Skip to main content

A wall socket to take with you: Mobile phone power packs





  Most people charge their mobile phone using the power cord that came with it. Yet we’ve all encountered situations where there’s no socket within reach. Power packs are the solution.

Yet the external batteries in power packs don’t always achieve everything they promise.

Power packs are generally the same size as a mobile phone and cost between $20 and $40. Countless models are available on the market; several can even produce their own electricity using solar cells. Kai-Christian Moeller from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Wurzburg, Germany, sees them as little more than bells and whistles. “Solar cells of that size aren’t big enough to charge a mobile phone,” he says.

Solar power packs — and all other battery packs of this type — are filled with rechargeable batteries. Even under ideal conditions, it could take eight hours or longer, Moeller says. Owners of a solar cell power pack would ultimately end up relying primarily on the same wall socket as everyone else. Moeller has been researching single-use and rechargeable batteries for years. He isn’t particularly impressed by power packs without solar cells either: “To be completely honest: I’d rather just bring along a second battery.” But that’s not always possible, says Daniel Schaechter, editor at the online tech magazine CNET. “The decisive benefit of a power pack is that I don’t have to turn my mobile phone off to charge it,” Schaechter says. Furthermore, there are some devices, most notably Apple’s iPhone, whose battery cannot be removed without tools.

Cracking the case open to get at the battery typically voids the warrantee.

Power packs could be of potential interest for business travellers, Schaechter explains. “On some days I know in advance that I’ll be doing a lot of calling or e-mailing, such as at trade fairs,” he says.

In those cases a power pack is the more practical option. “I usually have to have the second battery in the phone to charge it. So that means I’ll have to be switching batteries ahead of the trip, during the trip, and afterwards,” he says. A power pack eliminates some of that complexity.

External energy sources can also be helpful for vacationers with a second mobile phone, MP3 player, or digital camera in their luggage.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 5 Women Who Impacted Technology in 2010

Katie Stanton, International Strategist for Twitter Katie Stanton has impressively long names of companies in her resume. They include the White House, Google Inc, and her latest addition is Twitter. Her remit is working on Twitter’s international strategy and her experience in social media will be a key asset to the company. Katie has a history of working in technology, and her knowledge of departmental laws will help Twitter work alongside government agencies, as she’ll be spearheading the free information approach, especially after the Wikileaks incident. Stanton has been a key player in the techsphere for some time, and this extends to her private life. Following the Haiti disaster she worked with a group of engineers to create a free texting service to help those in need and she is constantly in demand as an expert in both social media and government policy.
Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of Flickr and Hunch Despite having a surname which sounds like a pseudonym for a spy (it’…

AT&T MiFi 2372 review

In the week or so that I have been testing the AT&T MiFi 2372 by Novatel Wireless, it has already saved no less than three lives. First, it saved my cable guy’s life. You see, Time Warner Cable provides the worst home Internet service I have ever experienced. I can’t even think of a close second. If providing terrible home Internet service was a sport, Time Warner Cable would be on its tenth consecutive undefeated season. Forget the fact that my upload speed is capped at 60Kbps and I’m lucky if I can get half that — it has been months since I’ve gone through a full day without at least one service interruption. Months. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable has an exclusive contract with my building so I have no choice but to endure its abysmal service. Last week, as a Time Warner Cable technician entered my home for the sixth time in two months, I realized that this certainly would have spelled serious trouble had it not been for my trusty new back up device. Before the Mi…

Evolution Of Computer Virus [infographic]