SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone REVIEW

5 min readFeb 27, 2018

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I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when Apple announced the 256GB iPhone 8/8Plus. It suddenly meant that you wouldn’t have to worry about that dreaded warning message that you are out of space when you are trying to record your child’s birthday party or another important life event. Unfortunately for some of us, we still have to worry about that. I chose this past cycle not to upgrade my phone and so I still have a 32GB iPhone 7. I take a lot of photos and a moderate amount of videos so my phone fills up pretty fast. I try to monitor this closely and frequently move media to iCloud or other online storage option. There are times, however, that won’t work. That’s why SanDisk created the iXpand Flash Drive, extra portable storage for your iOS devices.


The iXpand Flash Drive offers users an easy way to free up space on your iPhone or iPad. The drive plugs directly into the Lightning port on your device and can be set to automatically backup your camera roll anytime it’s connected. SanDisk also set up the flash drive to support popular video formats (mp4, mov) so that you can watch videos on the go from your iOS device. The Lightning extension is flexible so that it can work with most cases and you never have to work around your set-up to use the drive. The USB-A plug end supports USB 3.0 high-speed transfers and SanDisk has developed a mobile app to manage your photos and videos. The flash drive is available in 16, 32, 64, 128, or 256 GB configurations.


Dimensions 13 x 17 x 59mm Weight 5.4g Operating Temperature 0–35 degrees C functional Supported Video Formats .MP4 and .MOV video formats as supported in iOS. DRM-protected content cannot be streamed. Check with the content provider for playback restrictions. Compatibility Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Chrome OS, Mac OS X v10.8 and higher. Warranty 1-year limited warranty Microsoft ExFAT Support US 128GB and 256GB; Japan 64GB and 128GB

User Experience

The first thing I noticed about the iXpand drive was the packaging. It comes in a pneumatically sealed package like other flash drives are stored in. most of the time, I will just attempt to rip open the package, but this time I actually followed the suggestion of the package and cut it open with a pair of scissors. Even when I cut along the dotted line, the drive was still securely locked away beneath the plastic. The front of the package had the SanDisk branding and you could clearly see what the flash drive looks like through the plastic. The details on the front of the package also indicate what capacity the drive is. There are concise directions on the back of the packaging that outline how you should get started.

First, you plug-in the drive. If you do not already have the SanDisk app on your phone (or tablet) you will see an on-screen alert directing you to the App Store. The app only takes a few minutes to download and then you can start managing your storage. The app will request permission to communicate between the app and the flash drive and then check for any firmware updates for the flash drive. You are then ready to start storing your files on the flash drive. The app gives you several options on what you want to do with the drive connected. I chose to work with copying files from my phone to the drive first since I felt like that was the primary operation of the flash drive.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with several flash drives built for iOS devices and the big roadblock to them all seems to be the app interface. SanDisk has a really nice app that is easy to navigate and allows you to get started immediately backing up your files without a lot of fluff in the app. I had no problem accessing the files from the drive on the phone or on the computer.

I do like to add a bit of actual testing into my reviews so that readers can see there is more to my experience than just “oh, files copied fine”. So, when I plugged the iXpand into my computer, I ran a Blackmagic Disk Speed Test to see what the read/write speeds were. I then looked up some benchmarking tests on comparable flash drives of 128GB capacity. Here are the comparisons and a screenshot of the test I ran on the iXpand drive. You will see that the iXpand drive falls towards the end of the list.

Flash Drive Name Peak Write MB/s SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0 207 Corsair Voyager GT 3.0 128GB 172 PNY” USB 3.0 FD 128GB 117 SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone 61.2 Kingston DT HyperX 3.0 128GB 53.9


Despite it’s somewhat slower read/write speeds, I feel that the iXpand drive is worth having for iOS users. It gives you peace of mind and a very easy ability to transfer files onto a backup drive. You can avoid losing files by backing up your phone or tablet on a regular basis and the drive makes it simple to move files to your computer. I think this is a good investment for any iOS user.

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Originally published at on February 27, 2018.




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