Sony two-in-one USB flash drive. Photo: AFP
The company’s two-in-one USB drive for handsets and tablets is the latest in a growing line of innovative smartphone gadgets.
At the moment, Sony seems to be full of smart ideas for smartphone users. In September it launched the QX10 – a lens-style, self-contained camera that can wirelessly connect to pretty much any smartphone and turn it into a pro stills and video camera in the process. It even has its own built-in storage, an optical zoom lens and an 18-megapixel sensor. And when it’s not in use, it’s small enough to drop into a pocket until needed again.
Then it announced a new set of Walkman-branded headphones, the NWZ-WH505, which plug into any phone, tablet or PC, and can be folded out to double as proper speakers with enough grunt to fill the room. What’s more, the over-the-ear headphones also have a built-in MP3 player, capable of storing up to 4000 songs so that smartphone owners don’t have to worry about wasting all of their handset’s internal storage on music, or even having to take the phone with them when music is more important than staying in touch.
And now it has announced its latest gadget, a USB flash drive. Ok, on its own, that’s nothing remarkable. However what makes this particular device stand out from the crowd is that it can simultaneously connect to micro USB and USB for file transfer – say from a desktop to an Android phone – and that it offers up to 32GB of storage. It means that rather than fiddle with MicroSD cards (which are often located behind a phone’s rear panel) or delete existing files, users can simply plug the device into their handsets for extra storage and entertainment – for example storing and watching feature films.
Or it can be used to physically share files. For example, shoot a video on your phone, save it to the drive then pass the drive to a friend who connects it to their own phone to quickly copy over a file that would be too large to email.
The two-in-one drives go on sale in January and will come with 8, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, plus a file managing app compatible with any Android phone or tablet running version 4.0.3-4.3.
In the US, the two-in-one drives will start at $19.99 for the 8GB model and go up to $62.99 for the 32GB version.