29
Mar
A-Data Turbo 16GB Class 6 MicroSD card
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

As I recently started downloading and listening to lots of podcasts, I found that my Hero's 2GB MicroSD card filled up literally overnight.

2GB is such a measly number that disgracing the Hero with it any longer was a blow to both mine and its pride, so I headed over to Amazon to find a new faster, higher capacity storage card.

After careful deliberation and weighing all pros and cons, I ended up picking the A-Data Turbo 16GB Class 6 MicroSD card.

Considerations

Here are the factors I had considered before I picked the A-Data card:

Size

16GB was enough for my needs and 32GB was getting really expensive. In fact, 16GB seems to be the best bang for your buck with the current offerings.

Speed

The stock 2GB card on the Hero was Class 2 which only guarantees transfer speeds of 2MB/s (megabytes per second).

The A-Data card is Class 6 which (did you guess it yet?) guarantees at least 6MB/s.

This speed increase is important for 2 reasons

  • I will be able to transfer my music and other files between my computer and back faster.
  • More importantly, the phone itself will be able to read and write data faster, which means faster loading of photos, videos, music, and applications that use external storage. It also means faster writing of data, which is important while taking pictures and installing apps.

Price

The price at the time of the purchase was $55.99 from Amazon which comes out to a decent $3.5 per GB.

A-Data Turbo 16GB Class 6 MicroSD card on Amazon

Reviews and ratings

The A-Data card has 24 Amazon.com reviews averaging 4.5 stars. This is always a good sign.

Bonus MicroSD-SD adaptor

Also in the package: an SD sized adaptor so that you can connect your MicroSD card to any device that has an SD port, such as your computer or camera. Very nice as you might not always have your phone on hand.

Should I Format It NTFS Or Leave As FAT32?

The A-Data card came preformatted as FAT32 so I popped it right in and formatted as NTFS out of curiosity to see if my phone would read it and gauge any performance improvements.

Well, understandably so, the Hero could not read it. It's Linux based after all, so I didn't really expect it to. However, this means I couldn't store anything over 4GB due to FAT32 limitations. I guess that 372 hour long continuous video I've been planning to record is not going to work out. Shucks.

I benchmarked the performance in NTFS mode anyway and compared it to FAT32. There was almost no difference.

And now you know.

Benchmarks

For my benchmark I used CrystalDiskMark - a small but capable freeware disk benchmark available here.

The setup: an average of 3 test runs, 100MB test file, 3 tests:

  • sequential reads/writes
  • 512KB random reads/writes
  • 4KB random reads/writes

A-Data 16GB Class 6

CrystalDiskMark speed test

Sandisk 2GB Class 2 (HTC Hero default)

CrystalDiskMark speed test

Conclusion

The A-Data 16GB Class 6 MicroSD card is quite capable and fast - twice as fast as the minimum guaranteed spec in some cases. It is not the speediest in its class but also by far not the most expensive.

If you are a looking for a high quality 16GB replacement for your phone, surely give this A-Data card a try.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • nick

    I have 2 gigs and I barely even open up the SD card. I use rhapsody for music. What do you have on your phone that takes up so much space?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Nick,

      I listen to about 10 podcasts. Each podcast has a setting for retaining the last number of files downloaded, which I set to 3. That quickly filled up the card.

      Additionally, I wanted to put some of my music there, so ended up needing the extra space. 2GB is really minuscule nowadays.

  • Jake

    I got a similar card and found that it made a little bit of difference in speed but not much. Reading the photos is definitely faster.

  • Ph43drus

    I was really interested in this article, but your benchmarking was a little disappointing to me.

    You've established that the Class 6 card is CAPABLE of faster read/write operation...but that was guaranteed with the Class 6 certification.

    It would have been more interesting if you'd benchmarked not on your computer, but on your phone. Then you'd see if the phone is able to take ADVANTAGE of the card's higher rating, or whether the extra cost was unjustified given how you intend to use the card.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That is a great suggestion. Can you recommend a tool for doing this and I'll make sure to try it on both cards?

      • Ph43drus

        I don't have a great suggestion - I'm not (yet!) an Android user, and don't really know much of what's available.

        Perhaps you could use Astro file manager to make a copy of a large file from one spot to another on each disk? It'd be a combined read/write test, but it'd at least give you an idea if your phone sees a benefit from the faster card.

        You could also try mounting the card in your phone via USB to your computer and run the benchtop again (or is that how you did it for this article?). Of course, this is also testing the usb connection, but if one card looks faster, that's pretty good evidence the phone is taking advantage of it.

        • Frank

          I don't think testing it over USB while mounted on the phone would prove much... There's far too many other variables that come into play when the phone itself is using the card that could limit performance.

          Anyway, the most obvious reason I can imagine for wanting a faster card is video recording... Personally I'm still waiting for 16GB cards to get closer to $40 (not worth paying more when 8GB C6 cards are <$20).

  • http://iandouglas.com/ Ian Douglas

    I'm curious whether formating a microSD card as ext2 or ext3 would give Android a native filesystem speed boost instead of dumbing down to FAT32 ?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I wouldn't be able to test it with the same app but yeah, it would be interesting to know. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to run these tests.

      Perhaps someone has already done so? Would be nice to see (though, you wouldn't be able to easily mount the SD card on Windows then).

  • clhodapp

    The question is, can it be formatted with one of the ext's?

  • Nooogie1117

    Hi I have a HTC wildfire phone and I got a 16gb card so I could get more apps BUT all I'm getting still is that I don't have space please HELP me