Qubii Pro Review

Watch the full video above or read the transcript below. If you buy through some of the links, I may earn a small share of the profits. Prices and availability are subject to change. Learn more on my Disclosures page. 

Studies have shown that 30% of people have never backed up their data, even though 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute. What’s the hardest part about backing up your data – perhaps explaining why 1 in 3 people never have? Figuring out how, and then remembering to actually do it. So today on Stuff Adam Likes, we’ll be taking a look at the Qubii Pro, a device that aims to solve that very problem by automating the backup of key data on your iPhone or iPad every time you plug it in to charge.

The 3-2-1 Backup Principle

So, as I mentioned in a previous video which you can find linked below, there’s a well established principle you need to follow when it comes to backing up precious data on your digital devices like photos and contacts: the 3-2-1 principle. That means you should have 3 copies of a file: 2 local, physical copies and 1 in the cloud. The idea is that if disaster strikes and affects any one or even two of those copies, you’ll still have a safe copy out there to prevent total loss.

This sounds pretty simple right? Just make another local copy somehow, and then turn on cloud backup. Well, it is and it isn’t, especially when you’re looking at iPhones and iPads.

Where the Standard Apple Local Backup Fails, Especially When it Comes to Photos

Let me explain what I mean – focusing on the local backup scenario. As mentioned, my other video explores cloud backup in depth. So of course, physical copy 1 is the device itself. Hooray! You’re 33% of the way there! But the second copy is where it gets tricky. It’s a bit complicated, but yes, it is possible to back up your iPhone or iPad locally to your computer. But not everything gets backed up during that process. Particularly, anything you have stored in iCloud is not backed up to your computer – and I recommend turning on iCloud Photo and Contacts so your most precious memories and ways of contacting people are automatically backed up locally.

That means that if you use the standard Apple solution, you are in VIOLATION of the 3-2-1 rule – photos and contacts only have 2 copies each – your device and the cloud.

So what you really need is a way to easily create a second local copy of your photos and contacts that doesn’t rely on the traditional options available to you.

The Qubii Pro: The Easiest Automated Local Backup Solution for iPhone and iPad

This tiny device solves the biggest problems when it comes to making a physical backup – 1. figuring out how to do it, especially if you’re not really a technical person, and 2. actually remembering to do it on a regular basis, so it’s an up-to-date backup of even your most recent photos and contacts. How does it overcome those challenges? By automatically backing up your device every time you plug it in to charge. Brilliant.

Let’s take a look and see how it all works.

First Things First: Get a MicroSD Card

Now, you should know that in addition to the device itself, you also need a MicroSD card. These are extremely common – you can pick them up at the drugstore or any retailer that sells electronics – or you can purchase a version of the Qubii Pro that includes one. You may already have one, but if you do, you should clear it out before using it, because the Qubii will reformat it to work with the device. You should also think about the size you’ll need – it can handle up to 400GB MicroSD cards, and can even split your backup over multiple cards – picking up where it left off from the last one – but at any rate it all depends on how many photos and videos you have.

If you have iCloud Photos on, like I recommend you do, you can check that by going to Settings, tapping on your name at the top, then iCloud, then Manage Storage. Photos will probably be at the top and it will say how many GB you have – ideally you should get a MicroSD card that’s a bit larger than this so you don’t have to get another one anytime soon.

How to Setup the Qubii Pro

Ok, you’re all set, now let’s see how it actually works.

First, insert the MicroSD card into the slot.

Next, plug the Qubii into your Apple USB power adaptor.

If you have a newer iPhone or iPad that came with a 18W USB C charger, you can still use the older 5W adapter to charge your phone / iPad, so you can use the Qubii. That is one of the differences between the Pro and regular Qubii: the Pro does enable 2.4A fast charging, the regular does not.

Now, plug your charging cable into the Qubii. It’s best to use the original Apple cable if you still have it, but most cables should work.

Plug in your phone to start the process. That’s it! I really love how streamlined the process is and how it’s not really adding extra dongles or other stuff you have to keep track of. It just hangs out with your charger and is there whenever you regularly charge.

How to Setup the Qubii Pro App

Now that the hardware side is set up, time to get the software side up and running. When you plug it in for the first time, you’ll be prompted to install the app – tapping on the banner will get you right to the App Store for download.

The app will walk you through various settings for what you’d like to back up. You’ll need to allow access to your photos, of course, and your contacts if you choose to back them up, as well as any social media backups.

