Author Archive: Paul Stevenson

rss feed

By November 15, 2016 Read More →

32nd iPhone Case Shoot Out

img_5411Phone cases have become a massive industry in recent times and with good reason. They are a physical insurance policy for your expensive handset. Some folks are brave/foolhardy enough to risk carrying a naked phone while others take the opposite approach and encase theirs in super over-engineered Iron Man like exosuits. For those left floating somewhere in the middle, there is a mind-boggling variety of options to choose from. 32ndshop.com specialise in very affordable phone cases, covers and holders and accessories. They recently sent us a sample of their wares.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from cases costing market stall prices, but I was genuinely surprised when I opened the basic, bare bones packaging. Rather than getting some cheap, tacky plastic offering, these appeared to be very well put together products in a soft, thick leather, nice stitching and the designs are far from garish.

img_5412

The first of the three cases we received was a deep purple, (excuse me….”Aubergine”) coloured wallet with magnetic closure. The phone cradle itself is a fairly rigid plastic, but it holds the phone securely. The inside cover has slots for credit cards and has a soft finish in the same deep purple Aubergine as the outside and the 32nd logo is stamped on the bottom inside cover. Simple, straight forward, but well executed, especially for the price of £12.99. It even came with a screen protector for crying out loud!

img_5416

Next up was one of those slip cases which always remind me of the sort of thing my Grandfather used to keep his glasses in. Rather than being attached to the phone, it’s more of a holster type idea which protects your phone when it’s in your pocket. I prefer a protective case myself, but if this is what you are after, it’ll certainly do the job. It’s again, a good thick “Premium Italian” leather, this time in dark brown, and there is a simple pull tab to help you get your phone out. This is magnetically held in place to stop it flapping about, which is a nice touch. At £20, this is one of their most expensive iPhone covers, but is still very reasonable. Again, it is not over-engineered, not over-designed, but it does what it is supposed to do simply and elegantly.

img_5415

Last up was a rather cheerful floral print wallet, same design as the purple one except, this time with a tab closure. The interior is a nice tan colour which complements the outside well. It also came with a screen protector. Not my personal taste of course, but the quality produced at this price point is hard to find fault with.

Overall, there really isn’t anything particularly special about these cases, they are neither innovative nor original, they are not feature laden or flashy. But what they deliver are solid, well-constructed, good looking cases that do exactly what you need them to do for the same price as the flimsy Chinese knock offs on eBay. Certainly worth a look.

You can check out the full range of iPhone 7 case here: www.32ndShop.com

Posted in: Accessories, Reviews
Tags:
By November 9, 2016 Read More →

Adam Elements iKlips DUO review

img_5387The Adam Elements iKlips duo is yet another in an endless stream of removable data solutions for the iPhone and iPad that seems to be hitting the market these days. They come in all shapes and sizes, capacities and colours, so what makes this one any different? And why the heck is it so frickin’ expensive?

The model I have for testing is the 16gb model in bright red. I know from the IKlips website there are other more sumptuous looking colour combinations which will perhaps assuage some of the £50 price concern, but this basic red on red plastic and silicone unit, whilst not unattractive, looks no different to me than the sort of cheap and cheerful stocking fillers you see everywhere. So first impressions are far from mind-blowing.

The unit itself is a small double-ended device (hence the name) with a USB 3.0 connector on one side and lightning on the other. It fits easily, yet securely in a silicone holder, which initially seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but it is actually very functional, protecting the connectors and enabling you to attach the whole thing to a keyring. I will say that it does seem very well made and definitely feels a lot more solid than a lot of the standard fare. I was concerned that the device might fall out of its little silicone holster, but even with a good bit of pocket travel, this never happened.

img_5388

I removed the unit from its holder and tried to plug it into my iPhone 7, which currently resides in a fairly thick Gear4 drop “proof case”. This is usually where most of these devices fall, right at hurdle number 1. Thankfully the designers of the iklip were switched on enough to elongate the connector just a smidge – but that smidge makes all the difference! It’s a snug fit, but you can fully plug the iKlips into the phone without removing the case, this is a huge win for the device and I’m starting to take it more seriously.

