Duracell Instant USB Charger Review
Any smartphone owner will tell you battery life is quite the commodity. Well, not counting those BlackBerry owners anyway. Those things last forever. However, my Palm Pre, like iPhones and most Android phones, goes through the battery in about a day of normal use. On a day of heavy usage, you’re lucky if you even get that. There’s extended batteries for sale, or, in the case of the iPhone, external batteries. I had been considering one for my Pre because, on those long days/nights, I found myself running out of juice. I didn’t want to sacrifice the sleek profile of my phone by getting a bulky extended battery, so I opted for the slightly cumbersome to carry around, but more versatile Duracell Instant USB Charger. I found it on Amazon for about twenty bucks, which is roughly half of what I would’ve had to pay for an extended battery.
It’s a simple device: a 1150mAh Li-Ion battery with a mini USB port to charge itself and a USB port on the opposite side to charge devices. I charge the Instant when I’m at my computer or via a USB wall charger. Then when I head out, I stow it in my bag along with the micro USB cable for the Pre. When I’m running out of power, I connect them and voila! My phone is charging. I tested how much juice it would give me back and it brought my Pre from 14% to 56% in about an hour and a half. I was hoping for a little more gain, but it’s decent performance, considering the price, size, and weight of the device.
I like this charger over other, phone-specific solutions because it lets me charge whatever I need. Be it my Pre, my Zune, or a friend’s device, the Instant Charger’s USB port will handle it. It’s worth noting that for some reason, my unit came with a few scratches on the glossy side, even though it was brand new and sealed in the packaging. The retail price is $40, and that’s more than it’s worth. I wholeheartedly recommend it as long as you can find it under $25.