SD Cards with the A2 logo on them should support random read speeds that are twice as fast as cards with the A1 logo. There’s just one catch: while the A2 specification was introduced more than a year and a half ago, there weren’t actually any A2 cards available for purchase… until now.
Western Digital subsidiary SanDisk just announced that its first A2 cards will be available for purchase in Japan in the next week or so.
It look like they’re also coming to the US soon. B&H is taking pre-orders for $30 and up.
The newest SanDisk Extreme microSD cards support sequential read speeds up to 160MB/s, sequential write speeds up to 90MB/s and come in capacities ranging from 32GB to 400GB (although it’s worth noting that you’ll get the fastest sequential read/write speeds if you opt for a 128GB or larger card.
In order to meet the new A2 specification, the new cards also support random read/write speeds of 4,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) and 2,000 IOPS, respectively.
By comparison, A1 cards only had to hit 1,500 random read and 500 IOS random write speeds.
The speed boost come in handy if you have a smartphone with a microSD card reader and want to install apps to the removable storage card. You probably don’t need a card this fast if you just want to store photos, videos, and other documents on an SD card.
But… you might have to wait a little while to find a phone that can actually take advantage of the extra speed. When SanDisk started showing off its new cards earlier this year, PC World noted that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor doesn’t support A2 cards. So we may have to wait for next year’s flagships before we can take full advantage of the new cards.