Imation 2-in-1 Micro USB Flash drive for Android

Use Imation's 2-in-1 drive to quickly and easily transfer data to and from your smartphone and a computer

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Imation ANZ 2-in-1 Micro USB Flash drive for Android
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Easy way to transfer data to and from a computer and an Android device
  • A neat external drive solution for a mobile Android 4.1 device

Cons

  • Can't plug into phones with thick cases
  • No external cap for the micro-USB plug

Bottom Line

Imation's 2-in-1 Micro USB Flash drive for Android is a good product for transferring files between a phone and a computer. It works as intended, without hassle, and it's especially useful for those of you with devices that don't have microSD slots. Think of it as an external storage drive for your phone or tablet that you can use while you're on-the-go.

Would you buy this?

Imation's 2-in-1 Micro USB Flash drive for Android may not be the most imaginatively named product of 2013, but it's definitely an interesting product, and one that's bound to appeal to data-swapping Android users who swing recent smartphones or tablets. It's a USB stick that has both regular USB and micro-USB ends, which means you can plug it into a PC, or directly into an Android device. Why? So you can quickly transfer stuff without having to use a cable or a cloud service.

The drive is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, and it's a useful product for those of you who might have an Android phone or tablet that can't accept extra storage in the form of a microSD card — or simply for those of you who want to take more stuff with your than your microSD card can handle. However, it won't work on all Android smartphones; your phone needs to run Android 4.1 or higher, and it has to support USB on-the-go. If it does, then all you will need to use the Imation 2-in-1 is a file manager app.

There are no cables to deal with, and an extra power source isn't required. When you plug the Imation drive into your phone, it will be detected as a USB storage device, and you'll be able to use your favourite file manager app to access the files that are on it — and also to transfer files off the phone if you need to reclaim some internal storage space. We used an app called My Files (version 1.0) to browse the USB drive and play files off it, but Imation suggests ES File Explorer, which is a more comprehensive manager.

The drive worked perfectly for us in our file transfer tests using a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, recording a rate of 3.17 megabytes per second (MBps) when we copied 698MB worth of photos from the phone to the USB drive. Movies and music also played off the drive without any issues, though if you want to watch movies stored on the drive, you will have to make sure that a capable video player app is also installed on your phone. When transferring photos from the Imation drive to a PC (one equipped with a fast SSD drive), we recorded a rate of 18.5MBps.

The My Files app showing all the available storage locations, including the Imation USB drive, on our Samsung Galaxy S4.
The My Files app showing all the available storage locations, including the Imation USB drive, on our Samsung Galaxy S4.

The ES File Explorer app showing the same storage locations.
The ES File Explorer app showing the same storage locations.

Physically, the drive is reasonably solid, and it's very simple in its design. The micro-USB plug is attached to the drive by a sliding hinge that allows the USB drive to swivel. The micro-USB plug acts as a cover for the regular USB plug. You will need to pull it out and then swivel the drive in order to be able to plug it into a PC. We should point out that you can't use both ends at the same time.

The swivelling micro-USB cap.
The swivelling micro-USB cap.

The micro-USB plug and the regular-sized USB plug are not joined together when both ends of the drive are open. You can't simply plug one end into your phone and the other into your PC — data won't pass through from one end to the other. In fact, if you plug the drive into your phone while the regular-sized USB plug is showing, it won't be detected by the phone. The memory sits in the portion where the regular-sized USB plug resides, the regular-sized USB plug has to be capped by the micro-USB plug in order to be recognised by the phone.

If all that sounds confusing, don't worry, it's not. Just look at the photos below for the do's and don'ts.

Unfortunately, the drive doesn't ship with a proper cap for the micro-USB plug. Instead, it has a built-in cap that slides over it, but it's very easily knocked out of position, which can leave the micro-USB end unknowingly exposed. If you have a relatively thick case installed on your phone, you may not be able to plug in the Imation drive until you take the phone out of its case.

Pricing starts at $29.95 for the 16GB version; the 32GB version is $49.95, and the 64GB version is $79.95. it can be purchased from Officeworks and other major retailers.

Imation stated that it's currently working on 2-in-1 drives for Apple devices.

Is my phone or tablet compatible with the Imation 2-in-1 Micro USB Flash drive for Android? Find out here

The Imation 2-in-1 plugged into a Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Imation 2-in-1 plugged into a Samsung Galaxy S4.

Ready to transfer files to and from a laptop.
Ready to transfer files to and from a laptop.

This won't work.
This won't work.

Tech 21's Impactology case is a little too thick; the Imation drive couldn't be plugged into the phone when this case was used.
Tech 21's Impactology case is a little too thick; the Imation drive couldn't be plugged into the phone when this case was used.

This thin Quicksilver case posed no problems.
This thin Quicksilver case posed no problems.

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