Charging things like MP3 players and phones on the move has become big business. After the car charger was invented, then came the question of how to charge away from the home and the car. You can now get mini-turbines and solar panels like the Solio Hybrid we reviewed. This emergency charger from Echarger is basically a way to connect an AA battery to any device and give it a charge in an, er, emergency.
And it works pretty well actually. I was impressed with it. You just find the right connector and connect it to your device and let it do it’s business. You can use a normal AA battery or a rechargeable one – other size batteries doesn’t fit.
I used a 2700 mAh rechargeable battery to charge my MP3 player through a mini USB connection and after about 45 mins it filled up one bar – which doesn’t sound a lot but is similar to the main and gave a good hours worth of listening. And even when the battery couldn’t charge anymore it the little LED flashlight still worked on any residual battery life that remained. It won’t light up a whole room but could help you find you keys in the dark.
It comes with a wide range of connectors, although the Sony Ericsson adapter was the old style so I couldn’t check how well it charged my phone – you can contact Echarger for a new one. Another nifty feature is that if you put a rechargeable battery in it then you can connect it to your computer and charge it up off the USB.
I find it a handy little device to have around, it measures only about 8cm long so you can even keep it in your pocket when you’re out hiking. As with all these charging devices, the product itself isn’t made from environmentally-friendly materials, but if you used a rechargeable battery and plug it into the computer while it’s on ayway, then you have a pretty green way of charging.
Available from Echarger, the emergency charger costs £15.