Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

Judie wrote about the Leef iBRIDGE late last year, and at CES they provided us with a review sample to check out. I love the Leef Bridge USB 3.0 storage solution for Android, and was excited to check out the new iOS external solution. With an odd shape and requiring a special app, it still impresses and has become essential!

GearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

The Hype:
Leef iBRIDGE is the iOS mobile storage solution designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. Now you can expand the storage capacity on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod without ever worrying about deleting memories again.

Key Features:

  • Leef iBRIDGE plugs directly into compatible Apple devices with Lightning connectors
  • Backup your Camera Roll automatically and quickly move photos off your phone
  • Store your entire movie or music library externally to conserve internal memory and then stream media directly without having to worry about mobile data
  • Capture photos directly to Leef iBRIDGE so you never miss life’s most memorable events when your iPhone runs out of memory
  • Share photos, videos and other content with friends or between devices simply and quickly

GearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

The Reality:

The Leef iBRIDGE is a USB-to-Lightning storage solution that allows you to easily store files for use on your computer or iOS device, or transfer files from one side to the other. You can also back up your photos, and take pictures directly from the app and store them directly on the iBRIDGE.

The Leef iBRIDGE Flash Drive

The iBRIDGE looks like a mashup of a standard USB flash drive and a carabiner. This sounds odd, but in order to make the drive as unobtrusive as possible on your iOS device it curves to the back and is mostly hidden when in use. The construction makes using the iBRIDGE simple and efficient. The Lightning connector is protected by the cover which also protects the USB connector. The cover is not connected, which would seem to make it easy to lose – but by reversing the cap and attaching it to the plug not in use it stays attached.

The size and shape also makes it work well on the computer – the original Leef Bridge had a sliding cover mechanism that widened the device and made it a tight fit when USB ports were next to each other (as is true on my Lenovo, HP and Macbook Pro laptops)!

GearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

The build quality is excellent as I would have expected. The big concern for me is always on the Lightning port end, but the rigid construction and housing keeps things safe and secure and make sure the connections don’t flex or undergo too much direct force. This tells me to expect a long life from the memory stick.

Here is a list of capacities and prices:
16GB – $59.99
32GB – $79.99
64GB – $119.99
128GB – $199.99
256GB – $399.99

Given that I can get a high-speed, high quality 64GB USB 3.0 Flash drive for $40, and even the original Leef Bridge in 64GB capacity for under $40 (list price is $65) … it is safe to call this ‘premium pricing’. You are paying for the unique ability to have extended storage for your iOS device.

GearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

The iBRIDGE App

To get the utility of the iBRIDGE, you need the companion app. With the app running, inserting the iBRIDGE will have the app read the storage and allow you to transfer files, view contents, and provide access to the camera through the app.

This is a utilitarian app, with just the three main functions listed, and also Settings, which allows you to select for all photos to be automatically backed up to the iBRIDGE, a great feature!

GearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices

File Format Compatibility

Here are the various file formats supported through the content viewer:

Video: .mp4, .m4v, .mpv, .mov, .mpg, .mkv, .wmv, .flv, .3gp, .gif, .avi

Audio: .wav, .aac, .aif, .aiff, .caf, .m4a, .mp3

NOTE: Apple does not allow iTunes DRM audio & video files to be played on external apps

Images: .jpg, .tiff, .gif

Documents: doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .htm and .html (web pages); .key (Keynote); .numbers (Numbers); .pages (Pages); .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat); .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint); .txt (text); .rtf (rich text format); .vcf (contact information); .xls and .xlsx (Microsoft Excel); .zip; .ics

What is missing? The less-used .ogg music format and the increasingly popular .png image file format.

The Bottom Line

Combining top quality construction, a highly functional design, a solid and easy to use app and filling a need I see regularly in my own household, the Leef iBRIDGE is a wonderful new accessory that will benefit all those struggling with iPhone storage space, as well as anyone looking for a simple backup and file transfer solution! It comes with a rather hefty price, but is definitely worth checking out! You can buy the Leef iBRIDGE from AmazonGearDiary Leef iBRIDGE Review: Brings Well Designed External Storage to iOS Devices  [affiliate link] or directly from Leef.co

Source: Manufacturer provided review unit.

Price: based on storage capacity as follows:
– 16GB – $59.99
– 32GB – $79.99
– 64GB – $119.99
– 128GB – $199.99
– 256GB – $399.99

What I Like: Excellent build quality; Great design; Fast transfers; Simple utility

What Needs Improvement: Premium pricing

Check out my video review:


About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!