Now comes the acid test. As we’ve seen before, no matter how good the device is, if the supporting app isn’t up to snuff, it’s going to fail hard. Prompted to do so, I downloaded the iKlips app from the app store and was presented with a simple screen that looked similar to other generic apps I’ve seen before, showing the memory used on my phone along with options for Photos, Music, Videos and All files. There is also an Adam Elements logo in the centre which brings up the options menu.

Fortunately, this is where any similarity between this app and the others ends. It appears simple, but as you delve into the various options, you just keep discovering more and more functions and capabilities. There has clearly been a lot of time and effort spent on this software and it shows. It is well laid out, the features make sense and there is a help function if you get lost. It even offers the ability to format the drive in either Fat32 or ex-FAT for you.

The iKlips features a really handy option of utilising its memory in real time. With the device plugged in, you can record photos, video etc, straight to it, negating the need to continuously transfer content to the device. The only minor niggle I found with this was physically using the phone with the iKlips sticking out the bottom, it was certainly doable, just felt a little clunky. The software also allows the IKlips to act as a backup device for photos, calendar, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram as well as a variety of cloud storage services.  File transfer is straight forward, quick and can be password protected so you can share specific info whilst protecting others. All terribly clever. The more I use it, the more it impressed

Plugging the USB end into my PC, I tested the transfer speeds and it did not disappoint. It claims read speed of 140Mb and, while I couldn’t quite reach this number, I did come dangerously close. This is vital if you want to use the iKlips as a backup for your phone and don’t want to sit for hours waiting for your all important holiday snaps to transfer across.

So to answer my own question, the thing that makes this one different is simple – you get a shed load of additional functionality. It’s not just a basic data holder, it is so much more. Of course this kind of thought, care and attention comes at a price. Whether or not that price is justified is, I’m afraid, entirely up to you dear reader.

Posted in: Accessories, Reviews
Tags:
By November 8, 2016 Read More →

iPhone 7 case Shoot Out

img_5389Recently we received a selection of cases for the iPhone 7 and since I have been dubbed the sites’ “iPhone guy”, it fell to me to discover the merits of each. The sample that arrived was the Cygnett Urban Wallet, the x-doria Revel and the gear4 Soho. Cases are a very subjective item, so this will be entirely based on my opinion. If I was to part with my hard earned pennies on one of these, which one would I choose? Time for a head to head shootout methinks.

Presentation

All 3 arrived in rather swanky packaging, with slide out trays, flip up cover and magnets galore. There was plenty of information clearly displayed and all conveyed a sense of quality. No real winner so far. I’m not sure how I feel about extravagant packaging. On one hand, it adds confidence that you are getting a quality product, but on the other, saving a few quid on a more functional box could drop the price.

Design

I love the idea of the Cygnett. It’s a walled design, but the actual case is held in the wallet with magnets, meaning that you have the option of running your phone in a simple case if you were mounting the case in your car for example and then simply clip it into the wallet for pocket carry. I love the versatility of it. Once in the wallet, the lap is held closed with another magnet.

img_5391

The x-doria is a sleek and simple case. It’s constructed of a translucent rubbery plastic and has very useful rubberised grippy panels down each side for traction in sweaty mitts. The Revel offers a number of colours and pictures on the case so you can pick the one most applicable to you. t fits very snugly on the phone so t doesn’t alter the profile too much.

The gear4 Soho is again a fairly simple design with a clear plastic backing and a rubberised surround.  Gear4 claim that the case meets military drop standards of 3m/9ft and I could believe it. The case fits the phone well and there is a good amount of squishiness (apologies for getting too technical) which would certainly help absorb impacts.

