Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive review: Simplify your storage

Simplify your storage with this tiny Samsung USB-C flash drive [Review]

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Simplify your storage with a tiny Samsung USB-C flash drive★★★★
Samsung's flash drive plugs into an iPad Pro as easily as it does any Mac.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive adds up to 256GB of additional storage to Mac desktops and notebooks as well as most types of iPad. It can be easily switched among all of these, and other computers, too.

I tested the tiny drive with multiple devices, and it stood up quite well. Here’s why I love this speedy little accessory.

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Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive review

The sun is setting on USB Type-A. You should switch to USB Type-C as soon as is convenient. It’ll make your life easier.

Just the fact that USB-C is reversible justifies the change to me. You’ll never find yourself trying to plug an accessory in upside down, as you can with the old Type-A connector. There is no upside down.

But the main reason you should embrace USB-C is because Apple already has. You’ll find this type of port in every Mac and most types of iPads. It’s reportedly coming to iPhone, too.

You can load up Samsung’s tiny flash drive with your files and you’re ready to access them on all these devices. This can be a collection of PDFs to take to work, Word documents to take to school or movies to take to the beach. Or all of these and more.

Small enough to fit on your keys

I often call flash drives “thumbdrives” because they used to be about the size of a thumb. They’re a lot smaller now – the Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive is about half the size of my pinkie.

It’s a mere 1.3 inches by 0.6 in. by 0.3 in. (33mm x 16mm x 8 mm) and 0.2 oz. (3.4g) with the cap on. It’s easily small enough to put on your key ring.

In fact, it’s so tiny that I recommend you connect it to something so you don’t lose it. There’s a minute hole in the drive so you can run a cord through it.

There’s also a hole in the cap that protects the drive’s USB-C connector. I ran a string through both so I could be sure not to lose the cap.

Don’t worry about exposing the pinkiedrive to harsh conditions as you’re carrying it around. Samsung promises it’ll survive being left in shallow seawater for 3 days, or it can withstand 1500 G. You don’t have to worry about taking it through an airport X-ray, and all the magnetic power of an MRI won’t erase it.

Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive review
The Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive is too small to be a thumbdrive. Call it a “pinkiedrive” instead.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Works with almost any USB device

The USB-C connector is undoubtedly superior to the USB-A one. But it’s also backward compatible. With an inexpensive adapter, you can plug the Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive into any device with a Type-A port.

I tested it with a couple of mine to confirm. The drive worked just fine with a portable Wi-Fi router. For a more fun test, I connected the drive to my iPhone though Apple’s USB-A adapter and it worked perfectly.

Just keep in mind, transfer speeds will be lower with most older devices. And speaking of transfer speeds…

Plenty fast enough

Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive is available in either 64GB, 128GB or 256GB capacities. That’s a lot of space. Plenty of room for some big files.

The drive offers USB 3.1, so it has a theoretical max speed of 10 Gbps. But I tested the data transfer speeds under real-world conditions to show what you should expect.

Copying a 1 GB file from the drive to my computer took 5 seconds. Copying the same files from my computer to the drive took 12 seconds.

Next, I copied a collection of six files totaling 10.6 GB from Samsung’s drive to my computer – this took 44 seconds. Moving the collection from my computer to the drive happened in 115 seconds… just under 2 minutes.

In real-world conditions, I’m getting about 2 Gbps. That’s nothing to complain about from an inexpensive USB Type-C flash drive mostly aimed at consumers.

Even after moving around these big file collections, the drive was only slightly warm.

Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive final thoughts

Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive with USB-A drives
USB-A drives are typically a lot larger than USB-C ones.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s never going to be another MacBook with a USB-A port. Never. You won’t find one on an iMac, either. And the idea of an iPad or iPhone with USB-A is ridiculous. So it makes no sense to buy USB-A drives. They’re always going to be an extra hassle for Apple users. Samsung’s tiny USB-C drive is a better option.

Especially if you’re carrying around important files on a collection of 2 GB thumbdrives you’ve had for a decade. If that sounds familiar, you really should be in the market for something better. It’ll cost you less than you might think.

★★★★

Pricing

The Samsung USB Type-C Flash Drive starts at just $12.99 for the 64 GB version. The 128GB one of $22.99, while the 256GB version is $39.99.

Buy from: Samsung

Buy from: Amazon

To get a faster USB-C thumbdrive with more capacity, consider the Kingston DataTraveler Max. It’s not as tiny but offers capacities up to 1TB. And higher data transfer speeds because it supports USB 3.2.. Read my review for more details.

Samsung provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.