Storage Systems

Micro SD A1 and A2 Class Difference? Best Class A2 Micro SD Cards

Best Class A2 Micro SD Cards

If you are using microSD cards, you will find them marked with multiple specifications. In fact, microSD cards and full-sized SD cards come with various speed ratings depending upon the exact specifications that manufacturers provide you. MicroSD card manufacturers have been attempting to offer a faster speed performance in their offerings. The latest improvement in that direction is the A2 rated microSD and SD cards. What exactly are Class A2 microSD cards? How do microSD cards compare with class A1 and A2 differ from each other? Let us check out how do they vary from one another.

Also Read: BEST V60 and V90 Micro SD CARDS

The Application Performance Class

There have been different speed classes for microSD cards and SD cards. You can find the speed rating of a particular microSD or SD card using the card’s symbols. The APC or Application Performance Class would be dependent upon the capacity it can handle and the performance it comes with.

The SD Association has recently come up with a new standard to get the best experience regarding excellent user experience. The class reads Application Speed Class 2 or A2. As per the new standard, the sequential read and write speeds are also considered important, along with random read and write speeds. The higher IOPS values do signify that smaller files can be written and read to the card faster.

It can be quite interesting to go through the history of speed classes. Initially, there were speed classes that focussed on the speed of performance. The range ran from Class 2 to Class 10. Then there were UHS speed classes that classified the microSD and SD cards into U1 and U3. Another class recently introduced includes Video Speed Class that uses the nomenclature V30 and V60.

What does Class A2 bring forth?  Well, the significant difference between the two variants lies in the read and write speeds.

What is the difference between A1 and A2 Class in microSD and SD cards?

The Application Performance Class A1 conforms to SD Physical 5.1 specification. Apart from helping you store a wide range of data, including maps, pictures, videos, music, dictionary, and documents, the A1 class simplifies the task of editing and updating.

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The Application Performance Class 2 or A2 also conforms to SD Physical 6.0 specification. The A2 standard makes the cards run fast and at a higher performance level than the A1 Class. The standard makes use of functions like Command Queuing and cache.

The typical differences between the two cards can be summarised through the following side by side comparison –

Features / ParticularsmicroSD Card Class A1microSD Class A2
Minimum Random Read Speed1500 IOPS4000 IOPS
Minimum Random Write Speed500 IOPS2000 IOPS
Minimum Sustained Sequential Write10 Mbytes per sec10 Mbytes per sec

The IOPS refers to Input-Output Access per second. This measure is in sharp contrast to the speed measurements that memory cards are generally referred to with. However, given that apps are involved with constant input and output tasks, the IOPS measure would be more helpful in addressing the concern in a better manner. It should be clear from the above comparison that Class A2 would offer you an excellent upper hand over Class A1. The read speeds are over 2.7 times higher, while the write speeds are four times faster.

Another point one needs to understand is while we have different ratings like class 2 to class 10, U1 and U3, and then V30 and V60 – neither of them replaces one another. The class rating, the UHS rating, and the Video rating run parallel to each other. So, you would find a microSD card or an SD card that comes with both A2 and V30 scores.

Which Should You Go With?

Well, ideally, you are expected to opt for a Class A2 MicroSD card. It offers you excellent reads and writes performance. However, it may not be that easy as things stand as of now. The standard is entirely new, and manufacturers may need to go through a significant deal of experimentation to get the certification.

From that perspective, even when a Class A2 performance is most desired – it may be a good idea to opt for a card with A1 and V30 ratings. For ensuring a good speed performance, it may be a good idea to go with a card with U3 certification. These three ratings, combined, should work best for your needs. Once new Class A2 cards are made available, you can check out the new options by every means.

Best Class A2 microSD cards

SanDiskExtreme 128GB microSD UHS-I Card Adapter

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Samsung256GB EVO Plus Class 10

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SanDiskExtreme Pro

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LexarProfessional 667X 128GB MicroSDXC card

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SamsungPRO Endurance microSD card

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Having understood the significant differences between the A1 and A2 memory cards, how about checking out a few microSD cards with the Class A2 specification? Of course, the standard has just made an entry, and it would take a while for a few new models to come to the fore.

