With its iXpand Wireless Charger, SanDisk wants to make life easier for smartphone users with a wireless charger which also offers an automatic photo and video backup function. The Western Digital subsidiary already had a similar offer in its catalog, but wired. The wireless system consists of a space-saving tray and an AC adapter. It is compatible with the iPhone 8 (and higher), the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge (and higher), the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (and higher), as well as with any other smartphone conforming to the Qi standard, for example Google Pixel 3 and 4.
We first wanted to review the wireless charging function of the device. For this, we used the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which we had already used for another review of wireless chargers. The results obtained for a full charge are as follows:
- Samsung wired charger (15 W): 1 h 47 min
- Samsung Wireless Charger Duo wireless charger (15 W): 2 h 38 min
- SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger (10 W): 4 h 55 min
- Mophie wireless charger (7.5 W): 5 h 24 min
- Belkin Boost Up wireless charger (7.5 W): 7 h 50 min
The SanDisk charger achieves decent performance, but does not equal the Samsung model, which fully exploits the 15 W accepted by the Galaxy Note 9 (the iPhone is clamped at 7.5 W). It’s just a shame that the status LED is in the wrong place, which prevents you from seeing it when looking at the tray from above.
Mandatory app for backup
To use the backup function, you must download and install the SanDisk iXpand Charger app, available in iOS and Android versions. A wizard makes it easy to configure the function, but requires activating the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi interfaces, as well as location on the smartphone. The charger uses the home Wi-Fi network (with a single flat it does not detect 5 GHz networks). It can also establish a direct link if you do not have Wi-Fi at home.
SanDisk strives for ease and achieves its goal. As soon as the smartphone is placed on the tray, the app automatically transfers the photos, videos and even the contacts from the smartphone to the tray’s flash memory (128 GB or 256 GB depending on the version). You can also define which category should be saved. You can then view the transferred items and optionally restore them (if you have deleted them from the smartphone).
The app also makes it easy to free up space on the smartphone and indicates the presence of large files, for example large videos.
Micro USB port, but no cable
And when the flash memory of the wireless charger is full, it is possible to transfer its content to a computer using the micro USB port provided for this purpose.
The iXpand Wireless Charger is then considered as a USB key and it is not necessary to power it to access the photos and videos. However, given the price of its product (more than 180 euros), we regret that SanDisk does not deliver the micro USB cable.