Apr 8th, 2013

We post about a lot of Kickstarter projects. Some are revolutionary and attract millions of dollars in backer interest, while others tend to be duds and provide little more than something nice to think about. This particular Kickstarter grabbed my eye, though — mainly because it’s so simple, yet so useful and practical. It’s a microSD card reader for your phone. Using USB OTG, you can effectively add storage to a device that doesn’t support microSD cards.

This would be a lifesaver for those with phones like the Nexus 4 and tablets like the Nexus 7, both of which do not have the necessary port for allowing users to expand storage. This solution isn’t really pretty, but if you absolutely must have more storage it’s not a bad idea. The device supports microSDHC up to 32GB and microSDXC up to 64GB, and the theory is that it will support microSDC cards up to 2TB in size, though without any cards larger than 64GB on the market there’s no way to test that at this time.

There are some compatibility restrictions to take heed to, unfortunately. Devices are broken up into three categories: either Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3. Class 1 should work without any software hacks by the user. Class 2 devices will require root, or can only work with certain applications in limited form. Class 3 devices will need entire custom ROMs such as AOKP or CyanogenMod. Here’s a list of devices that have been tested and classified so far:

  • Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, Note, Note 2; Class 1 support.
  • Motorola RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD; Class 1 support.
  • HTC One X+, Evo 4G LTE (Sprint), DROID DNA; Class 1 support.
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7 & Nexus 10; Class 2 support.
  • Nook Color, Kindle Fire (non-HD); Class 3 support.
  • Tablets using RockChip & AllWinner chips; Sonicview N710; Class 1 support.

It’s quite odd that the Nexus devices tested thus far all fall under Class 2 considering they’re said to be the most open and pure phones of the bunch. The designer won’t guarantee the device works 100% properly with class 2 or class 3 devices, or any other device that isn’t listed yet. And should you go the root and custom ROM routes to get your microSD on you’re solely responsible for anything that happens to your phone.

That aside, the pledge amounts are pretty cheap so they’ve been going quickly. The early bird $8 special has already run out, but users can still secure one for the normal price of $12. The project has already attracted more than 1,800 backers as of the time of this writing, passing its $5,000 goal with just over $22,000 pledged. The project will be funded in full on May 5th, and product is expected to be shipped out at some point in July. Get to Kickstarter if you want to put your name into the hat.