About the same size as a mobile phone and clad in gun metal and matt black plastic the MobileLite looks impressive. It’s equally light too but you don’t need to hold it long to realise that the metal part of the case is the thinnest plating possible and the whole thing feels rather flimsy and, well, cheap.
The MobileLite has 2 main functions – you can recharge your device from it and you can access USB devices and the content of SD cards wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet.
On one end is a standard USB port along with Micro USB – the latter is used to charge up the MobileLite and the former you plug USB devices into OR a USB cable to charge up your phone. On the other end is an SD card slot. The power button is on the front side but, slightly recessed, it suffers from the poor quality feel – you’re pressing it not knowing if it’s doing anything or not. Above it are 3 status LEDs.
So, charging your device, it’s easy to use – connect it via a USB cable and press the power button to get the charging started.
To access the contents of your SD card or USB device you’re going to need to download the matching app to your Android or iOS device. Hold down the MobileLite’s power button for a few seconds and it will create a WiFi hotspot. Connect your device to this hotspot and the app will connect to it. From here you can use the app to browse the external data. You can transfer file across connected device and even stream music, videos, etc, straight from it. Storage of up to 2TB will work too.
If you wish for your phone to still have WiFi access whilst connected to the MobileLite then you can provide access details within the App and it will then provide a “pass through” to your existing WiFi whilst still accessing the MobileLite.
In the box, a little over-sized for its contents, you get the MobileLite device, an instruction manual, micro USB cable and a handy adapter for plugging micro SD cards into the SD card slot. There isn’t a mains USB charger but that’s quite normal these days.
It has an RRP of £50 but can be found at Amazon, at the time of writing, for £38.49.
Apart from the product quality it all sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, let’s take a breakdown of the features…
The battery. For just £10 you can buy portable phone charger with 3000mAh batteries. For £20 you can get them with 8400mAh batteries. The MobileLite has an 1800mAh battery.
The instructions. They’re pretty poor, only showing the basics in a fold out booklet which is a nightmare to put back together (staples, please!). There is a website with FAQs and videos but it lacks a lot of the
The interfaces. The WiFi uses single channel G/N and the USB connector is USB 2. When something is being used for transfer, wouldn’t it make sense to use USB 3 these days?
File support. The support for files which are recognised, rather than just simply copied, is limited. For example, the only document format that the device will do anything with is PDF and video is limited to just M4V and MP4.
The App. I’ve only tried the Android version – it crashed when I tried to connect to an unsecured network and there are display issues when trying to view menus. It’s also very confusing that the settings are only viewable a couple of screens in. The iPhone version seems to have even more problems with quality as reviews in the App Store testify. However, when it’s stable it does work and I happily streamed files to my phone using it.
Lastly, the MobileLite has features that Kingston haven’t even bothered to document. For example, connect it to your PC with a USB cable and it turns it into an SD card reader, accessible from your computer. I’ve even ready that it’s possible to wirelessly connect your PC or Mac to the MobileLite and access the drives, as you do with your Smartphone or tablet. However, without any details on how this is achieved (connecting it wirelessly is the easy bit, it’s how you then access the drives) I have no idea how to do it.
For all the features it has it’s not bad value for money. However, bad build quality, instructions and accompanying apps lets it down.
If you can look past this and could really do with a wireless method of connecting USB and SD cards to your tablet and phone then it’s a worthwhile purchase.