Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Which of the two methods of dta transfer trasfers data at a faster rate for smartphones and tablets? Standard Wi-Fi, or MicroSD Cards?

I wonder if it would be actually faster to access data on external storage then it would be to have the MicroSD card in my smartphone or tablet.

Currently I have a class 10 32 GB MicroSD card in my cell phone. I am looking to get the new Google Nexus tablet but it does not offer expandable internal storage. I wonder if that's really a detriment; because if Wi-Fi is faster than MicroSD, then it would matter almost none at all that you couldn't expand the storage internally.

If the case is that Wi-Fi is faster, and people caught onto this, then people could save a lot of money on lower memory ipads/iphones/ipods, tablets, and smartphones!

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by bwDraco, KronoS, Journeyman Geek, Mokubai, Nifle Jul 8 '12 at 18:35

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Do we need to factor in fat-fingering the microSD card, dropping it and scrabbling around the floor looking for the teensy ceramic chip? 'cuz that's gonna effect the results. Remember that the SD card provides ALWAYS availablily, versus the WIFI's maybe available. Weigh THOSE concerns too. – lornix Jul 1 '12 at 14:46
up vote 4 down vote accepted

802.11n is 600 Mbit/s
SD class 10 is 10 MB/s (80 Mbit/s)

However the former is a theoretical maximum (assuming 4 streams, 4 aerials). 74 mbit/s is more realistic with an ideal signal (no interference, no other nearby Wifi devices). The latter is sustained minimum write speed.

Here's a graph from

comparison of data transfer speeds

Of course, if the data in the phone is on the SD-card in the phone (or in flash memory with equivalent throughput), WiFi can only be slower than directly reading tha card.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.