Dashcam & Sentry Mode -- USB Flash Drive v.s. Micro SD Card

Micro SD Card

Micro SD card, abbreviated for Micro Secure Digital card, is a non-volatile memory card used in portable devices. Micro SD cards are an integral part of many devices including digital cameras, phones, MP3 players and game consoles.

USB Flash Drive

A USB Flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface. It is also known as a USB drive, USB stick, thumb drive, pen drive, memory stick etc. A flash drive consists of a small circuit board carrying the necessary circuit elements and importantly a USB connector, insulated electrically and protected inside a plastic or metal or rubberized case, which can be carried in a pocket.

Both are very similar in appearance and purposes. They're small devices that can be used to store and transfer data from one place to another.

Their basic similarities and differences are listed below

Based on the table above, both use the same flash storage inside them, but the Micro SD Card has some advantages over the USB Flash Drive.

A Micro SD Card is nothing but a simple block of memory that was created with one purpose, which is to quickly store large amount of data and do it at a lightning speed. A USB drive is a complicated device with integrated circuit board that enables it to work with anything with a USB port. This versatility and complexity is not as important for a simple task of recording videos and save them. The complexity of a USB makes it not as durable or as reliable as a simple Micro SD Card. Built-in circuitries can fail more often than a simple block of memory. A car's interior, which is often a very hot or very cold environment, is not a friendly place for tiny circuit boards such as one in the USB flash drive. 

A Class 10 Micro SD Card has a minimum speed of 10 MB/s and functions smoothly for Full-HD recordings and large HD files. A USB drive may have the same speed or faster but it is limited to the device it connected to and is not guaranteed to perform as that speed.

Guaranteed speed and reliability are reasons why all digital cameras opted to use Micro SD Card instead of USB drive. Tesla's onboard cameras are digital cameras that capture Full-HD videos.

Another advantage is separation of failure. Even though we still need a Micro SD to USB adapter, there're 2 parts that are not merged together. The adapter can fail but your Micro SD card is still intact, all data is still there. You can simply swap to another adapter, quickly and cheaply. When a USB flash drive failed, your data is lost and there's no way to recover it.

For reasons listed, we believe that a Micro SD Card is more suitable for Dashcam and Sentry Mode than a USB Flash Drive. Please note that our conclusion is not the final authority, it's merely based on our understanding of the technology, extensive testing and observations.

We hope that we provided you with some information to help you make your decision between buying a Micro SD Card or USB Flash Drive.

Enjoy and remember to share if you find this article helpful.


You might also like: How Dashcam and Sentry Mode Store Video Footages

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