Eye-Fi Mobile X2 8GB review

Price when reviewed

Eye-Fi’s SD cards are a technological marvel. As well as a good dollop of flash memory, the company manages to cram Wi-Fi technology into its cards’ slim plastic cases, allowing you to transfer photos wirelessly to your PC without ever having to take the card out of your camera.

Eye-Fi Mobile X2 8GB review

The new Eye-Fi Mobile X2 8GB adds a Direct Mode to the card’s toolkit which, when coupled with the free Eye-Fi app (compatible with both iOS and Android devices), gives it the ability to transfer files straight to your smartphone or tablet.

As with previous Eye-Fi cards, setup is a little convoluted. You first need to install the Eye-Fi software from the card on a PC, create an Eye-Fi account, then sign in on the app before you can link it with your home network and, finally, your phone or tablet.

Once that’s done, however, it all works very well. Whenever you’re in range of your home network, the card uploads photos directly to the designated device – PC, phone or tablet – via your router. When you’re out and about, it switches modes and transfers directly to the memory of your mobile device.

Once photos are copied across, you can then set them to upload automatically to all manner of social networking sites and other online services, including Facebook, flickr, Picasa, Evernote and SmugMug. The card’s Endless Memory mode, meanwhile, automatically frees up card space, deleting transferred images when a user-definable threshold is reached.

Eye-Fi Mobile X2 8GB

Performance is surprisingly good. We plugged the card into a Sony NEX-3 and fired off ten quick shots. After a short delay establishing the connection, the card started copying the camera’s 14-megapixel JPEGs to our Android smartphone at a rate of around one every six seconds. That’s good enough for most casual snappers.

There are some irritations, however. The first is that the Mobile X2 won’t transfer RAW files, only JPEGs and video. If you want that capability you have to buy one of the more expensive Pro cards. The card has the ability to geotag your photos, based on Wi-Fi hotspot location data, but this is an optional, pay-for upgrade.

A final gripe surrounds the marketing of the card. You might think, from the name, that direct mode is available only with this model. In fact, the cheaper 4GB Connect X2 also sports the feature.

The Eye-Fi Mobile X2 is certainly ingenious, and the fact it provides a convenient way of quickly viewing photos on the larger, higher quality screen of a tablet or phone will undoubtedly appeal to many. But the somewhat arbitrary restrictions on the files it can transfer, plus the high price of £85, are offputting.

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