The Overall Best USB Drive: 64GB HooToo External Storage Stick
HooToo updated its popular line of iPhone flash drives earlier this summer to incorporate the speed of USB 3.0 and improve design. The HT-IM003 model is housed in a durable aluminum alloy case and wins out in terms of functionality and design.
It’s slim, sleek, and sturdy. It weighs just a quarter of an ounce and is about 2″ long. On one end sits the standard USB 3.0 drive, with the lightning end on the other. This time around the lightning connected is protected by a cap that is attached by a key-ring. The connector is extended by 4mm which is just enough to work around thick protective cases. That’s a pretty important function, as it’s a pain in the ass to take off a phone case every time you want to use your device.
USB drives are not known for their fast speeds. But USB 3.0 technology gives the HooToo a significant boost over previous models. The drive hits 80 MB/s read and 30 MB/s write speeds on USB 3.0, with some user benchmarks surpassing advertised speeds. That’s good enough to transfer a full HD movie in less than a minute. Unfortunately, lightning port speeds are still stuck in the dark ages, with top read speeds of 30 MB/s and write speeds of 10 MB/s. That means moving large amounts of data from your Apple device to the drive will take a while, but still much faster than uploading to the cloud or sending via email.
HooToo uses a free app called iPlugmate to work on your device. The app has a simple interface that automatically segregates your files based into pics, music, videos, etc. It supports most common file types, including wav, mp3, avi, mkv, doc, pdf, and ppt. You can stream your files directly from iPlugmate while it is attached, which frees up valuable storage on your device. The app lacks any security features, which is disappointing.
Best 2-in-1 iPhone USB Drive: RAVPower Charging Cable
HooToo just released the RAVPower Charging Cable, a 64GB external storage device that doubles as a charging device. It’s the perfect 2-in-1 plug-in for viewing high-usage content like HD videos and picture slideshows.
The RAVPower cable delivers transfers files at a similar clip to the External Storage stick. That means the USB 3.0 port gets 80 MB/s 30MB/s, while the lightning port chugs along at 30 MB/s read and 10 MB/s write. It also operates on the iPlugmate app, which lets you stream most common file types directly from the drive.
The design differs in a couple ways. First, the metal USB 3.0 and lightning ports are connected by a soft rubber cord. This 5 inch long device is flexible, with no unwieldy clip. While the design is convenient, both ports are uncapped. This opens the possibility of them snapping in a purse or briefcase, which is a disadvantage compared to the standard drive. But its functionality as a charger offsets this restriction.