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Cheap, high quality memory cards, recommended!


Fake memory cards - a warning

Don't waste your money on cheap 'name' cards from the Far East.

Having been caught out myself a couple of times trying to source a real memory card bargain, I'd like to share my experiences and recommendations.

Your first idea for buying a memory card for your smartphone or PDA will be in the high street and computer shops. Avoid these on cost grounds, their mark up makes these way too expensive in almost all cases.

Your second idea will be eBay, where you'll see a huge number of memory cards, some apparently with top brand names (e.g. SanDisk) and all offered from local premises with 'too good to be true' prices and over-high postage costs. Even if the combined final price is still nice and low, you're running a big risk. My 1GB 'SanDisk' card, for example, was advertised as shipping from the UK. I placed my order with the eBay vendor. And sat back. And waited and waited. The card was actually being sent from Taiwan and the vendor had explicitly lied about his location on eBay (don't worry, I reported him). Even worse, the card turned out to be a clever fake:

  1. a no-name card of the right capacity but without components of the right spec to work properly in cutting edge machines
  2. made to look like a SanDisk product but without the right embossed serial number
  3. very poor gold edge contacts - the real thing has shiny, quality contacts that will last a lifetime
  4. more chinese characters on the packaging than the real thing

Your third idea will be to take my advice (below) and buy from the web site of a reputable local (in my case UK-based) memory card vendor, but going for the lowest cost card they do. Again, this is a mistake. Cards such as the Kingston range simply aren't as good as the top spec cards from the like of (the real) SanDisk. Yes, they'll be good enough for storing applications and MP3s - which may be all you want now, but there will come a time when something doesn't work properly because the card's components aren't fast enough. Trust me - get the fastest card you can if you've any ambitions of using the card in a future device, which may well see you streaming movies from the card or recording video onto it. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for!

My recommendation

Find an Internet-based memory card vendor that's based in your local country (e.g. the UK), whose site you like and who you can phone up or return goods to if there's a problem.

You can start with My Memory if you like, who I've been happy with in the UK.