Besides acting as a device to send texts and make phone calls, smartphones act as “digital multi-tools.” They can be used to take photos and videos, play games, monitor social media accounts, store documents, books and more. However, these nifty new functions consume far more storage space than traditional texts and call logs ever did.
To alleviate our storage needs, smartphone vendors offer models in varying storage capacities, with some phones featuring up to 512GB of storage space. Unfortunately, vendors tend to charge a premium for high-capacity phones.
For example, Samsung charges $250 to upgrade the new Galaxy Note 9’s storage capacity from 128GB to 512GB. And Apple charges $150 to upgrade the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X to 256GB models. Power users who take plenty of videos or download hundreds of apps might find themselves out of storage sooner rather than later.
Apple offers iCloud storage plans ranging from $1 to $99 per month. While we can’t recommend iCloud enough, these recurring costs can eventually add up to more than the cost of a physical storage device. Not to mention the lengthy download time for large files and cellular data usage.
The iKlips II comes in a small, unassuming package. The front of the package depicts some of the iKlips II’s features, such as its storage capacity, transfer speeds, compatible devices, and file support. The iKlips II itself is encased in plastic. Finally, the back of the package delves more into the features and has a QR code for the iKlips app.
Once we removed the iKlips II from packaging, we were pleased to find how well it was built for its size. It’s constructed out of solid aluminum, giving it excellent rigidity and heft. The aluminum chassis features a matte gray finish, which would pair well with Apple’s Space Gray products. The iKlips II is also available in red; we suspect this was intended for the Red iPhone 8/8 Plus.
A white protective silicone cover protects the USB 3.1 and Lightning port on either end of the iKlips II. The silicone “sock” fits snuggly on each port, so you can keep it attached to one port while another port is used.
Speaking of ports, the Lightning-side of the iKlips has a white plastic housing around the port, which is reminiscent of Apple’s white Lightning cables. Finally, you’ll find the Adam Elements logo, iKlips II logo, and the storage capacity — 64GB in this case — are painted on the front and back of the body.
With the iKlips II attached, iPhone users will have a wider range of photo, video, and application capabilities. As we mentioned before, power users who store many files will find their internal storage limiting, but iKlips II users can easily transfer files via the Lightning port. Additionally, files can be written directly to the iKlips II; for example, the iKlips can support 4K video, so you can film directly onto iKlips and spare your phone the storage.
The Lightning connector limits the iKlips II to iOS devices, but the USB 3.1 Type-A connector allows you to connect to any computer with a USB port to transfer your files.
It supports multiple media formats for photos (JPG, GIF, RAW, PNG), music (MP3, WAV, M4A, WMA, FLAC), documents (DOC, PPT, PSD, PDF, ZIP), and videos (MP4, MOV, M4V, AVI).
Its Lightning speeds are rated at 35/20 MB/s read and write, while its USB 3.1 speeds are rated at 130/50 MB/s read and write.
The iKlips II 32GB model is rated for 17,000 photos, 40 hours of video, and 8,000 songs. Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on the file sizes of your photos, videos, and songs. Adam Elements also offers the iKlips in 64GB and 128GB capacities. It’s compatible with the following devices:
- Phones: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5
- Tablets: iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPad (4th gen.),
- MP3 players: iPod touch (6th gen.), iPod touch (5th gen.)
- Operating Systems: iOS 8 or above, macOS, Windows XP/7/8/10
To use the iKlips II, you’ll need to download the accompanying iKlips app, which can be found on the App Store.
Once installed, you’ll need to give iKlips permission to access your Contacts, Calendars, Photos, Microphone, Camera, Media & Apple Music, and Document Storage. You can pick and choose which app you want to grant access to, but the more permissions you grant, the better integrated the iKlips experience will be.
With Document Storage, you can choose to grant access to either iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox.
When first launching the iKlips app, you’re treated to a pleasant home screen which monitors both your phone’s and iKlips II’s storage space on the top. On the bottom, you’ll find buttons to manage, backup, and download files.
The gear button on the top right opens the Settings menu. From here you can name and format your iKlips II drive, change the landing page wallpaper, login to cloud storage accounts and adjust security settings. You can create a login password and set up Touch ID to secure your files. Files can be further secured with a file lock password.
