Review of Portable Battery Chargers for SmartPhones

by Brent on May 5, 2010 · 0 comments

by Brent on May 5, 2010 · 0 comments

Battery Charger

We all find ourselves in situations that throw our normal day-to-day device habits into chaos. One of those surrounds power to our devices. My Motorola Droid consistently gives me the ability to do a 14-hour day without having to recharge, but it will also take me right down below the 10% battery level. To stretch my battery 14 hrs on a single charge I avoid using WiFi and GPS or that can greatly impact the battery life. In the past bluetooth use to be a source of poor battery performance but today its impact is marginal. Even with constant use bluetooth will only shave 1-2 hrs off my normal battery performance. 

Despite the best of plans we find ourselves in situations where it is not easy or even possible to recharge or devices:

  • On the Golf course using various GPS based Golf Apps
  • At a football game
  • Stuck inside a delayed flight on the ground, and using WiFi Tethering

Both WiFi and GPS can chew through batteries a LOT faster than normal. What can you do? Well, there are a number of high density external battery pack options available and if you are careful, they can service a range of devices. One word of caution here: you get what you pay for! You can purchase battery packs in the $30-$50 range and they will work. But, you are talking about 3-4 hours of juice extra for your device. If you get into the $80-$100 range, you are talking batteries that will power your devices for up to 11 hours of talk time, up to 21 hours of video and up to 92 hours of music on a single charge. Some of battery chargers are even solar powered, if needed, and the best will offer voltages automatically from 3.6 V to 5.5 V, to be able to change those higher powered devices that need the extra juice. For reference, the Apple iPad has a 25 Ah Lithium Polymer battery, or as the rest of the Industry would say 2500 mAh.

Brookstone 80-hour Rechargeable Battery

Brookstone 80 hours.

This battery has a 2600 mAh battery that will give you up to an additional 80 hours of music on your device. This unit is manufactured by Dexim, a known and respected name in battery technology. This unit comes with USB cables for all the standard platform included, including a double-headed USB for fast recharging from a computer. Oh, and a nice built in led flashlight, just in case. Dexim also has slightly bigger sibling (that looks identical) that has a 3000 mAh lithium polymer battery that will give you a whopping 92 hours of additional music for just $10 more, also available from Brookstone or any Dexim retailer.

80 Hour Rechargeable Battery Price: $80

Amzer 3500 mAh Backup Battery Solar Charger

Amzer Solar

The Amzer Solar Charger is a multi-functional solar powered emergency charger. The built in 3500mAh high capacity rechargeable polymer lithium-ion battery can, of course, be charged by sunlight, as well as by computer via USB, AC adapter or car charger (all with the included charging cable). Plug in your existing USB to device cable and charge any gadget between 3.6V and 5.5V, whenever or wherever you go. Not only great for travel emergencies, but for real emergencies as well.

IMP500-3500 Solar Powered External Backup Battery Price: $70, but you have to provide your own cables.

Richard Solo 1800

Richard Solo 1800

Similar to many backup batteries on the market, but it has almost 50% less battery power than the Amzer 3500, then again the Richard Solo 1800 is only $41 at Amazon.

Richard Solo 1800 Price:$40.99

The Point

You DO need a backup battery, but you need to make sure that you get one that has all the cables you need in the smallest package possible. And, like everything else in technology, you need to buy the most battery you can afford. Consider going solar as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

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