Google account that you’ve set up on your phone should give you access to 15GB of cloud storage through Google Drive. This allows you to conveniently move files between your laptop and phone. You will need to install the Google Drive app on your laptop, however, if you’d rather use Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive, they all work pretty much the same way.


By Email and Messaging Apps


Emailing files to ourselves is hardly the most efficient way of moving data from a laptop or PC to a phone, but we’ve all been there. It works for quick sharing of files when you can’t use any of the other methods. Users are limited to 25MB attachments in Gmail and if you need something larger, try WeTransfer – WeTransfer allows you to send files up to 2GB for free, with no registration fee.


Using Bluetooth


When you’ve got a few smaller files that you need to move to your phone, Bluetooth is a good way to go. It’s pretty easy too once it’s all set up.


Frequently Asked Questions About Memory Cards


1. What Does a Memory Card do?

A memory card is known to be a small storage medium generally used to store information. The most common type of data that it stores include videos, pictures, audio and other types of file formats. It’s also used for smaller, portable as well as remote computer devices.


2. What is the Difference between an SD Card and a Memory Card?

A memory card is a non-volatile storage device which can store data permanently. An SD card is also a memory card, however, it’s a card which is developed following all the SDA (Secure Digital Association) standards. If a memory card follows all the standards formulated by the SDA, then that memory card gets certified as an SD card which can be used in any electronic device which has a memory card slot. This basically means that by following the SDA standards (which includes a lot of consumer privacy and security related guidelines), SD cards prove to be a safer option compared to a non-SD memory card.


3. Which Memory Card is the Best?

The most common and popular memory card in the market would be the SD card. The most obvious reason being its ability to achieve increased storage with ease for all types of users (from beginner to advanced). Smartphones come with limited storage space so if you run out of internal storage on your phone, adding an SD card is the most effective and simplest way to gain additional storage space. After adding an SD card to your phone, you can also move large files such as movies and music from the phone memory to the SD card. 


4. What Are The Best Brands Of Memory Cards? 

Essentials for both home usage and the workplace, there are plenty of memory card options in the market. We narrow it down to the 10 best memory cards of all time. 


5. When is the Release of the New PS Vita Memory card?

Unfortunately, Sony has ceased the production of the PlayStation Vita as it never came close to its rivals’ Nintendo DS range. The most current PS Vita memory card available on the market is 64GB. Find out more about the other PS Vita memory card options here.


6. How Do You Use a PS Vita Memory Card Adapter Properly?

The SD2Vita adapter uses your PS Vita game card slot so if you play a lot of physical Vita game cartridges, it may be inconvenient for you. Users have the ability to use a MicroSD card (up to 256GB). Version 3.0 and 5.0 of the SD2Vita adapter are the latest and greatest versions of the adapter. Any SD2Vita adapter older than version 3.0 is not recommended. There are various tutorial videos available online where you can learn how to set up your PS Vita adapter.


7. How to Fix a 64GB Memory Card?

Memory cards are extremely handy to have, however, when we encounter issues with technology, there are various reasons as to why it breaks. Below are a few common issues that users encounter with their memory cards:


  • Identifying if the memory card is locked or write protected
  • Memory card isn’t recognized
  • Memory card will not format
  • Files have been hidden or have become shortcuts
  • Forgotten password or accidently formatted the card by accident
  • Memory card does not have enough space


Regardless of what the issue is, it is our recommendation to follow the guide provided by your memory card manufacturer to ensure further technological issues don’t arise. 


8. How To Maximize Usage of 64GB Memory Card? 

A 64gb memory card can be used to store plenty of information, including but not limited to: photos, songs, videos, and documents. Here’s how you can make full use of your 64gb memory card. 


9. When is the Release of the Nintendo Switch Memory Card?

Currently, the following types of microSD cards are supported on Nintendo Switch:


  • microSD (up to 2GB)
  • microSDHC (4GB – 32GB)
  • micro SDXC (64GB and above)


Please note that in order to use a microSDXC card on the Nintendo Switch console, a system update is required. Also, in order to improve your gameplay experience, using a microSD card with a higher transfer speed is recommended. For more information on the Nintendo Switch memory card, be sure to give this article a read.

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