Picking holes

Whilst I love the idea of a removable wallet, the magnets on the Cygnett aren’t super strong and I would be concerned that they are the only thing holding my precious phone in place. The actual case offers little in the way of protection. It looks pretty but the sides do not sit proud of the screen so there is no protective bezel and no impact defence when it’s outside the wallet.

img_5390

The x-doria is simple in design so offers a sort of midway point between protection and low profile. There is a slight raised bezel, but it’s so small that if you have a glass screen protector, it will sit flush. The grippy surround definitely adds to the traction, but it is very rigid and, given how tightly this case fits, there is little impact protection.

The gear4 has a transparent case and we all know what that means. After a while, it’s going to look like frosted glass as it shows every scuff and scratch. Also if you are in the habit of tucking the odd item behind the case – password notes, emergency cash, metal panels for magnetic mounts, etc forget it. and finally, whilst offering the best protection of the 3, it’s also the chunkiest.

So who gets my cash?

This is actually quite a tough decision as, despite my nitpicking, I do actually like all 3 of these cases. So this comes purely down to personal preference. I think I will have to discount the Cygnett simply because of the confidence, or lack thereof. I’m sure my phone would be more than safe in it, but I just can’t get passed the thought that its al just held together with some small magnets and that’s asking a fair bit of trust.

img_5393

I really like the x-doria. I wasn’t familiar with the Californian based company, but I checked their site and some of their other cases look really impressive particularly their more rugged ones. The Revel I got is blue with a picture of a Husky on it, which is nice if you are into Huskies, but It doesn’t do much for me personally. Now if the Revel (minus the husky) were to fit into the Cygnett wallet (and they made the magnets stronger), that could be really something appealing.

My personal tastes run towards the more protective cases and gear4 Soho, whilst it doesn’t appear as a rugged case, certainly inspires some confidence. Add a decent screen protector and you are good to go. As the winner, I carried this case in my pocket for a couple of weeks and was actually surprised to note that the transparent plastic has held up rather well and looks almost good as new. Yes, the fact that you can see the metal plate which I use to attach it to the (super strong) magnetic holder in my car is visible, but it’s a black panel on a black phone, so it’s not a deal breaker.

So the winner for me is the gear4 Soho. It’s certainly not perfect, but in this shootout, it came closest to the bullseye.

img_5392

Posted in: Accessories, Phones, Reviews
Tags:
By October 5, 2016 Read More →

Panasonic RP-HXS200 Review

download-41I recently had the opportunity to try out the RP-HXS200 headphones by Panasonic. These are budget headphones (retailing for around £18 on Amazon), something immediately evident from the rather basic clamshell packaging which claims “Clear & powerful sound”. The set I tried were a funky black, blue and light grey combination and I must admit, I did like the look of them. Once you get them out of the packaging and in hand, they do feel very plasticky and I’m not sure how much daily abuse they’ll take, although I was pleasantly surprised to see the flat, tangle-free type cables do seem reassuringly robust. A rarity at this end of the market.

One of the main gripes I have with on-ear headphones has always been a question of where you put them when they aren’t in use. I am nowhere near hipster enough to dander around with them around my neck like a big plastic fashion accessory and they are usually too big or fragile to be just chucked in a bag. The Panasonic party piece is that they fold up Transformer style into a neat little form factor that can be easily tucked into a bag or jacket pocket. This is a great feature, but sadly these headphones are not the clunky, rugged Transformers of old, they are the flimsy plastic modern ones and I was more than a little wary of putting too much strain on the various joints, hinges, and rotating pieces.

img_5281

Once they were transformed and ready to roll out, I plugged them into my iPhone to see what kind of sound they were capable of. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was actually rather impressed. For under £20, the sound quality was really rather good. Well, initially it was. The Panasonics seem to handle intros and simple pieces very well indeed, punching well above their weight. I was listening to S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff and was getting some great separation and a nice tone during the opening of the song. The acapella vocals, humming and clapping were all coming through extremely well. Sadly this ended swiftly when the rest of the band kicked in and price point of the Panasonics showed through. Unable to handle all the layers and detailing, the sound appeared compressed as they struggled to funnel the high, mid and bass levels through the drivers. I tried several pieces across a number of musical genres and found this to be consistent.

