Learn the Differences Between MicroSD vs MicroSDHC vs MicroSDXC

If you landed on this page, then you are probably confused when it comes to Micro SD, Micro SDHC and Micro SDXC and the differences between them all. You can easily lose your mind trying to figure out which one will work in your phone, as they all have a similar name and the same physical dimensions.

So you must be asking yourself if they are the same thing or not?  While they are essentially the same, there are a couple of differences between the card formats.

Quick Overview

To start off, the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE between the three cards is how much data each format is able to hold.

For a quick summary:

  • MicroSD cards go up to 2GB in storage space.
  • MicroSDHC cards sizes range from 4GB – 32GB in storage space.
  • MicroSXDC cards sizes range from 64GB – 2TB in storage space.

MicroSD – Micro Secure Digital Memory Card

MicroSD cards are the first generation of memory cards designed for mobile phones. While the storage capacities are laughable now, upon release in 2005, you could these cards in sizes ranging from 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB & 2GB.  This was a major upgrade for users of mobile phones, as they could now store their pictures and other data on these storage cards that expanded the overall memory on most mobile phones.

Use: You will find that MicroSD cards don’t have much use today with modern smartphones. While they are dirt cheap, their limited storage space means they are not ideal to use with today’s technology. If you have an older phone, these cards are good storage options to consider.

Sizes – MicroSD Cards sizes vary from 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB to 2 GB

File System – MicroSD cards use the FAT 16 (FAT) file system.

Speeds – Class 2 (2 MB/s), Class 4 (4 MB/s), Class 6 (6 MB/s) and Class 10 (10 MB/s)

Compatibility – MicroSD cards can be used in any device that uses MicroSD, MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC memory cards.

MicroSDHC – Micro Secure Digital High Capacity Memory Card

MicroSDHC would be considered the 2nd generation of mobile phone memory. The format was announced in 2006 and this ushered in storage devices that were able to keep up with the insatiable storage demand of mobile phones.

MicroSDHC cards were available in sizes ranging from 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. With the explosion of HD video and higher resolution mobile phone cameras, these increased sizes where exactly what the industry needed.

Use: These cards are great if you are recording HD video. They not only deliver the storage capacity, but they are also generally fast enough to handle the intense write speed for large chunks of data. If you save pictures, music, videos or other data, these increased storage cards are still a good option (the higher sizes)

Sizes – MicroSDHC Cards sizes vary from 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB to 32 GB

File System – MicroSD cards use the FAT 32(FAT) file system.

Speeds – Class 2 (2 MB/s), Class 4 (4 MB/s), Class 6 (6 MB/s) and Class 10 (10 MB/s)

Compatibility – MicroSDHC cards can be used in devices that can take MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC memory cards.

MicroSDXC – Micro Secure Digital Extended Capacity Memory Card

Right now the most popular option with mobile phones are MicroSDXC cards. These cards are able to deliver massive storage sizes from 64GB, 128GB, 200GB, 256GB and potentially up to 2TB. This is good for people who need more storage space, especially as data sizes continue to increase.

You will find that these cards a must for the new smartphones, tablets, drones and other devices that utilizes microSD cards. These cards are fast and unlike MicroSDHC, they have higher write speeds, which means they can handle 4K video while delivering the space to store the data.

You will find that the higher capacity MicroSDXC cards are not exactly cheap, but as time goes on, the pricing of these cards will fall drastically.

Use: You will find that these cards are ideal for older cameras or other devices that use the SD format. Great cheap storage (1 GB/2 GB sizes) to store data, videos, music, pictures on.

Sizes – SDXC Cards sizes vary from 48 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200GB, 256GB up to 2 TB

Speeds –Class 10 (10 MB/s) and UHS-1 (up to 312 MB/s)

Compatibility – SDXC cards can be used in devices that can take SDXC memory cards.