Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Review
Almost 6 months ago we have tested Kingston MobileLite Wireless and we concluded that it needed a few adjustments, especially regarding the battery life. We are glad to see that MobileLite G2 conformed to our request, this time being equipped with a 4640 mAh battery (the first MobileLite only had 1800 mAh).
Kingston MobileLite G2 is a device that serves the following functions: charger, mini-router and data-storage. The gadget allows you to charge your smartphone, tablet or any other mobile device that supports USB charging; it can work as a router or WiFi extender and it can store the data from the mobile devices connected to it to an USB pendrive or SD card. The price is approximately the same as the first MobileLite version, which is around 45 Euro.
We will continue our review by discussing the design and functions of the device, followed by a short presentation of the software apps and the tests that interest us the most, namely autonomy and transfer speeds from USB, micro-SD and Internet via WiFi.
Box and accessories
The box in which MobileLite G2 is delivered is similar to that of the initial version of MobileLite. On the box we can see the main features and information about the product. Inside we find a short USB-microUSB cable, a Kingston SD-microSD adapter and the warranty papers.
Design and build
The design and build of the new MobileLite are much more appropriate and attractive than those of the first generation. On the other hand, the situation didn’t change much when it comes to size: 130mm x 80mm x 19mm and 171 grams. On the upper part we can find the Kingston logo, with all the ports and LEDs being positioned on the sides of the device. And since we have mentioned the ports, MobileLite has an ethernet port, one USB 2.0, one micro-USB and one card-reader with support for SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC.
The ethernet port can be used to connect the device to a wired connection and converting it into a wireless network, just like a WiFi router. The USB port can be used together with a pendrive to facilitate the transfer of data between MobileLite G2 and the devices that it is connected to, or with a 3/4G dongle.
The MobileLite application received an UI update for iOS 7 to better integrate with the new Apple UI design and I have to say that it looks better than its Android counterpart.
MobileLite Wireless does not offer access to a management interface like any other WiFi router. The only method of access to its settings is by using the apps from AppStore (iOS), Play Store (Android) or Amazon (Kindle). Of course, a notebook can connect to the WiFi network hosted by MobileLite and can access the content of the microSD card or the pendrive, but, you wouldn’t be able to access or see any other information regarding the network.
On the other side, on a smartphone or tablet we can find in the MobileLite app the Settings tab where we have information regarding the WiFi network used and evidently this is where we can also change them. For example, the network name (SSID), the WiFi channel used, SSID visibility, WPA2 security, all of these can be changed from Settings. We can also see information about the firmware version, estimated battery level, and we can also connect the device to a WiFi network with Internet access.
Through the use of the MobileLite application, users can have access to the microSD and USB pendrive content, the file formats supported being: mp3, wav, m4v, mp4, jpg, tif, pdf. Of course, on the card or pendrive we can store any other file format (mkv, avi etc) but in order to play or read them they’d have to be supported by the smartphone or tablet. The microSD and USB pendrive can also be used as storage space for any mobile device or for backups. For example, on iOS it was very easy to import a folder with pictures on the microSD card. We’re certain that on Android, with the help of a file management application, we could perform even more complex operations.
The first test we did was to check the autonomy of the 4640 mAh battery using two scenarios. First benchmark of the autonomy was the charging of an iPhone 5 (1440 mAh) from 0% to 100%. The charging was completed with about 2% per minute until 80%. The complete charging process from 0% to 100% took 2 hours and 13 minutes, and the gadget’s battery was slightly under 50%. Thus we concluded that MobileLite G2 can charge an iPhone 5 twice or it can provide one charge for any other device that uses a battery up to 3000 mAh.
The second autonomy scenario was the one where we used MobileLite G2 as a WiFi router. A moderate usage (meaning only browsing and some HD streaming) on two devices (notebook and smartphone) allowed us to reach 14 hours of autonomy – in other words, enough for a full day of work.
After testing the autonomy, we have tested the transfer speeds of the WiFi network from different storage mediums (SD card, USB pendrive, Internet). For this test we have used a MacBook Pro (late 2013), a Samsung micro-SDHC Class10 16GB card, an USB-3.0 Corsair Voyager 16GB pendrive and a test file of 870 MB. Our internet connection speed is 15 MB (or 120 Mb) used with a TP-Link WDR-3600 WiFi router.
MobileLite was positioned 30 cm away from the main router and notebook, and the microSD card and USB pendrive were previously tested on the notebook. In the chart below you can clearly see the difference between the copy speeds of the test file from the external medium to notebook. The results are expressed in MB/s.
MobileLite G2 is a much more polished product then the first generation we have tested six months ago. We know it sounds like a truism, but this is not always the case – there are devices that have similar or worse performance than their previous counter parts. I might be wrong when I say that MobileLite G2 is a reiteration of the first MobileLite since on Kingston’s website both products are listed as available, side by side, so it might be possible that both are sold in parallel, although we don’t see the benefit for consumers.
G2 is undoubtedly better than the first MobileLite, it has a 2.5x bigger battery and offers a battery life of up to 14 hours if used as a WiFi router. As a side note, I have also tested the scenario where I charged the iPhone 5 from 0% to 98%, after which I was able to continue to use MobileLite G2 as a WiFi router for 8 more hours before its battery drained to 0%. Another added bonus, unlike the first MobileLite, G2 also has an ethernet port.
The speed of the WiFi network when we were transferring files from the MobileLite G2 (regardless if we were transferring from Internet or the storage medium – USB pendrive or micro-SD card) is quite slow, reaching an average of 3 MB/s, and when the distance between the MobileLite G2 and the mobile devices it is connected to increases, the transfer speed will decrease.
Even so, MobileLite Wireless G2 offers quite a lot at a decent price – around 43-45 Euro on Amazon.