In addition to photos, videos and contacts on your device, it can also backup media on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Twitter if you connect your accounts and allow it to do so. This is an extremely efficient way to pull all that media down from these services in a very organized way. It’s really convenient to be able to back up all the different places you might have media in one shot. Really smart.

At that point you’re good to go, and the first full backup will begin!

Using the Qubii Pro App

Ok, so your files are backed up. Let’s see what you can do with them within the Qubii Pro app.

With your phone plugged in to the Qubii, you can view all the photos that have been backed up, organized by year / month / day just like on your phone. You can also delete, share, or restore to your in case you accidentally deleted them from your device (and didn’t have iCloud backup enabled, which typically hangs on to any photo you delete for 30 days before permanent deletion).

Another neat feature is the ability to delete a photo from your phone, but Qubii hangs on to it. Basically, it detects that you previously backed it up, and even though it’s not on your phone anymore, it doesn’t sync that status. This means that you can archive your photos using Qubii and free up space on your device and in iCloud – but remember, to follow the 3-2-1 rule you should then make another copy of that photo locally and save it to a different cloud storage sync solution like Dropbox.

You can also do a full restore of all your photos to a new device, which is super useful, especially if you don’t use iCloud Photos.

Another thing you should know – you can back up multiple devices to the Qubii Pro using the same MicroSD card. It will organize each into different folders, which is a nice touch.

Other Things You Can Do With the Qubii Pro

So what else can you do with Qubii? You can plug it into any computer and use it as a USB stick and memory card reader. You can also work with the Files app in newer versions of iOS and save and edit documents like PowerPoint, Word, Keynote, etc. That’s not a huge use case for me, but interesting to think about the possibilities there.

Downsides

So, are there any downsides to the Qubii Pro? The most obvious is the hardware limitation of using the older version of USB. However, as I mentioned earlier, even if you have the latest iPhone / iPad with the 18W USB C Charger, you can still use this with a plug from a previous generation when you charge your device at night. Also, Maktar plans on releasing a USB C version later this year – but again, most people are still on phones or iPads using the previous generation of USB, so it’s really not a big deal.

Privacy Concerns

What about privacy? This was definitely a question I had when I was researching the device. I typically only like to give access to apps when absolutely necessary, and the benefit needs to far outweigh the potential risks of allowing access to my personal data.

I reached out to the manufacturer and their response was reassuring – unless you’re pulling photos from an online source, the Qubii can function completely without WiFi. So in many ways it’s MORE private than cloud backup, because your data is only going to a physical memory card that you control. I personally feel completely comfortable backing up photos and contacts. Social media does get a little tricky for me as I generally try to limit the number of third-party apps that have access to my data – nothing against Maktar or Qubii, it’s just hard to keep track of how many different places that data is going to, so I err on the side of less is more. But the convenience of the automatic backup of my social media accounts may make this a no-brained for many. Again, that backup setting is totally optional and doesn’t detract from the main function of the device.

Is The Qubii Pro Stuff Adam Likes?

So, overall, what are my thoughts? Is this Stuff Adam Likes? Yes!

Here’s why. The Qubii Pro offers the simplest and easiest way to locally backup your iPhone or iPad that I’ve seen. The app works well and provides some advanced functionality, but is simple enough that anyone can use it. The sky is the limit for how much you want to back up, and how much space on your phone you can save.

So who is this for? Honestly all iPhone and iPad users who take photos on either device could benefit from a Qubii Pro. It’s a small investment for big peace of mind! But getting more specific, I think iPhoneographers who want more control over their photos, and the technically challenged people in your life both stand to benefit most from Qubii Pro. On the flip side, very technical people can benefit from it by archiving old photos that you might not need in iCloud or on your device, freeing up storage space in both places and managing cloud storage costs that way. The amount of photos and videos you take with your iDevices will only increase over time, and while storage size options continue to increase, so does the cost to bump up to that next higher tier.

Finally, though I didn’t personally test it, you can save a few bucks by getting the standard Qubii. It doesn’t have some bells and whistles that the Pro has, including fast-charging and quicker backup and transfer speeds, but it might be all you need.

Last thing I’ll mention – Maktar did send me this as a free product to review, but that didn’t impact my recommendation. If I’m not willing to pay out of pocket for something, I won’t recommend it – period.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions about the Qubii Pro!

Tl;dr: The Qubii Pro provides the easiest automated local backup of precious data on your iPhone and iPad that I’ve seen. Great investment to help safeguard a lifetime of memories!

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