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Micro SDHC vs. Micro SDXC — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Maham Liaqat — Published on March 3, 2024
Micro SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards offer storage from 2GB to 32GB and are widely used in portable devices, while Micro SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) cards range from 64GB to 2TB, providing more storage for high-resolution content.
Micro SDHC vs. Micro SDXC — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Micro SDHC and Micro SDXC


Key Differences

Micro SDHC and Micro SDXC are both compact flash memory cards designed for portable devices, but they differ mainly in capacity and file system compatibility. Micro SDHC cards, introduced after the standard micro SD, support capacities from 2GB up to 32GB. They are formatted using the FAT32 file system, which is compatible with a wide range of devices, making them suitable for smartphones, cameras, and tablets that require moderate storage capacity.
Micro SDXC cards, on the other hand, extend the storage capacity from 64GB up to 2TB, catering to the increasing demand for high-capacity storage solutions for devices that record high-definition video, store large numbers of high-resolution images, or carry extensive music and app libraries. These cards use the exFAT file system, designed to handle larger file sizes and capacities efficiently, but require devices that support the SDXC standard for compatibility.
From a performance perspective, both card types can offer similar speed classes, including Class 10, UHS (Ultra High Speed) Classes 1 and 3, and Video Speed Classes, which indicate the minimum write speeds of the cards. However, due to their larger capacity, SDXC cards are more likely to be used in scenarios that demand higher write speeds and larger file transfers, such as 4K video recording.
Compatibility is another critical difference. While most newer devices support both SDHC and SDXC cards, older devices may only support SDHC due to hardware limitations or firmware restrictions. It’s essential to check a device's specifications to determine the supported card types before purchasing.
Despite these differences, both micro SDHC and SDXC cards share similar physical dimensions and durability features, including resistance to water, temperature, and shock, making them versatile storage solutions across various applications.

Comparison Chart

Capacity Range

2GB to 32GB
64GB to 2TB

File System



Broad device compatibility
Requires SDXC-compatible devices

Use Cases

Moderate storage needs like photos and standard video
High-resolution content, including 4K video

Speed Classes

Class 2, 4, 6, 10, UHS-1, UHS-3
Class 10, UHS-1, UHS-3, V10, V30, V60, V90

Compare with Definitions

Micro SDHC

Uses FAT32 file system for wider compatibility.
The camera's micro SDHC card was formatted with FAT32 to store photos.

Micro SDXC

Requires devices compatible with the SDXC standard.
The latest gaming console expanded its storage with a micro SDXC card.

Micro SDHC

Supports various speed classes for different needs.
The Class 10 micro SDHC was chosen for HD video recording.

Micro SDXC

Can achieve higher speed ratings for demanding applications.
The UHS-3 micro SDXC card ensured smooth 4K video recording.

Micro SDHC

Ideal for moderate use in mobile phones and digital cameras.
A micro SDHC card stored hundreds of songs for the music player.

Micro SDXC

Offers high-capacity storage up to 2TB for extensive media collections.
The drone used a 128GB micro SDXC card for 4K video storage.

Micro SDHC

Requires no specific hardware support in most modern devices.
The tablet easily recognized the inserted micro SDHC card.

Micro SDXC

Formatted with exFAT to support large files efficiently.
The micro SDXC's exFAT system handled the high-resolution video files well.

Micro SDHC

Designed for devices requiring up to 32GB of storage.
The smartphone was equipped with a 32GB micro SDHC card for additional storage.

Micro SDXC

Suitable for high-end smartphones and cameras.
The photographer preferred a micro SDXC for storing RAW images.

Common Curiosities

Can I use a micro SDXC card in a device that only supports micro SDHC?

Generally, no. Devices that only support micro SDHC may not be able to read the exFAT file system used by SDXC cards.

How do I choose between a micro SDHC and SDXC card?

Consider device compatibility, required storage capacity, and the types of files you plan to store (e.g., high-definition videos may necessitate an SDXC card).

What does HC and XC stand for in micro SDHC and SDXC?

HC stands for High Capacity, and XC stands for Extended Capacity.

Can I use a micro SDHC or SDXC card without formatting it?

Cards usually come pre-formatted, but reformatting may be necessary for compatibility or performance reasons.

Do all digital cameras support micro SDXC cards?

Not all; compatibility depends on the camera model and manufacturer specifications.

Can micro SDHC and SDXC cards be used interchangeably in smartphones?

If the smartphone supports both standards, then yes, they can be used interchangeably.

What is the fastest speed class available for these cards?

The fastest speed class available is V90, primarily found in high-end SDXC cards.

Is there a physical difference between micro SDHC and SDXC cards?

Physically, they are identical; the differences lie in capacity, file system, and device compatibility.

How do I format a micro SDXC card to FAT32?

Formatting to FAT32 can be done using a computer and formatting software, but be aware this may limit the card's functionality.

What happens if I insert a micro SDXC card into a non-compatible device?

The device may not recognize the card, or you might be unable to access its full capacity and stored data.

Are micro SDXC cards significantly more expensive than SDHC cards?

Yes, micro SDXC cards are typically more expensive due to their higher capacity and performance capabilities.

Are there any reliability differences between micro SDHC and SDXC cards?

Reliability primarily depends on the manufacturer and technology used rather than the specific standard (HC vs. XC).

What is the largest capacity available for micro SDXC cards?

As of my last update, micro SDXC cards are available up to 2TB in capacity.

Can I upgrade my device to support micro SDXC cards?

Support is typically hardware and firmware-dependent; a firmware update may enable support, but this is not always possible.

How does the file system affect the card's use?

The file system (FAT32 for SDHC, exFAT for SDXC) affects the maximum file size and overall capacity the card can support.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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