They did very well with the stripped back sounds of Lorde, but sounded terrible with Metallica’s layered detail and depth. I initially spent about 25-30mins testing out these headphones before I had to take them off. The plastic covering of the earpieces had slowly roasted my ears almost to the point of combustion and I had to take a break. The Panasonics are very light and have a great range of adjustment and I suspect if you are the sort that can put up with the plastic against your skin for extended periods of time, you’ll probably have no trouble with them. But if you are the sort that finds headphones make your ears start to get warm after a while, I’d maybe pass on these. In truth, I personally have never found on ear headphones particularly comfortable and these are certainly no exception, but your mileage may vary.

img_5283

Overall I’d say these headphones are aimed at the younger user and at the price point there is always going to be a compromise with the quality of sound and construction. If you like on ear headphones and simple pop music, then they are a pretty good buy and certainly worthy of consideration. For those looking for a quality sound however, I would suggest leaving these for the kid in the skinny jeans and slouch hat behind you.

The Panasonic RP-HXS200’s are available at www.reichelt.co.uk the online electronics retailer where many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK.

Posted in: Headphones, Reviews
Tags:
By September 28, 2016 Read More →

Griffin Survivor Power Pack Review

fullsizerender3Never in the history of everything have we been more reliant, more dependent on electronic devices. Separation anxiety caused by being without your mobile phone is now a recognised stress condition! So, you left the house this morning, but you forgot to charge your phone – how will you ever know what your Instagram friends had for lunch or what the latest viral cat video is?

You need a mobile power pack!

Thankfully there are roughly a bazillion models available in every imaginable shape, size and capacity. But what happens if you run up mountains for fun, or a much more likely situation; you find yourself miles from home during the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Then you need the Griffin “Survivor” Power Bank. The secrets in the name folks!

5

Griffin touts this as the Chuck Norris of battery packs due to its super rugged features. It’s drop proof from a height of 2m (we’ll see about that), as well as being water, dust and zombie blood resistant thanks to being fully encased in a textured rubber exterior and port cover. The corners have a good bit of give in them to cushion impacts, so it’ll be useless as a bludgeon, but at least you’ll always be able to upload those skillful headshot videos for “Zombie kill of the week” contention.

img_5249

On closer inspection, I noticed that the rubber isn’t actually bonded to the unit, but more like a form fitting case. Where the opening is for the ports, the rubber can easily be pulled away from the unit, so water could get in and get trapped in there. The port cover does fit snugly, but as pointed out in the unboxing video, the lifting tab does make it easily removable and I imagine it could be easily snagged, although, after a fortnight of bouncing around in the bottom of my bag, this only happened once. Mercifully I was not wading through a swamp or anything at the time and my office has only the usual type of pre-coffee zombies. I did try the drop test 3 times from around the 6-foot mark and the Survivor did indeed survive with only minor scuffing to the rubber housing. Really the only area of potential wear and tear vulnerability I see is the port cover and its little rubber retention piece.

fullsizerender4

The 10,050mAh Griffin is obviously larger than its peers because of the additional layers of protection, but it is still easily portable at 265g and the ability to just throw it into a bag and forget about it is a big bonus. Griffin makes several claims on the packaging – 2 hour charge time, 5 phone charges etc. In my (zombie-free) testing, I found that when using standard USB ports on my work PC or an iPhone plug, the charging took a lot longer. You’ll need to up the power supply if you want to get anywhere close to the 2-hour claim. Charging a two-year-old 1,810mAh iPhone 6 with a bog standard apple cable took around 90mins to get it from 15% to full, which was a little underwhelming. This is definitely a workhorse rather than a thoroughbred. I managed to get 4 full charges and it ran out of juice at 60% on the 5th. Depending on the size of your phone, your mileage may vary. It has the, now obligatory, tiny LED light for illuminating the 2 feet directly in front of you. These lights have become standard on battery packs now and are handy for when you are digging through a bag at night trying to find something, but really, little else.

