Reviews |Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD Card Review

Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD Card Review

Ideal for professional photographers using drones and action cameras.

Samsung PRO Ultimate review
Review

Our Verdict

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card heads up the Samsung range of memory cards and offers outstanding performance that, for a UHS-I card, is hard to beat. Not only are the transfer rates impressive, but the card has been designed to keep these up over a sustained period, meaning that if you’re filming all day with a drone or action camera, the card will be able to cope with the demands.

Through the test, the card worked without fault, the only issue being when it was briefly dropped on the forest floor during a camera switch, with the colours a little difficult to pick out amongst the leaves and earth. However, dusted down and popped back in the GoPro Hero12 Black, the card continued to perform exceptionally well.

The card may be small, but used with the drones and action cameras, then popped inside the SD adapter used with the Sony A7 IV; this card continued to perform, enabling plenty of storage and speed without slowing down.

The card does come at a premium, so it’s for high-end enthusiasts and pros, but if you need a card that won’t let you down, then this is a top choice.

What is the Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD Card?

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card is a high-performance storage solution designed for professional photographers and videographers. The compact microSD form factor means that this small card is perfectly designed for action cameras and drones.

While there are cheaper alternatives to this card, the features and additional performance that it offers have been designed to cater to a higher-end market looking to record 4K video and high-resolution images as part of the course. This microSD card is a perfect partner for all high-resolution action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero12 Black, and drones, such as the Mavic 3 Pro, both of which have camera settings that push the limits of this micro memory card format.

  • Capacities available: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Size: 15.0 x 11.0 x 1.0 mm
  • Weight: 1g
  • Enclosure material: Plastic
  • Connector: MicroSDXC
  • Technology: UHS-I, U3, V30, A2
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Rated R/W speeds (MB/s): Read up to 160MB/s, Write up to 120MB/s
  • Software bundle: None

Build and Handling

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card is designed according to the usual microSD guidelines, and, as such, when tested on a variety of different devices, it fits easily and without issue. As you’d expect, the build quality is excellent, although, at this scale, it’s difficult to differentiate the build quality of one card from another. However, it all feels decent and, adheres to the usual dimensions of 15.0 x 11.0 x 1.0 mm and weighs just 1g.

The card appears to be of high quality, and the plastic construction feels durable. Samsung also states that the card is resistant to water, extreme temperatures, X-rays, and magnets, which is all good to know.

Samsung PRO Ultimate review

Features

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card is designed for professional photographers and videographers, especially those using equipment like the GoPro Hero12 Black, DJI Mavic 3 Pro, and Inspire 3. With read speeds of up to 200MB/s and write speeds of up to 130MB/s, the card ensures quick data transfer, enabling seamless 4K video recording and high-resolution photography.

Available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, the card provides plenty of storage for long shooting sessions. This capacity is particularly useful for drone operators or users of action cameras, as the larger capacities, such as the 256GB version that I’m looking at in this review, mean that you don’t have to swap cards partway through a shoot. However, if you do fill the card, it’s good to note the card’s durability: it is water-resistant, temperature-resistant (operating between -25°C to 85°C and storage between -40°C to 85°C), X-ray proof, and magnet proof, so that should cover most scenarios.

The card supports UHS-I, U3, V30, and A2 standards, which will make it compatible with a wide range of devices, including those with microSDXC slots like the GoPro Hero12 Black and DJI Mavic 3 Pro used in this review. It is also backwards compatible with microSDHC slots, providing flexibility for professionals using multiple devices.

Samsung PRO Ultimate review

While there are plenty of microSD cards on the market, it’s worth noting that this model utilizes the latest NAND technology, which enhances its speed and durability, making it a perfect solution for professional use. Additionally, the card comes formatted in the exFAT file system, which is compatible with operating systems and capable of handling large file sizes, both images and videos. You can, of course, format the card to whatever file system you require.

Following the microSD format, the card measures 15.0 x 11.0 x 1.0 mm and weighs 1g. As is common, the capacity and speed class are clearly labelled on the top of the card, although the colours are a little subdued, so it can be difficult to locate if dropped. I prefer cards that are brightly coloured, especially in the winter months when it’s all too easy to drop the cards during swaps. However, with the capacity, there really should be no reason to swap out the card.

Performance

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card performs exceptionally well, delivering read speeds up to 161MB/s and write speeds up to 133MB/s in the AJA System Test Light. The important speed here is the write speed, which actually exceeds that quoted by Samsung. Through the test, it proved to be an ideal partner for the DJI Mavic 3 Pro when shooting 4K D-Log footage. The card kept up with the high demands of the drone’s camera without dropping a frame through several hours of shooting.

Likewise, back in the studio, transfer speeds were fast, and the drive’s read/write speed kept up with the system.

As well as the main real-world test, the card was subjected to further tests, including running the benchmarking software for an hour to see if the card was ultimately affected by sustained use. While there was a drop in the write performance, the card was able to keep pace without issue.

Samsung PRO Ultimate review

Removing the card, it was time to put it through a few more physical tests. During the initial phase of testing, the card had already been dropped onto wet ground, dried, dusted down, and re-inserted into a GoPro Hero12 Black with no discernible effect on performance. Dropping the card from a height of 2 meters onto a hard floor had little effect on the card.

Then, as this card is marked for the attention of pros, I placed it in a freezer bag and put it into the freezer. After 24 hours, the card was removed and left to return to room temperature for an hour before being retested in the benchmarking software, where it returned much the same results as the first round of testing.

While the card is good and priced in line with other professional memory cards, I would have liked to have seen some integration of integrity-checking software so that the card’s condition could be monitored.

Overall, however, the card’s build and performance are superb, making it a great choice for pros.

Final Thoughts

The Samsung PRO Ultimate microSD card is an excellent choice for professional photographers and videographers. Its high-speed performance, durability, and reliability make it a great investment for use with drones and action cameras. The card’s transfer speed also makes it suitable for use, with the adapter, in standard cameras such as the Sony A7 IV.

While the card is excellent, it may need to be more balanced for casual users. Its advanced features and exceptional speed justify the premium price for professionals who require this level of performance.

Samsung PRO Ultimate review