An issue faced by most mobile phone users is the lack of storage available on their devices. Sure one can keep deleting their data and adding new files, but where is the fun in that? One would surely want to preserve their treasured music or videos on the device itself and have something added on for that additional bit of data. Most Android users have this easy as they can add on a microSD card that can do this, but what about iOS devices and Android smartphones, like the Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X and a few others? Here’s where Kingston has come in and offered a unique ultra portable storage solution for these devices by introducing the Wi-Drive.
Sleek and can fit in a pocket
Design and Build Quality
This is essentially a wireless storage device. But when one thinks of this sort of device, their mind usually assumes it will be that bulky storage drive that can fit a multitude of internal hard drives. However, that is not the case at all with the Wi-Drive and instead it is a slim sleek device that can fit easily in the palm of a hand. Suited in glossy black with a silver strip rounding the sides, this is one attractive piece of hardware. At first glance, one may actually liken it to the styling of the iPhone 3GS, because of the silver strip and the all gloss finish. But the Wi-Drive is a lot thinner in comparison.
The power button is located on the side of the drive and it features an LED indicator as well. Apart from this LED indicator, next to the power button, the face of the drive features two more LED indicators that housed in the body itself. These indicators denote connections for network and Wi-Fi. Other than that this drive does not feature much else as compared to say the Seagate GoFlex Satellite that had a range of connectivity options. The only input found here is the mini USB port that is located at the top. As for the build quality, it appears sturdy enough to handle the wear and tear of daily activity.
Mini USB port featured here
Though this device has features similar to a NAS device, it is basically not one. It is merely a wireless storage solution for a mobile phone that is pocketable. The Kingston Wi-Drive is available in two storage options, which are 16GB and 32GB. For the testing purposes, the brand have provided us with the 16GB model.
Basically, this device is extremely simple to use and it needs no unnecessary software that is required to be installed on the PC to get it to work. All one has to do is attach it to a PC using the mini USB cable and then they can dump files on the drive just like they would do on a USB flash drive or portable hard drive. To get this device paired with a smartphone, one needs to download the Wi-Drive app from either the Google Play store or the Apple App Store and install it on the smartphone. This app is completely free of charge and the file size of the app for Android smartphones is 693 KB, while for iOS devices it uses up to 3.8 MB of space.
To get started, one needs to dump files on the Wi-Drive hardware, such as music, videos and documents and then power it on. After that head on over to the settings on the smartphone and connect the Wi-Fi to the wireless connection of the Wi-Drive. This will automatically allow one to read data off the drive on the smartphone.
Silver finish at the sides
The interface of the app is easy to use with there being dedicated tabs for videos, music and images. Apart from these, one can also view files remotely, such as word and PDF. With the help of this application one can also copy documents in other supported apps as well. The application comes with a dedicated player, but it reads files that only the smartphone can recognize. So there are some limitations here. However, if one is using an Android device, then they can open video files using other third party software, like Rockplayer or Moboplayer to watch videos that are streamed onto the handset.
A neat feature of this device is that it can be paired with up to three smartphones simultaneously and the same file can be viewed across the said three devices. Another interesting feature of the Wi-Drive, which sets it apart from the competition is that it features an Internet bridge connectivity option. With this setting in place one can be simultaneously connected to the Wi-Drive as well as another Wi-Fi frequency. This allows one the ability to browse the Internet and run this app in the background or vice versa. This is a neat feature as one can use it to multitask between various app.
The performance of this drive was tested on the basis of how well the video streamed from the drive to a smartphone as well as the video quality on how far the drive was from the smartphone. The Wi-Drive uses a wireless network interface of Wi-Fi 802.11g/n. With this network interface, one can expect a higher data transfer speed as well as good signal range. This was evident in our testing, as we streamed videos across three devices and it played smoothly across them. There was no loss of signal noticed up to 17 feet from the drive in an open room. However, if there is a wall in between, then there is some amount of stutter noticed, but the signal did not drop.
While copying files on the Wi-Drive, it recorded a file transfer rate of 8 MB/s, which is pretty decent for a 16GB storage drive. We were able to browse the net simultaneously as well without facing any glitches or loss of connectivity from the wireless network. This ensures that the bridge connectivity feature works well. The battery life is pretty good as well which is another thing that goes for it. After considerable usage, that includes streaming videos continuously, it lasted close to 7 hours, which is very good.
Available in capacities of 16 and 32GB
The Kingston Wi-Drive is available in India at a MRP of 3,990. Feature-wise it is not as extensive as the Seagate GoFlex Satellite as it features just 16GB or a maximum of 32GB depending on the model you purchase. If even 32GB is not enough, fret not as the brand is going to launch a 64GB model also in the near future. The connectivity over here is lesser in comparison as well as it features just a USB 2.0 port and not the USB 3.0 option, which is becoming a widely used format nowadays. Another issue is the price, which is quite high as well. Though the price has dropped significantly, since when it was launched, and was priced at almost 10,000 at the time. Getting the negative comments out of the way, this is a really handy solution and being pocketable, it can be used on long arduous flights or train journeys. It is a solid performer and if anyone is in the market looking for a drive that is easy to transport around and fits this device’s USP, then this should be a sure shot choice.
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