Bottom line: This tiny thumb drive backs up your media and transfers it between your devices. The swivel design features a USB-C connector on one end and a Lightning connector on the other.
USB-C and Lightning connectors
Quick and easy media backup
Transfer media between your devices
Password protects files if desired
Clever and compact all-metal swivel design with keyring hole
Does not work with my iPad Pro
Cannot select specific photos to back up
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SanDisk's iXpand Flash Drive Luxe is a two-in-one flash drive. It allows you to back up your photos and videos, and it even lets you transfer your media between your iPhone, iPad Pro, and Mac. There's a USB-C connector on one end and a Lightning connector on the other. The flash drive has an all-metal casing, swivel design, and key ring hole so you can easily take it with you anywhere.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe: Price and availability
The SanDisk iXpandFlash Drive Luxe is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities with MSRPs of $44.99, $59.99, and $89.99, respectively. You can find it at Amazon, Walmart, Office Depot, and other major retailers. The metal flash drive comes in just one color, which is the charcoal gray seen in these photos. It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
SanDisk has several apps on the App Store; be sure to download this one. You'll need it in order to operate your flash drive.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe: What I like about it
When I worked at the Apple Store, customers would frequently come in with a perfectly good iPhone that they needed to upgrade for just one reason: storage. Since iPhones don't have upgradeable storage, the choices are to remove some media off of your iPhone or buy a new one. If you want to remove some photos and videos off your phone but you don't want to lose them, you'll need to explore cloud storage apps or get a flash drive like the iXpand Flash Drive Luxe. I like how easy this flash drive is to use. Just download the SanDisk iXpand Drive app, and put the Lightning connector end into your iPhone. It took only a few minutes to load up my entire photo library, which is about 300 photos. You'll have the option to automatically back up all of your content each time you put it in or do it manually. Each time you perform a backup onto the flash drive, you will be offered the option to delete everything you've just backed up off of your phone.
Once your content is loaded onto your iXpand Flash Drive Luxe, you swivel it around and place the USB-C connector into your Mac's high-speed USB 3.0 port. Open up the icon that appears on your desktop and you'll see all of your stuff. From there you can save it onto your computer, delete it, or whatever you like. You do have the option to password-protect your files and photos if need be.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe: What I don't like about it
I tried to connect the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe to my 2018 11-inch iPad Pro. I couldn't get to work, even after going through all of the troubleshooting steps. Finally, I check the compatibility, and it seems that this product is not actually compatible with my older iPad Pro model. This is odd, because the 12.9-inch iPad Pro of the same vintage (and newer) is compatible, as well as several other iPad models.
I would have liked the option to choose individual photos and videos to back up, rather than having to back them all up at once. Once you have the media on your Mac, you can delete the ones you don't want to keep, but I'd rather just be able to avoid that step.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe: Competition
SanDisk's iXpand Flash Wireless Charger Sync does more than back up your media — it wirelessly charges your iPhone at the same time. This is worth considering if you're looking for a format other than a flash drive and you want that charging functionality.
If you want other flash drive options, check out our guide to the best flash drives for backing up your iPhone. Just make sure that any brand you buy is MFi-certified (meaning it has Apple's seal of approval), such as the iDiskk, so you don't risk your data or your device.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You need more storage for your files and photos than your iPhone has
- You want a quick and easy backup, storage, and transfer solution
- You want something tiny and portable
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want to pick and choose which photos and files to back up
- You want to use it with an incompatible iPad model
- It's not in your budget
This is a great product for someone who wants more storage for their iPhone. It's a place to put your space-hogging photo and video files so you can delete them from your phone. It's also wonderful for photographers and creators of all kinds, who can easily fill up the storage on their devices.
SanDisk's iXpand Flash Drive Luxe is a relatively inexpensive way to free up storage space on your iPhone. The compact swivel design features a Lightning connector on one end that pops into your iPhone for seamless backup. Flip it around to access the USB-C connector, pop that into your Mac's high-speed USB 3.0 port to store your precious memories on your computer. For a professional who's creating large photo and video files regularly or anyone who needs more storage space on their iPhone, this flash drive is a terrific solution.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.