Folder Creation and Organization
iKlips displays folders that are auto-populated and organized with your photos and music inside. The Photos folder lets you preview photos and videos stored either on your phone or iKlips II.
As for the Music folder, iKlips lets you select and play music with an in-app music player. More on that in a bit.
The “+” button on the bottom right adds several functions that allow the iKlips app to act as a unified media center. For example, you can create a new folder to add a music playlist. Once you’ve named your folder, you can press the music symbol to load your Apple Music library. You can then select one of your playlists to copy onto the new folder. From the new folder, you can shuffle through music, just as you would on Apple Music.
Similar multimedia folders can be created from your stored photos and videos.
Camera and 4K Video Recording
You can capture photos and videos from within the iKlips app and save them directly to the iKlips II. To do this, select the camera button on the bottom left of the app home screen. This opens the in-app camera function, where you can take photos and shoot videos.
You can adjust the file and storage settings from within the camera. For example, photos can be shot in low, medium, high, and quality, while videos can be shot in 720P, 1080P, and 4K.
If your iKlips II is connected, you can toggle the “Save to iKlips” setting. This will allow you to record 4K footage without taking up your phone’s internal storage space.
We didn’t experience any in-app hiccups when filming 4K footage straight onto the iKlips II.
The iKlips Backup function provides an easy-to-navigate menu to perform backups. From here, you can perform photo, contact, calendar, Instagram, Facebook, and Evernote backups (note: Instagram, Facebook, and Evernote backups require login information). Single tab backup performs all of the previously mentioned backups in a single click.
Download YouTube and Vimeo Videos
The Download function is a nifty feature that allows you to download videos from YouTube or Vimeo. It launches in-app YouTube and Vimeo browsers, where you can create playlists to add your favorite videos in. From the playlist menu, you can download all of your favorite videos to either your internal or iKlips II storage.
To test storage speeds on the iKlips II, we ran a few simple benchmarks. First, we copied photo, video, audio, and document files from a PC to the iKlips II, then from the iKlips II to an iPhone. Our second test was the opposite: iPhone, to iKlips II, to PC.
PC to iPhone
Our test files consisted of 1GB of photos, 1GB of audio files, 10MB of documents, and one 437MB video file. Copying the files to the iKlips II took roughly 4 minutes and 43 seconds. Music and photo files took the longest to copy, with transfer speeds hovering between 3 MB/s and 12 MB/s. Meanwhile, the video file copied over at around 25 MB/s.
Copying the files from the iKlips II to an iPhone took only slightly longer at 5 minutes and 5 seconds. This is impressive considering that the iKlips II’s Lightning port has a 10 MB/s slower maximum write speed.
iPhone to PC
Flipping the script, copying files from the iPhone to the iKlips II took much longer; the transfer time was 8 minutes and 17 seconds. Conversely, copying the files from the iKlips II to the PC took a mere 27 seconds.
Comparing the total transfer times between these two scenarios, transferring files from your iPhone to a PC with an iKlips II is close to 2 minutes than faster adding files to your iPhone. There also wasn’t a noticeable drop in quality in the photo, video, and audio files after the file transfer.
Where the iKlips II beats out its competitors is in utility and features. Not only does it offer additional storage, but it comes with an integrated app that lets you create an easy-to-navigate media center with additional features you might not have ever expected. Plus, the USB 3.1 port makes backing up files to your computer easy.
It’s best to think of the iKlips II as a unified storage expansion suite rather than a traditional built-in storage upgrade. Because of its added bulk, the iKlips II may not make it under your radar if you’re looking for a sleek solution to expand your storage like iCloud. However, the app’s attractive UI and simple navigation make the iKlips II a worthwhile consideration.
If you’re a power user who loves to store thousands of photos, videos, and music files, then the Adam Elements iKlips II will be a worthwhile investment. You’ll enjoy expanded storage space, simple file navigation, the ability to download YouTube videos, and a host of tools to turn the iKlips app into a unified multimedia experience. What’s more, the 64GB red version of the iKlips II is currently on sale for 12% off, bringing the price down to $69.