Every year, companies innovate to manufacture the newest technical advancements for the market and while many innovations never see the light of day, a select few can make a remarkable change in the way we do things.

Long ago in 1977, Eli Harari at Hughes Aircraft, invented a new way to store data, a way that would change the traditional hard drive. Harari had developed a method of electronically writing data onto an electronic memory chip, called an EEPROM, or Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory.

As time progressed, technology adapted to Harari's discovery and and in 1984, Toshiba created Flash Memory, a process in which 1s and 0s are written to a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be reprogrammed and erased.

Smaller than your thumb nail, a Secure Digital card, more commonly known as a SD card, is a flash storage device that can quickly and effectively write data while maintaining a very small size. Although they first made their mark in 1999, it wasn’t until later in the 2000s that they became more and more popular.

Camera advocates are SD cards best friends, as since their creation, their main purpose was for camera operations. That being said, in recent development, SD cards have become more than a card you use for photos as many phones, GPS, tablets, consoles, and a lot more can benefit from these little devices.

The SD card comes in many different forms, although the most common is a standard SD card and MicroSD card. Flash memory is a tricky business, but doable if the company has previous experience and it just so happens that Kingston has been working with Flash technology since their startup.

With Kingston’s massive lineup of flash drives, solid state drives, and SD cards, their push towards creating the ultimate flash storage device is growing ever so slightly. Just a few years ago, SD cards held a “massive” 256MB or at most 1GB. With SD cards being more and more popular, capacities have increased.

Welcome to my dual review of the new Kingston UHS-I U3 and MobileLite G4. Throughout this review, I will discuss the features, specifications, and my final thoughts. I would like to thank Kingston for providing these products.


I first caught wind of the UHS-I U3 when Kingston announced its release during CES of this year. The title of the email was “For 4K and HD Video Capture” and not only did I find this exciting, but I found that very few flash memory manufacturers offer this ability.

We begin with the UHS-I U3 MicroSD card in a 64GB capacity. A quick design overview shows off a dark red font, with an all-black body.

This unit supports the Secure Digital eXtended Capacity or SDXC standards which is typically reserved for high speed and high capacity SD cards. Moreover, Kingston has done an excellent job in obtaining a UHS speed class of Mark 3 for their MicroSD card, which is the highest rating and even meets the highest class at the Class 10 mark. These certifications are only provided by the SD association .

Kingston offers the UHS-I U3 in three different capacities, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB and also offer the MicroSD card without the SD adapter if you wish to save a few bucks. As I said above, sent to me was the 64GB card and I decided to use it in my Olympus Stylus TG-850 . I put the camera settings on Auto and set the resolution to Fine. More on its operation in the camera below.

Lastly, I saved the best feature for last and that is the durability of this little card. Like my camera it too can survive water and high temperatures. Furthermore, its flash memory allows for a shock resistance and is X-Ray proof.

As a dual review, there is a second part to this section. When it becomes time to transfer photos and you happen to be on a computer that lacks an SD card slot, like a desktop or tablet, what can you do? Kingston has you covered with their new MobileLite G4.

The design overview reveals an all metal body with the reader on the back of the unit. The MobileLite uses a USB 3.0 interface that makes reading SD, SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, or MicroSDXC card a dream.

Its own downside is the large size of the unit. When connected to my laptop, the MobileLite is so large in width that any ports surrounding the USB plug in use will become blocked. That being said, you are not forced to use the MobileLite G4 and something I discovered during my testing is that the MicroSD card matched very well with the MobileLite Wireless G2 that I reviewed here . For those that want an inexpensive in-home NAS, your dream just came true.


During the entire review period, I kept the UHS-I U3 in my camera that I mentioned above. Recall my comment about setting the resolution to “Fine” and some of the results may surprise you.

When Fine resolution is selected, the camera takes a massive photo with the dimensions being 4608 x 2592 with a DPI of 72 and Bit depth of 24. So I plugged the MicroSD card into the camera and was amazed to see that the camera reported that it could take 9294 fine resolution photos! It gets better with the ability to record 7 hours and 26 minutes of 1080p 30FPS video or 4 hours and 53 minutes at 1080p 60FPS, although the camera had a limitation of only 30 minutes per video.

After taking some photos, it was time to transfer them to the PC. Depending on your usage, computer, and photos taken, your results may vary slightly. To keep things standard, I chose to use ATTO Disk Benchmarking software.

The first test was performed using a Dell laptop and connecting the MicroSD card to the Kingston included SD adapter. Kingston reports a maximum read speed of 90MB/s and 80MB/s write. The test shown below reveals that Kingston’s standards are shown to be true for one side of the equation. As the amount of data increased on the benchmark (the numbers on the Y-axis), the better the MicroSD card did. During the final test, with transferring 8GB of data, the MicroSD card reached its maximum reading speed, but fell short of the writing speed.

Test number two is performed with the MicroSD card connected directly into the MobileLite G4 without the SD adapter. I also used a USB 3.0 port. The test below shows some major differences over the first test. Oddly enough, the lower the amount of data that was transferred, the worse it did; this is shown in a comparison of transferring 1GB of data between the two pictures. That being said, the test also shows that when using the MobileLite G4, I was able to exceed the 90MB/s maximum of the drive and gained an additional 10MB/s on the writing speeds.

In the end, for those who will be transferring video or large amounts of files, I would highly recommend using the UHS-I U3 with the partnered MobileLite G4. They make for a great team and make life that much easier.

My Final Thoughts

This little memory card has come a long way from the previous 1GB cards I spoke about at the beginning. I’ve used a fair amount of SD cards before and none of them can compete with what Kingston has to offer. There are absolutely no dislikes with this product and it gets even better as the MicroSD card offers a lifetime warranty and the MobileLite Ga4 a two year warranty. It’s very well priced at $55 for the MicroSD card and $10 for the MobileLite G4. Cameras, video recorders, cell phones, tablets, or any other device that uses a MicroSD card will certainly benefit from this device.

Buy it Now:

For those interested in the USB Card reader, click here to purchase it .

© 2015 Justin Vendette