Solution to mobile storage woes

Visvaksen P | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 05, 2015



SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive and Dual USB Drive 3.0 provide a convenient way to augment mobile storage

Limited storage space has been a problem on mobile devices since the first smartphone hit the market. Especially at the top-end there of the spectrum, where Android flagships and Apple devices alike do not allow the usage of microSD cards, users are stuck with whatever inbuilt memory is available for the entire lifespan of their device. This is a situation tailor made for a storage company like SanDisk to solve. The iXpand Flash Drive and Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 are their attempts at doing just that.

The iXpand Flash Drive works with any iPhone or iPad with a lightning port and iOS 7.1 or higher. It features a lightning connector that is attached to what looks like an oversized pen drive out of the early 2000s by means of a rubber stalk. This makes the device rather clumsy to use, as the iPhone will not rest flat on any surface while it is plugged in. The reason for the iXpand’s girth is a built-in battery, necessitated by Apple’s refusal to allow peripherals to draw power from iOS devices. The device functions like a normal flash drive when plugged into a PC or a Mac. On the iOS end, it requires the SanDisk iXpand Sync app to function. The app allows you to transfer photos, videos and music from your iOS device onto the device or the other way around. The catch is that any content transferred onto an iOS device will only be accessible from the iXpand app. There isn’t much SanDisk can do to change Apple’s restrictions on file system access, so this is the only possible solution.

The Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 is much smaller and has far inferior build quality than the iXpand. It has a sliding mechanism that allows the user to pop out a microUSB connector from one side and a USB connector from the other. Android has built-in OTG storage support, but it is not available in all devices, so make sure yours is compatible before opting for the Ultra Dual. Transferring files is fairly straightforward on Android and can be done either via SanDisk’s Memory Zone app or through any of the plethora of file managers available on the Play Store. The Ultra Dual also supports USB 3.0, which the iXpand doesn’t. Ultimately, both devices have flaws, but they are one among very few viable solutions available to users today.

Love: USB 3.0 on the Ultra Dual, iXpand app

Hate: Build quality of the Ultra Dual, design of the iXpand


iXpand Flash Drive: 16GB-128GB: ₹4,490 - ₹11,490

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0: 14GB-64GB: –₹1099 - ₹3049

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Published on August 05, 2015
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