While at Pepcom-San Francisco Kington’s representative introduced us to Kingston’s second-generation MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 battery charger and storage device. We were hoping for a significant improvement over the first generation. We were not very enthusiastic about last year’s first generation MobileLite Wireless unit. It was strictly a wireless card reader with internet pass thru capability, plus a portable battery for charging your mobile devices. The case design and functionality left a lot of room for improvement. We have Verizon’s expensive LTE data service which is great stateside. Other BSN* editors have wireless coverage from carriers that work best at their stateside offices. However, our editors travel outside the USA and several of them live in other countries. So stateside wireless data package coverage suddenly disappears or becomes outlandishly expensive.
This is where the Kingston MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 steps up to store that data until you can get somewhere convenient to transfer it. It also extends your storage, streams your media, charges your devices, reads from USBs and SD cards, and allows you to connect to the web with it acting as a portable router. For those of you shooting multi-megabyte RAW photos with a Canon or Nikon DSLR camera, simply put your SDHC card into the MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2. It will easily store those images until you get back to a place with a secure high-speed WiFi or wired network. Then you switch over to your second SDHC card and continue shooting the event. If you have a partner with you, they can take the MobileLite G2 with your SDHC card in it to the nearest secure WiFi and send the images and data files to your home or office webserver via FTP.
With its built-in 3.8v Li-ion battery at 4640 mAh, it can last for up to 13 hours of continuous use. That will keep your mobile devices alive, until you get back to your car or a location with 110V shore power.
Kingston’s package explains the features on the front and inside flap of the box.
Just three items are in the box: a 1.5 foot USB 2.0 cable, a microSD to SD card adapter, and the MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 device. You will have to download the Kingston MobileLite Wireless app from the appropriate app store – Google Play, Apple App Store, or Amazon Apps. We tested the MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 application with the HTC One M8 (Android 4.4.4).
There is no documentation with the unit. You have to go to Kingston’s website for the manual. Your data storage is with an SD card, either the micro-SD format using an adapter or a standard SD card. For this review, we are using the Kingston 32GB SDHC Class 10 card with 30MB/S transfer capability.
The Kingston MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 includes 3G USB dongle support for direct connections and is compatible with Android 4.0+, iPad (2, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen, mini, Air), iPhone 4/4S/5, iPod Touch (iOS 7+), Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD. When connected via USB to a PC, it can act as a USB 2.0 card reader for the system. For a desktop PC, it is compatible with many operating systems including Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Mac OSX V. 10.6.X+, and Linux v. 2.6.x+. The MobileLite Wireless G2 has an 802.11 g/n WiFi access point that supports WPA2 data encryption. WiFi is one of the ways to access the MobileLite G2 when using a smartphone or tablet, thus having a fast and secure 802.xx connection is important.
The white bezel has six buttons, LEDs, and ports. Below from left to right, first is the battery LED/ power which indicate remaining battery time. Pressing the larger white Power button (fourth from left) makes the LED change colors. Green indicates 51 percent to 100 percent battery charge is remaining. Orange indicates 25 percent to 50 percent remaining, and red indicates less than 25 percent battery charge is remaining. Next is WiFi LED which indicates current status of WiFi broadcast. The next LED to the right is for Bridged that lets you know if the MobileLite G2 is bridged to an Internet gateway via WiFi or with the Ethernet cable port.
The larger Power button turns the MobileLite G2 on or off with a short one second press. Holding the power button down for three seconds will put it into WiFi mode. Next to the right is the Reset button. Holding it down for more than 10 seconds will reset the MobileLite G2 to its original default configuration. The Micro-B USB port is a multi-function port. It is the way you charge the MobileLite G2. Or you can connect to a standard USB port on your computer for data transfer. The microUSB port is to charge the device’s internal 4640 mAh battery. The battery charge status indicator LED makes sure you charge the MobileLite G2 before you walk out your home/office door.
On the opposite side of the white bezel is the Ethernet port. Using a standard Cat 5e/6 cable you can connect the MobileLite G2 to your wired network. This allows you to create a hotspot for wireless Internet access. On the end of the white bezel is the SD card slot and a USB 2.0 port. The USB port works with the USB Standard Type A plug, the most common USB male end connector.
Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 app on our HTC One M8 was minimalistic. There is no GUI, it is just like an old-fashioned bare bones file directory app. This is the place where we went back to the 13 page owner’s manual. It was not very informative. The manual could use some better examples. We suggest Kingston partner with a software developer to build a full-featured GUI application. That would take care of the only short coming we found. Using our 14Mbps WiFi connection at 100 feet distance we were able to quickly load multiple music files and large video files from the Cobra ultraHD dash cam (which will be our next review). The app helps you make folders for keeping track of music, videos, and data. The app does include a basic photo viewer as well as a music player.
The Kingston MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 is a light weight device which has an amazing number of features. All the Mobile G2’s features worked, however, you should allow yourself a bit of time to learn how to use them all. Pricing of the Kingston MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 at Amazon is only about five dollars more than the eyeFi Mobi 8GB WiFi card. Plus the MobileLite G2 has battery charging with up-to 13 hours of functionality and you can use any microSD or SD card for storage. BSN* rates it as a must-have for everyone, especially those readers who have one of the older smartphones or tablets without a micro-SD expansion card slot. Special thanks to Kingston for providing the MobileLite Wireless Mobile G2 charger and storage device, and the Kingston 32GB SDHC Class 10 card and to David Leong, and Shealyn Johnson for their assistance.