Only Android users will enjoy the full potential of the Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device, but enjoy it they will.
The new device -- which is the latest in the increasingly popular area of wireless portable drives -- has the best support for video media formats I've seen. On top of that, it serves up fast performance, long battery life, and it can function as a juice pack. Technically it works with all mobile operating systems via a Web browser, but its native mobile app supports only Android. It lists for $179 in the US and £130 in the UK; pricing in Australia has yet to be announced.
If you're an Android user, I can recommend the Samsung Wireless heartily as an excellent accessory. On the other hand, if you have an iOS, a Kindle Fire, or a Windows 8 mobile device, there are others on this list of top mobile wireless drives that might be a more compatible investment.
Same concept, different approach
The Samsung Wireless is not new. It's basically a 1.5TB, USB bus-powered, portable hard drive, and it works like one. However, it comes with a built-in battery and an embedded Wi-Fi network. When connected to a computer, while it's working as an external storage device, it also charges its battery. (It can also be charged with the included adapter.) When unplugged from a computer, the device can then function as a wireless storage device; it allows up to five Wi-Fi clients to connect to its Wi-Fi network. These clients can then stream content (photos, video, and music) that's stored on the drive, or use the drive's storage as the backup destination for user-generated content.
There have been many similar devices using the same concept, such as the Seagate Wireless Plus or the Corsair Voyager Air. In fact, the Samsung Wireless looks almost identical to the Seagate Wireless Plus, but it uses a Samsung hard drive on the inside. (Technically, Samsung's hard drive business has been part of Seagate since 2011.)
However, the Samsung Wireless is the first that, at least at launch, supports only the Android mobile platform -- all other wireless drives always try to support as many mobile platforms as possible. The Samsung is the first among mobile hard drives to serve as a juice pack, and with a 4,000mAh internal battery, it has more than enough juice to give most smartphones a full charge.
|Drive type|| 2.5-inch external USB hard drive with internal Wi-Fi access point and battery |
|Connector options|| USB 3.0, USB 2.0 |
| Dimensions || |
0.8 x 3.5 x 5.0 inches (19.9 x 89 x 126.5mm)
9.7 ounces (275g)
|Apps included|| Samsung Wireless app for Android |
| Capacities / File system || 1.5TB / NTFS |
|OSes supported||Android, Microsoft Windows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later|
| Battery capacity ||4,000mAh|
|Maximum concurrent Wi-Fi clients supported||Five |
Simple to use, three-in-one design
The Samsung Wireless is a three-in-one device. It can work as a mobile wireless drive, a bus-powered USB portable drive, or as a juice pack.
In one corner are located the Wireless' power button and a small blue status light. This light flashes when the drive is working as a wireless drive and stays solid green when it's working as a portable drive. On one side, it has a Micro-USB 3.0 B-female port that can be used to connect it to a computer or to the included power adapter. In either case, the drive will charge its internal battery. Next to this port is an A-female USB port, which can be used to charge other mobile devices.
And it's very easy to use. Just plug it into a computer using the included standard USB 3.0 cable -- it's now a portable drive. Unplug it from the computer and turn it on via its power button, and it becomes a wireless drive. Turn it off and plug a mobile device to its second USB port, and it's a juice pack.
Out of the box, the Wireless is preformatted in NTFS for Windows and will work right away when you plug it in to a computer. You can reformat it into HFS+ to work with a Mac as a portable drive, if you want. The device doesn't come included with any software, and you don't need any for it to work, other than the Samsung Wireless mobile app, which, again, is available only for Android.