There's a new type of flash drives out in the market recently called OTG USB flash drives for smartphones and tablets. This USB OTG (On-The-Go) function on smartphones and tablets is a new technology that will enable OTG USB flash drives to connect to the smartphone or tablet and access the flash drive directly. Different brands started making their own OTG USB flash drives and Kingston Technology is happy to give us one to review. Today we will be looking at the DataTraveler MicroDuo 32GB OTG Flash Drive.
Just a short overview about these OTG flash drives, these have a micro USB port aside from the standard USB port. The micro USB port will enable you to plug the OTG flash drive to your smartphone or tablet. These flash drives have similar sizes with typical flash drives but the DataTraveler MicroDuo is on the smaller kind of flash drives. Apparently, these are not compatible to Apple devices since they use a different socket. OTG flash drives are also not compatible to all smartphones and tablets with a micro USB port which will be explained later in the review. If you do have a device that's compatible with the MicroDuo, you might want to read on to see the benefits of having one. See the advantage of using the MicroDuo compared to using a spare microSD card for your smartphone or tablet.
Kingston's Take On The DataTraveler MicroDuo
Expanded Storage for Tablets and Smartphones - Kingston’s DataTraveler® microDuo provides additional storage in a small, convenient form factor for tablets and smartphones that support the USB OTG (On-The-Go) functionality. The USB OTG standard allows mobile devices to connect directly to supported USB devices.
DataTraveler microDuo allows microUSB ports, often used for charging devices, to be used as expansion ports for up to 64GB of additional memory. Ideal for storing large files while traveling, DTDUO gives plug-and-play functionality to tablets and smartphones without microSD ports at a lower price per GB than the extra built-in storage on a mobile device.
With smartphones and tablets recording HD video and taking higher resolution photos, space on these devices gets used up faster than ever. DTDUO lets users move files, photos, videos and more — without plugging into a PC1 — to offload or backup content. Sharing large files between mobile devices is easier than using online cloud services, and there’s no need for a cable to transfer data between the device and a PC.
DT microDuo is small, lightweight and easy to take anywhere, plus its sleek design complements any mobile device. Its rotating cap protects the microUSB connector from damage. DataTraveler microDuo is backed by a five-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston® reliability.
Features and Benefits
- USB OTG (On-The-Go) — a standard which enables host functionality in certain phones/tablets with microUSB ports, enabling connectivity to USB devices like Kingston’s DT microDuo.
- 2-in-1 — microUSB and USB 2.0 connectors for easy transfer of files between smartphones, tablets and computers.
- Plug-and-Play — simply connect as you would a standard USB Flash drive
- Convenient — ultra-small, pocket-sized design for ease of transport
- Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Dimensions: 27.63mm x 16.46mm x 8.56mm
- Operating temperature: 0°C to 60°C
- Storage temperature: -20°C to 85°C
- Warranty/support: 5-year warranty with free technical support
- Compatible with: Windows® 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows RT, Mac OS X v.10.6.x+, Linux v.2.6+
- Acer: ICONIA A1-810, ICONIA Tab A700
- Asus: MeMO Pad 10 ME102, MeMO Pad ME172V, MeMO Pad ME301T, MeMO Pad ME302, Transformer Pad TF-100
- Blackberry: Z30
- Fujitsu: LTE F-01D
- Huawei: MediaPad S7-301u(P), MediaPad 7 Lite
- HTC: Butterfly, Butterfly S, DESIRE (A8181), Desire VC T328d, HTC J (Z321e), HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio Z715e, One (M8), One X
- Lenovo: A3000
- LG: G2 (D800), G2 (D802)
- Motorola: Droid Razr HD (XT926)
- Samsung: Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note (GT-N7000), Galaxy Note II (GT-N7100), Galaxy Note III (GT-N900), Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), Galaxy R (GT-I9103), Galaxy J, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Plus, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (SM-T310), Galaxy Mega 6.3 (GT-I9200), Galaxy Mega 6.3 (GT-I9205)
- Sony: SGPT111JP/S, SGPT112TW/S, SGPT211JP/S, Xperia AX (SO-01E), Xperia S (LT26i), Xperia ACRO S (LT26W), Xperia T (LT30P), Xperia TX LT29i, Xperia Z (C6602), Xperia Z ULTRA (C6802), Xperia ZL (C6502), Xperia ZR (C5502)
- Xiaomi: MI-2s, Red Rice
Note that there might be some smartphone and tablet models that are not in the list that are compatible with the DataTraveler MicroDuo OTG Flash Drive. The compatibility list is being updated by Kingston frequently to cover newly released models of smartphones and tablets with OTG capability. You can check Kingston's list of compatible devices to the MicroDuo in this link.
Packaging and Closer Look
The DataTraveler MicroDuo OTG flash drive come in a typical plastic packaging Kingston commonly use with their flash drives. In the front, you can clearly see the flash drive inside. At the back you can find the basic features and specifications of the flash drive.
Opening the package, the cardboard inside can be unfolded to reveal the warranty information written in different languages.
Here's a closer look at the DT MicroDuo's front. The capacity is etched in front of the flash disk.
At the back, there's a protruding bar where you can attach the included strap. Etched at the back is the model of the flash disk which may be hard to see here.
The smoke colored plastic can be opened to reveal the micro USB.
Here's the DT MicroDuo compared to a Kingston HyperX USB 3.0 flash drive.
