iPhone 15-Ready: Choosing the Perfect Portable SSD
The USB-C port on the iPhone 15 series opens up new possibilities for accessories such as USB drives, microphones, mouse and keyboard, monitors, and even reverse charging for devices like AirPods. Although USB drives can meet the needs of most people in terms of capacity, what if you want to take it a step further? That's where the portable SSD comes in!
Portable SSDs offer superior speed and compact size compared to USB drives and external hard drives. They provide faster data transfer and are highly portable due to their small form factor.
In addition, according to Apple's official support page, portable SSDs with power higher than 4.5W are not recommended. Combining this with our previous iPhone 15 USB-C reverse charging test, it can be confirmed that the maximum reverse output power for the iPhone 15 series is around 5W. Therefore, ChargerLAB introduces several portable SSDs that are compatible with the iPhone 15 series and have good reputations for quality. The ranking is in alphabetical order.
Crucial X8 Portable SSD
First, we have an SSD from Crucial, which is one of the best-selling products among Amazon's portable SSDs. This little gadget has a simple appearance with rounded edges for a comfortable grip. It's lightweight at 100g and can withstand a 7.5ft drop – a remarkable feat that places it first in our buying guide! It comes in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities and offers a 3-year limited warranty worldwide.
In terms of performance, it supports the USB 3.2 Gen-2 (10Gb/s) standard, with official sequential read speeds of around 1000MB/s and user-tested sequential write speeds of about 500MB/s, which should meet the requirements of the iPhone 15 Pro series. It also includes a dual USB-C (10Gb/s) cable and a 5Gb/s adapter, making it suitable for most ordinary users.
LaCie Portable SSD with USB 3.2 Gen 2
This LaCie portable SSD resembles a power bank with its distinctive slanted design on the top and bottom, which provides high recognition and protection for the USB-C port in case of falls. It is very lightweight at 45g and is even available on the Apple official website, a testament to its quality. The product is available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities and includes a three-year limited warranty and data recovery services.
In terms of performance, as the name suggests, it has USB 3.2 Gen2 transfer specifications, with maximum read and write speeds of around 1000MB/s. And you can easily connect it to Windows, Mac, and iPad right away with USB-C for quick compatibility. That means it's compatible with your iPhone 15 series.
SanDisk Portable SSD
Next is a product from SanDisk, a leader in the flash memory industry. This SSD has a surface with numerous small holes, presumably for heat dissipation, and a lanyard attachment for easy portability. It weighs less than 40g and comes in 480GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, along with a three-year limited warranty.
In terms of performance, it supports the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard, with a maximum read speed of 800MB/s. It also incorporates 256-bit AES encryption, providing protection against security threats while you're traveling. Additionally, it's designed to withstand one of the most common types of damage for portable SSDs – impact, as it can endure drops of up to 6.6 feet, not too shabby. Whether you look at Amazon reviews or consult the customer service, it's clear that this SSD is compatible with the iPhone 15 series.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
This model, as the name suggests, appears to be an upgraded version of the previous one. It also features the dense small hole design, and the embedded lanyard attachment in the upper right corner appears to integrate the previous red lanyard into the case, maintaining a consistent design. It weighs around 40g. What sets it apart is the availability of super-high capacities, including 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, offering a range of options. Furthermore, it provides a five-year limited warranty. Notably, it ranked first on Amazon's sales charts in October, the reliability just speak for itself.
It boasts NVMe technology for read and write speeds of around 1000MB/s. It also has features like drop resistance of up to 6.6 ft, 256-bit AES encryption, and IP55 water and dust resistance, making it suitable for outdoor activities. It naturally supports the iPhone 15 series and is ideal for users with high demands, such as professional photographers.
Samsung T7 Portable External SSD Series
This Samsung SSD comes in three variants: the base model, touch, and shield. The shield model is suitable for travelers and campers, with IP65 dust and water resistance and the ability to withstand drops of up to 9.8ft. The touch variant features a fingerprint unlock function for added privacy. The base model is suitable for general use. They come in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB for the shield model, and 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB for the other two, with a three-year limited warranty.
The drive itself is capable of reaching speeds of up to 1,000MB/s for both reading and writing data. It comes with both dual USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables included in the box, making it versatile and compatible with various devices. This means it not only meets the high requirements of the iPhone 15 Pro series but can also connect to PCs, Macs, and more. User reviews on major shopping websites confirm its seamless compatibility with the iPhone 15 series, highlighting its reliability and performance.
Samsung T9 Portable External SSD Series
Apart from the special textured surface designed for slip resistance, there is minimal visual difference between the T9 and T7 models, which is why both models can only withstand drops of up to 6 feet. Additionally, the T9 model is equipped with the Dynamic Thermal Guard feature, which efficiently minimizes performance reduction during extended workloads, ensuring optimal performance even under heavy usage. It is available in three capacities: 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, and comes with a five-year limited warranty.
Where the T9 truly shines is its performance. It supports the USB 3.2 Gen2x2 standard, delivering a whopping read and write speeds of around 2000MB/s, which is double the highest transfer performance of the iPhone 15 Pro. With this SSD, you can meet your iPhone storage needs for at least the next three years. It also comes with dual USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables.
Western Digital My Passport Portable SSD
The Western Digital SSD features a smooth, metallic front and an unexpected plastic back, likely for weight reduction or cost-saving. It weighs 45g and is available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with a five-year limited warranty.
It uses NVMe technology along with the USB 3.2 Gen2 standard, offering read and write speeds of around 1000MB/s. It comes with a USB-C cable and USB-A adapter, making it environmentally friendly.
Summary of ChargerLAB
In some cases, portable SSDs may not be recognized or may experience slow transfer speeds due to insufficient power supply. You can resolve this by connecting a corresponding docking station and providing power to your phone. And it's important to note that Apple officially supports USB drive formats such as APFS (Apple-specific), exFAT, and FAT32. So if you want to use it on your PC or Android phones, you should format your portable SSD as the universal exFAT or FAT32.
Looking at the warranty aspect, only the more expensive models such as SanDisk Extreme, Samsung T9, and the Western Digital model come with a five-year limited warranty. If you're a user who values the importance of data security, the longer warranty can provide a certain level of assurance. However, if you're just using the SSD to store some game files for PS4 or Xbox One, a three-year warranty should be sufficient.
Regarding capacity choices, you can opt for as low as 128GB or go as high as 4TB. In recent years, the price per gigabyte for SSDs has consistently decreased. In fact, according to Backblaze, from 2017 to November 2022, the average cost per gigabyte decreased by 56.36% for all drives, dropping from $0.033 to $0.0144. This means it's a great opportunity to purchase high-capacity storage, so we recommend selecting versions with 1TB or more.
Considering transfer rates, the SanDisk portable SSD offers read and write speeds of around 500MB/s, suitable for the iPhone 15 series' base model. The Samsung T9, on the other hand, offers read and write speeds of around 2000MB/s, far exceeding the requirements of the iPhone 15 Pro series or higher-end devices. The remaining models fall within the 1000MB/s range, making them perfectly suitable for the Pro series.
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