If you often transfer files from your SD Card to your smartphone, you might want to consider getting an SD card reader. Mobile devices today slowly adapt to USB Type-C ports which gives way to fast OTG performance. USB On-the-Go is a standard specification for devices that enables them to read signals from USB devices like flash drives, keyboards, and digital cameras without the need for PC or laptops. Today, we are going to review some of the best SD card readers for Android devices.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


How Do I Use my Smartphone As a SD Card Reader?

If you want to use your phone to access and manage your files from your SD Card, you need to use an SD card reader that is compatible with the connector on your device. Using SD Card readers are pretty much straight forward. You plug in the reader on your phone, then you insert the SD Card on the reader. But, make sure to enable USB OTG on your smartphone before doing this. After this, you can download a file manager app or if your phone has a built-in file explorer you can also use that. At this point you can manage your files like what you would normally do on desktop computers or laptops.

Now let’s have a look at the best SD card readers that you can use with Android devices.


5 Best SD Card Readers for Your Android Device

The card readers on this list are selected based on their performance, features, durability, and price.

#1: Anker USB C 2-in1 SD Card Reader for Android

Anker USB-C and USB 3.0 SD Card...
1,848 Reviews
Anker USB-C and USB 3.0 SD Card...
  • Dual Card Slots: Includes both an SD and a microSD card slot, making it easy to...
  • Dual Connectors: Whether connecting to your laptop or to a phone, we’ve got you...
  • Transfer Files in Seconds: Access your photos and videos at speeds of up to 104 MBps.

Anker leads the industry in terms of USB devices and chargers. One of their best products is the Anker USB C card reader which is compatible with smartphones that supports USB OTG. The card reader has support for micro SD cards and standard SD Cards. It can read both SDHC and SDXC cards and UHS-I memory cards. It has a compact size which is important if you are going to use it mainly for your smartphone. Transfer speed is rated at 5 GB per second which translates to at least 250 MB per second read speed on real-world performance.

#2: SmartQ C256 Type-C and Type-A USB Memory Card

SmartQ C256 Micro SD Card Reader to...
5,509 Reviews
SmartQ C256 Micro SD Card Reader to...
  • SmartQ C350 Type-C USB-A Memory Card Reader
  • USB 3.0 Super Speed
  • Works with MicroSDXC, MicroSDHC, SD, SDXC, SDHC, SD cards

For a budget-friendly card reader, you can never go wrong with the SmartQ C256 memory card reader. It has support for both USB type-c and type-a for older phones. It works well on microSDHC, microSDXC, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. However, the card is only supporting USB 2.0 which has slower transfer speed compared to USB 3.0. But, you cannot complain a lot given the price you are getting for this device. In terms of size the card reader measures 3.1 inches in length and 1.8 inches in width. You can get the Smart Q C256 memory card reader on Amazon.

#3: Hicober USB C to SD Card Reader 

Hicober USB C to SD Card Reader,...
10,733 Reviews
Hicober USB C to SD Card Reader,...
  • 【Instantly Sharing & 2TB Capacity】Catches the Significant moment to share...
  • 【Efficiency 5Gbps transfering】Plug and play, no exact App/driver required....
  • 【Ultimate Durability& Travel Size】Durable USB c to SD card reader is casting with...

The Hicober USB C card reader is an all in memory card reader that you can use on your smartphone and other devices. It has three ports that support MicroSD Card, Standard SD Card, and a full-size USB 3.0 port. The card reader features a 5 GB per second transfer speed which performs around 200 MB per second on a real-world scenario using a V30 SanDisk Extreme SD Card. Since the Hicober packs a full-size USB 3.0 port it is not that great when it comes to portability and being compact. However, if you don’t mind its large size, the card reader can deliver a lot of performance and you should consider getting it. It is available on Amazon.

#4: RAMPOW 2 in 1 USB C to SD Card Reader

RAMPOW 2 in 1 SD Card Reader -...
182 Reviews
RAMPOW 2 in 1 SD Card Reader -...
  • 【Convenient & Portable】USB-C On the Go, plug and use. No Installation Required....
  • 【High Speed & Durability】Double your productivity with simultaneous micro SD/SD...
  • 【Thoughtful Design with LED Indicator】With a SPRING LOADED MECHANISM, you can...

With over 50% five-star customer rating on Amazon, you can tell that the Rampow 2 in 1 USB card reader is one of the best SD Card readers out there. The card supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 and it has a transfer speed of up to 90 MB per second that allows you to transfer at least 100 photos in less than 12 seconds. It has two slots for both SD Card and Micro SD Cards. The actual card reader has a compact design but, the USB Type-C cable is not removable so it can be a bit hassle to fit the card reader on your bag.

#5: Vogek 3-in-1 USB Card Reader

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The Vogek 3-in-1 card reader can be compared to a pocket knife with a lot of useful tools in it. It can be connected to any device that supports a full-size USB port, USB Type-C, and a MicroUSB. However, the card doesn’t have a lightning connector for iPhones and iPads so keep that in mind. The card supports USB 3.0 which ensures fast transfer performance across different devices. It has support for standard SD cards and micro SD cards. Vogek 3-in-1 USB Card reader is a compact-sized adapter that you can carry around inside your pocket. It measures 2.75 inches in terms of length and less than an inch for width.



Why is My Phone Not Reading My SD Card?

If you are having trouble accessing your SD Card on your phone you should at least check two things:

  • Make sure that your phone is USB OTG compatible. Not one SD Card reader would work on your Android phone if it doesn’t support USB On the GO. To check this you can go to your phone’s manufacturer website and check there if your specific model supports OTG.
  • Check your phone’s settings and make sure that USB OTG is enabled.
  • Your SD card might be corrupted, read how to solve this problem in the following article: Fix Corrupted SD Card on Android Step-by-Step [Without PC]


What’s the Best SD Card Reader for Android?

Using an SD card with your Android device can greatly expand your storage capacity and make it easier to transfer files between devices. However, it’s important to choose a reliable SD card reader that’s compatible with your device and supports the type of SD card you’re using.

In our opinion, the Anker USB C 2-in-1 is the best SD card reader that you can get for your android phone. It has support for SDHC and SDXC memory cards and has a 5 GB per second transfer speed. But, what we liked most about this memory card reader is its compact size. It is important for card readers on smartphones to have a compact size so that it would not get in your way when you are on the go.


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