Samsung releases camera card designed to live long and prosper

Samsung has launched a long-life PRO Endurance microSD card for surveillance cameras, dashboard cameras, doorbell cameras, and body cameras, claiming it won’t wear out during its warranted life.

The Pro Endurance card comes in 32, 64, 128 and 256GB capacities. The read speed is 100MB/sec while the write speed is 40MB/sec. It is rated Class 10 with video speed ratings of up to U3 (UHS Speed Class 3) and V30 (Video Speed Class 30). That, Samsung says, makes it capable of handling large, high-resolution files while enabling recording and playback in Full HD and 4K resolution.

KyuYoung Lee, VP of the Memory Brand Product team at Samsung Electronics, issued a statement: “From CCTV to doorbell cameras, the need for long-lasting and high-performing video surveillance solutions is continuing to increase, and the PRO Endurance has been designed to support that demand. Both consumers and enterprise users can rest assured that our new memory card will ensure continuous recording at high resolution even under extreme conditions.”

Samsung graphic
Samsung’s PRO Endurance microSD cards

Samsung claims the card has protection against water (up to 72 hours in 1m depth seawater, IEC 60529 & IPX7), magnets, X-rays (up to 15,000 gauss – sit it will withstand an airport scanner), extreme temperatures (-25°C to 85°C), wearout, and the card is drop-proof (up to 5m).

There is a five-year limited warranty for the 128 and 256GB capacities, three years for the 64GB, and two years for the 32GB capacity. The dimensions are 15 x 11 x 1mm (L x W x H) and the weight is about 0.25g.

The “endurance” in the name leads to some impressive numbers. Try 17,520 hours at 32GB, 35,040 hours at 64GB, 70,080 hours at 128GB, and 140,160 hours at 256GB. These projected endurance numbers are based on full HD (1920 x 1080) video content recorded at 26 Mbit/sec (3.25MB/sec). The 256GB card’s 140,160 hours means 16 years of continuous recording time – 11 years longer than the warranty. Samsung did not provide a TBW (Terabytes written) number for endurance, making comparison to other suppliers’ cards that use TBW endurance ratings slightly challenging. But, at the PRO Endurance’s 3.25MB/sec ingest rate, we calculate that means 11.7GB/hour and, on that basis, a 140,160 hours endurance rating means 1,639TBW. 

This is a massive number. It contrasts with WD’s QD312 microSD card that claims up to 768TBW and 768,000/256 = 3,000 full write cycles. Samsung’s PRO Endurance promises 1,639,000/256 = 6,402 full write cycles – substantially better.

Micron has a much higher-capacity card: the 128GB to 1TB i300 industrial product. This supports up to three years of continuous 24×7, 30fps video recording at 1Mbit/sec effective rate, so Samsung’s PRO Endurance is claimed to last a lot longer than that as well.

It is a slow card though. Western Digital’s SanDisk unit introduced a 1TB microSD card in May 2019, with sequential reads and writes running at up to 160MB/sec and 90MB/sec. You trade off speed for endurance with the Samsung card.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) start at $10.99 for 32GB and end at $54.99 for the 256GB product.