Having a pendrive for the mobile may be practical or it may not be, we have already talked about it, But the SanDisk iXpand is up to the task as a pendrive for our iPhone?
The vast world of external storage has come to smartphones, although it has been difficult for them to take off compared to the traditional flash drives of our computers.
Now we have USB sticks that we can connect to our smartphone and our laptop, but these pendrives work well?
To find out we have obtained a SanDisk iXpand, one of the last SanDisk USB sticks with connectors for computer and iPhone, to check how it works. Measure up or stay halfway?
Design: curious but with doubts
This SanDisk iXpand it has a curious shapeActually: it is a main metal block that doubles as USB 3.0, while it has a flexible extension that rotates 180 degrees to end in a Lightning connector, more typical of iOS devices.
The flexible part does not seem very ready to force it in a bad way, although it fulfills its function of allowing the connection with a smartphone or a tablet without hindering.
The connection with the computer does not suppose any difficulty, the metallic part enters to a certain point and makes connection. The mobile part is not that simple because we have to pull it up a bit, enough to allow the connection part to fit into the phone and the metal part to stay behind the device in question.
It’s hard to get used to for fear of loading the flash drive in the flexible part, but you get used to it. In addition, the opening of the flash drive into which the Lightning is inserted becomes an ornament, because the flexible part does not recover its position once folded to be connected.
Computer performance: one more pendrive
On the computer, and if we ignore the flexible part, we find one more pendrive that works like any other. We connect it, the operating system of our computer detects it and makes the unit available to write and read files. It has so little mystery that it is even disappointing.
Regarding raw speed, we have used Blackmagic Disk Speed Test with a MacBook Pro Retina (Intel Core i5 4278U, SSD, OS X El Capitan), and we have obtained normal speeds to talk about USB 3.0. Here are the raw stockings:
- Read: 85 MB / s
- Write: 40MB / s
In real use, data exchange occurs at a good speedAlthough little will be done if we are used to higher transfer speeds: a 1.5GB MKV takes less than 30 seconds to transfer, while a folder of FLAC files (12 files, 250MB) is transferred in about 5 seconds. All this using the USB 3 standard; if we use a lower speed port it will go slower. We have also tried to connect this pen drive to devices such as televisions (Sony Bravia 2015) and NAS (Synology) and we have not had any problems.
Performance on iPhone: useful although capable
On the other hand, and unlike other operating systems, Apple does not allow mass storage as well as on your mobile devices. SanDisk has avoided this block with its own application -available in the App Store- that gives us access to the USB key and interesting functions.
Unfortunately, the applications the only way to access the pendriveNeither other applications nor the operating system can do it initially. The application has three main sections that, in addition to giving access to files, have several extra functions that consist of backup copies.
The first section consists of copy files from the phone to the memory of the USB key, and copy files from the USB stick to the memory of our mobile phone. That yes, the second function has a trick: only the photos can be integrated with the iPhone reel, the rest of the files are only accessible through the application when the USB stick is not connected.
The second section is for view files inside the pendrive when connected; a file explorer that allows us to navigate the pendrive as if we were doing it on a computer, which also serves to explore the files saved on our iPhone. The third and last section is used to copy all the photographs from the reel, make a backup from our photographs on Facebook, Instagram and Picasa, and to copy our contact list.
Conclusions: a pendrive not suitable for everyone
On the one hand, we are a conventional flash drive that we are all used to, and in which its utility could be branded as unquestionable. We put files to take them to other sites, we make backup copies, we leave files when we need space, all the uses that you can think of, actually.
The interesting thing about this flash drive is to analyze the part that corresponds to mobile devices, the plus that SanDisk seeks to sell with this product. The truth is that external storage has been giving way in favor of using cloud storage, but that does not mean that the USB sticks will disappear, and this SanDisk flash drive has a fairly clear user niche: Those who cannot -or don’t want- use the cloud to transfer files to and from their mobile devices.
Transfer files between devices without depending on the cloud, make local backups in case the flies or access files that we do not want to have in the memory of our phone. All of these are possible uses that you can give the pendrive, and if you think you fit that profile, then this SanDisk iXpand can be a good investment.
The SanDisk iXpand is available from Amazon starting at 44.99 per 16GB of memory: they are available models up to 128GBincreasing the price accordingly.