For quite some time now Samsung has seemed content to sell their SD card tech unbranded and basically unknown to the public. You might be unaware you're using a Samsung SD or Micro SD right now, either locked away in your phone or branded under a different name. But starting today, Samsung has decided to change that, offering three new levels from consumer to pro, with the pro 64 GB card showing impressive specs for a first-time seller. Samsung has been leading the global NAND Flash memory market since 2002, and also achieved the largest share in the branded SSD market last year, only two years after it entered the branded SSD market.
Samsung wanted to stand out from competitors in this consumer segment by easily and quickly associating colors with and example items for consumers who aren't sure what they need (this probably doesn't affect a lot of us, but you can imagine how confusing the memory card market is to a novice).
Samsung's new cards come in one of three different lines: Standard, EVO and Pro.
Standard, a Class 6 card, is the most consumer-level card Samsung is offering and is denoted by a light blue color. It is available in 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB with a data transfer rate of up to 24 MB/s.
EVO is the next level and is in a bright orange color. It's kind of a mid-level card for those looking for a bit more performance, but not really aimed at any type of professional. The EVO cards are UHS-I Grade 1, Class 10 and are available in 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB with a data transfer rate of up to 48 MB/s.
Now that's all well and good, but what I'm sure all of you will be interested in is specifically their Pro line, denoted by the jet black color. The Pro Line is classified as UHS-I Grade 1, Class 10 card and the 16 GB version has an up to 50MB/s write rate (read rate of 90MB/s), while the 32 GB and 64 GB versions have a write speed of up to 80MB/s (UHS-I Interface) and a read rate of up to 90MB/s (UHS-I Interface). This places the Samsung pro line pretty high up on the list of options, outpacing my Sony Pro cards and most Lexar and Sandisk cards as well (though the Sandisk Extreme pro cards do show a higher possible transfer rate by a few MB/s).
You can take a look at the full details of the specs below:
Samsung also wanted to make sure consumers knew their data was safe, so they made the cards what they are calling "Reliable 5-proof." The cards are highly resistant to water, temperature, magnets, shock and x-rays. Though not highly unusual to find this kind of protection, it is nice to know for sure what the card can withstand.
No pricing has been given for the cards, but Samsung did tell me they are aware of where the cards are placed in the market, and plan to target their pricing as such. As for a release date, the microSD's will for sure be on the market starting today (which is odd considering the missing price point, something that will likely be released to dealers at NAB under embargo), with the Pro-level SD's coming shortly thereafter. Samsung did make a note to me that they were targeting to get the microSDs out beforehand due to the high demand in the market for increased phone memory storage.