Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB

The smallest OTG USB drive we've seen to date, perfect for transferring data from your computer to your mobile device

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Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB
  • Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB
  • Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB
  • Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Very small
  • Simple to use
  • Great for adding storage to a supported phone or tablet

Cons

  • Its size can sometimes make it hard to remove from laptop or PC USB ports

Bottom Line

Strontium's Nitro On-The-Go USB is the smallest drive of its like that we've tested to date. It makes it easy to carry around more music and movie files than your mobile device can usually handle, and it's also a good tool for backing up files such as photos from your phone.

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Strontium is a company that makes memory modules and USB flash drives for desktop and laptop computers, as well as flash memory cards for mobile devices and cameras. It's a name that's hardly known in Australia unless you shop at PC stores (the company has a better presence in New Zealand), but it's planning to make a noticeable splash in the Aussie retail market with products that offer plenty of bang for your buck.

One of the nifty little products on offer from Strontium is the Nitro On-The-Go (OTG) USB stick that can be used to quickly and easily get data on and off a smartphone and tablet — as long as that smartphone and tablet also support the On-The-Go USB specification. The Strontium Nitro On-The-Go USB is one of the smallest we've seen so far in this product category, measuring barely 25mm from end to end.

Like all On-The-Go USB sticks, it can be plugged into a regular USB port on a computer, and then plugged directly into the micro-USB port of a compatible smartphone or tablet device (though not at the same time, of course). This allows you to easily transfer data between devices without attaching a cable or going through the Cloud.

There are no fiddly bits on Strontium's USB stick, so you don't have to flip anything around or slide the stick one way or the other to expose one of the ends — both ends are always visible. One end simply plugs into a computer, and the other end plugs into a portable device. That's all there is to it, and that makes it a convenient product to use.

Sitting in a Samsung Galaxy S5.
Sitting in a Samsung Galaxy S5.

It sticks out as far as the flap that covers the phone's USB port.
It sticks out as far as the flap that covers the phone's USB port.

One more shot for good measure.
One more shot for good measure.

While the stick itself is metal, there is a little plastic cap that's sits on the micro-USB end of it when it's not in use, and this cap can be attached to to a keyring via the supplied chain so that the stick can be with you at all times.

Being so small, there is one problem that you might come across: when the stick is plugged into a PC or notebook computer, it can sometimes be difficult to get a good grasp on it to unplug it. There is a texture on one side of the stick that acts as grip, and you have to make sure you grab this firmly and pull it out with conviction.

We looked at the 16GB version of the Nitro On-The-Go USB stick, which is as low a capacity as you'll want to go (though there is an 8GB version available, too). We recommend going for the 32GB capacity, purely because you can then take more stuff with you on the road and access it as easy as you like. The size of the stick makes it discreet, so instead of transferring data from it to the internal memory of your device and then unplugging it, you could just keep it plugged in to your device while listening to music or watching videos off it. We used it this way primarily as a way to save space on our Samsung Galaxy S5 (even though we also have a microSD card installed in that smartphone).

To access files on the Strontium Nitro On-The-Go stick, you will have to make sure that a file explorer is installed on your mobile device, and we used one called My Files for this review. We could easily browse folders on the USB stick and either play files off it directly, or simply transfer files to and from our device. Note that the stick can get a little warm while data is being transferred.

We used a file manager called My Files to access the USB drive and transfered files by coping and pasting.
We used a file manager called My Files to access the USB drive and transfered files by coping and pasting.

Since the stick is based on the USB 2.0 specification, transferring files to it from a computer won't be super-fast. It averaged a rate of 7.7 megabytes per second (MBps) when writing a movie file from a computer, but it read it back to the computer at 25.3MBps. When transferring hundreds of MP3s to the Strontium from the computer, the write speed was again 7.7MBps, but the read speed was a slower 19.5MBps when transferring back to the computer.

When transferring MP3 files from the Strontium USB stick to our Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, we achieved a rate of 17.6MBps. Our movie file was transferred to the phone at a rate of 16.9MBps.

That's pretty much all there is to this drive. Pick one up if you want something small and simple to use that can add much needed capacity to your smartphone or tablet, and also facilitate much more convenient file transfers. It's good for backing up data from your mobile device when you're travelling, so you can easily keep copies of your photos, home videos, and sound bites, and it's perfect for bringing along more music and movie files than your device's internal memory can handle.

The 8GB version has a price of $14.95, the 16GB we've reviewed here is $22.95, and the 32GB is $39.95.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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