Let us check out a few good options you can look for among the Class A2 microSD cards.

1. SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSD UHS-I Card Adapter

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The Class A2 microSD card should be one of the excellent options for working with Android smartphones, cameras, and drones. The card’s strength lies in the 160 MB per sec read performance coupled with the 90 MB per sec write speed, ensuring you a faster shooting and transfer performance.

The memory card is suitable for all your needs in every condition. It is quite a temperature proof, waterproof, shockproof, and x-ray proof functionality that would make it an excellent option for all your needs.

The microSD card comes with the best ratings for all your needs in data management. It has the U3 rating for the UHS speed for real-time recording on UHS-enabled devices and the Video Speed Class of V30 for a sustained video recording performance at 30 MB per sec.

Price – [amazon_link asins=’B07FCMKK5X’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’foi04-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3706ded8-daab-11e8-b5d6-f592a14777b2′] on Amazon

2. Samsung 256GB EVO Plus Class 10

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It Offers you full proof protection; the EVO Plus microSD card can withstand 72 hours of existence in seawater. It can offer you a read speed of 100 MB per sec and write speeds of up to 90 MB per sec. You can even record 4K videos without any issues and stuttering.

Stand to gain outstanding performance with UHS 1 class 10 card that provides you 4K HD performance. The card is available in multiple storage capacities like 32, 64, 128, and 256 GB. The microSD card also offers you resistance to temperature, x-ray, and magnetic effects.

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3. SanDisk Extreme Pro

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If you are looking for a microSD card to work with a faster data transfer, app performance, and 4K UHD, this should be your best bet for all your needs in Android smartphones, cameras, and drones. The super-fast SanDisk Extreme Pro memory card offers you a read speed up to 170 MB per sec and a write speed of up to 90 MB per sec.

The Class A2 rating should be the best-suited option for all your requirements in ensuring faster application performance. You also have access to UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and a Video Speed Class 30 – V30 that provides a 4K ready performance. So, if you are into 4K video recording, this is the best choice you can go with for a stutter-free performance regarding a great video shooting experience.

Note** Lexar has recently received Class A2 certification for its 512 MB microSD card. It has become the first 512 MB memory card to come with Class A2 certification. That would make Lexar the first and only memory card with Class A2 certification. We may expect more such options in the days to come.

Lexar Professional 667X 128GB MicroSDXC card

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One of the premium options for storage enhancement for tablets, smartphones, and sports camcorders, the Lexar Professional 667X 128GB MicroSDXC card can be one of the prime choices for almost all your preferred performance standards. The ability to handle a wide range of high-resolution files such as 1080P full-HD, 3D, and 4K video makes it a prime storage solution for those involved in improved performance across devices.

The A2 compatibility loads your apps faster. You can even download and store your high-quality images and videos in a few seconds. The microSD card provides you with transfer speeds of up to 100 MB per sec. The included adapter makes it rather easier to transfer your files.


Samsung PRO Endurance microSD card

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One of the prime options for efficient video monitoring, the Samsung Pro Endurance microSD card is a great option for almost your requirements. The card is best suited for use cases such as dash cams, surveillance & security cams, and body cams.

Up to 100MB/s read and 30MB/s write speeds should allow you to access a faster transfer of files between rather quickly and seamlessly. A continuous recording of up to 25X longer duration provides you with high endurance performance. You can be assured of up to 43,800 hours of 4K and Full HD (1080p) recording.


The Parting Thoughts

Well, devices that need local storage these days are nothing without an equally powerful option available from their microSD cards. In addition to helping you increase your device’s memory capacity, they also tend to offer a few additional functionalities.  However, given the enhanced data speeds and app performance expected of our smartphones, it is quite important to choose your microSD cards wisely enough. It should be quite valuable to go with the cards that have a good performance level from that perspective.

The Class A2 MicroSD card should be the prime choice in that direction. We assume the options we have outlined in the above paragraphs should meet most of your needs. The new classification and standard have come into being only recently. We expect more card manufacturers are coming up with their versions of the technology quite soon.

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