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MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro
Tired of running out of space on your smartphone or tablet? Is going wireless with Kingston the solution you need?
Pros
  • Easy and convenient
  • Wi-Fi passthrough feature
  • Automatic photo backup
Cons
  • App can be slow
  • Wireless connection can drop
  • Pro version isn't cheap
8Overall Score

Just because you got stuck with a 16GB iPhone SE doesn’t mean you have to contend with having such a small amount of storage for your 4K videos and 12-megapixel photos. Relying on the cloud is convenient, but it can gobble up your data plan and you have to deal with reception issues. A couple of better solutions you might want to consider are the new Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and Pro. They offer wireless storage with some nifty bonus features.

The Evolution of Mobile Storage

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

You might already be familiar with what the MobileLite Wireless line from Kingston can bring to the mobile table. We’ve been following this series since it was still called the Wi-Drive several years ago and Kingston has been hard at work refining the product with each successive generation.

The primary appeals remained largely unchanged. What you get here is a device roughly the size of a compact hard drive. Connecting to your tablet, smartphone or other mobile device over Wi-Fi, it provides access to a USB port and an SD card reader. The data transfer works in both directions, so you can stream videos you have saved on a flash drive or you can back up your smartphone photos to an SD card, for example.

It’s good for road trips with the kids, since multiple devices can connect to the MobileLite Wireless G3 or MobileLite Wireless Pro simultaneously. And since there’s still the Wi-Fi pass-through functionality, those devices can still get onto the Internet if you’re in range of a Wi-Fi access point.

Do You Want Internal Memory?

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

Functionally, the MobileLite Wireless G3 and the MobileLite Wireless Pro are practically identical. They use the same mobile app (which we’ll get to in just a moment), they both have an SD card slot (and come with a microSD-to-SD card adapter), and they both feature USB ports to handle your flash drives too.

Aside from color, the biggest thing that separates the two products is that the MobileLite Wireless Pro boasts 64GB of internal storage, whereas the G3 will need you to provide an SD card or a USB drive in order to save anything. The other difference is that the Pro comes with a bigger internal battery: 6700 mAh vs. 5400 mAh. Both products can serve as backup batteries for your mobile devices through the USB port with 2.0A output too.

The housing is made entirely of plastic with a glossy top and matte for the rest of the body. While it hardly feels premium, it does feel reasonably well-constructed and robust in the hand. There’s a definite weight to it, largely attributed to the battery, I’m sure. The color-coded light for remaining battery life is useful too; a slightly more precise indication can be found in the mobile app.

The Familiar Bonus Features

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

These are not “just” wireless storage products. As mentioned, you can use the MobileLite Wireless G3 and Pro as power banks, though sucking up some of that power for your smartphone will inherently reduce the length of time you can use these as wireless storage solutions. The line has changed its appearance over the years, but one other feature that has been carried forward is the Ethernet port.

The Wi-Fi passthrough is helpful when you’re somewhere with Wi-Fi, but what if your hotel room only has wired Internet access for some inane reason? Or the hotel is charging for Internet access on a per device basis? You can plug in the networking cable and the MobileLite Wireless can act like a router. That’s handy.

Exploring the MobileLite Wireless App

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

The mobile app has improved substantially since the Wi-Drive days, both in look and in ease of use. Getting your smartphone connected to the MobileLite Wireless G3 or Pro is no more complicated than connecting to any other Wi-Fi access point. After the MobileLite has started up — it takes a few seconds, so just watch the LED indicator lights on top — you can look for its SSID in your Wi-Fi settings.

After that, you can launch the app and proceed to go through the settings. The MobileLite Wireless G3 and Pro support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz for Wi-Fi, running parallel access points that you can secure with a password (recommended, of course). It’s also through the settings that you can establish the Wi-Fi passthrough. It’s still not the snappiest app and you may run into the occasional hiccup, but it is otherwise functional.

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

As mentioned, the wireless data transfer can happen in both directions. You can use the “file explorer” to go through the files you have saved on the internal memory (in the case of the MLW Pro), the SD card or the USB drive. Many media files can be streamed directly from within the app or you can choose to download them locally if you prefer. I found the built-in media player couldn’t handle MKV videos, so you may want to keep that in mind.

The other side of the coin is the backup/restore function. The most common way you’d use this is to backup the photos and videos you’ve taken with your smartphone or tablet. The MobileLite Wireless G3 or Pro will sift through your camera roll and see what’s new compared to what it already has saved.

This can take a while, especially if you have a lot of pictures or your file sizes are particularly big, so you will need to be patient. Offloading several HD or 4K videos can result in some connection hiccups too, so you will want to backup early and often.

MEGATechie Wireless Necessity or MEGATechie Mobile Mishap?

MEGATech Reviews: Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and MobileLite Wireless Pro

It will almost always be more convenient if you can have all your files saved locally on your smartphone or tablet, but that’s simply not a realistic possibility in this day and age. We want more space and cloud access may not always be the best solution. This pair of products from Kingston provides that intermediary solution, both in terms of giving you more space for music and movies, but also as a convenient way to backup the pictures you’re shooting too.

For my money, the MobileLite Wireless G3 for $50 (MSRP $84) is a better value than the MobileLite Wireless Pro for $105 (MSRP $148). The slightly bigger battery and the internal memory are nice, to be sure, but you can pick up a 64GB SD card for about $20 to cover one of those considerations. The SD card sits flush when inserted, so it’s just as clean and easy to carry around.

The app could still use some tweaking and the Wi-Fi connection could be a little more robust, but the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 and Pro are handy tools that any road warrior can appreciate.

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