For most, a generic off-the-shelf microSD card is probably just fine. It may slow things down and take a little longer to access, but that's alright in return for lower cost. For some people, though, having their device slowed down by a budget microSD card isn't an option. Other people need high performance for recording 3D and 1080p video. It's those two groups that the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card is for.
I think SanDisk caught Sprint's case of diu nominibus.
SanDisk touts the Extreme Pro as being "the fastest microSDHC memory card on the market." I haven't tested every card on the market, but they're probably right. To put it simply, this card feels the need... the need for speed (sorry, I couldn't help myself.) As a point of reference, here are some other recent microSD benchmarks:
The direct competitor here is the Samsung 16GB class 10 card on the far left - 6.0 MB/s write, 16.0 MB/s read. Let's take a look at how the Extreme Pro fared:
Let's just agree to call it Maverick. It's accurate, and it's shorter and easier to remember.
There's no arguing that it's fast as hell. It blew past the 64GB UHS-I card and ran circles around the Samsung 16GB class 10 card while laughing hysterically.
But is it worth the $100 price tag? As with most questions of this nature, that depends on your needs. If you absolutely need the the speed - mainly for recording HD or 3D video, or if you're just an outright speed nut with money to spare - then sure, this is the right tool for the job. But with the 64GB UHS-I card now selling for $100 too, the 16GB card is a harder sell for most people. After all, the 64GB card still offers impressive speeds and four times the storage. In the world of HD screens and videos, higher-bitrate music, and increasingly large apps and games, that may be of more importance to most people.
For those who need the blazing-fast speeds, though? There simply isn't a better option on the market today.