The best SD card reader for iPhone is a valuable investment for anyone who wants to expand their phone storage or access new files and documents on their iPhone fast.
When the first Apple iPhones emerged on the market over a decade ago, it came with a base storage of around 4GB. Over the years, storage options for iPhones have evolved, with most customers taking advantage of the iCloud for scalability.
However, if you have old files stored on an SD card or you want a physical backup of your important data, an SD card reader for iPhone can be a valuable tool.
Most people use SD cards as a quick way to give their iPhone extra storage options or as an alternative to cloud backups.
You can even use your SD card reader to take a memory card straight out of your camera and transfer it to your iPhone. This is excellent for people who want to upload DSLR shots to Instagram. There are plenty of options to choose from on the market today. Here are some of our favorites.
- Apple Lightning to SD card camera reader is a native device from Apple that uses your Photos app to transfer photos and videos from SD cards to your device.
- Ray Cue SD Card reader is a four-in-one device with extra slots for reading TF cards and USB memory sticks. There’s even an extra slot for charging your device.
- Tvird SD card reader for iPhone works with Android phones, computers, and iPhones. There’s a mini USB, USB lightning adapter, a TF card and an SD card slot.
- RAVPower SD Card reader for iPhone features an ultra-durable design for portability. It comes with 64GB of storage space and USB 3.0 technology.
Who Should Get This?
Your latest iPhone may have 32GB of data storage available, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from the best lightning SD card reader that money can buy. If you run out of room and don’t want to store your photos and files to the iCloud, an SD Card reader for iPhone gives you another place to store the data you don’t want to lose.
The best SD card reader for iPhone will appeal to:
- People who want a physical backup: While the iCloud is great, some people still prefer to have a physical backup of the things on their phone too. An SD card can be a great place to store the information you don’t want to lose.
- Anyone who needs extra space: Some people find iCloud a little too expensive to use long-term. What do you do if you run out of data but don’t want to delete old photos and videos? Storing files on your SD card could be another option.
- Photographers using Instagram: Uploading photos to Instagram requires a phone account, or a complicated computer workaround. If you’re snapping photos from a DSLR, you can take the SD card from that and use it in your SD card reader for iPhone. It’s a quick and easy way to get professional shots onto Instagram.
Best SD Card Reader for iPhone: What to Consider in 2021
The best lightning SD card reader for your iPhone will depend on what you want to do. Some people search for adapters with multiple slots for different things like USB sticks and charging ports. Other people might want the best micro SD card reader for iPhone. Some of the features you might want to consider when shopping include:
- Support for your devices: The best SD card reader for iPhone works with your Apple devices and Windows operating systems, and even Android phones in some cases.
- Speed: A great lightning to SD card camera reader will allow you to transfer pictures and files in minutes, not hours. Look for a device that offers speedy connections and quick access to your data.
- Extra ports: Some SD card reader for iPhone options come with additional ports so you can connect a mini SD card, standard SD, TF card, and USB memory card too. There may even be space so you can charge your phone while transferring files.
- Simplicity: A great accessory for your iPhone should be easy to use. Many of the best lightning SD card reader options are plug and play. This means that you don’t even need to download an app to move files around.
- Durability: Any cords or components of your SD card reader should be durable. Make sure that the parts won’t bend or snap easily. This will help your device to last longer.
Best SD Card Reader for iPhone: Our Picks for 2021
The Apple Lightning to SD card camera reader is the simple choice for people who want an accessory with no problem working with any iPhone. You can use this convenient cable to download videos and photos from your camera to your iPhone in no time. As soon as you insert the SD card into the reader, your device will automatically open the Photos app.
The Photos app on your iPhone or iPad will organize your images into collections, years, and moments. The Lightning to SD card camera reader from Apple also supports transfer speeds of up to USB 3. All standard video formats are supported, including RAW and JPEG.
- Easy to download photos and videos with the Photos app
- No need for any special software
- Automatically works with Apple devices
- Lightning to SD card speeds of up to USB 3
- Supports all formats, including RAW and JPEG
- The flimsy cable can break easily
- Just one slot
If you’re looking for a convenient SD card reader for iPhone that comes with a bunch of other capabilities too, then the Ray Cue reader could be ideal for you.
This easy-to-use 4-in-1 card reader comes with a secure digital memory card slot, TF card slot (mini and micro), and a camera memory reader too. There’s also a space where you can plug in your charger to power up your iPhone as you deal with your files.
Offering a high-speed data transfer performance of around 14mb-16mb per second, this is one of the best lightning SD card reader products around, with plug and play functionality included. You don’t need an app, just connect the reader to your phone and add your card. The tool will automatically open the photos app.
- Plug and play simplicity with no app required
- 4-in-1 device with secure digital memory card slot, TF card (micro and mini), and 1 camera memory card reader
- Space to charge your phone while transferring data
- Works with the Apple Photos app
- Wide compatibility with all iPhone and iPad models
- You can’t use the SD/TF card slots and the USB interface at the same time
- A little confusing at first
The Tvird SD card reader for iPhone is another example of a 4-in-1 lightning adapter. This convenient all-in-one tool can support a Type C connection for USB devices, a Micro USB for your Android phone, and a lightning adapter. There’s also a slot for standard SD cards and TF cards.
Compact and convenient, this single reader makes it easy to move files and photos from various devices. Each connection point comes with its own protective lid to avoid damage, and there are no cables that you can accidentally snap.
Like many of the best lightning SD card reader products, the Tvird is easy to use, with a dedicated app you can download on your smartphone.
- 4-in-1 lightning connector with Type C USB, Micro USB, Lightning adapter, SD card, and TF card reader
- Compact design with cases to protect each connection point
- Plug and play functionality
- High-speed transmission of 20 to 30 MB/S
- Works with Android devices as well as iPhone
- App required for use
Finally, the RAVPower SD card reader for iPhone comes with an ultra-durable design, ideal for portability. The SD card reader is authorized for use with iPhones and ensures that you can move files larger than 4GB in no time. You also get a bonus of around 64GB of storage available, so the RAVPower frees up more room on your device.
This SD card reader for iPhone devices works across iPhones, iPads, computers, and cameras. The flash drive features USB 3.0 technology for faster transfer speeds when you’re moving files to a PC. A lengthened lightning connector means that this product will still work when your phone is in a bulky case.
The RAVPower SD card solution comes with 18 months of warranty. You can’t transfer iTunes music and video files on this device, unfortunately.
- Extra durable design for long-term use
- 64GB of storage for your extra files
- USB 3.0 technology offers faster transfer speeds
- 18 months of warranty
- Works with iPhones, iPads, cameras, and computers
- A little heavy for some users
- Won’t save photos and songs from iTunes
Useful Tips and Tricks
Most of the time, the best SD card reader for iPhone will be a plug and play device that you don’t need any extra software to use. If an app is required, make sure that it’s easy to use before buying the accessory. To use a product like the standard Apple lightning to SD card camera reader, simply:
- Plug the SD card reader into your iPhone or iPad (make sure it fits with your case)
- Insert the SD card or micro SD card you want to import content from.
- Wait for the Photos app to automatically launch. You may need to download another device with some of these tools.
- Go to the Photos app and tap the Import tab at the bottom if the Photos tab doesn’t launch automatically.
- Remove your SD card reader when you’re done.
If you have any trouble with errors happening when you try to import videos and photos from an SD card, check out this support document from Apple.
The best SD card reader for iPhone is a useful product to have around when you frequently take photos on a camera you want to transfer to your phone. SD cards can also be a great source of extra storage and a useful backup solution. Good luck with choosing the right one for your needs.