Apple doesn’t make it easy to expand the storage of its mobile devices. This becomes a big issue when you start shooting HD videos and downloading Retina apps. Most people (especially 16GB device owners) wind up filling their devices to the point that they don’t have enough space to install updates. Over the past couple of years SanDisk’s Connect wireless flash drives have been one of the best ways to workaround this problem: they allow you to have access to huge media files whenever you want and to take as many pictures as you want without eating up precious on-board storage.
This morning SanDisk released its new Connect Wireless Stick. This drive has a refreshed design, lower price point and is now available with up to 128GB. I’ve been using it for the past few days. Read on to find out my first impressions of it:
The new SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick has been redesigned with a more stealthy look. The body of the drive is completely black with a textured cube pattern on the top. There are two tiny holes on the bottom that are for a lanyard, which was not included but would be a smart addition to minimize drop opportunities. The power button is on the top righthand side of the drive.
Its USB 2.0 connector (used for charging and data transfer) is covered with a sturdy cap to keep it safe when not in use. It would’ve been nice if SanDisk made the connector slide-out style or utilized a sliding cover like previous generation Connect flash drives. Overall, I prefer its understated design over the more in-your-face design of its predecessor.
The key to SanDisk’s Wireless Stick is that they are fully functional without the need for an active Wi-Fi network. That means you can stream media from it to your mobile devices while driving down the road or backup images during vacation even when you’re miles away from a live connection. A luxury that cloud storage can’t afford you.
Setup & Performance:
I found setup to be stupid easy. For iOS, Android, and Kindle devices you’ll need to install the SanDisk connect app, which has also been updated. After that, just pull up your device’s Wi-Fi settings and connect to the flash drive. That’s it. You’re now connected to the drive and ready to rock. I fired up the SanDisk app and instantly saw all of the drive’s media and documents. I had absolutely no problem streaming media to my iPad mini. Videos and music started almost instantly and I never experienced any kind of stuttering or quality loss. There aren’t any desktop apps so you need to go through a web browser to manage your drive’s data. This method isn’t as slick, even a bit clunky in some respects, but it gets the job done. It supports HD video streams on up to 3 devices at once and is able to download files from the drive to your device.
I tested the Wi-Fi signal strength and had no problems connecting to the drive or streaming when on the same floor, but the signal really weakened when I went upstairs. That’s not too big of a deal since I foresee most people using this drive in close quarters like a car or office. If you’re keen on security (and you should be), Connect allows you to protect your drive with a password.
The flash drive’s built-in battery is rated for up to 4.5 hours of streaming, which I found is a pretty spot on estimate. A small LED on the drive will let you know when the battery is dying, but you can check the app at any time to get an exact battery level reading.
Without a doubt one of the most valuable features of the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is its ability to automatically backup your iPhone or iPad’s camera roll. Once you turn on this feature, anytime your device connects to the flash drive it’ll backup your new photos. This is a no-brainer method to keep from eating up your iPhone’s storage without having to delete old pictures. There’s no doubt many will find this feature alone a big enough reason to buy a SanDisk Connect.
Small Gripes & Final Verdict
SanDisk’s new Connect Wireless Sticks are still one of the best ways to overcome storage limitations of today’s mobile devices. Setup was no problem and the flash drive worked exactly as expected. I experienced a couple app crashes and hangups, but I’m assuming those are beta related issues that should be ironed out in the final version of the new SanDisk Connect app. Also, the previous generation Connect had a removable microSD card, which is not present on the new model. That’s certainly going to be a missed feature for power users. I also wish SanDisk included a sliding cover for the USB connector as it did for the last version. I just think that removable cap is way too easy to lose. However, none of these slight issues are deal breakers.
Owners of the previous generation Connect probably don’t need to upgrade as there aren’t any monumental differences between the two versions. That being said, I think the new Connect flash drives are the best answer for all other iPhone users looking to keep hefty media files off their devices and backup important data on-the-go.
The new 2015 SanDisk Connect Wireless Sticks are available now from Amazon, Best Buy, and SanDisk.com: 16GB $29.99, 32GB $39.99, 64GB $59.99, and 128GB $99.99.
With more capacity and improved user experience, the new SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Stick gives consumers even greater flexibility to share and access photos and videos between their favorite devices
MILPITAS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today expanded its mobile storage portfolio with a new wireless mobile flash drive, the SanDisk Connect™ Wireless Stick. This new drive enables easy sharing, transferring and accessing of photos and videos between mobile devices and computers. Building on its award-winning SanDisk Connect Wireless family, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a higher capacity, up to 128GB*, a new app and cool, compact design – all at a great price.
“The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is designed to give people a simple, intuitive way to save and access all of the great content they create and consume across multiple devices, without breaking the bank.”
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick now gives consumers even more freedom to save and access photos, videos and other files from their favorite Wi-Fi-enabled devices1. As consumers continue to embrace premium mobile features such as high-quality photo capture and Full HD video, SanDisk’s new wireless storage device is designed to meet their quickly growing storage needs, at an affordable price. The availability of up to 128GB of capacity allows users to effectively double their mobile storage for greater flexibility on the go.
“We live in an era where we are truly living a mobile lifestyle. We use our devices to capture life’s moments, and work in a way that was never before possible – all of which has created the need for a new generation of mobile storage,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. “The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is designed to give people a simple, intuitive way to save and access all of the great content they create and consume across multiple devices, without breaking the bank.”
Share Wirelessly With Multiple Devices
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick works with smartphones, tablets and computers1. Whether in a briefcase or in a pocket, the new drive allows users to wirelessly access media or transfer large files; save and share photos and videos; or stream HD videos and music2 to and from mobile devices – up to three at a time. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is capable of supporting a single stream for up to 4.5 hours on a single charge3. With its USB connector, users can also connect directly to a computer to save and transfer files instantly. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick delivers access that empowers users to take control of their content anytime, anywhere.
Seamless App Experience
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features an intuitive app, the SanDisk Connect app, which enables nearly effortless management of content between people’s favorite devices4 including, iOS and Android™ devices; Fire tablets; and Macs and PCs – all via password-protected Wi-Fi connectivity. Available for download through the App Store, Google Play™ Store and Amazon Appstore for Android, the new app also enables other cool features like auto-back up of photos and videos from the camera roll to the drive.
Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a one year warranty5 is now available at Amazon, BestBuy.com and SanDisk.com in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB at U.S. MSRPs ranging from $29.99-$99.99.