SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Review: Useful but Expensive

SanDisk iXpand Overview

The dearth of expandable storage has all the time been a thorn within the aspect of iPhone and iPad customers, whereas microSD playing cards and even USB-OTG drives are normal options of the Android panorama. Patrons balk on the huge margins Apple costs to step up from the bottom storage choice on every of its gadgets, however typically wind up feeling regret a yr or so down the road after they have to start out deleting pictures, slicing again on apps and carrying much less music.

SanDisk is one few firms making an attempt to assist customers get round this drawback. The iXpand Flash Drive does two main issues: it helps you carry extra knowledge round than your iOS machine(s) can retailer, and it helps you copy recordsdata to and from PCs and iOS gadgets with out going via iTunes. Observe that it doesn’t magically add extra storage to an iPhone or iPad itself – so you’ll be able to’t consider it as an iOS equal of a USB pen drive. Extra on how that works under.


SanDisk iXpand Feel and look

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is pretty cumbersome; a lot bigger than the same Strontium Nitro iDrive USB which we reviewed earlier this yr. The very first thing you will discover about it’s the Lightning connector recessed into the entrance of the physique. It is truly on the top of a versatile rubber stalk so you’ll be able to raise it out to plug the drive into your iOS machine.

The iXpand Flash Drive is made from metallic, which the corporate hopes will enchantment to iPhone and iPad consumers. There is a common full-sized USB connector underneath the plastic lid on high, and you’ll plug the iXpand Flash Drive into any PC or Mac, although it can block ports on both aspect because of its width.


The development high quality is top-notch, with polished metallic shining via on the perimeters very like it will on present Apple merchandise. There is a tiny exercise LED on the proper aspect however in any other case actually not a lot else to see on the machine itself. It is heavy sufficient that you’re going to really feel it in a pocket, however not a lot that it’ll make any distinction when tossed in a bag.

SanDisk advised us on the machine’s launch that the versatile stalk design was chosen in order that iPhones and iPads would not should be faraway from circumstances with slim Lightning port openings. Whereas we discovered that this was true and handy in a technique, it leads to the iXpand Flash Drive hanging out the underside and at an angle. This made for some very awkward gymnastics when making an attempt to carry our take a look at gadgets, and we weren’t in a position to lay them flat on any floor or prop them up both. On the entire, we might have most well-liked a smaller, much less awkward design.


SanDisk iXpand Specs and software program

One of many causes for the iXpand Flash Drive’s bulk is that it has a battery, and it’ll merely not work if it runs out. Apple doesn’t enable equipment to empty energy from an iPhone or iPad’s Lightning port, so the drive will solely cost when plugged in to a PC (otherwise you’ll want to make use of a wall charger). That is vital to know since you won’t discover it in any respect when usually shuffling between PCs and iOS gadgets, however you can run out when you apply it to an iOS machine solely for a very long time, akin to when you use it solely to again up pictures and movies on a protracted journey. You may need to keep watch over the exercise LED which is able to flip purple when that you must cost the drive.

The iXpand Flash Drive is accessible in capacities starting from 16GB to 128GB. It’ll work with any PC working a minimum of Home windows Vista and any Mac with OS X v10.6 and above. You may additionally want a minimum of iOS 7.1 in your Lightning-equipped iOS machine. On plugging it in to any iOS machine for the primary time, it can set off a immediate taking you to the App Retailer to obtain SanDisk’s iXpand app. The corporate additionally supplies a safety program for Home windows and OS X on the drive itself.


The iXpand app is the one solution to get to something saved on the drive. The largest limitation Apple enforces is that no different app is even conscious when it is plugged in. You thus can not use it to bump up your iPhone or iPad’s storage capability. You possibly can switch pictures out of your Digicam Roll to the iXpand Flash drive however you’ll be able to’t completely have extra space. You possibly can play music and movies via the app however you’ll be able to’t add these recordsdata to the iOS Music and Video gamers.

The iXpand Flash Drive provides you a simple however inelegant means of shortly copying media to your machine so you’ll be able to take pleasure in it later. Simply copy recordsdata on to if from a PC – no iTunes, no typing IP addresses into Internet browsers. You possibly can then both play them instantly off the drive or copy recordsdata over to your iOS machine for simpler entry. In the event you try this, they dwell solely throughout the iXpand app until you make additional copies of them in different supported apps utilizing the iOS ‘Open In…’ choice. This can allow you to do some issues like ship a PDF to iBooks, or a video to Dropbox.


Fortunately, the iXpand app is very well laid out. You possibly can flick through the contents of the drive (in a listing view or grid of thumbnails) and launch any supported file, which incorporates audio and video codecs that iOS doesn’t assist via the native Music and Video apps in addition to PDFs and customary doc filetypes. Information that are not recognised may be launched in exterior apps. There is a ‘Now Taking part in’ panel that permits you to management music whereas doing different issues.

SanDisk iXpand Efficiency

One main shortcoming of the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is that it really works on a PC at USB pace. The Strontium various we examined just lately was a USB drive and the distinction is gigantic. If you wish to seize recordsdata or make backups shortly, this shall be a significant irritant.


On our desktop take a look at bench, the iXpand Flash Drive achieved 11.83Mbps and 12.6Mbps sequential reads and writes respectively. Random reads and writes got here in at 11.81Mbps and 11.64Mbps, which isn’t too unhealthy. We additionally examined the drive with an iPhone 5c and a fourth-gen iPad each working iOS eight.three, and had no issues with the drive being recognised.

The app has a couple of pointless animations that appear so as to add delays to navigation and a few widespread features. It takes a very long time to show your machine’s pictures when you’ve got a variety of them. It additionally crashed randomly on one or two events, however was in any other case very polished and straightforward to make use of.

Fortunately the app makes it very straightforward to examine the battery cost stage and remaining free capability of the iXpand Flash Drive. We by no means managed to empty the battery sufficient to trigger alarm, however that is as a result of we had it plugged in to PCs pretty typically.


SanDisk iXpand Verdict

There positively is a distinct segment for merchandise just like the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. In the event you usually end up working out of area, this may assist resolve a few of your issues. Nevertheless, it is truly extra helpful when used as a software to again up pictures and simply get recordsdata onto an iOS machine shortly and simply.

With costs starting from Rs. four,490 for 16GB to Rs. 11,490 for 128GB, an iXpand Flash Drive could be nicely over ten occasions as costly as a USB OTG drive of equal capability. The road pricing is at par with that of the Strontium Nitro iDrive, and whereas it’s a lot bulkier and slower, the app is way, much better.

If in any respect potential, it will make extra sense to simply go together with the next machine capability on the time of buy. If it is too late, you even have the choice of shopping for a extremely succesful Android telephone and a microSD card for a similar or much less. You may should determine whether or not the comfort is price this a lot cash to you.


  • Properly-designed app
  • Transportable
  • Handy for file transfers


  • Requires charging
  • Restricted to USB switch pace
  • Awkward to deal with an iPhone or iPad when plugged in

Rankings (Out of 5)

  • Design: three.5
  • Efficiency: three
  • Worth for Cash: three
  • General: three

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