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HUAWEI Mate 20 ditches microSD in favor of "Nano Memory" - but what is it?

Move over microSD, HUAWEI is replacing you with Nano Memory. But what the heck is nano memory anyhow?

Published onOctober 16, 2018

HUAWEI Nano Memory cards

Today HUAWEI formally announced the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, packing a whole lot of new features. Interestingly, it was also revealed that the Mate 20 series would ditch microSD in favor of a new standard – NM cards. But what the heck are they?

NM stands for Nano Memory, an appropriate name considering the cards are essentially the same exact size as a nanoSIM card. The HUAWEI Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro now offer you the choice between two nanoSIM cards or you can swap out one of the SIM cards for a NM card. It’s all about making phones easier to design, while saving a little bit of space.

According to HUAWEI, the new cards are 45 percent smaller than a standard microSD card. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of other official details known about the new cards just yet.

We have heard whisperings that the cards will offer speeds up to 90 MB/s and size options of at least 128 and 256GB. Whether there are other sizes and speeds available remains unknown. We will be sure to do a deeper technical dive into the standard once we know more.

Pricing is equally mysterious. If we had to take a guess, we imagine these won’t be nearly as cheap as microSD. It’s a new standard that only works with two handsets so far and likely has limited production partners. Limited supply and demand generally lend itself towards higher pricing.

Nano Memory – is this the start of a new trend?

HUAWEI Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro
HUAWEI’s Mate 20 series swaps out microSD in favor of new Nano Memory

I’m not sure how I feel about Nano Memory.

While there may be other differences that set Nano Memory apart, so far the primary difference seems to be only size.

Though going smaller has long-term benefits, in the short term it’s going to be more expensive and much harder to find cards than microSD. Then again, a similar transition happened when OEMs slowly started moving away from microUSB over to USB Type-C. So maybe this is just a natural first step.

As it stands, it’s really hard to say whether Nano Memory has the potential to take off. It depends on HUAWEI’s partnership plans for the new card format. If HUAWEI is interested in pushing the standard, it will have to convince OEMs it’s worth investing in a new and unproven standard just to shave off a little space.

What do you think of HUAWEI’s new Nano Memory card format? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Looking for more details on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro?

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