The Bottom Line
Apple iPhone storage solutions are rather abundant these days, but no company has done anything close to what SanDisk has now released in the iXpand Memory Case.
The iXpand lineup is expanding rapidly, with its third device now on the market. With a majority of iPhone users preferring to hold their expensive piece of technology in a protective case, SanDisk took two solutions combining them into one to produce the Memory Case. This solution features 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of onboard storage with four color options including red, blue, gray, and black. On the battery front, SanDisk has designed this case to accept the iXpand Battery, a 1900mAh add-on that is capable of fully charging the iPhone 6 and 6s.
Compatibility extends to the iPhone 6 or 6s and iOS 8.2+. Storage can be accessed via Windows.
Packaging has each of the devices in similar boxes. The case on the left has capacity listed at the top right with compatibility to the left.
Tackling the rear of the memory case packaging, SanDisk has included marketing information.
Opening up the Memory Case, we find the case packed next to its charging/data cable. To the left are the user instructions.
The battery has a similar setup, with instruction on the left pane.
The scope of delivery gives us a 3.5mm jack extension along with USB cable. The battery is not supplied with an additional charging cable.
Sliding my iPhone 6 into the case, the fit is very nice. The case has an integrated lock and volume buttons that slide over the phones really well.
Flipping the phone over, it looks bare without the battery, but as you can see, the case has eight points of contact for the battery with a micro USB B on the left side.
Placing the battery on top does nearly triple the size of the phone along with almost doubling the weight.
Here we have a side shot with the full kit installed.
Above is a quick performance run for the Memory Case. As you can see, while it has a nice 128GB capacity, a USB 2.0 interface limits the performance severally.
The app for the Memory Case is purpose built, and once you plug your phone into the case, it will pop up as seen above.
The landing memory for the Memory Case has all your data separated while the very bottom includes a file explorer.
The dashboard gives you access to battery stats for the case and your phone, along the bottom we have available storage for each device.
Automatic backup syncs your phone to the case with options to delete and choose the destination.
I really like the idea of the Memory Case, in fact, I love the idea of this case. If you are like me, I normally have an OtterBox on my iPhone, especially after I dropped it a few weeks ago only to have my heart sink a few inches when I flipped it over and saw the screen was shattered. Enough about my problems, though. With SanDisk thinking outside of the box, taking a rather rugged phone case that feels great in the hand and adding storage to it in several capacities and to take it even further by adding a battery that can fully charge an iPhone, it's simply amazing.
On the downside, it seems like every time I review a mobile storage solution from SanDisk it has a new app. I do like the automatic backup feature of the app and the battery meters for both the phone and add-on battery are great, but I'm sure they could save money by investing in a single unified app solution, then again, maybe I'm just nitpicking.
Adding to this is the storage performance. While I'm ecstatic with the case, battery, and storage capacity, I am not exuberant with performance over USB. At 14 MB/s peak, it could take an awfully long time to dump 128GB of data (to be exact, 2.6 hours) and in this day and age, that's a long time to wait. Maybe USB-C tech just isn't in the cards at this time, as it could certainly increase costs, I can only hope SanDisk updates this device at a later date, maybe when the iPhone 7 launches?
Overall, as you can tell I love the SanDisk iXpand Memory Case, it's a well-built solution that expands the storage and battery capacities of your iPhone and with its MSRP coming in at $129.99 for the 128GB solution and another $39.99 for the Battery Add-On, this is an ecosystem worth paying for.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170 Premium - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Klevv CRAS 16GB (4x4) DDR4 3000 - Read our review
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Secondary Storage: Intel 750 400GB U.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Thermaltake P5 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||89%|
|Bundle and Packaging||87%|
|Value for Money||85%|
The Bottom Line: SanDisk's iXpand Memory Case and Battery Add-On is a solid piece of kit, and with capacity options all the way from 32GB to 128GB, it gives even the budget minded consumer an option for entry.
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