Need to recharge your gadgets on the go without carrying a lot of extra bulk? This Innergie Pocket Cell charger is a handy little device that’s not much bigger than a Bic lighter.
Smart phones and gaming gadgets are great fun when you’re traveling except for one thing: lousy battery life. On an Android phone you may be able to make it from dawn to dusk without recharging. With an Apple iPhone you may make it to the afternoon. With a slim iPod Touch, it’ll die before you’ve finished a flight from the east coast to west.
So many travelers who can’t stand the thought of using something without batteries to amuse themselves on a plane, bus, or train can choose from all kinds of chargers and battery packs that have sprung up to meet demand. Of course for business travelers it can matter for more than entertainment: closing the sale can be tough if your phone dies when you’re nowhere near an outlet.
We’ve reviewed a few different charging packs before on here but I especially like this Innergie one for two reasons: it’s quite small and it has a cord that works for multiple devices. They like this cord so much they call it their “Magic Cable Trio.” It’s got a male USB plug on one end, then the other end has both mini USB and micro USB male plugs, plus an Apple connector on the end. The design of this is pretty magic because it eliminates the need to carry easily lost attachments and adapters around with you. The three are lined up in a connected row, with the micro and mini USB plugs going into the next guy in line. (No circle jerk jokes please.) If you don’t need the Apple one, it folds down out of the way.
This is a pretty nifty development and now that the phone and gadget makers have finally settled on these connections as the industry standards, the options here should cover your needs if you’re packing recent purchases. In other words, with this along you should be able to charge up a Samsung phone, a Motorola phone, an iPhone, an iPad, a Shuffle, a Kindle, and a Nintendo DS—or one of the zillion other things using USB.
You won’t be able to charge all those on one shot of course. With this smaller size you get a smaller battery than some other brick-sized ones out there. Though the rating of 3000mAh puts it ahead of the lot of available solar chargers available on paper, in my tests I was rarely able to charge up both a fully drained smart phone and an iPod touch on one Innergie charge. One device is about all you should realistically expect. Still, a doubling of capacity for your main gadget is certainly enough to make this worth carrying.
For me all the indicators were intuitive and while it took me a bit to figure out that I had to hold the button down for charging something (keeps it from draining while getting knocked around in a knapsack), the rest was easy. There are four LED lights in a row. When all four are lit up, it’s fully charged. To test it later, you hold down the button and check those same lights. If only one is illuminated, you’ve got about 1/3 or less of the power remaining.
With the USB plug you can go into your computer or any adapter you may have, but Innergie also just started selling a dual USB adapter that goes into a wall socket and lets you charge two devices at once. Handy for hotel rooms and airports. Now that I have it, I use it all the time.
The new Innergie Pocket Cell (one word in the instructions, two words online) comes with a one-year warranty. It lists for $80 and is available at Amazon, at J&R, or direct from Innergie. You should start seeing it in electronics and airport stores later in the year.