img_5244

Compared to its rivals, the performance is distinctly average. The equivalent capacity Anker will charge your device noticeably quicker and cost a heck of a lot less at £15. The Survivor is priced at £56 although it can be found for £47.50 on Amazon (mainland delivery only – sorry Northern Ireland) but it’s somewhat hard to justify such a massive price difference just for the additional ruggedisation. But, and it’s a big but – the Griffin comes with a lifetime warranty! A modern electronic device, one that is designed to take some abuse and it comes with a lifetime warranty!! Unheard of!!! From their site, Griffin state that if you can provide proof of purchase and are the original purchaser, they “will repair or replace the product if due to defective parts or workmanship; it does not perform as specified.” It does not cover “misuse” however. But rubber can perish and batteries will die, so it’s a bold, yet confidence inducing guarantee by Griffin and I suppose this has to be factored into the price. Unless of course, Griffin means the lifetime of the owner and they know something we don’t………which brings us back to zombies…….

Posted in: Accessories, Reviews
Tags:
By September 20, 2016 Read More →

iPhone 7 Unboxing

vlcsnap-00042Apple has done it again. A new phone, a new controversy and new feels and emotions for the Apple Die-Hards.

Paul takes a look at his iPhone 7 in this unboxing and set-up.

Colours: Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
Display: 4.7in (1334×750, 326ppi) Retina HD Display
Processor: Apple A10 Fusion, M10 motion co-processor
Storage: 32GB/128GB/256GB
Cameras: 12Mp wide-angle camera, f/1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, OIS, six-element lens, Quad-LED True Tone flash, 4K video; 7Mp FaceTime HD camera, f/2.2
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC (for Apple Pay); A-GPS, GLONASS
Software: iOS 10
Dimensions: 67.1×7.1×138.3mm
Weight: 138g
Other: IP67 dust- and waterproof; Touch ID fingerprint sensor

 

Posted in: Phones, Videos/Unboxings
Tags:
By September 11, 2016 Read More →

Sennheiser HD650 & Apogee Groove review

sennheiserSennheiser have long been one of my “go to” brands, particularly their CX range of in-ear headphones. They represent a nice balance of sound quality and reasonable pricing. I was excited to try out these “audiophile” level HD650 headphones and more than a little intrigued with the bundled in line amp by Apogee.

Initial impressions were positive, if a little underwhelming. The headphones feel solid and robust, although at this price point I wasn’t expecting quite so much plastic. They feel very functional rather than luxurious, their appearance doesn’t exactly give away their high-end pedigree. I decided to try out the headphones first and figure out the amp later. I’m used to in-ear headphones, so these felt a little odd to me initially. They completely encompass your ears rather than sitting on them and despite a surprisingly firm clamping force, are actually rather comfortable. This is thanks to the velvety soft fabric cover on the foam earpieces. This is much more comfortable than plastic or leather but also likely to get grubby quicker. It would be interesting to see how this soft fabric stands up to wear and tear over time.

img_5183

They are fairly light for their size so I didn’t have that feeling that you were wearing saddle bags on your head. I did notice that the open backed design did not offer much noise cancellation. Although muffled, surrounding noise is definitely still audible, so listening to them on the bus or train probably won’t work. There is plenty of adjustment in the size of the headband, even for someone with a melon the size of mine, but I did note that there wasn’t a lot of spring in it. The earpieces themselves pivot a little, but everything is quite rigid.