The DT MicroDuo is just 27.63mm in length as shown in this image. It is indeed very small.
As seen in the compatibility list, not all android smartphones and tablets are compatible to the MicroDuo. If you are using an old smartphone or tablet like something from 2013 or older, OTG flash drives like the DT MicroDuo will not work on it. We tried several apps offered at Google Play that might enable the OTG technology in a non-OTG enabled smartphone or tablet but none of them worked. We tried it on an ASUS Memopad, a Pantech Vega Racer II, a Lenovo A269i and a bunch old model android smartphones, such OTG enabling apps doesn't work. We have the compatibility list mentioned earlier but since there are new models being released from time to time, it would be best to check Kingston's website for an updated compatibility list.
Moving on to the review, we did found a compatible tablet in the likes of a Ramos W21 Quadcore 7-inch tablet. This is a Chinese brand and is not popular so we understand why it is not listed in the compatibility list but we were able to use the DT MicroDuo with it. It's a fact that there are a lot of smartphone and tablet brands today and a lot coming from Korea and China that aren't known to the US and Canada. Anyway, if you are curious if your device has OTG capability, there are apps in Google Play that says to detect and manage that.
Using the DataTraveler MicroDuo is very easy, just look for the micro USB port in your android device and plug it there as shown in the images below.
As you plug the DT MicroDuo to your android device, a message will prompt in the screen informing you that your device is preparing the MicroDuo. In our tablet, that message is seen in the bottom-right corner of the screen. To some devices like a Samsung Galaxy S4 which I was able to use for a moment, a menu appears right after plugging the MicroDuo where you can choose to open the storage and access the files using the Galaxy S4's file explorer.
To access the MicroDuo flash drive, open up the settings of your android device and find the storage tab. There you should see a newly installed storage in which in our tablet is registered as 'USB DISK'.
Since the tablet we are using doesn't have some sort of auto-play feature like the Samsung Galaxy S4, we need to open up our tablet's file explorer manually and look for the MicroDuo's storage file. In our tablet, the MicroDuo's file folder is named 'uhost'. Selecting that will open up the folder just like opening folders in your computer. Here I stored some of the photos from the Enermax Liqmax 120S and Liqtech 120X Review we posted earlier this week.
Opening files like images, audio clips or movie clips stored in the MicroDuo is also just like opening files using your computer. Below, we were able to open the images stored in the MicroDuo using the tablet.
Creating New Folders and Copying Files To The MicroDuo
The best use for the DataTraveler MicroDuo flash drive is perhaps for transferring files from your android device to your computer. Sure you can do that by connecting your android device to the computer directly but that actually takes a longer time compared to just storing the data to the MicroDuo. Creating folders and copying files is very simple and straightforward. If you can do it in your computer, doing it in your android device is just as simple. First you need to create a new folder inside the MicroDuo's folder unless you want to store the data in the main folder which could look messy. In our tablet, we are doing this using the tablet's file explorer app.
After clicking the 'new' button, we were prompted to name the folder. In this case, since I need to copy the screenshots for this reviews, I named the folder 'microduo screenshots'.
After locating the screenshot folder of the tablet, simply copy it to the target folder which is the new one we created above. A message appears prompting us the files are copied successfully and it was just a matter of seconds to transfer 10MB worth of screenshots to the MicroDuo.
Safely Unmounting the MicroDuo
Just like unmounting flash drives in your computer, removing the MicroDuo from your android device must also be done properly. To do this, simply open the settings of your devices and look for the storage tab. There you can click the unmount button. A message will prompt you before you proceed. You can tell if you can remove the MicroDuo from the device if the details about the MicroDuo are not seen in the storage tab anymore.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Using the Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo OTG flash disk is very convenient in transferring data from your computer to your android device and vice versa. Compared to using the microSD card in your tablet or smartphone or connecting your device to your computer, using an OTG flash disk like the MicroDuo is faster and more convenient. No need to power down your device to remove the microSD wherein in some models you need to open up the device's casing, remove battery and so on. It is a fact that USB ports are also more common compared to microSD/SD ports. A modern computer today wouldn't be a computer if it doesn't have a USB port. Also, we see this OTG technology becoming a mainstream in the near future and it is safe to say future models of android smartphones and tablets to be released will enjoy the convenience of using the DataTraveler MicroDuo. Using the MicroDuo, you can play movies and audio clips to your android device without copying the file into the device. It is really that convenient.
Now let's talk about the MicroDuo price-wise versus other alternatives like having a spare microSD card. We cannot compare the MicroDuo to a class 4, 6 or 10 micro SD or SD card because those are just slow in terms of read and write speeds wherein the MicroDuo will surely beat it hands down. The closest competitor to the DT MicroDuo would be UHS Speed Class 1 which can has a minimum performance speed of 30MB/s, close to the USB 2.0 speed of the DataTraveler MicroDuo is still faster with up to 35MB/s transfer speeds. However, the prices of such micro SD and SD cards are more expensive that the MicroDuo making this a cheaper option. You can find the Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo 32GB OTG flash disk in Amazon for $18.74. You can also find the 8GB variant for $5.99, the 16GB for $9.74 and the 64GB for $40.20 also in Amazon. Given all these benefits and great features the DataTraveler MicroDuo offers to those that own android devices with OTG capability, we highly recommend this for all sorts of things be it transferring data or backing up data from your android device.