• Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

Kingston Canvas React Plus UHS-II 128 GB microSD card review: it’s going to be hard to find faster


Oct 14, 2021

The microSD cards follow one another and often look alike. But from time to time, a little novelty comes to the fore and makes it possible to test more unique products. This is precisely what the microSD Canvas React Plus UHS-II range from Kingston brings. Its main advantage? The integration of the UHS-II bus faster than the UHS-I bus.

While the UHS-I bus is widely used, the UHS-II standard is still reserved for high-end SD cards. With the microSD Canvas React Plus UHS-II, Kingston is one of the first manufacturers to integrate this UHS-II bus on a microSD card, with the promise of increased speeds (write / read).

Few microSD cards benefit from the faster UHS-II bus. © Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / The Digital

The UHS-II bus still rare on microSD cards

This is also what the technical sheet tells us with a theoretical speed of 285 MB / s in reading and 170 MB / s in writing, a small record for a microSD card. In addition, the card is U3, V90 and A1 certified respectively for general performance, for video and for IOPS (input-output operations in French). If you are a little lost in front of all these standards, we have dedicated a folder to see more clearly.

Another benchmark player in the removable storage media sector, SanDisk also offers a range of microSD cards equipped with a UHS-II bus with microSD Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-II. They are available in 64 GB and 128 GB versions.

Price & availability

The Kingston microSD Canvas React Plus UHS-II range was presented in 2020 by the manufacturer. Three storage capacities are available: 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. At the time of writing this article, the 64 GB version is trading at a price of 65 €, while the 256 GB model sees its price soar to around 210 €. For the intermediate capacity of 128 GB, it will be necessary to pay some 100 €.

The microSD card comes with a USB drive to achieve the best speeds. © Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / The Digital

On the left, SD and microSD cards equipped with the UHS-II bus. On the right, a microSD card and Kingston’s SD card adapter, both limited by the UHS-I bus, as shown by the smaller number of connectors.

USB drive supplied

To make life easier for users, manufacturers often ship microSD cards with an SD card adapter or with a USB reader. This is a good idea, especially for cards where a specific reader is needed in order to achieve the best performance. SanDisk, with its Extreme microSDXC Class 10 U3 A2 V30 microSD card, should be inspired by it since the MobileMate reader is not provided.

Once unboxed, we test the microSD Canvas React Plus UHS-II with its adapter to SD card. Surprisingly, the performance is poor and not at all what the UHS-II bus can offer. The fault is to be found on the side of the adapter which, if it has the merit of being present, only has the slower UHS-I standard. A shame …

The promises of the UHS-II bus are kept.

Adapter to SD card only to UHS-I bus

Let us not forget to specify that the UHS-II standard is backwards compatible with the UHS-I standard. It is therefore possible to use a card benefiting from a UHS-I or UHS-II bus either on a reader with the UHS-I or UHS-II bus. On the other hand, UHS-II bus cards will be limited to a maximum theoretical speed of 95 MB / s by the UHS-I standard.

After this first disappointment, we come back to our measurements, but with the supplied USB adapter. This time we’re feasting on the best speeds we’ve measured on a microSD card! The UHS-II bus does good where it goes and achieves a read throughput of 278 MB / s and 237 MB / s in writing during our theoretical tests. It’s excellent.

The performances are excellent.

One of the best performances on the market

By carrying out our tests in real conditions, we observe a “traditional” small decrease in practical measurements. On the other hand, we remain in the same orders of magnitude with speeds above 200MB / s in almost all cases.

When reading large files, the speeds exceed 260 MB / s, and in writing we reach 208 MB / s. Only the most difficult part for the cards, which is writing many small files, reduces the speed of the card. at approximately 138MB / s.