In the tech world, it's all too common to slap a fake label and packaging on a lower quality product, especially SD cards. If you've ever bought an SD card on the cheap from a slightly-less-than-reputable source (or even a reputable source, in some cases), how do you know if it's the real deal?
SD Insight is a free app for Android that displays manufacturer information, model number, and the capacity of an SD card inserted into your phone or tablet. This information can be used to see if you have a fake product or not. SD Insight can also provide info on your internal storage and any SDIO card installed in your device, if that's something you're concerned about.
To get started, install the SD Insight app onto your device from the Google Play Store. Obviously, you'll need to have a phone or tablet with a SD card slot in order to take advantage of its main features.
Launch the app, accept the EULA agreement, and then you'll be able to see the information for your SD card (which should already be inserted and mounted, obviously). You can also view info about your internal storage (called "MMC Card" here) or input/output devices ("SDIO Card") by tapping the drop-down menu.
With this information in hand, here are a few things to look for to check if your SD card is legit:
Manufacturer & Production Date
The card I'm checking is a SanDisk purchased in 2013, so everything seems to check out. If the date is after the date listed on your packaging, you'll know something is up.
It's worth noting that some manufacturers, like Kingston, for example, do not manufacture their own chips and may not be listed as the manufacturer. Therefore, the manufacturer displayed should not necessarily cause concern by itself.
You can compare the model number to that listed on the packaging of your card or an invoice/receipt of your purchase. If it doesn't match up, you likely have a lower-quality card masquerading as whatever you thought you bought.
Compare the size of the card listed in the app with the capacity listed on the packaging, which is also very often printed on the card itself. Again, if it doesn't match up, something is wrong.
The basic information should be enough for the average person, but if you want more stats or are still unsure of the validity of your card, tap the eye icon in the upper right to display more information about your hardware.
If, upon launching the app, you receive a message that states "SD card is invalid," you likely have a corrupt or fake card. Try formatting it and running the app again.
If you get a message stating "Origin is unknown," you don't necessarily have a fake card, but one from an unrecognized manufacturer. The card still may be good, but it may not be from the manufacturer you thought it was from.
Apps like this are just what today's world needs. Now you can go forth and never worry about being duped by a fake SD card again. Just pop it into your Android device and check it out before buying it.
Of course, major retailers won't let you do that (though, in most cases, you could return it right after), but if some of those slightly-less-than-reputable sources won't let you test it first, that should be a sign that you might want to go elsewhere (because they're likely not to accept returns).