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What is a TF card? Everything you need to know

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Memory cards are an important part of our lives these days. From expanding our smartphone storage to storing our camera’s pictures, these tiny little pieces of plastic carry great importance in the modern world. 

However, it can be somewhat confusing to pick the right one for you with several different card types out there. In this article, we’re going over what is a TF card, how is it different from a microSD card, and if you should buy one. 

Also read: SDHC vs SDXC: 4 talking points

What is a TF card?

TF or TransFlash cards are essentially an early form of microSD cards before microSD became the standard small memory card type. Physically, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. 

TransFlash or microSD cards were intended to replace traditional SD cards.

TransFlash or TF was the original name for microSD cards launched by Sandisk in 2004. These were considered the smallest memory cards ever created, with them being barely the size of a fingernail and were intended to replace traditional SD cards, which are rather big (and are still used in devices such as DSLRs). These cards store data in a digital format and save anything from files, photos and videos and usually provide relatively fast data transfer speeds.

TF card vs MicroSD card: What’s the difference between the two?

The main difference between the two is that microSD cards support SDIO mode meaning they can perform tasks unrelated to the memory, including Bluetooth, GPS and NFC based storage. A TransFlash card might not be helpful in such situations.

Apart from this, since both cards support the same format, they can be used interchangeably. For example, if you have a smartphone that takes microSD cards and you don’t have one lying around, a TransFlash card will work just as fine. 

Should you buy TF cards?

While TransFlash cards might be hard to come by these days, considering the sheer popularity of microSD cards, if you find one, you can pick it up without worries. 

If you’re picking up a TF card, make sure you go for high-speed Class 10 TF cards from any manufacturer — the lower the class rating, the lower the transfer or read/write speeds.

Also read: How to empty the trash on Android?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: