Do you want to be able to take a virtually unlimited amount of movies, music and photos with you wherever you are? You can with the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Media Reader, which also gives you the added assurance of a battery backup for your phone.

This lightweight, slimline Wi-Fi hub is not a storage device, but rather a storage expansion device. It connects your mobile or tablet with as much storage as you can carry via USB plug-in (including external drives) and various SD memory card variations, with an adapter included for microSD. It's compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, adding some much needed mobile room for your files.

If you buy the Kingston MobileLite, you'll need a separate storage device to go with it. We test 13 options in our portable hard drives reviews.

The MobileLite is also a useful travel companion for viewing photos on the go or accessing some extra movies for downtime entertainment. It can wirelessly stream files such as photos and movies from USB drives as well as SD/SDHC/SDXC and microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC media storage cards (with included adapter). 

However, not all file types are compatible for playback, so you may need to convert video to MP4 or audio to MP3 or WAV. Images need to be JPGs or TIFs and documents need to be PDFs. File formats supported include MP3, WAV, m4V, mp4 (H.264), JPG, TIF, PDF.

It charges your phone too

The built-in Lithium battery 4640mAh is a big improvement on the first-generation MobileLite, giving you up to a claimed 13 hours of use, compared to the previous generation's 1800mAh battery and five hours of use. It can also serve as a decent backup battery to fully charge your smartphone when on the go (though you can't watch media while using it in charging mode).

Multi-users and multi-tasking

The 802.11n Wi-Fi in the hub supports up to eight simultaneous users and can stream up to three movies to three different devices at once. Which means the back seat passengers on the road trip can each watch their own film, while the driver watches the road in peace!

You can also browse the internet when connected to the hub for media viewing using a clever network pass-through. This is a big improvement on some previous portable hub devices, which would only let you connect via Wi-Fi to the device itself, cutting you off from the internet in the process. The pass-through is relatively easy to set up and remembers your configuration, so you don't have to do it every time. To use the MobileLite Wireless G2 you need the free MobileLite app, which is also pretty straightforward to use.

Free up your phone

The MobileLite G2 can also act as an SD card reader, so you can plug it into your computer to transfer files to and from the SD card you have installed. Just drag and drop your photos, documents, music and movies between devices. A bonus is that you can extend the storage capacity of your smartphone or tablet by transferring photos to free up space while you're out and about. It puts an end to having to delete your photos on the fly just so you can take some more.

Unlike the previous model, the G2 includes an ethernet port. A handy feature is the device's ability to create a wireless hotspot for tablets and smartphones to connect to the internet. To do this, plug a blue ethernet cable from a router or connection point to the ethernet port on the MobileLite, then connect the mobile devices to the MobileLite network in the Wi-Fi settings.

CHOICE verdict

The MobileLite Wireless G2's support for USB drives and SD card storage, plus the ability to recharge your smartphone and its ethernet connectivity put it ahead of fixed-drive-only devices for versatility, though capacity will depend on the size and number of plug-in cards/thumbdrives you have. If you're travelling, or just need to carry and share photos, movies or documents, this handy and inexpensive pocket-size device may be just the thing you need.

We also put the Kingston MobileLite up against 11 other similar devices, most with built-in storage. See how they compare in our portable wireless storage reviews.