SanDisk bets smartphone crowd wants more flash storage

The flash memory specialist announces a 200GB microSD card, drives to backup phone photos and transfer them to PCs, and a high-endurance microSD card for dashcams.

BARCELONA -- Flash memory specialist SanDisk hopes you'll be taking a lot of photos and videos with your smartphone.

At the Mobile World Congress show here, the company announced a range of storage products geared for folks whose phones and tablets just don't have enough storage space. With cloud-based synchronization and storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud, it's becoming easier to backup photos and videos or to transfer them to a personal computer. SanDisk's products, though, work around some limitations and fees that can come with those services.

200GB microSD card

SanDisk's microSD card line now reaches to 200GB capacities. This model features 90MBps data-transfer speeds.
SanDisk's microSD card line now reaches to 200GB capacities. This model features 90MBps data-transfer speeds. SanDisk

First up is the 200GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-I flash memory card that can fit into phones, tablets, cameras or other devices with a microSD port. Last year's model maxed out at 128GB, but the new model will offer significantly more room while maintaining the snappy 90MBps data-transfer speed. It's not cheap, though: it'll ship in the second quarter for $400 (that's around £260 or AU$515 converted).

SanDisk's Memory Zone app for Android can automatically transfer photos and videos to the microSD card when storage gets tight on a phone or tablet.

Dual Drive and iXpand

Next is a pair of drives designed to help transfer photos from mobile devices to PCs, the 32GB Ultra Dual USB Drive for Android devices using the brand-new USB Type-C connector and the 128GB iXpand Flash Drive for iOS devices.

SanDisk's iXpand flash drives, for transferring photos off iOS devices, now comes in a 128GB model.
SanDisk's iXpand flash drives, for transferring photos off iOS devices, now comes in a 128GB model. SanDisk

The Dual Drive has two USB 3.0 connectors, one the flattish design for plugging into today's PCs and other the smaller new USB Type-C connector. That new connector is the reversible type you can expect to sweep the industry starting this year, gradually ridding the world of some of the annoyances of USB cables and ports. The Dual Drive, in conjunction with the Memory Zone app, can be used to back up files, transfer them or send them to cloud storage services like Dropbox and OneDrive. It'll ship in the second quarter for $40 (roughly £25 or AU$50).

The iXpand Flash Drive serves a similar function for iOS devices, but it's got an Apple Lightning connector instead of the USB Type-C connector, and it can only copy files, not move them. Previously the family topped out at 64GB, but the new model reaches 128GB. It'll ship immediately for $150 (around £100 or AU$190).

SanDisk also announced its iXpand Sync app now can use Apple's Touch ID technology so people can use fingerprint identification to encrypt or decrypt files stored on the iXpand device.

High-endurance microSD card

SanDisk's 32GB and 64GB high-endurance microSD cards are designed for dashcams and home security systems that face temperature extremes and heavy use writing video data.
SanDisk's 32GB and 64GB high-endurance microSD cards are designed for dashcams and home security systems that face temperature extremes and heavy use writing video data. SanDisk

In a different direction, SanDisk also announced a pair of high-endurance microSD cards designed specifically for dashcams and home security systems that can overtax regular flash cards. Flash memory wears out with use, and most flash devices ship with extra capacity to replace bad memory cells. The high-endurance cards are designed for lots of continuous video recording, though -- 10,000 hours for the $150 64GB model and 5,000 hours for the $85 32GB model -- which could be important for those who might want to share videos with insurance companies.

The high-endurance cards are also designed to handle extreme temperatures such as hot dashboards and freezing winters. They have a two-year warranty and will be available in the US, Europe and South Korea.

Featured Video