Tag Archives: battery

A Beast of a Battery Pack from Chargeasap



Battery packs are ten-a-penny on crowdfunding websites but this one from Chargeasap caught my eye. It’s a total beast of battery pack, packing in a beefy 20 000 mAh of charge and delivering power to four devices simultaneously at a total rate of up to 150 W.

The Australian team behind Flash are using advanced batteries developed by Tesla, which provide 20% higher energy densities, lower temperatures (50°C max) and four times the product life. For the battery geeks, Flash’s power bank is made of four 21700 Tesla Lithium Polymer Graphene Composite Battery Cells manufactured by Panasonic. The other advantage of these batteries is that Flash can be recharged from empty to full in an hour. At 20 000 mAh it’s not the largest pack on the market but it’s going to be plenty for most people.

Feature-wise, the Chargeasap Flash has a single USB C port which will deliver 100 W, two USB A ports and a wireless charging pad on the top. It’s not the first time there’s been a battery pack with wireless charging – I reviewed the Mugenizer N11 way back in 2013 – but it’s a great add-on and really expands the usefulness of Flash. And unlike most other chargers, Flash is going to support a wide range of charging protocols including Apple Fast Charge, Huawei Supercharge, Oppo Flash Charge, Vivo Flash Charge, 10W Wireless Fast Charge and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. Phew!

Manufactured with aircraft grade aluminium with anodised finish in black or space grey, Flash is available on Indiegogo now. Prices are beginning at US$139/GB£107 with a 2 year warranty, and it’s selling like hot cakes. As of writing, it’s already achieved over 3000% of its goal in about 2 days, so there are only a few of the early bird prices left.

Deliveries are expected in from April onwards and Chargeasap has a track record of delivering with six previous campaigns.

(It’s hard not to write The Flash as the product name…)


Moshi Charges Android and Apple at CES



CES might be full of wacky and wonderful gadgetry, but it’s also good to see some products for the day-to-day. Moshi have released a couple of gadgets for mobile users at CES this year which will appeal to a wider audience.

First up is compact portable battery pack with built-in cables for both USB C and Lightning. This is great for those of us who have a newer Android phone and Apple iPads. If similarly afflicted, the IonGo 5K Duo is for you. The sleek new battery is crafted from stylish and sustainable vegan leather and is small enough to fit in your pocket or lose in the bottom of your bag. For Apple devotees, it is MFi certified, and should retain 80% battery capacity after 500 charge cycles. The IonGo 5K Duo (US$70) is available in Fossil Gray and can be purchased from mid-May.

Second is a stylish desktop charger that holds your phone at the perfect viewing angle and charges it at the same time. Part of Moshi’s Scandinavian-inspired Q Collection, Lounge Q is a wireless charger and stand. It supports both Apple (7.5 W) and Samsung (9 W) fast-charging. Lounge Q (US$70) will be available in mid-April.

Next is Moshi’s new “USB C to HDMI Adapter with Charging” which connects USB C devices to an HDMI display. Interesting and very handy if you want to watch a bit of Netflix on a big screen and you don’t have a streaming device handy. The adapter has an extra USB C socket that can be used for charging while viewing. Surprisingly, it is compatible with a wide range of platforms and devices – Windows, macOS, iPadOS, Android, and ChromeOS, in addition to Huawei PC mode and Samsung Dex mode. The Adapter (US$45) is slated to be available from mid-April.

And finally, the newly released SnapTo Wireless Charger is the latest addition to the company’s growing magnetic mounting system for iPhones. The wireless charger doubles as both a wireless charging wall mount and a horizontal stand for your phone – check out the whole range of mounts over at Moshi. It’s quite a clever system if you haven’t seen it before. The SnapTo Wireless Charger (US$49.95) is available now.

All these devices will be available on moshi.com and from select retailers, and come with a 10 year guarantee – impressive.


Dubleup Credit Card Power Bank



There’s a saying in photography that the best camera is the one that you have with you, and it’s a similar story when it comes to power packs for smartphones and tablets. The best battery pack is the one you have with you, and to make sure that you do have it with you, here’s the Dubleup Credit Card Power Bank, launching today on Kickstarter.

The Dubleup Credit Card Power Bank can be preordered on Kickstarter with a 15% discount for early birds. Coming in three different colours (black, silver, gold) and two connector types (Apple Lightning and micro USB) there should be a match for both colour preference and device type, though a USB C connector would’ve been cool. I’ve had the power bank for a fortnight and it seems well-enough made with no obvious problems – everything closes up, nothing catches, there are no rough edges. I think the top surface is metal and the back is a high density plastic but it’s hard to tell.

 

Physically the pack is 86 x 54 x 5.5 mm with curved edges and the connector is built-in, popping out when needed. On the back, there’s a power button and three LEDs showing the charge level in thirds. The height and width dimensions are genuinely credit card sized but the depth means it’s a little fat. To be fair, it was the thinnest one that I could quickly find on the internet from a vendor that I’d trust. The thinness comes at the price of capacity – it’s only 1,280 mAh which would about charge an average smartphone from 20% to full. Obviously it depends on the size of the smartphone’s battery! The charging current is 1A (not 2A) and in the box there’s a short USB to microUSB connector for charging the Power Bank.

