Even with the premium customers Apple caters too, the extra storage comes at a cost that is expensive whichever way you look at it. So much so that getting cloud storage via Apple or Google can work out cheaper even looking at the longer life cycle of Apple products. And now users even have the option of external storage that is affordable and functional. Sandisk which has had its iXpand range of storage drives meant to be used for iOS devices, has just upgraded its Luxe range. After the Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe of last year, we now have the iXpand Flash Drive Luxe this year catering to those who want to take backups of their iOS files or just transfer them easily to Android or other devices.
The iXpand Flash Drive Luxe has a very sleek design. It has USB-C on one end and a lighting port on the other, protected by a plastic cap. The other end goes inside the swivel cover when not in use.
On the iPhone, or any other iOS device, you need to download the iXpand Drive app to use this device. On my MacBook, I could use the USB-C side as a regular drive and move files there with a simple drag and drop.
On the iPhone, as soon as I connected the device, the app organised the files for a few seconds and gave me a menu of view, copy, backup and restore as well as store. The view option lets you see the files shared in the drive. The copy option offers the ability to copy files from the iPhone to the Drive and the other way round. When I selected the first option, the app started backing up my 25000-odd photos to the drive, without any intervention from my side.
Also, since this was going to be a process that will take days maybe, I could stop the back up and pick up where I left off after a while too. Every time I plugged the drive back in, it went back to saving more files from the phone. I found the process a bit slow, maybe because I had most photos in the best possible resolution and thus in the heaviest size. So the best way to do this might be to leave it plugged overnight for the first time — it saved a couple of thousand files in an hour if you leave it alone, that’s about 10GB of data.
The good thing about going for a full back up is that you can restore not just your photo albums, but contacts and calendar to the iPhone from the iXpand Flash Drive Luxe. I loved how the drive itself saves files into different folders based on the year they were created in.
This helped me plug the drive later into my MacBook and remove the photos and videos unnecessarily taking up space on the phone over the past few years.
There is also a ‘Do more store’ where you can buy apps to use your files better. Most of these are Pro apps that lets you consume the videos or music, but all of these were also quite expensive by Indian standards. The app has dashboards to easily show how much of the space you have used and when the last backup was on.
While this is a perfect device for those on the Apple ecosystem, the fact that this has USB-C on one side means you can easily move files with Android devices too. In fact, on Android phones you don’t need a dedicated app and can use the native files folder to access these files.
On the flip side, the app does hang at times. I am not sure if this was because of the heavy workload my phone was offering, or a quick with the software. It was irritating nonetheless. So expect an update soon.
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe is available at Rs 4,449 for 64GB, Rs 5,919 for 128GB and Rs 8,999 for 256GB.