Published on May 7th, 2015 | by Greg0
Backup Your iPhone With SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive
Apple users take note: you’ve probably paid way too much for storage, spending a lot of extra dough on a memory upgrade for your phone or tablet. On the other hand, if you’re like many of us, you’ve quickly realized the limitations of the 16GB of disk space that comes standard on the cheapest model. The iOS operating system itself takes up 3GB, leaving you out about 20% of your storage, a fact which has even brought about some lawsuits. And between apps, music, and pictures, it’s all too easy to fill up your entire device.
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive helps get your data off of your mobile device, while giving you a safe place to store it- no more relying on the cloud. Available in a few different capacities from 16GB on up, ours was 128GB, enough to hold plenty of movies and everything else. There are two different connectors, one for USB 2.0, plus a unique flexible Lightning connector that can plug in easily without needing to remove your iPhone or iPad case. Plug the USB side into your laptop and grab some movies, then take this little guy with you on the road and play them at leisure on your tablet or smartphone.
Which brings up one of the neatest things about the package- the free companion app, called iXpand Sync. When you plug the flash drive into your phone, it will prompt you for access, and then direct you to download the application. Now, it doesn’t do everything you might want- you’ll still have to do so manual management to delete items on your device and free up space, due to Apple permission restrictions. But through the app you can not only copy media or your address book from your phone, you can set up automatic synchronization of your library, which worked well and means you can always have a copy of your pictures. Even better, you can play just about any sort of media from the app, including MKV files that can be tough to watch with other methods. It’s important to note that you cannot download apps to the iXpand, nor can you move anything from it- it’s a one-way trip, though you can stream from the flash drive.
Inside the iXpand Flash is a battery, which recharges when plugged into your computer and helps avoid depleting your phone’s battery. We used the drive quite a bit, and it still registered as pretty full, but you will need to pop it into a laptop or desktop every now and again. Also, we would have liked to see USB 3.0 support- it’s pretty zippy, certainly far faster than wireless backup solutions, but still tops out at 10-15 MB/s or so during transfers. Overall, SanDisk is definitely onto something here, and this is a flexible solution, with some encryption features and a cute form factor. It comes with a two-year warranty, and is available now, online and in stores, for around $200 as tested (smaller sizes start at $50).