Jun 12, 2014
Seagate is making strides in the mobility space, and its Backup Plus Portable Drive is another sign of this goal.
This drive really, really has mobility on its mind. Size-wise, it comes in at 4.4×2.9×0.4 inches, and comes in a host of colors. We got to review the blue unit, which comes with a proprietary cable and desktop software pre-loaded.
In its overt purpose, the Backup Plus does just fine. It works great at a USB hard drive, and is able to offload or unload data back and forth from Windows computers. When connected to, say, a laptop in conventional fashion, it appears as a mapped drive, and drag and drop/copy and paste operations are seamless. It installs the Seagate Dashboard unto the host device, which acts as a management tool.
Now, where it wants to excel (and, as underscored by its size) is the ability to be a mobile resource. When paired with the companion Seagate Backup Android app, it allows specific data to be transferred wirelessly from mobile devices, as long as the drive is connected physically to a laptop or desktop on the same wi-fi network. Additionally, it is possible to sync via Dropbox and/or Google Drive via 3G and 4G. In this way, even if one is away from trusted wi-fi, one can still have some piece of mind if using the Android app. As an added feature, it’s possible to save data from Flickr, YouTube and Facebook.
The app (like the Dashboard Desktop Manager) allows for scheduled backups to occur, but for specific types: photos, videos, contacts, call log, messages and music. Scheduled backups can also be set here.
The biggest thing I would have liked is the ability to wirelessly send all type of files via the companion app. The ability to move media, messages and such is great functionality, but I would have loved to be able to move other data packets to and fro. The need to be tethered is a bit of a drawback, and it could have been somewhat alleviated by mobile OTG protocol, but the proprietary connection complicates that potential solution.
To be fair, Seagate does have the Wireless Plus, which is a great mobile option, and as such, this is clearly developed as a tethered solution with cloud compatibility.
It mostly does this very well.