I plugged them HD650’s into my iPhone since it’s what I listen to music on most often and I was keen to see if the phone (and therefore ipod touch) could deliver enough power to drive these 300Ω beasts. The short answer is yes, very well in fact! Granted you have to crank the volume to levels you wouldn’t dream of with other headphones, but the sound reproduction is jaw dropping. I must pause here to mention one other thing I noticed, or rather my wife did. The open backed design that did little to keep the outside world out also does little to keep the sound in. The music I was enjoying was clearly audible to her, although she apparently wasn’t enjoying the experience quite as much as I was. Again, buses and trains are probably a no-no. Final point to note on the open back design is that it doesn’t heat your ears up to melting point quite so badly, so thumbs way up from me on that particular bugbear.

It’s difficult to convey just how good these headphones sound; they have a nice neutral sound that somehow manages not to sound flat. They excel at the high and mid ranges and acoustic music sounds particularly well reproduced. You are able to pick out incredible detail and the sound separation is outstanding. The bass tones are gloriously unembellished. Unlike many headphones that try to give you concussion by turning the bass line into something akin to a jackhammer, the HD650s have a beautifully round bass, capable of absorbing the deepest rumbles without rattling or buzzing. No matter what track I tried, I could not get them to bottom out and distort. Again the sound reproduction seems incredibly realistic and once you get used to not being assaulted by an over-amplified bass thump, the listening experience is simply wonderful.

img_5182

I love the option of being able to replace the cables from the headphones. My biggest gripe with the Sennheiser CX range is that they have very thin and flimsy wires that never seem to last past 6 months use. With the HD650s, you are able to remove the short cable at the earpieces (it’s connected on both sides unlike some other headphones) and replace it with a 3m long cable terminating with a full sized jack. Adding a full to mini jack adapter, I was able to plug these beauties into my record player and sit back and relax. This was an outstanding experience, listening to uncompressed music on a basic, manual record player and high-end headphones. I lost an entire weekend this way.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I did try them on my Xbox and they did not disappoint. The soundscape seems massive and again, the fantastic sound separation really comes out trumps here.

Then it came time to try the amp. I’ve never used one before so I was a little dubious about it. The headphones sound great, do I need an amp? Especially when they cost as much as the headphones themselves!! How do I even use it?  The Apogee Groove amp is a simple, unassuming little device with nothing but volume controls and 3 small LEDs on the exterior. It’s powered via a USB port so it’s designed to listen to music from a computer. This confirms my theory that the best use of these headphones is in a studio type situation where accurate reproduction of the recorded sound is crucial. It’s not how I usually listen to music myself, but I was so far down the rabbit hole with this setup that I just had to know what it would produce. Playing through a Mac is a simple procedure of plugging it in, changing the sound settings and off you go. The PC is a slightly different affair. You must install the appropriate driver – one that you can only get directly from Apogee, and only after you have registered the product. Why this is is anyone’s guess, but it’s quick and painless. Pick your track and off you go.

Disclaimer: you may wish to have a buddy present to help you pick your jaw up off the floor.

img_5179

The combination of Groove and HD650 synergises into a listening experience unlike anything I have ever heard. Every aspect is significantly enhanced – the detail, the separation, the clarity, instantly become richer, deeper and wider! I found myself trawling through my music library listening to endless numbers of tracks. Tracks I have heard a thousand times and yet I was able to pick up sounds and layers that I have never heard before. I had my doubts about the necessity of an amp and to be honest, yes, you could no doubt get by quite happily without it. However the sound produced by both devices working in conjunction is just unreal. Closing your eyes, you can almost picture yourself in the recording studio with the band arranged around you. Necessary no, desirable, oh hell yes!

Out of interest, I tried the Groove with my Klipsch R6 in ear headphones and again, this tiny little box transformed what are already excellent sounding headphones. It basically takes the strengths of the any headphones plugged into it and expands on them.

This bundle is exclusive to Sennheiser on their website for a not inconsiderable £490. A bit of research showed that the cost is split roughly 50/50 between the two devices and I did wonder if the increase in sound quality could possibly warrant such a splash out, especially when the combo can only be used when listening to music on a computer. For your average man on the street – probably not. But then this is the audiophile world. If you are happy to spend £250 on headphones (which your average man on the street certainly won’t), forking out an extra £250 for a more perfect sound experience appears a much more reasonable proposition. Certainly for professional use, in a studio environment for example, it’s a no brainer, just buy one.

