Amid the excitement of the Huawei Mate20 series of smartphone announcements, Huawei mentioned a new memory format. These new cards are called Nano Memory or NM cards and they have exactly the same size and shape as a Nano SIM card – the type routinely used in modern smartphones like the Huawei Mate20 Pro and iPhone X.
What’s especially clever about the Huawei Mate20 Pro in this regard is the versatility of its dual SIM slot. While one of the bays in the SIM tray has to be used for a SIM card, the other can work with either a SIM or a NM card. That means you have a choice of whether to expand the storage capacity of your phone our use a second SIM when you’re traveling to get cheaper local calling rates.
Smaller the MicroSD
According to Huawei, the new NM cards are 45% smaller than microSD cards. They will have capacities of up to 256GB with transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s. That should be fast enough to cope with storing 4K video and transfer times should be pretty nippy.
We’ve not heard any other company talking about NM cards so we don’t know if they will be spreading to other devices. As someone who seems to be switching Nano SIM cards between phones on a fairly frequently basis, I can testify to the fiddliness of the medium. I’m not sure that I welcome the arrival of a smaller, more losable format than microSD.
However, I could see them being of potential interest for drones where every last scrap of weight can make a difference to battery life. But if you look at the DJI Mavic Air, you’ll see that a significant proportion of its body size and weight is actually the battery. So I think advancements in battery technology are more likely to benefit drone flight times than saving a whisker of weight from the memory card.