3 star rating

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD Review

Pros: Intuitive app design; Backs up and restores contacts; Compatible with OS X Windows and Linux
Cons: Slow USB 2.0 performance; Expensive
The Verdict: PhotoFast's i-FlashDrive HD USB drive allows you to easily transfer files from your Apple mobile device to a PC, but you'll have to be patient.



The primary purpose of a USB flash drive is to make it easier to transfer files on the go, and PhotoFast's i-FlashDrive HD takes that concept to another level. It's the only USB drive of its kind that features an integrated Lightning dock connector, which means you won't have to search for Wi-Fi or a USB stick and an adapter to transfer photos from your iPhone or iPad to a PC. But is the convenience worth the $170 price?

Article Continued Below


PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDThe PhotoFast i-FlashDrive sports a sleek design with a white, glossy plastic body. It features the same shiny white exterior that's become the staple of Apple's accessories and chargers. On one end you'll find a USB 2.0 plug and on the other is a removable Lightning dock connector compatible with Apple's iPhone 5, iPad 3 and iPad 4. The 9-pin connector acts as a cap that comes off to reveal the 30-pin dock connector for previous generation Apple products.

Measuring 2 x 1 x 0.3 inches and weighing only 0.6 ounces, the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive fits into the palm of your hand with ease.


PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDAfter plugging the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive into your iPhone or iPad, it prompts you to download its accompanying app. After the installation, you can begin transferring and managing files immediately.

PhotoFast's utility app is smooth, intuitive and organized, resembling the interface you would find in an iOS Settings menu. When opening the app you're greeted with four options: You can choose to back up your contacts, view files on your iOS device, add files to the flash drive, or use the cloud to interact with your Dropbox account.

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDHowever, we found the Dropbox integration to be sluggish and buggy when we tried to connect our account. Pressing the "Dropbox" button directs users to a screen where they are asked to enter their email address and password, but the app froze on multiple occasions when we tried to do this.

The PhotoFast app makes it easy to create folders and port photos from your device. A "+" symbol at the bottom of the screen launches a sub-menu of actions. Clicking the "From Library" option automatically breaks down your photo gallery into three neat options: Camera Roll, Instagram and My Photo Stream. After choosing a photo, the app lets you customize the image quality and photo size before transferring it to the drive. The i-Flash Drive took no time to copy a 1.09 MB photo at the highest image quality from our iPhone 5.

PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDThe "From Clipboard" option will create a new file in the Local Storage category and paste any text you've copied from a Web browser or the iPhone's Notes application. The drive also offers an option to record voice memos, and you can also choose to back up or restore your contacts through the "Contact Backup" option on the Home screen.

Moving and copying files to different sections of the device was a breeze. The top of the screen contains Home and Edit options, and the edit button allows you to delete, move, copy or email any file.

You can also choose to password protect your files by pressing the lock icon at the bottom of the screen. After pressing the button, you can select files to lock and create a password to access them.

While the i-FlashDrive app supports MP3 music files, there's no way to retrieve music from your iPhone or iPad. You can, however, copy music from your desktop or laptop to the flash drive. The app also features an integrated music player that will play back songs; it sports an interface similar to iOS' native music player.


PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDAlthough the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive impressed us with its user-friendly app, it performs slowly compared to USB 3.0 drives. During our LAPTOP File Transfer test, it took 18 minutes and 9 seconds to copy a 5GB folder of multimedia files from our notebook to the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive, equaling a rate of 4.7 MBps. This is far slower than other flash drives such as the Patriot Supersonic, which performed the same task in 2 minutes and 4 seconds (41.3 MBps).

The PhotoFast i-Flash Drive copied files to our notebook much quicker, executing the task in 5 minutes and 4 seconds (16.7 MBps). However, this is still slower than the Patriot's speedy Memory Supersonic (93.1 MBps).


Not only does the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive perform slowly when transferring files, but it's also pricier than standard USB 3.0 drives. The device comes in four configurations: 8GB for $99, 16GB for $150 ($170 with the Lightning tip), 32GB for $200 (Lightning tip included) and 64GB for $329 (Lightning tip included).

By comparison, the 32GB Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 stick costs just $39 on Newegg, and Apple sells a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter for $29 on its site.


PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HDThe PhotoFast i-Flash Drive makes it fairly easy to transfer files to and from your iPhone or iPad and PC. With a standard thumb drive, you'll miss out on the intuitive and fluid user experience of managing files that PhotoFast's app offers. It's up to you to decide if this convenience is worth the high price tag and middling transfer speeds.

Tags: PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD, photofast, portable storage drives, usb flash drives, reviews

Technical Specifications
PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD

Rotational Speed
Seek Time
Read/Write Speed
Storage TypeUSB Hard Drive
Size2 x 1 x 0.3 inches
Weight0.6 ounces
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she's not reviewing gadgets, she's usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer on
Twitter Google+
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options