Memory storage for digital files has become increasingly a matter of necessity with the growing popularity of phones and laptops and digital information and data being transferred worldwide. Although a provision of internal memory is provided on phones and computers alike, it cannot be denied that 99 out of 100 people try to extend their memory storage using external memory cards. There is a virtual world beyond where we live physically. A world of applications, pictures, videos, and more important things like soft copies of vital data, confidential or not, and this world has long risen beyond its rudimentary state. Let us discuss why SD cards are developed and the various types of SD cards.

Why are sd cards developed?

Scientists and Engineers have taken leaps and bounds over the past decade to get this ‘virtual world’ to where it is today.  This kind of development builds demand for more memory space on the handsets and computers. Although cloud storage is a go-to option for storing your data files and syncing them across devices, having things like music and pictures downloaded on your phone such that you do not need the internet to entertain yourself at any point in time requires memory space on the phone itself. In fact, it is not a less known fact that applications that run on an internet connection also require space on the phone set directly.

With growing technology, there are newer kinds of external memory cards being rolled in by huge tech companies now and then. Also known as SD (Secure Digital) cards, external memory cards come in various formats and can be bought for broadening your device’s storage performance. While buying SD cards, many consumers come across confounding terms like Micro, Mini, Full-sized SD cards, and TF cards. If you are baffled too, read below to understand all you need to know about the differences between these.

What are micro, mini, and full-sized SD cards?

These cards are external memory storage chips that come in various sizes. When the technology was still nascent, SD cards were quite bigger, macro in size, but over time, they came down to what we know today as micro SD cards without compromising the data storage volume.  Although micro SD cards were not first known by this name, they became very popular in those times owing to the small size and their ability to fit into almost any slim handsets or laptops. Mini cards did not ever gain the acclaim that either of their two counterparts, macro, and micro, did.

Micro and Mini SD cards can fit into Macro SD slots with the help of adapters of macro sizes with a smaller slot cut in them.

What is the difference between micro SD cards and TF cards?

The TF cards are essentially the same as micro SD cards. However, there are some very few differences that need to be talked about.

If they are the same, why are they named differently?

When mini SD cards were brought into the market, SanDisk in 2004 rolled out its version of even smaller SD cards and named it the Trans Flashcards, also known as TF cards. It must be noted that SanDisk first introduced the concept of flashcards in 1994 when its storage capacity was only 1 MB. However, with time, their technology progressed, and in 2004, the storage capacity of their product was a relatively massive 128 MB. Their cards turned out to be a huge hit in the market and were soon adopted by the SD card association that then changed their name to a micro SD card. But some people still choose to call them TF cards.

Is there entirely no difference in these two types except for the company name?

Although on the outside, it might seem like there is not much difference, and they can be used interchangeably in their slots, there are some minor differences in the internal working part of these cards. Some of the notable ones are the following:

  • Micro SD cards are slightly bigger in volume than the TF cards, not much to affect your decision of using them interchangeably.
  • Micro SD cards, in addition to the SDHC, SDXC types, come with SDIO (Secure Disk Input Output) feature that allows it to work as a separate small computer in itself, allowing it to be integrated with GPS, NFC, Bluetooth modules, etc. This is not possible with traditional TF cards.
  • Micro SD cards can have memory capacities up to 2TB, whereas the maximum a TF card can go to is 128 GB. However, it is worth noting that MicroSD cards are not available for 64GB memory allocation while TF cards are. 

Is there any difference in the transfer speeds?

This is one of the most common misconceptions people have regarding the differences between micro SD and TF cards. It has to be understood that the transfer speed of memory cards can be classified based on the class of the card. The cards are available in four classes, Class 2, Class 4, Class 6, Class 10, allowing 2MB/s, 4MB/s, 6MB/s, and 10MB/s speeds. Both MicroSD cards and TF cards are available in these different classes and can be bought according to your suitability.  You are able to play and shoot 1080p full HD recording with this phone, and it possesses Xenon flash also. It contains pure motions 4.5 inch AMOLED display, storage of 32 GB, and RAM of 1GB. This phone supports the 4G network and is available with windows eight phone OS. This phone can be charged wirelessly. It possesses a CPU of 1.5 GigaHertz dual-core processor.  

To summarize, there will not be much of a difference at the consumer level if you buy either of these, but if you want your memory card to have functionalities of an Input-Output device like Bluetooth or GPS or for Near Field Communication (NFC), even, you should only go for Micro SD cards since TF cards cannot do the job for you.