 

I’ve done a quick unboxing video for the Dubleup Power Bank. I say quick but it’s five minutes but should give you a real idea of the size of the battery pack.

Overall, the Dubleup is a small solution to the everyday problem of not quite having enough power to get through the day. It is relatively expensive at AU$79 inc shipping, (US$60/GB£48), for the capacity but if the size means it’ll stay in your purse, wallet or bag when other battery packs get left at home, it’s probably worth it. YMMV. Delivery is expected in June and there are a few early bird discounts (AU$60) if you get in quick.

Thanks to Dubleup for providing the Credit Card Power Bank for review.


X2 Underwater Jetpack by Supermarinovation at Gadget Show Live



SupermarinovationEasily the best thing at Gadget Show Live, the Supermarinovation x2 is a “wearable personal underwater propulsion device” but it’s much more fun thinking of the x2 as an underwater jetpack. With only three main components – two arm-mounted thruster units and a battery backpack – the x2 brings Superman-like flight to swimmers and free divers. Shown as part of the British Inventors’ Project, Chris tells me about the x2 and its development from idea to product.

x2 Sport Underwater Jet Pack

Aimed at swimmers and snorkellers, the idea is to get down to the interesting bits of the ocean as quickly as possible to get as much bottom time before having to pop back up for air. With the two power units at full pelt, the x2 propels a swimmer at around 7 mph, which is fast for a person underwater. Playtime is about an hour, though this is more reflective of the swimmer’s capabilities rather than the x2 going flat out, and it’ll be depth rated down to 10m (33 feet). Most reefs are well within this depth.

The outer shells are all 3D printed and a small number of advanced prototypes have been sold with a full launch of the x2 anticipated later in the year. Prices are expected to be around GB£4,000 for the x2 Sport and £8,000 for the Pro version. I’ll take two for my superyacht.

Since Gadget Show Live, a new x2 has been announced, the x2 Compact, which attaches the propulsion units directly to the back battery pack. A fourth product called the Hammerhead is in the works too, which is held in front with both hands and then pulls the swimmer along. Check out the renders in the Facebook links above.


SoftBattery From Enfucell Powers Medical Applications at WTS



Enfucell All of us are familiar with batteries, from the normal cylindrical cells for toys and remote controls, to the cuboid batteries often seen in digital and video comeras. Whatever the shape, batteries tend to be hard, inflexible and relatively heavy. This can make them awkward to use, especially if there’s a need to attach the battery to a person as it will need to be clipped on or placed in clothing. To address this problem, Finish firm Enfucell have developed a soft and flexible battery for use in medical applications. Andrew hears more from Anja, Enfucell’s Sales Director.

Unlike a normal alkaline battery, the thin and flexible SoftBattery is manufactured by screen printing and lamination, though in other respects it is similar using the reaction between zinc and manganese(IV) oxide (Zn/MnO2) to provide energy. Coming in both 1.5 V and 3 V versions, the SoftBattery is ideal for medical applications as the battery can be incorporated into a skin patch to measure ECG, respiration and activity while still being powerful enough to drive Bluetooth LE. As the battery is only used with one patient before disposal or recycling, there’s no risk of infection between patients.

The SoftBattery technology has been incorporated successfully into several products.

Enfucell SoftBattery


ChargeHub at 2016 CES



chargehub-round-red-1Scott Ertz interviews Rock Smeja, vice president of operations for ChargeHub. They discuss the ChargeHub, which is a round 7 port USB charging hub. You can charge up to 7 USB devices simultaneously while being connected to one power source, either AC house current or and included automotive 12-volt adapter.

The ChargeHub is priced at $59.99 and is available at many different retailers such as Best Buy, Staples, Amazon, etc. The ChargeHub value pack, which includes USB cables and the 12-volt car adapter is priced at $89.99.

The ChargeHub is designed to communicate with many different types of devices and has high enough wattage that it can adapt to charging as fast as any particular device can accept a charge.

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LifeProof at CES 2016



LifeProofDaniele Mendez interviews Gordon Vater, senior public relations specialist with LifeProof. They discuss the new LifeProof water proof battery cases for the iPhone 6s and 6s+. The battery case can double the phone’s battery life. When the phone’s built-in battery starts to get low, simply hold down the button on the back of the case to start the charging process. The waterproof battery case for the iPhone 6s sells for $116.99. The price for the iPhone 6s+ waterproof battery case is $149.99.

They also discuss the LifeProof LIFEACTIV quick mount accessories. A puck is attached to the back of any phone, which enables it to quickly and securely be attached to different mounting devices for cars, belt clips, armbands and also bikes. The belt clip version sells for $26.99. The suction mount automotive version sells for $35.99.

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