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SanDisk iXpand Base Review – This Thing Not Only Charges Up Your Phone, It Saves Your Memories

If there’s one thing that almost every iPhone user dreads, it is that super annoying pop-up message saying that there is not enough available storage when you want to take a photo or download an app or a game. Even 256GB iPhone users are not safe from this predicament in the long run and especially so if they take tons and tons of pictures and videos on their phones. The obvious solution to that is to backup all the photos and videos to another source (such as to a computer via iTunes) or to the various cloud services available out there before deleting them to free up valuable space.

Even those solutions bring their own set of problems. Backing up via iTunes is a cumbersome and fun-less process that involves sticking your iPhone to your computer via a Lightning Connector. Conversely, most cloud services requires no physical attachment but demands paid subscription for unlimited storage space. Then there’s Google Photos, which does offer the option for free unlimited storage but at the expense of photo compression.

Enter Sandisk with iXpand, their Apple devices-exclusive storage solution. You may have heard of their iXpand flash drives which provide an external storage option for the iPhone and iPad on the go. The iXpand Base is an extension of that and is meant to reside in the home or the office instead of being portable. At its core it does what the iXpand products are set out to do – backup and store an iPhone/iPad’s photos and videos (in their native original resolution) as well as your contacts – and it also acts as a charging base at the same time.

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The iXpand Base is a palm-sized thing that rightly sits on a desk or a bedside table. It connects to a power outlet and has a Lightning port at the bottom for you to hook up your Lightning Connector to and that’s basically half the setup process, simple enough even non-techies can easily make it work. The second half of whole setup involves the free iXpand Base app downloadable from the App Store. You would then plug in your iPhone or iPad to the iXpand Base just like you do when you normally charge your device and the backup process will start automatically without you having to launch anything or press any button.

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The whole idea behind the iXpand Base is to make backing up your photos and videos a daily routine without any extra effort and it works wonderfully, the simple reason being that we charge our smartphones almost daily. Its essentially killing two birds with one stone – we charge our phone when the battery gets low, and at the same time our photos and videos get backed up. It doesn’t get any more effortless than that.

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The back up process is fast and seamless. As mentioned earlier once you turn on the charging you can pretty much leave your phone on its own device and everything will be backed up nicely when you pick it up later once the charging is done. Your photos, videos and contact details are stored in a SD card which its slotted at the back of the base. Naturally, you can take the SD card out and put it into a computer with a card reader to view and edit the photos and videos. As for the charging, SanDisk is touting its fast-charing ability and it more or less gets my iPhone X juiced up from a critically-low battery level to 100% in about an hour and a half.

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Let’s talk about the base itself. It is primarily made up of metal on the lower half and soft rubber on the upper half, which a little gap between them for some neat cable management. The rubber top means you can put your phone on the base top and not worrying about it sliding off. At the bottom of the base you will a rubber strip that holds the base sturdily on a flat surface and prevents it from annoyingly shifting around. Overall, it is a solidly-built device with thoughtful design elements.

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From hardware to software, the iXpand Base app is bare-bone but it gets the job done. You can view all your stored photos, videos and contacts inside the app when your phone is connected to the base but you can’t edit them. Once all your files are all backed up to the base (technically the SD card), the app offers you the choice to delete them from your phone with a simple tap which is convenient if you strive to have as much space available as possible. If you decide you want your files back on your phone, you can also easily restore them within the app.

iXpand Base App Screenshots

There isn’t much else to talk about the iXpand Base other than it is a simple device with a simple function, and that perfectly fits the overall theme here of making one’s life simpler. While it does not offer any groundbreaking solution to the whole backing up game, the fact that it lets the often-tedious work of backing up files to just blend into the background and be forgotten is a hard-to-beat feature. By now it should be clear that if you care about your all precious photos and videos but at the same time being the I-am-too-lazy-to-move-stuff-around-kinda-person you are, the iXpand Base very much deserves a spot on your desk.

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*The iXpand Base comes in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB configuration and only works with iPhone and iPad.

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