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Kingston Bolt Duo Snap Verdict
Once in a while, you come across a product that you never realised you needed, for example, the Kingston Bolt Duo.
It’s essentially additional photo and video storage for your iPhone. It works by plugging into the Lightning port on your iOS device and then by using the Bolt app you can transfer images and videos from your phone / tablet to free up space.
It can also be used as direct storage. This works by using the Bolt app’s camera to take video or images rather than the normal iOS camera app. All image files are then stored directly to the Bolt Duo bypassing the phones storage.
Once your mass storage needs are complete, then unplug, and pop somewhere safe until you need it again.
Handy, small, lightweight and far cheaper than an iPhone upgrade.
For Kingston Bolt DUO
- Increase storage for iPhone
- Easy to use app
- Small and lightweight
Against Kingston Bolt DUO
- Not USB-C
- Easy to loose
If like me you’re an iPhone user then you’ll know the frustration of running out of storage. It used to happen to me on an almost daily basis, and in the end, I had a choice, swap to Android or upgrade the iPhone.
In the end, I reluctantly upgraded, the same phone as before just several hundreds of pounds more expensive and all so I could get an additional 112GB of storage.
This is where the Kingston Bolt Duo comes into play; it gives iPhone or iPad owners another option, in the same way, Android owners like to demonstrate the use of a £10 MicroSD card.
The Kingston Bolt Duo is available in three versions, 32, 64 or 128GB capacities and cost between £49 – £79 / $89 – $199. In this review, I’m looking at the 64GB version.
The Duo part of the name comes from the dual connectors, Lighting to plug into your iPhone / iPad on one side and USB 3.1 on the other.
The main body of the Bolt Duo is made from metal and weighs in at 7.2g; there’s also a small rubber case that can be fitted around the Bolt to keep it safe. Once the case is added the weight increases slightly to 14.4g.
The size, like the weight, is small at just 40.7 x 12.2 x 7mm or 65 x 20 x 11mm with the case.
As well as the primary hardware there’s also the app, and this is compatible with any iOS device that runs iOS 9.0 or newer.
[nextpage title=”Build & Handling” ]
Build quality and handling
The full metal build of the Bolt DUO gives the product a premium feel, making it solid and robust despite the small size and weight.
The main hardware is finished in a matt metal look with the small bolt logo and aesthetic shaping that makes it easy to insert into both the iOS device or computer.
The small rubber case supplied with the Duo comfortably fits around the Duo and in turn can then be attached to a key ring so that it’s always with you.
The case itself is nicely made, but I did feel the fit was a little too loose for my liking.
Although the Duo never popped out of the case completely, there were a couple of occasions when connected to a key ring the Lightning side of the Duo did pop out. I found that due to the compact size and weight it was ideal to keep stored in my wallet rather than on the key ring.
In use the connection is straightforward enough, simply plug into the bottom of the iOS device in the same way you would normally attach the charging cable.
Taking a look at the app and you have a selection of choices. The first is to transfer Photos and Videos over to the Bolt.
To start the copying, all you need to do is follow the onscreen instructions, and you can select to keep or delete the files from the iOS once the process is complete.
The two other options are to ‘Capture’ either Photo’s or video or ‘View’ the files that have been transferred to the Bolt Duo.
Once you finish using the Bolt, it can then be unplugged.
The other end of the Bolt Duo is USB 3.0 which can be plugged into most computers or a Mac with the help of an adapter.
Once plugged in the Bolt Duo appears as any other external drive with two folders; Bolt Camera and iPhone camera, these folders can then be accessed in the same way as any other drive.
[nextpage title=”Performance” ]
Once the Bolt is plugged in, aside from the physical protrusion from the base of your iOS device it’s all very neat.
As the Bolt Duo is designed to work with Photo’s and Videos the process of either copying from the iOS device to the Bolt Duo or to record directly to the Bolt Duo is straightforward.
Starting the test I downloaded all images from my iPhone to the Bolt, this process took about an hour as there were several hundred images to transfer.
Later backups to the Bolt Duo took far less time.
Reviewing the Photo’s and videos from the Bolt Duo is all done through the app rather than through iOS’s photo and video apps.
The Bolt app is fast and responsive enabling you to quickly review your images and playback video clips with ease.
As with many apps once you select an image or video clip as well as reviwing you also have the option to share through your list of selected platforms and apps.
[nextpage title=”Verdict” ]
The initial transfer of data from the iPhone to the Bolt Duo took sometime but once done successively transfers were far more speedy.
Initially, I also felt that it would have been nice. For the Bolt Duo to be a little broader with its compatibility. So that I could store documents and music, but then, this is a photosentric device.
After a couple of weeks using and briefly losing the Bolt Duo, I realised that this was a device that I will continue to use.
The additional storage was and an absolute godsend when my iPhone ran out of space on a shoot, and when I lost it for a couple of days I really did feel lost without it.
The ease of use of the app and features keep things simple and limiting it to the use with just photos and videos made sense.
My only issue was with the case that although nicely made didn’t keep hold of the Bolt Duo as securely as it should have done.
However, after losing track of the Bolt Duo for just a few days, I realised just how much I had come to rely on that additional storage.
If you have an iPhone or iPad and continually run out of space then before you upgrade or switch to Android take a look at the excellent Bolt Duo.
For more details on the Kingston Bolt Duo check out the Kingston website.