It’s worth mentioning that if you aren’t concerned about getting the headphones and amp in the one (admittedly rather swish) box, you can save around £40 by sourcing and buying them separately. The HD650s are available through Amazon for around £230.

I don’t know if Apogee developed the Groove specifically for use with the HD650 or it’s just a deal done between the companies, but the two devices complement each other exceptionally and seem to really bring out the best in each other. If you are in the market, I would happily recommend them if you have the pennies. These have now become the bar that all others will be judged against.

You can find further information including the full specs at http://en-uk.sennheiser.com/audiophile-headphones-high-end-hd-650

By July 28, 2016 Read More →

ADATA i-Memory Flash Drive Review

productGallery4496Even the most stalwart iPhone user will concede that one of the major limitations of the device is the lack of expandable memory. This isn’t much of an issue if you splashed out on the 128gb model, but those with the 16gb version will know the pain of having to upload and delete holiday photos to make room for more. Enter the ADATA i-Memory 64gb flash drive, potentially the answer to many prayers.

image2

With its rounded edges and rather tasteful metallic rose colouring, it looks the part, very apple-esque. Once out of the packaging however, it does feel a little plasticky. It doesn’t have that “just throw it in a pocket/in your bag” feel. Aluminium would have been a nice touch but would increase the cost significantly. But does it work?

Right out of the gate we hit a stumbling block. Being a clumsy oaf, the first thing I do when I get a phone is to put it in a robust case, in this instance, an Otterbox Commuter. As you can see, the lightning connector is rather short and does not work with encased phones. That’s a bit of a pain.

image1

Once out of the Otterbox (and feeling vulnerable) the ADATA fits nicely into the iphone, and you are prompted to download the free i-Memory app. The app appears extremely simple in design, allowing the user to select Photo, Music, Video, Document and File Manager for both the phone and the ADATA drive.

Unfortunately it becomes quickly apparent that the Achilles heel of this device is the app. It is simple, but not particularly intuitive nor pleasant to use and did have a few glitches and hang-ups when I was using it.

image3

There are no tutorials, prompts or on screen instructions in the app, so you’re on your own. Transferring photos or videos from your camera roll is fairly straight forward, but no transferable music or document files could be located on my phone. It allows access to an “internal storage” for your phone, but could not find anything in it. It was unclear where this storage actually was. At this point I couldn’t help but wonder if this is an iproduct specific app, or a generic template that has been beaten into an apple shape.

image4

Still, I used the rather nifty sliding connector feature and plugged the device into my pc. Another snag. Due to the width of the device, it covers two USB ports if they are side by side. This could be problematic for laptop users.

image5

The pc found the device without issue and up opens like any regular flash drive. Once in familiar territory of dragging dropping, the ADATA performed well and transfer speeds were impressive.

Plugging the ADATA back into my phone, I found that accessing the new data through the app was easy enough and was pleased to see that both music and video files played directly from it without hesitation. Transferring content to the phone is the same somewhat clunky procedure as before. Out of interest, I decided to copy a music file from the ADATA to the internal storage area of my phone. According to the app, the file transferred successfully, however, it would not appear in any searches carried out on the phone. It would appear that anything sent to the internal storage is only accessible through the i-Memory app and does not integrate into any other apps. This is a drawback, especially when it comes to music files.

The ADATA i-Memory Flash Drive is undoubtedly a very handy device and allowing the user to safely copy content from their phone to free up some space is definitely where it shines. I can also see its usefulness as a media drive, somewhere to store videos that you can access on your phone without eating up all its memory. It is not without some design issues, but the biggest let down by far is the app. I can’t help but feel that what could have been an excellent little device has been hamstrung by its software.