Samsung today announced two new SD cards, the PRO Plus and EVO Plus, for content creators and professional users, respectively.
I took both out for a spin and found them equally great, thanks to the fast performance, ruggedness, and, most importantly, friendly costs. These cards are available 32GB, 64GB, 120GB, and 256GB with pricing range from just $7 to $50 apiece.
If you’re in the market for reliable and more-than-fast-enough-for-most-cases SD cards, get a couple of these, you won’t be disappointed.
Samsung PRO Plus vs. EVO Plus SD cards: Simple, fast, and durable storage
The new Samsungs are standard full-size SD cards. Either will fit in almost any applications where an SD card is used, be it a camera, or a computer.
Other than storage space, they don’t offer any extra features, such as built-in Wi-Fi. As a result, you will need to take them out of your shooting device to transfer content over to a computer. That’s unless you connect your camera to a computer via a cable.
Out of the box, both cards come preformatted using the exFAT file system. They’ll work right away when plugged in any device. There’s no software needed, but Samsung does provide a tool to authenticate them, just in case you want to make sure you didn’t get a counterfeit.
The only difference between the PRO Plus and EVO Plus is their write speeds as you’ll in the hardware specs below.
Samsung SD Cards’ hardware specification
Again, the two cards share the same rated read speed of 100MB/s. The write speed, or shoot speed, which is more important in my opinion, varies between different capacities of both drives.
Samsung SD cards of 2020: Everything-proof
According to Samsung, the new cards are quite tough. They come with the following in terms of ruggedness, some of which I was able to try out and confirmed.
We often move SD cards from one place to another, such a camera to a computer, to transfer data. Samsung says it has conducted up to 10,000 swipe wear out tests of these new cards.
To put this perspective, you take them in and out a slot 10 times a day, that’d take you some three years to break them.
The EVO Plus and PRO Plus cards are IEC 60529 IPX7-compliant to survive water submergion of up to 1-meter (3-foot) deep for up to 72 hours.
For testing, I put them both through my washing machine. After that, I put them out in the sun for a couple of hours to dry. And they were fine after.
Samsung says the new cards can handle rather extreme temperating ranging from -25℃ to 85℃ (-13℉ to 185℉) when in operating. When in storage it can handle temperature as low as -40℃ (-40F).
For testing, I left them both in my freezer overnight, and they remained intact and operational the next day.
X-Ray- and Magnet-Proof
According to Samsung, the new cards can handle airport X-ray machines (100mGy/210sec). I haven’t tested this but have no doubt that’s the case. Most SD cards I’ve used had no issue with airport X-ray machines anyway.
The two cards are magnet-proof, too. I put them in a bag with a bunch of magnets for hours, and that didn’t change anything. Samsung says they can handle magnetic fields of up to the equivalent of a high-field MRI scanner (15,000 Gauss).
Shock- and drop-Proof
Considering these cards so light, it’s not a surprise when Samsung says they can handle drops from a height of up to 5 meters (16.4 feet). They can also deal with the shock of up to 1,500G for 30 seconds.
To test these out, I tossed them around quite a bit and left them with my two toddlers for a couple of hours. They indeed survived without losing any data. That meant a lot since I myself can hardly survive that long with those kids!
So it’s safe to say, you won’t need to worry about these cards’ durability.
Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus: Fast performance
I tested the 128GB versions of both cards, using a large single file of 20GB, and the results were close to what Samsung claims. Specifically, in writing, the EVO Plus did slightly better while the PRO Plus is slightly worse.
The PRO Plus had the sustained copy speeds of 80.2MB/s and 92.35MB/s for writing and reading. You can expect the 64GB and 256GB versions of the card to deliver the same performance.
To put this in perspective, at this speed, you can take some ten high-res JPEG photos, which use some 10MB each, in a second, without having to worry about any delay. Most of the time, depending on the settings, a photo can use significantly less than 10MB of storage space.
The EVO Plus had virtually the same read speed of 92.2MB/s. Its write speed was noticeably slower at 63MB/s. You can expect the 256GB version to deliver better performance, while the 64GB and 32GB are going to be significantly slower.
Still, at this performance, you can take multiple photos per second, using the EVO Plus, with ease.
Indeed. I took both out for a trial with my NIKON D7200 for a day, taking almost a thousand photos in total and was quite happy with them.
Specifically, the EVO Plus could handle the CL (Continuous low) shoot mode — 3 frames per second — indefinitely. The PRO Plus did even better, doing the same thing in the CH (Continuous High) mode — 7 frames per second. I used the camera in the highest setting for JPEG, which requires some 8MB per photo.
When I shot in RAW, the EVO Plus could handle about two frames per second. The PRO Plus could do about four.
The Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD cards are excellent choices for semi-pro photographers. Or anyone who needs reliable storage for their DSLR, for that matter.
No, they are far from the fastest SD cards on the market. But even EVO Plus, which has a slower write speed among the two, has enough performance for you to shoot 4K video or continuous high-res JPEG photos. Just make sure you get the 128GB or larger version.
On top of that, their ruggedness is a valuable bonus. What’s most important, they are quite affordable. The most expensive version, the 256GB PRO Plus, costs just $50 a pop. And the 10-year warranty sure brings about peace of mind.
So get a couple for your next shooting trip. They’ll come in handy.