While HDDs are great for storing personal documents and offer us high capacity at a decent price, they do have their cons. When constantly on the run, consumers want fast and reliable external storage in a very portable form factor. Portable external HDDs are usually able to meet those needs, but not always. HDDs have two issues when used as portable media; one, they are slow compared to SSDs and two, they are not nearly as resistant to physical abuse as solid state storage option.
For the most part, USB 3.0 thumb drives usually are able to deliver us decent speeds and portability, but unless you are going to pay an arm and a leg, you aren’t going to get HDD like capacity. This is where Patriot steps in, with their Supersonic Phoenix USB 3.0 mobile flash drive.
PACKAGING AND SPECIFICATIONS
On the box we have the rated speeds of 260MB/s read and 170MB/s write (we will soon validate these) as well as some more information about the drive. It also has a 2 year warranty. Capacity options include 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The box states that it features SuperSpeed USB 3.0 capability, USB only powered (larger external drives come with power cables), and oh look, it is compact and lightweight and of stylish design to boot! You don’t say Patriot? Well, I’ll be the judge of its aesthetics once I open it up.
This product is very well packaged. The cardboard encasing is pretty thick and durable and on the inside the drive has a decent amount of foam around it. Included in the box are the USB 3.0 cable and the user manual.
I must say, the package marketing doesn’t lie. It sure is one compact and stylish drive coming in at just about the side of a credit card and only 8mm thin. The Supersonic Phoenix is also very light weighing in at 37 grams. While it is stylish, I would still rather a non-plastic exterior, simply to add to durability and to enhance the quality feel of the product.
Seeing the drive for the first time, something seemed familiar about it, but I couldn’t figure it out. Then, a little after testing this drive it dawned on me, it reminded of the MyDigitalSSD Pocket Vault SSD we reviewed back in April. Externally, this drive looks exactly the same except with a different name printed on it. This had me wondering if the inside was the same as well.
Sure enough they are pretty much identical! Besides a slight variation on the specific NAND and controller numbers, it seems to me that Patriot and MyDigitalSSD are just outsourcing these drives and having them relabeled for their own product lines or one has a contract with the other.
On the inside we have a Phison PS2251 controller accompanied by eight Toshiba 19nm MLC Toggle Mode NAND packages. Each package is 32GB in size for a total RAW capacity of 256GB. Once we plug the drive into a computer, it is both Mac and Windows PC compatible by the way, we find it to have a formatted capacity of 235GB.