Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device review: Best wireless mobile drive for Android

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.

Note that any device connected to the Wireless' Wi-Fi network can use a browser to access its content. The Web interface resembles that of the Android mobile ap, but doesn't provide streaming or backup functionality. You can download a file and play it back locally, however.

Well-designed mobile app, excellent media support

When loading media content onto the Wireless, there's no need to organize it by folder. This is because, regardless of where you put the files, on the Samsung Wireless mobile app interface it's automatically organized into three categories: Video, Photos, and Music. In my testing, the organization took a very short time to complete, even when I put a lot of files on the drive. You can search for a particular file by name or browse the content by folder.

In all, the mobile app is very responsive and well designed. The most impressive thing about the app, however, is the variety of media types it can stream. Essentially, all popular media types are supported. For video, besides the types natively supported by the Android platform -- such as MP4 or MOV -- the Wireless supports other formats, including the open-source Matroska multimedia container (MKV). This is the first wireless drive that support this file type for streaming.

Generally, I didn't run into any multimedia file types that the Wireless didn't support. Note that the mobile app doesn't have a category for documents, but you can browse for them and open them using a third-party app.

Other than that, you can use the Samsung Mobile app to back up user-generated content from a tablet to the drive, similar to other wireless drives. You can also connect the Wireless to an existing Wi-Fi network and relay that network's Internet access to devices connected to the Wireless. This is a great feature when traveling and you want to share hotspot access between multiple devices.

Fast performance

As a portable drive, the Samsung Wireless did very well in my testing. Via USB 3.0, it registered sustained speeds of 109MBps for writing and 112MBps for reading. The drive also works with its USB 2.0 port, averaging around 30MBps.

CNET Labs' USB 3.0 external drive performance

Toshiba Canvio Slim II
118.8
118.49
Samsung Wireless
108.7
112.3
Seagate Slim
110.4
111.49
Seagate Wireless Plus
109.5
109.75
WD My Passport Slim
107.7
107.89
Corsair Voyager Air
104.6
107.45
LaCie Fuel
104.7
106.89

Legend:

Write
Read

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second

As a mobile wireless drive, the Samsung Wireless worked flawlessly. Its Wi-Fi network was very easy to connect to, and it has an effective range of around 75 feet, more than enough for a mobile drive. Overall, the drive seems very well thought-out.

During extended use, the drive did get tend to get warm, especially on its underside. However, this is quite normal for a device of this type. It's recommended that you use it in the open, and not while leaving it in inside your bag.

As far as battery life, I was able to get close to 7 hours of continuous use with two devices connected to it.

Conclusion

This is the first wireless device that doesn't support iOS devices natively. That's too bad, given just how much I like it. If you're an Android fan, the Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device is the best wireless mobile drive you can find. You'll need the mobile app to take the best advantage of its great video format support and backup functionality. Still, as a juice pack or a portable drive it works universally, and with these two functions alone, it's already worth the investment.

Nonetheless, fans of mobile media streaming who have iOS or Kindle Fire devices should check out either the Seagate Wireless Plus or the Corsair Voyager Air for better support.


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Samsung Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device

Part Number: HX-MTD15EQ
MSRP: $219.99 Low Price: $169.99 See all prices