SanDisk has been in the memory and storage business for a while. It’s trying to evolve with the fast-changing tech world around it with the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick: Overview
At first glance the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick looks like an average but unnaturally bulky USB drive. This made it quite confusing when it was handed to me to review. Upon further investigation I realised it’s no ordinary USB stick. It’s a USB 2.0 dongle that has built-in wireless capabilities. SanDisk has an iOS and Android app that allows smartphone users to connect to its wireless network and access files on the device or transfer files from their phones to the device in order to conserve their own storage space.
With apps eating more space across devices and smartphones doubling as work PCs, access to more storage is always welcome. The Connect Wireless Stick starts at 16GB of storage, going all the way up to 256GB. If you’re thinking swappable memory because it’s SanDisk, unfortunately the storage you buy is the storage you get in this case.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick: How it works
The Connect Wireless Stick can be used with Android and iOS devices thanks to its respective apps. It can also function with a PC or Mac connecting to the USB port or over a web browser for USB-C devices such as Apple’s latest MacBooks. Mobile devices must start by downloading SanDisk app. Once the app is downloaded, look for a small power button on the side of the dongle. It doesn’t need to be plugged in to your computer even though that may be your first instinct. Now you’ll be able to connect to the dongle’s wireless network through your phone’s Wi-Fi settings.
Once connected via phone, you’ll see a list view of all the folders on the USB. The folders are pre-created for ease of use but of course you can customise it like any folder on your computer. The UI is decent and transfer speeds are about as good as you would get if it were physically connected to your device, which is a pleasant surprise.
Up to three devices can connect to the dongle and access/transfer files as long as it’s not connected to a computer via USB port. I was wirelessly connected to the stick using a phone and a table and was able to access the same file simultaneously without any discernible lag.
It’s not obvious from the start but the Connect Wireless Stick works on battery power. It gets its charge from being connected to a computer. Probably the most inconvenient aspect of a device meant to make life a little easier. It officially is supposed to give 4.5 hours of battery life but that time drastically varied based on the number of devices connected and how much time is spent transferring data, playing videos off it or simply accessing documents. I always used it around a PC so I would charge the stick once a day regardless of use. A full charge would take about two hours.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick: Conclusion
As far as wireless drives go, SanDisk has made an unassuming and convenient device that is easily transportable and easy to use as well. It’s great for meetings, presentations and carrying any data around that you may need to access on a mobile device at any time. The ability to connect multiple devices at the same time is a bonus. Work aside, on a long commute in the metro, I could store a full season of shows on the dongle and stream them to my phone.
My only grievance was my phone would disconnect from any internet connection until I manually connected the dongle to my local Wi-Fi network manually in settings. A point to note that could be an inconvenience for some but it wasn’t so much for me: while the device is charging, you can’t access the stick while it’s being charged. Also, it needs to be charged at least once a day depending on use. It can get slightly inconvenient if you forget it requires charge, the battery depletes and you need to access some files but can’t until the battery fills up enough for it to connect.
All-in-all a handy device which students and working professionals on the go would definitely make fair use of.