PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Review

Daniel Bell reviews the PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD, a memory expansion drive for iOS devices that doesn't need Wi-Fi or battery power.

|  i-FlashDrive HD in Digital Storage Devices
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i-FlashDrive HD

The PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD is an external memory expansion drive designed for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users that can also be connected to a Mac or PC. This means you can share images, videos, songs are more between your Mac / PC and iOS devices. It doesn't require Wi-Fi, a network or battery power. It is compatible with iOS devices that run iOS 6.0 and comes with a lightning adapter so it is compatible with old and new iPhones and iPads. There are three different capacities available - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB available for around £131, £180 and £256.

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Features

  • Comes with a Lightning adapter
  • MP3 playback
  • Contact backup and restore
  • File encryption (lock files and add a password)
  • Photo viewer
  • Video playback
  • File management (create, copy, move, delete, rename etc.)
  • Voice recorder
  • Dropbox support
  • Compatible with USB computers, Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad
  • Transfer rates: 10MB/s USB, 2.5MB/s iPad 2 and 1.5MB/s iPhone 4
  • Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities
  • Free i-FlashDrive HD app
  • Requires iOS 5.1+
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PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Performance

With the i-FlashDrive HD you get plastic covers for each end to protect when not in use. There's also an official Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter so the drive can be used on newer and older iOS devices. As the other end has USB, it is compatible with both Macs and PCs. When you plug it into an iOS device you are automatically prompted to download the app if you haven't already - if you have already installed the app you'll be asked if you want to open it. Via the app you're then able to access the drive and add images and documents stored on your iOS device. To add files using your PC / Mac you simply plug it in and it acts just the same as any other USB drive.

Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 1 Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 8

Playback of images, music and videos is quick. Whereas you will probably be OK listening to music and viewing images direct from the drive, it is probably best to transfer videos (particularly if you are watching a long film) from the drive to the local storage as you can then keep your iOS on charge at the same time. When playing a song from a folder containing other songs, the rest of the songs in the same folder will be added to the playlist, making it easy to listen to a whole album.

Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 10 Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 16

The other features all worked well. File encryption is easy (you can't encrypt folders), a password is set and you can then only access that file via an iOS device as it becomes unrecognised by a PC / Mac. When you want to open a locked file you have to enter the password you've set, when you come back out the file is automatically relocked.

Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 13 Photofast I Flashdrive Hd Ipad App Screenshot 15

In the features it says you can rename files - this is only possible for files stored on the local storage and not on the actual drive itself. You can link the app to allow sharing between the drive and Dropbox.

There are a couple of features which are quite unique to the i-FlashDrive. It includes a voice recorder. This is easy to use, you can rename recordings before and after, but we found the end of our audio clips were cut off a little too quickly. The app also allows you to backup your contacts, they are saved into a few small files inside a contact backup folder and can be restored if you lose your contacts on your iOS device. 

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Value for money

The PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD is available in three different capacities - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB available for around £131£180 and £256. Alternatives include the Maxell AirStash at £127Seagate Wireless Plus at £222Transcend Portable Wireless Drive StoreJet at £59 and Kingston Wi-Drive at £141. The i-FlashDrive HD differs from the others as it doesn't have a battery, it is powered by the device it is connected to, but the Seagate offers a lot more memory at 1TB and the Maxell Airstash is unlimited as you can change the memory card.

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Verdict
Many of the external drives designed for iOS devices rely on Wi-Fi connectivity and are battery powered. The PhotoFast i-FlashDrive differs as it uses the power from the device it is connected to and doesn't need Wi-Fi. Many people will see this as a big advantage, but if you were to purchase the Seagate Wireless Plus you get 1TB of memory, so there are clearly pros and cons for each option. There's plenty of positives when looking at the i-FlashDrive, you can share files to and from it, it's lightweight etc. but the biggest con is the price - the 64GB version costs more than the 1TB Seagate drive! The i-FlashDrive scores well for features and performance, but we can't recommend it due to its high price.

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Pros

Doesn't require a battery and charging
Shares files in both directions
Doesn't require a Wi-Fi connection
Doesn't interrupt your internet access
Compatible with many different file types
Voice recorder and contact backup are unique features to a portable drive
Dropbox support

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Cons

Can't have your iOS device charging while using the drive
Can't rename files on the device
Can't encrypt folders
Plastic covers are easy to lose


PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Specifications


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