The iPhone and iPad that Apple has launched on the market in recent years have not been characterized precisely by offering a lot of free storage space in their simplest versions (the 16 GigaBytes , for example, not to mention the 8 GigaBytes version of the iPhone 5C ). For this reason, the American company SanDisk launched the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive , an external storage unit oriented towards iPhone and iPad that allows both transferring files between the computer and the mobile or tablet as well asplay multimedia files directly from external memory .
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is available in different capacities of 16 , 32 , 64 and 128 GigaBytes . This external memory incorporates a Lightning connector , to connect directly to the iPhone or iPad , and a USB connector , to connect to the computer. SanDisk also makes available to users an official application that allows us to make backup copies of the files stored in our terminal, as well as to schedule automatic copies to the external memory of all the photographs we have taken with our device. In summary, we are talking about an external memory aimed both at freeing up storage space on our iPhone or iPad and at allowing us to play files without having to copy them to the terminal (very useful for watching movies, for example).
Prices for the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive start at 55 euros , and the version that we have had the opportunity to test ( 32 GigaBytes ) is available in stores for a price of around 75 euros . And leaving us preambles, let's start with the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive test .
64.17 x 36.78 x 11.80 millimeters. Weight set at 45 grams. Silver-black color design. Lightning connector attached to a flexible piece. Includes removable plastic cap to protect the USB connector. It also has a status indicator LED .
The first thing that strikes you about the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is its small size. We are facing a very compact device that fits perfectly in the palm of the hand , and once we are transporting it we can be sure that we can even carry it in our pocket. The iXpand Flash Drive has measures of 64 x 37 x 12 centimeters and a weight set at 45 grams, and the only finish in which it is available combines the color silver with the color black. The USB connector is protected by a removable plastic cap, and the Lightning connector has a flexible rubber mount that allows it to be connected to the port of the iPhone or iPad in such a way that the external memory is always supported behind the back cover.
About the design of the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive we do not have much to say beyond that the measurements of this external memory make it possible to transport it anywhere , being able to take it anywhere in your pocket or purse. One of the best design we'd see interesting external memory SanDisk is the position of the USB connector , since the width of memory (remember, 36.78 millimeters ) forces us to give up ports to use USB to your computer that have located on the sides of the port that we use to connect the memory.
Compatible with iPhone and iPad with iOS 7.1 or higher and computers with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. USB connector with USB 2.0 technology .
But, leaving us with details related to the design, the really important thing is that we know how the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive works . This external memory is oriented towards iPhones and iPads with the iOS operating system in iOS version 7.1 or higher . It is also compatible with Windows and Mac computers , as long as they have Windows Vista , Windows 7 , Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.6 or higher operating systems . The unit that we had the opportunity to test was 32 GigaBytes, and the real space that remains at our disposal is around 29 GigaBytes .
The first thing that is interesting that we know about this external memory is that the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive has an operation within the reach of any user , regardless of the technical knowledge they have. To start using the memory, simply connect it to the iPhone or iPad and download and install the official iXpand application (available in the App Store ); from here, we will simply have to open this application every time we want to navigate through the external memory folders.
As far as transfer speed is concerned, in our test we have used different computers to copy files to the memory of this device, and in all cases we have obtained a speed lower than 20 MB / s (using conventional USB 2.0 ports ). In other words, to transfer a file of approximately 1 GigaByte to memory we will have to wait approximately one minute . Of course, because the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is formatted in FAT32 , we will not be able to copy files with an individual weight greater than 4 GigaBytes to memory .
… Copying photos from the camera
Sooner or later, any owner of an iPhone or an iPad will end up finding space problems to store the photos and videos taken with the terminal's camera. The solution to this problem is to sign up for an iCloud account to move all multimedia files to the cloud, but… what if we don't want to give up our personal life to a cloud storage service? In that case, the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive could be our solution.
