I recently got my Nexus 5 (32GB) just last week and I’ve already used more than half of the storage capacity. Once you get to a certain point in filling up your memory, you realize that you’re deleting old music albums that you like to make room for something new. Streaming is always a great alternative, but Netflix, Pandora, Spotify aren’t always available, and they don’t always have what I want to watch or listen to. I want truly unlimited physical storage, but for any smartphone without a microSD card slot, what you see is what you get.
That’s why the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is a real treat. It looks like pretty much any other normal 32GB flash drive, but just a tad bit bulkier. Unlike other USB flash drives, however, you can connect your iOS or Android device to it wirelessly, letting you access an additional 32GB of music, videos, photos or documents. And it’s also incredible easy to use.
The SanDisk Connect operates like any typical USB flash drive. Plug it into your computer, load up your files, and you’re good to go – you can connect it to any other computer and use it just like. But SanDisk also has a Wireless Flash Drive app that you can download to use the flash drive with your smartphone or tablet computer. As soon as you’ve downloaded the app, just press the button on the device that looks like a Wi-Fi signal to turn it on, and then connect to it as you would with any other Wi-Fi connection. (It will automatically show all of your available networks once you turn it on – the drive uses 801.11 b/g/n).
Once its connected, all you have to do then is launch the app in order to access whatever you have saved to the flash drive. You can save the files directly to your smartphone, or you can play them straight from the flash drive itself. (Keep in mind that it needs to be a file format your smartphone is actually capable of playing to begin with). Personally, I’ve had no trouble playing music, watching videos, or viewing photos on my Nexus 5. Better still, the wireless flash drive can connect up to 8 devices all at once, and stream video on up to 3 devices simultaneously, so you can share the content you’re carrying with more than one phone or tablet at a time.
The flash drive has a range of up to 150 feet, and it also supports up to 4 hours of streaming on one charge. To recharge the drive, just plug it back into your computer. It also has a microSD card slot at the bottom of the drive. So technically, you could also load up as many SD cards as you want for potentially limitless storage. That said, the Wireless Flash Drive isn’t without its flaws. In fact, it has a pretty major flaw.
When you connect to the flash drive through your phone’s Wi-Fi connection, it means that your phone will no longer be connected to an actual Wi-Fi network. But because it thinks it is, it will not connect to your carrier’s data network either. In other words, this means that whenever you use the flash drive, you won’t be able to connect to the internet on your smartphone. This is probably ok when you’re listening to music on a long flight (or even when you’re riding the subway), but everywhere else it can get pretty frustrating.
For only $60, the 32GB SanDisk Connect Wireless USB Flash Drive is often cheaper than buying a smartphone with more internal storage. And for your next long trip, when you just can’t decide what you’ll want to watch or listen to and when, it just might be worth it.