Battery life on smartphones

Most users of their smart phones have realized that althought the phone can do a lot, battery time is definitely a problem once you start using it streaming music with Spotify, surfing, watching movies on youtube and so on. The reason is that the processor needed to run these applications needs to be quite spiffy and being spiffy means it will use a lot of power.

Since there is a limit to the size of most phones, there is a limit to the battery size that can be used and so the phones with the fanciest processors are left with low battery times – unless you keep them in standby most of the time but then they are not so bad and might last a couple of days actually.

But what is the fun in that, you bought the phone to use it so you want to use it but you still wish you could avoid depleting the battery before that important call comes through. Or what if your youtube watching escapades drained the battery just before you really needed google maps to find the address in the old town you where looking for?

Solar charger

There is a solution for that and this is to get a secondary power source. There are plenty of different versions out there, some with solar panels that claim to charge themselves in the sun light and then you can connect your phone to them to charge the phone. They also have an internal battery so you can let them drink the sunlight in the day time and charge its internal battery, then later connect your phone to charge it. However I have tested two different brands of these and it does not really works.

First of all it takes forever for it to charge the internal battery. On the box and in the manuals it says 6-12 hours of sunlight ought to do it. Well, not in Sweden, not even in the summertime, in broad day light the charging is acceptable but not more. Even after three days in the windowtill trying to charge it was not good enough, in the summer with a really nice weather. Fortunately that one could also be connected to a USB port and be charged by the computer. And on a clody day you won’t charge enough to keep the internal drain on the battery at bay…

Powerpack pre-charged

So unless you live in a country with a scorching sunlight, just avoid the solar charged power packs. What you want is something that can be charged in the car, from the computer or from a wall socket and carries enough of amps to charge your phone at least twice.

A lot of the modern phones can be charged on the USB port of an ordinary computer. This is good because it means we are finally seeing some kind of standard for charging small appliances such as MP3 players, phones and even camera batteries. So a power pack should have a USB port or perhaps 2 even.

My Powerpack

The Galaxy S and the Power Pack

The site is in Swedish but the facts for this power pack are: 2xUSB ports that can do up to 500 mA (which is standard USB current) each. The pack contains 5000 mAh (or 5 Ah if you want) which is more than twice that of my phone pack which also has a lower voltage. I should be able to get 2-3 charges out of this pack and now that I have tested it for about a month I am really happy with it.

PortsIt is small enough to fit in my pocket, only thing I need to take with me is a USB cable to charge the power pack or the phone as I want. I usually charge it from a USB wall socket charger and then just use the standard data cable for the phone.

The powerpack can be charging at the same time as you put 2 more appliances to charge from it. This is really good cause you can thus use it to charge your phone while at the same time you charge the power pack.