It turns out that the iXpand Flash Drive incorporates an option that allows you to copy (or, directly, move) all the photographs and all the videos that we have stored in the Reel of our iPhone or iPad . In this way, instead of always walking with the internal memory of our device full because of the photographs, SanDisk allows us to take the snapshots of our trips, adventures or important events in the external memory. In the " Application " section we will see in more detail how this option works.
… Movies and series
One of the features that we liked the most about the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is the ability to play movies or series on the iPhone / iPad directly from external memory . As owners of an Apple portable device know very well , copying a video file to an iPhone or iPad is not as simple as in other operating systems (just drag the file from the desktop), at least in the state in the these devices come from the factory.
Therefore, the iXpand Flash Drive allows us to play video files in WMV, AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV format directly from this external memory , without the need to copy the file to the iPhone or iPad . The video player that incorporates the application associated with this memory works correctly, and the videos are reproduced completely smoothly (vertically or horizontally), whatever their format or resolution.
… Rechargeable lithium battery
And we cannot leave this section without also mentioning that the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive incorporates a rechargeable lithium battery inside . Curiously, this battery is not used to charge our device, but rather it serves to guarantee standard data transfer speeds when copying or playing files from memory without causing excessive battery consumption on our iPhone or iPad .
But, is this additional battery really a relief for the battery consumption of our iPhone or iPad ? It is difficult to come to a clear conclusion (in general, we did not find this feature to make a significant difference), and as an example we will mention that in a 20 minute video playback test on an iPhone (from the iXpand Flash Drive ) autonomy went from 31% to 22% .
The iXpand Flash Drive battery charges automatically every time we connect it to the computer, so that in principle we should not worry excessively about the autonomy of this device (also, if we run out of autonomy, we suppose that the worst that could happen is slightly increase the battery consumption of our iPhone or iPad ). This external memory also incorporates a small colored LED that allows us to know if it is necessary to charge the battery (it is activated automatically when connecting it to our terminal).
SANDISK IXPAND SYNC APP
Beyond multimedia use, the official iXpand application shows us that the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is a device that is also useful to free up space in the internal memory of our iPhone or iPad . This application is essential to use external memory, and when we connect the iXpand Flash Drive to our device for the first time we are shown a pop-up message with the link to download and install the application.
Once we install the app , the first thing we appreciate is that the iXpand application has a fairly simple and intuitive interface design . Navigating the folders on the external memory is not difficult, and after a few minutes of use we have been able to fully familiarize ourselves with the application. Among the options offered by this application we have found:
- Camera sync . It allows us to automatically synchronize the photos and videos that we have taken with the camera of our iPhone or iPad every time we connect the external memory , thus copying all those files to said memory. In addition, we also have the possibility to activate the option " Delete from iPhone / iPad after synchronization ", which is very useful in the event that we do not want to manually delete all those files once they have been copied.
- Transfer contacts . To make backup copies (and to restore) our phonebook contacts.
- Security . To protect files through passwords.
PRICE, AVAILABILITY AND CONCLUSIONS
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is available in Spain for recommended prices of 55 euros for the 16 GigaBytes version , 75 euros for the 32 GigaBytes version , 110 euros for the 64 GigaBytes version and 170 euros for the 128 GigaBytes version .
After our testing, we can conclude that the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is a really useful accessory for any iPhone or iPad owner with storage problems . To be able to make an automatic copy of the photos and videos stored in the Reel (with the option to later delete those files automatically from the internal memory), to be able to protect those same files with passwords and to be able to copy files to our device without having to connect it to the computer are the features we liked the most about the iXpand Flash Drive . In addition, the fact of being able to watch movies and series directly from the external memory , without having to go through iTunes (You just have to copy and paste the video files), it is another addition to take into account when talking about this device.
And if we had to highlight any negative feature of this device, we would mention that we are not completely convinced with the design of the external memory. Also, taking into account the price of this device, we would have liked to find ourselves with somewhat higher data transfer speeds.