David Artiss

Kingston MobileLite Wireless


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.

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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.

Android Screenshots

Summary

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.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless

Kingston MobileLite Wireless
60

Rating

6/10

    The Ups

    • An excellent idea
    • Good value

    The Downs

    • Below average build quality
    • The Android app is buggy
    • Poor instructions

    Categories: Product Review

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    5 Comments

    1. Dear David,
      I purchased a Mobilelite recently and I have to say that it is excellent in every way, reads just about any file and the light weight is a positive benefit when carrying it around.
      It also works extremely well with Chromecast and enables me to present where there is no Wifi.
      In short, a great bit of kit, shamelessly slagged off by you – you need to do a bit more research before you rush into print !

      • David

        7th April 2014 — 9:23 am

        Your response was good and reasonable until that last sentence – “shamelessly slagged off”? It got 3 out of 5 and a final line of if you “could really do with a wireless method of connecting USB and SD cards to your tablet and phone then it’s a worthwhile purchase.”

        It was marked down for a number of reasons – poor instructions (which, ironically, missed features that would make the product more attractive), a buggy app and poor build quality (yes, it’s light and it’s actually well put together but for the money I’d expect better than cheap plastic and thin sheet metal). All of these I stand by and are the reason for the 2 marks being taken off. The app, however, is the biggest concern but it’s 6 months since the review so bugs may have been resolved since – if so, that’s great.

        Chromecast support, well, I wouldn’t have known about that at the time so can hardly be held against my review.

        As for doing more research then, well, I don’t think I missed anything so you point is silly. Indeed, the fact that I found features that weren’t documented would suggest I did indeed do my research.

        Nice try.

      • How have you managed to use Chromecast with Mobilelite?

        Cheers John

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