25
Jun
Leef-Thumb

In today's world of widespread broadband and increasingly ubiquitous WiFi, some people frankly balk at the thought of using flash drives. Those of us who ignore the naysayers still have had to accept the reality that our trusty flash drives that proved so useful while we sat at PCs aren't quite as useful when transitioning to smartphones. A 32GB flash drive filled with music is awesome when I want to pump music from my laptop, but it's a brick when I want to listen through my phone instead. This is why the new Leef Bridge flash drive for Android devices, Macs, and PCs is a pretty big deal, despite coming in a small package.

Leef3

Leef Bridge is the first flash drive that can be plugged into both computers and Android devices. The usual USB connector sticks out of one end while a microUSB connector is tucked inside, facing in the opposite direction. Users simply slide out the port that they wish to use, similar to the SanDisk Cruzer models that have flooded the market for years now.

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The drive is compatible with Android devices with support for USB OTG running Android 4.1 or higher. This unfortunately excludes the Nexus 4, which lacks the former requirement. But when we plugged the Leef Bridge into a Galaxy Note II, Samsung's file browser opened automatically, just as we would expect if we were to plug the same drive into a PC.

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Like traditional flash drives, Leef Bridge does not transfer files between devices faster than using a dedicated cable. If you're never out of reach from a solid WiFi connection or 4G signal, you may lack the particular itch that this device scratches. That said, an internet connection doesn't hug us all as closely. Sometimes a flash drive is more reliable than a wireless signal and easier to carry than yet another bundled-up cable. There's also a certain comfort I get owning a 64GB flash drive when my primary computer, a Chromebook Pixel, only has 32GB of internal memory to work with.

Leef Bridge is initially available for purchase in the USA from Leef directly or from Amazon for a suggested retail price of $17.99 for the 16GB model and $28.99 for the 32GB model. The pricing for the 64GB model, which is expected in stock in July, will be announced upon availability. The Leef Bridge isn't too expensive, but it's admittedly still cheaper just to invest in a USB OTG cable if convenience isn't a necessity.

SAN FRANCISCO (June 25, 2013) – Leef Technology today announced Leef BridgeTM, the first USB flash drive for file sharing between Android phones and tablets, Macs and PCs. Leef Bridge is a simple, innovative USB flash drive that allows users to easily transfer files to other devices without the need for cables, cloud services, Wi-Fi or any type of data connection.

Leef Bridge features a micro USB connector and full-size USB connector that access the same memory so users can share content, photos, videos, music and documents to and from any compatible device. The memory utilized within Leef Bridge has fast read and write speeds to ensure slick video and music playback directly from the USB drive, without the interruptions or delays that accompany low-grade USB flash drive products. Designed in California by the Leef design team, Leef Bridge boasts a unique design featuring an exposed slide-and-lock tray, which enables users to easily switch to the USB connector appropriate for their device connection.

“Leef Bridge represents a major technical achievement,” said Jonny Anderson, partner and director of product design at Leef. “With all products we develop, we want them to represent something people want to own, for their functionality, design and style. Leef Bridge makes managing content on a phone as simple as plugging in a USB flash drive. It is really a life hack product.”

Leef Bridge is currently compatible with mobile devices operating Android Jelly Bean OS 4.1 or higher and a micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) connector. Metago, the company behind ASTRO File Manager – the most downloaded content management application in the Android ecosystem – has teamed up with Leef to release an updated version of their app that provides users with a seamless experience using Leef Bridge and ASTRO File Manager.

Instructions to download the app from Google Play are included on Leef’s product packaging. Although ASTRO File Manager is not required to be able to use Leef Bridge, it is recommended by the Leef design team for its intuitive file management system.

Leef Bridge is the latest addition to the company’s product set, which includes quality USB flash drives that demonstrate a variety of innovative materials and design features. The company’s approach to design was recognized in 2012 by PC Magazine – Russian Edition, which awarded Leef Fuse – the first patented USB drive with magnetic closure – “Best of the Year 2012” in the flash drive category.

Availability and Pricing

Leef Bridge is initially available for purchase in the USA at www.amazon.com and www.2Leef.com for a suggested retail price of $17.99 for the 16GB model and $28.99 for the 32GB model. The pricing for the 64GB model, which is expected in stock in July, will be announced upon availability.

In addition, Leef Bridge is available for purchase at leading retailers in several international markets, including Russia, Asia and Central Europe.

Leef Bridge

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • ProductFRED

    I've been waiting for something like this. I know cheap, generic models exist, but the last thing you want to buy off of eBay is flash memory. The pricing on this is reasonable, which is surprising.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I was surprised too. Not as good as some amazon gold box deals but very fair. I love the semi disassembled look of it too.

      • Leef

        It stokes us out to hear what you like about it! thanks!

  • Logan Graham

    Awesome idea. Went to purchase one and the only payment option they had was Credit Card.. I'll wait for it to launch on Amazon, then I'm buying the crap out of a few of these.

    • Leef

      Glad you like it Logan! We are working on getting other payment options available on http://www.2Leef.com. Keep your eyes peeled! They will be on Amazon pretty soon as well.

      • Krzysztof

        I'll buy one without thinking twice but it would have to be on amazon uk...

  • Cory_S

    Looks like a good way to snap your USB port off. I funded this, it looks like the form factor would work better http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyfei/mini-microsd-reader-for-android-smartphones-and-ta

    You'd need to use an adapter for PC use, but that isn't a big deal.

    • ProductFRED

      You're missing the point. It's supposed to bypass the need for a USB OTG cable and just let you plug your flash drive into your phone or computer seamlessly.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        And it works like a charm.

