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Memory Cards for Mobile Phones and PDAs

This page is intended to provide information and online resources for memory cards used to expand onboard memory for handheld computers, palmtops, laptops and smartphones. cards can also be used for digital cameras and MP3 players.

Available Memory Card Formats

Below is a list of common memory card formats:

Compact Flash

CompactFlash Card

As used in a host of products, such as the Psion Series 5mx, IPAQ and Pocket Loox Pocket PCs, and a wide range of digital cameras. For more on how CF cards work, see Pscience 5's CF page

Below, you'll find a summary of CF card prices from online suppliers:

  • Amazon - Last time we checked, Amazon were offering Viking 1 gig cards for £14.
  • - Fast reliable delivery at low prices
  • - bid for new cards at low prices!

For advice on CF cards for the Psion range, see our Psion FAQ page

MMC card

MMC Card

Weighing less than two grams and taking up the area of a postage stamp, MultiMediaCards are ideal for use in portable devices like digital audio players, digital cameras, and PDAs. In addition to its distinct size advantage over other removable memory, the MultiMediaCard's low power draw makes it highly suitable for battery-powered mobile applications. MMC cards will fit into devices that have an SD slot - MMC cards are the same size, and are often much cheaper than SD cards, because they're an 'open' standard (SD card manufacturers have to pay royalties, and MMC card manufacturers don't!).

Note that there's also a variant of this card, the RSMMC (Reduced Size MultiMedia Card).

Below, you'll find a list of some online MMC card suppliers:

  • Amazon - Stock a wide range of MMC cards at some of the lowest prices around
  • Consider bidding for an MMC card at - nab a bargain
  • PC World's accessory section
  • bid for new cards at low prices!
SD card

SD card

The SD form factor represents the one of the smallest, secure flash memory card in the consumer market today and is flexible for use in today's hi-tech devices including MP3 players, PDAs, digital cameras, the Sony Reader, and even games consoles like the Nintendo Wii.

SD cards are the same size as MMC cards (although slightly thicker). The 'Secure' part of a Secure Digital card refers to the fact that it's possible to use these cards to write data in an encrypted way, for protection of copyright (e.g. for e-books, music and video). You can find out more about the format from

Below, you'll find a summary of suppliers:

  • Amazon - Always a good choice for reliable delivery at good prices - Currently offering a Viking 1 gig card for a silly £11
  • - Fast reliable delivery at low prices
  • - Great online store for PC accessories, including some cut price memory cards
  • - bid for new cards at low prices!
  • PC World - There's a small range in their Accessories section
Micro SD card

Micro SD card

Even smaller than a Mini-SD, these tiny cards are being used more and more in smartphones. Below are few suppliers:

  • Amazon - At the time of writing, they're stocking a SanDisk Micro SD 1GB plus SD Adapter for £18
  • - bid for new cards at low prices!
MiniSD card

Mini-SD card

With smaller and smaller mobile phones being released, the SD card has shrunk. It behaves the same as a standard SD card, but just 38% of the size.

Below, you'll find a summary of suppliers:

  • Amazon - At the time of writing, they're listing the Lexar range - 64Meg for £17 and 128Meg for £19. Not as many available as Amazon, but this is bound to change...
  • - Fast reliable delivery on a range of cards
  • - bid for new cards at low prices!
Memory Stick

Memory Stick

The ultra-small, thin design is ideal for use in Sony digital cameras, some camcorders, and PDAs.

The format also includes the Memory Stick Duo, as used in the Sony Ericsson P800 - these are about a third of the size of a Sony Memory Stick.

Below, you'll find a summary of suppliers:

  • Amazon - At the time of writing, Amazon are offering Sony 256MB Memory Stick for just over £30, but prices change frequently.
  • BT Shop - Fast reliable delivery on a range of cards
  • - bid for new Memory Sticks at low prices!
SmartMedia card


SmartMedia (SSFDC) memory cards provide mobile data storage in a very small inter-changeable format. SSFDC consists of a single NAND flash EEPROM chip embedded in a thin plastic card. It can be transported between digital systems including consumer and portable electronic devices, PDAs, digital cameras, pagers, MP3 digital music players and more.

Below, you'll find a summary of SmartMedia card prices from large suppliers:

  • Amazon - A good choice for smart media cards
  • - Fast reliable delivery on a range of cards
  • - bid for new cards at low prices!


Memory Card Readers

Memory card drive

If you have a PDA, phone or digital camera with a memory card, you'll probably want to get hold of a memory card reader.

These plug into the USB port of your computer and when you plug in a supported memory card, a new icon appears in "My Computer" to represent the card drive. You can copy, delete and move files via this virtual drive as normal. As well as being more convenient, using a card reader is quite a bit faster than copying files to/from a PDA or camera using infrared or Bluetooth. Some card readers may require you to install a supplied driver.

Memory card reader Card readers are available for all types of memory cards, and the prices for readers are typically around £8 to £12. We recommend looking at for card readers - they stock a wide range (including Belkin, Dazzle and PNY) at excellent prices - failing that, see what Amazon have on offer. PC World also carry a range of readers.

If you make a lot of use of memory cards and have more than one type of card, consider getting a multi-format reader. We use the Belkin 15 in 1 Multi Flash Memory Card Reader (£19 from Amazon), which supports Compact Flash, Smart Media, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital Card and Memory Stick flash formats.

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