Back in 2020, we published a story focusing on the risks you take when investing into generic SD card deals that seem “too good to be true”. Cards normally priced at a small fraction of what you’d normally find with name-brand products of the same advertised specs. Now, three years later, we take another look to see how things have improved. Using the Alisinsen 512GB Micro SD Card as our test subject.
Why did we choose this card? For one, we choose it at random. Then we looked for various terms like “high speed” while choosing a capacity of 512GB since you’d clearly reserve its use to something serious. Also, instead of buying into an SD card and wondering if we’d find a micro SD card hidden inside, we simply bought into a micro SD card directly. Finally, we focused on price (which was only $9.99).
We then bought into or set aside (from our own inventory) a comparable one from both SanDisk and Samsung (averaging $35-$50). Just to make sure we had a proper side-by-side to make sure our speed and reliability expectations were reasonable. Then, we paired them all with a USB 3.2 adapter plugged into a USB 3.2 port.
At first look, the card looks pretty basic. A noticeably pixelated print running across its face. It arrived formatted as FAT32 and came with a typical micro SD to SD adapter. We weren’t too impressed with the label print quality, but this is the least of our concern if it performs to expectations.
Who cares if it looks pretty. right?
Everything else about the SD card seems to be in order. So just looking at, it seems like a normal micro SD card. So this is when we decided to pop it into a system and begin testing.
Of course, one of the first things we did was scan it for any concernable content. Since we aren’t familiar with the company, we didn’t want to take any chances. Everything seemed to show as in the green, so we moved on.
From here, we started giving it the good old speed test. This part it easy as the numbers don’t lie. We made sure to test using a USB 3.2 port from on the board as well as a Thunderbolt 4 dock via a Thunderbolt 4 port. We also swapped to other formats (exFAT, NTFS)
The average write speed was just 12.8 MB/s. From time to time, it would fall to almost nothing and either remain there or climb back up to around 12.8 MB/s.
While the average download speed was around 18.7 MB/s (not much more). At times, the speed fell to around 5.4 MB/s before either remaining or eventually going back up to 18.7 MB/s
This wasn’t really hopeful as we knew the other cards were going to perform better. Which, of course, they did. Both the Samsung and the SanDisk micro SD cards performed at a 30 MB/s or higher write speed Usually, averaging around 34 MB/s. Their download speeds were between 72 and 88 MB/s.
We then attempted to pair the card with various devices to see if anything refused to accept it. It wound up working with everything. It continued to perform slowly, but each device identified it for what it was. So it at least works when inserted into any device and does appear each time as 512GB.
Ultimately, this caused the review to fall flat pretty quickly. Once again proving that if an SD card (full size or micro) has a price that seems to be too good to be true. It most likely is. Thankfully, the price of these cards have come down greatly for higher capacities. Making 512GB a lot more attainable for your mobile devices. 1TB can still be hit or miss on price, but even those have been falling .
But this $9.99 “high speed” card promising to be just as good? Not so much. In fact, there really isn’t anything high speed about this card at all. I would assume this would be the same with any of the cards coming from this company and those like it.
This is too bad as we love to see healthy competition from brands people aren’t used to seeing.
Ultimately, we gave it a score of 3 since it does appear to be 512GB and it worked as such within the devices we tested it against. However, due to the poor transfer speeds and what feels like false advertising, the score kept falling throughout our tests. I can also only assume what its lifespan would be in the long run in comparison to the other cards.
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.