Mobile phone battery technology has lagged behind other advances in mobile technology and I frequently find that my iPhone battery is down in the red long before the end of the day. On my Nokia E72, using a VoIP app like Skype or Truphone over 3G means the battery takes a massive hit. Unfortunately it’s often not convenient to plug the phone into the mains or a PC for a top-up charge.
So, along with my phones, a vital mobile gadget for me is a mobile charger. Basically, a Lithium Polymer battery (or similar) that can be used to charge a variety of mobile devices using the supplied charging tips. These devices can themselves be charged via a USB cable from your PC or sometimes via a mains charger.
I’ve recently received a Powerfreakz Evolution 2500 Solar Charger which along with the usual USB and mains charging also allows for charging using sunlight. The Powerfreakz 2500 comes supplied with USB charging cable, worldwide mains charger, carry case and charging connectors for a wide number of devices, including iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, Nokia, LG, Samsung and others. All in all, a very comprehensive pack. The charger unit isn’t the smallest I’ve seen, weighing in at 114g but at 2500mAh it packs enbough capacity for several charging cycles.
The Powerfreakz website quotes the following examples:
- Charge a mobile phone or smart phone up to 4 times
- Extend the use of an MP3 player by up to 48 hours
- An extra 6 hours game time on a Nintendo DS and Sony PSP
- Up to 2800 extra pictures on a digital camera
- Plus powering GPS units and many more portable devices
I’ve had no problems charging the device via the usual mains and USB. Charging using artificial light works well although it depends on the power of the light. I have a freestanding reading light and the device charges fine at 70cm from the bulb. The real test was always going to be charging using sunlight and I was impressed to find that the device is not reliant on bright or direct sunlight as it continued to charge when the sun was behind clouds. It will also charge happily through glass – I used it under a glass ceiling and it worked fine. Heavy cloud and rain, which we seem to have had a lot of recently, of course means that alternative power sources are required!
The Powerfreakz 2500 isn’t cheap, at £49.99 direct from Powerfreakz, but if you’ve ever run out of power at a crucial moment then you can appreciate the benefits of being able to charge your phone immediately. Whether the solar charging function is a useful extra, rather depends where you live and how often you see the sun!