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Power packs for smartphones

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Sun, Oct 07, 2012 20:03 hrs

Most smartphone users are left wanting in terms of battery life. Heavy users can pray to get a day out of their smartphone's battery (though no such luck for BlackBerry users who can never leave their houses without the chargers). And, since most new smartphones (like the iPhone, Galaxy S series, etc) are sealed units, carrying an extra battery isn't an option.

While smartphones keep getting bigger, faster and smarter, the trade-off is that the battery life isn't what it used to be - simply because to give all that processor speed on data connections and multi-tasking between apps and phone functions, the battery is bound to juice out.

There's nothing worse than being away from a charger and realising that your treasured smartphone's battery is almost drained out. The solution lies is in getting a good battery pack which, though is not easy to find in India, can definitely extend a smartphone's battery.

You can find some very good deals on battery packs, given below, on www.ebay.in and similar e-commerce websites.

DROIDAX POWER PACK
APPROX Rs 2,500 (PLUS SHIPPING CHARGES)

Droidax Power Pack is a pretty neat case-cum-battery for Samsung Galaxy S3. One would argue Galaxy S3's 2100 mAh battery is generous enough, but as mentioned earlier, for heavy users or those who are on the move, travelling, etc, it might still not be enough.

Droidax Power Pack promises to slip on to the back of the smartphones and deliver up to 75 per cent of a full charge through a hidden battery. But the case does add some significant bulk to the phone - making it thicker, from 8.6mm to nearly 15mm, and a centimetre more in height as well. There's a chip inside the case to stop its battery from overcharging, and you can also sync the phone with your computer while it's in the case via USB. This is not the quickest way to juice up your Galaxy smartphone since the input voltage is listed at 5V (600 mAh) and output is around 500 mAh. So, it should recharge the smartphone, but not as quick as you would want it to be.

POWERSKIN FOR IPHONE
APPROX Rs 4,000 (SHIPPING EXTRA)

Another popular option for the iPhone 4 and 4S is the PowerSkin, an all-in-one external battery pack that's also a silicon protective case. Thanks to a built-in 2000 mAh battery, Powerskin claims to double the life of the iPhone 4 and 4S. We could fully charge a dead iPhone in just under two hours, which is similar to the amount of time a wall charger takes.

The case fits snugly around the iPhone, with all buttons, sensors and camera unobstructed. It is also easy to put the phone in the case or take it out after charging. You will thank the silicon case when it absorbs shocks from sudden drops or rugged use, keeping scratches away from the iPhone body at all times.

The Powerskin has some nifty features of its own. A micro USB port on the lower right corner plugs into the computer that charges the Powerskin and can also sync your iPhone with iTunes (on PC) while connected. It also has a built-in LED indicator to tell you how much charge is left and an on/off switch to turn the external battery off altogether, if needed.

MOPHIE JUICE PACK POWERSTATION
> Rs 3,200 (SHIPPING EXTRA)

A good investment is to get a good battery pack like Mophie Juice Pack POwerstation when you know you will be using the iPhone or the iPad for extended gaming sessions or for content streaming on Wi-Fi networks. The Juice Pack Powerstation is essentially a 4000mAh battery that can be charged with the supplied micro USB cable, and another standard USB port that can take in the device to charge.

We found the Juice Pack Powerstation, designed like an external hard drive, could charge the iPhone 4 from dead to full up to 3 times before it needs to be plugged for recharging. The iPad 2 and the new iPad charge to about half the power within 3.5 hour. In fact, any USB-charged devices (like smartphones and tablets) can also be charged with the Juice Pack Powerstation.

There is no need to emphasise how liberating it is to use your expensive smartphone to its full potential without worrying about a drained battery. One may consider it as an expensive accessory, but remember it can be used with multiple devices and can come very handy while travelling.


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