      • Cory_S

        ..Did you look at the link I posted. It doesn't use an OTG cable it is a slim lined SD card USB drive enclosure. It comes with a micro USB to full size USB adapter to use on your PC. I got the point. https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/481/664/d31c4edded44725c2cf6f6489e6bf4ba_large.jpg?1364713692

        • ProductFRED

          You're still not getting it:

          No adapter necessary.

          • Cory_S

            At the expense of having a device 3 times bigger sticking off your phone. The adapter could stay plugged into your PC and it would be tiny when using it for your phone.

          • antifud

            who's going to carry around a micro-sdhc/sdxc adapter, requiring somewhere to store the microsd(xx) card in the first place? If you have a phone there are wireless ways to share that data with a tablet, etc.

            That's a solution in search of a problem. In comparison - Leef isn't exactly new either, but it's price is absolutely not competitive or compelling. This is a 50% markup for a less than 2% cost connector + some firmware, on a device that may perform terribly, as mandeep rightfully inquires about.

            In short: I would advise neither product.

          • ProductFRED

            You can keep down-voting me, but you're still missing the point. Two different uses:

            - What you're posting is for LONG-TERM MEMORY EXPANSION on devices without a memory card slot.

            E.g. "I ran out of space on my Nexus 7."

            - What this flash drive is for is SHORT-TERM DATA TRANSFER on any device. No messing with cables or adapters necessary.

            E.g. "I have a presentation on my flash drive that I need to edit, and I'm not near a computer.

          • antifud

            @ProductFRED:disqus : @Cory_S:disqus is one of those people who refuses to debate or discuss facts. let it be man, some people just aren't even open to hearing another opinion. It's very common on phandroid/androidpolice.

  • unhappybirthday

    Sightly OT, but there are a lot of cheap OTG cables available on Amazon with dubious reviews. Is there a source (or particular model) that has high quality/reliability?

    • alexcue

      I purchased this cable (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005QX7KYU/) last August and it's still working great. Used it on a Droid X, Droid Bionic, GS 3, and Note 2 and it's worked just fine. Paired it with a handful of different flash drives and none have malfunctioned. Also just confirmed it works with both mouse and keyboard on my Note 2.

      Hope that helps!

      • unhappybirthday

        Thanks!

  • Greyhame

    The Pixel only has 32 GB of internal storage?!??

    • Bertel King, Jr.

      The WiFi-only model comes with 32GB and the LTE model comes with 64GB. Both come with 1TB of Google Drive.

      • John O’Connor

        Thanks for spreading the good word Bertel.

        Many, myself included, still wish there was an option to either purchase a device with more local (native, not sd or usbflash) storage or have an option to upgrade what is presently in the device.

        It is not necessarily a dealbreaker for most owners (you have to love that 1tb cloud storage and LTE for coverage almost everywhere.)

        I think we all know/suspect/hope that something special is in the works for ChromeOS in the near future.

        I'm using CROUTON to dualboot Linux on my Pixel for those needs which are not presently addressed by ChromeOS.

        • Phil Oakley

          Pichai did say at I/O that there'll be Chrome OS news later in the year. I think that's probably an ARM Chromebook, directly from Google (like the Pixel) and a Haswell update to the Pixel. Plus the continuous software updates. Google Now coming to Chrome/OS is quite a big deal.

  • Qliphah

    Even the shape of the drive looks like a Sandisk Cruzer. Are we sure they didn't just buy a bunch of blank Cruzers, hollow them out, and stick their adapter in it?

    Really look at the shape of it... its flat on one end and tapered on the other just like Sandisks... if I were to kickstart something I'd hope they don't use refurbs from their biggest competitors.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      I barely see any similarity to a SanDisk outside of what's necessary to make something like this work. I've had a lot of the drives you describe. This is, at best, a passing similarity.

    • Leef

      Our in house product designers and engineers created the Leef Bridge straight from their brains using the timeless techniques of concepting, brainstorming and collaboration. Throughout the creative process we recognized that the functionality of the Leef Bridge would be complemented best by the common button slider design (which we may say has now been perfected). Rest assured that this is not a SanDisk knockoff.

  • louched1

    My phone IS my thumbdrive...

  • Mandeep Singh

    What are its read and write speeds ???

  • JCB

    I did wonder last year, after I had bought my Android tablet, why I couldn't find a flash memory stick with a microUSB plug. I hadn't even thought of a dual USB/microUSB thingy. This is an interesting device and I am saving the article to my Pocket account.

    However I am now thinking about it the other way. I now own several 16GB and 32GB microSD cards. These plug into the Android leaving nothing projecting. For PC use I have a USB/microSD card reader and this is barely bigger than the microSD card and is much smaller than a USB flash memory stick. One can also buy cheap all-in-one card readers to mount in a bay of a desktop PC. The biggest problem is that a spring-loaded microSD card socket can project a card a long way and I nearly lost one from my phone that way.

  • whoever

    It's not exactly a new concept... see http://usb.brando.com/2-in-1-micro-usb-flash-drive_p03202c041d015.html for example

  • Brandonn

    New Leef Bridge flash drive being introduced for Android devices, Macs, and PCs will be proved of great use. Similar custom flash drives could be obtained at http://www.usbpromos.com

  • Paul

    Cool! Its very interesting idea! I want to buy it for my SGS 4.

  • angelo

    It is great!~
    For now,smartphone is a part of our life and come with us anywhere!
    This items is very convenience when I want to play the viedo while I do not want my cellphone with too full(or already full) ,or when I want to share my funny with friends which stored in my cell phone,it is alway very useful~
    USB drive still is necessary to our life or work,it should be good if there is it can bridge to my phone!~

  • Hellguy

    I use Nexus Media Importer. It works like charm on my Samsung Galaxy phone. I got it from here: http://alex88soft.blogspot.com/2014/03/nexus-media-importer-apk-download-v-741.html

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