If you’re trying to buy a mini-SD online, be very cautious


This week I purchased an Audiovox SMT 5600[1] aka C500 and switched my cell phone service from T-Mobile to AT&T Wireless in order to get this phone, as I have been waiting for this combination of features and form factor in a smartphone for 2 years.

I was excited to try out synching some TV content between WMP 10 and my Media Center PC at home, so I ordered this 512MB Mobile Mini Secure Digital Card from ECost.com. I wanted to be very careful that I got a mini-SD and not an SD, but as you can see, the title of the item clearly says Mini. The description says it’s compatible with SD slots, but that is to be expected as most mini-SDs sell sleeves so they also fit into SD slots.

I paid extra for quick saturday-delivery shipping and when it arrived this morning, I opened it only to see… a 512MB secure digital card. It doesn’t even look like the picture on ecost’s site – there’s no “Mini” on the SD card itself.

If you look at epmemory.com, you will not see the same picture on ecost that has ‘mini’ on the card itself. But in the title of their main page, it appears that their line of products is all called ‘mobile mini’, they have “mobile mini” compact flashes for example.

I called ECost to get an RMA so I could return it, and the customer representative told me she knew exactly what the problem was, so I assume that I am not the only one who’s made this mistake. So I’m out the money I paid for shipping it to me, as well as the money I’ll pay to ship it back to ecost. Lesson learned.

I also called a few brick and mortars in my area this morning to see if they had any. One of them told me that oh yes, they had a 1 gigabyte mini-SD card for $109. “Mini? You’re sure it’s mini?” I asked. I was assured that it was. Somehow, I don’t think so.

So if anyone else is in the same situation and looking for a mini-SD, be cautious that you’re getting what you want. I’m heading out to Fry’s later today, they have 256mb Sandisk mini-SDs in stock, I’ll just have to cool my heels until 512s and 1gbs are available locally.

[1] Thus far, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a new customer and work for a company that has an arrangement with AT&T, I got the phone for a very reasonable price.

[Update 10/18: Toshiba 512 MB Mini-SD for $109. Thanks, Steve!]


Comments (23)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Will’s Blog » Looking for the iPOD killer?

  2. Chris Kinsman says:

    Thanks I almost did the same thing!

    I was also thinking about hitting Fry’s in Renton today…

  3. KC Lemson says:

    Don’t bother – they don’t have either the 128 or 256 mini, just got back from there.

  4. Mike Dimmick says:

    Amazon.com appear to have a 256MB mini SD (SanDisk) at $38.99. Search for ‘mini sd’.

    I’m not sure why they picked mini SD – Nokia’s 6230 is about the same size although a bit thicker but features a full size MMC slot. Admittedly the 6230 doesn’t appear to be multitasking.

  5. Ken Levy says:

    I bought an Audiovox 5600 yesterday as an upgrade fromm my Motorola smart phone. I have found that a great place to buy mobile products and accessories is
    http://mobileplanet.com, I have purchased from there dozens of times and never once have had a problem. Their web site is shows availability of the SD mini cards by SanDisk at

    http://www.mobileplanet.com/listing.asp?cat%5Fid=106&cat%5Fname=Memory+%26+Storage&pdept%5Fid=900021&dept%5Fid=1446&dept%5Fname=SecureDigital+%28SD%29+%26+MultiMedia+%28MMC%29.

  6. KC Lemson says:

    The 256mb (and 128) minisd sandisk can be found on many sites (I ordered one from bhphotovideo.com earlier today) but I haven’t seen any 512 mini-SDs anywhere. I got the 256 and I’ll wait a while for larger capacity ones to be available, 30 minutes of TV takes up 60mb :-)

    Thanks for the pointer to mobileplanet, never heard of it before.

  7. steve says:

    OK — KC. I usually have sympathy for you, but not here. I told you where to get them and told you that they would be around $100 give or take $10. 😉

  8. KC Lemson says:

    You told me where to find a 512+ mini-SD online? Are you sure? And the 256s are wayyyy below $100. If you find me a 512 or 1gb mini-SD online for under $110.01, I will um, let you borrow it for a day? :-)

  9. chrisbro says:

    I’m thinking about getting this phone. The feature that interests me the most is the wirless syncing with Exchange. Have you had any luck with that yet?

  10. KC Lemson says:

    Exchange activesync works great.

  11. Dimitri Glazkov says:

    What about a Remote Desktop client?

  12. Alenas says:

    Guys – Smartphone supports only up to 256MB. So do not bother looking form 512MB or 1GB

  13. KC Lemson says:

    Interesting! I did not know that. Bummer though.

  14. Andy Doyle says:

    Smartphones (and for sure the C500) DO support 512MB.

    I’ve been using one for a couple of months and it’s been great so far. I’m hoping to be able to try a 1GB soon and from what I’ve heard there isn’t any problem using these either.

  15. Neil Goldstein says:

    There was a rumor/specsheet that the AT&T would only have support for 256MiniSD, but many people have reported that "specsheet" to be wrong.

    The Motorola MPx220 (BestBuys only for another 20-30 days) spec sheet showed 512 support.

    It may have less to do with the OS support/size, and more to do with vendor bundled app’s and services.

    As vendors start providing online backup, 256 over GPRS starts looking extream.

  16. Annoyed Consumer says:

    Toshiba 512 MB Mini-SD for $109. Before I read your article, I ordered a card from this site, 4 days later I emailed them to ask if it shipped. Then I get eh song and dance, that there was a small back order, and it was now shipping today. Of course they never bothered to notify me, nor are they responsice now that ive brought up there 150% guarentee for shipping, and now there website has the card a 119$. SO buyer beware, and im still not sure what my status is!

  17. Matt says:

    On of the comments at the bottom of this page:

    http://www.phonemag.com/index.php/weblog/read_more/10212004_audiovox_smt_5600_full_review/

    Says that he’s using a 512MB mini SD card in his Audiovox SMT 5600.

    Can anyone back this up?

  18. Justin says:

    Does anyone know when the 1gb mini sd card will be available on the market??

  19. Mark says:

    Sandisk recently announced their 512 MB mini SD will be priced at $69.99. So hopefully these will show up for around $50 retail.

    http://www.sandisk.com/pressrelease/20041026.htm

  20. Dave says:

    KC,

    Now that you have been using the phone for two weeks, do you have any further thoughts/opinions? I’m trying to decide between the Audiovox and MPX200. I prefer clamshell phones over the candy bar type, but with the MPX220 problems, I’m just not sure what to do. Supposedly a ROM update is coming for the MPX220 that will address most of the issues.

  21. KC Lemson says:

    I also preferred clamshell phones, but I am so far really enjoying the smt5600. I would bet on the one where you know the phone itself doesn’t have problems, it seems just solid. The only advantage i’m aware of of the 220 over the smt5600 (outside of the larger mp size camera) is that you don’t have to remove the battery to insert the mini-SD.

  22. jzeisler says:

    I just bought a 512mb ATP miniSD card. http://www.atpinc.com It rocks.!