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Upp is an efficient, zero-emission portable charger for your device

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

With so many portable chargers and battery extenders in the market today, it’s a sign that always being on your mobile device isn’t just a want anymore, but a need (or okay, maybe a “really really really want” kind of thing). Sometimes, though, charging the portable charger itself can also become a problem, especially if there’s nowhere to plug it in once you’ve drained it of all life.

But that’s not a problem for the Upp poratable charger because it uses hydrogen cells to power it up. No need for charging since you just replace the spent cartridges with new ones. The charger has a 25 Wh capacity and each cartridge can charge a device up to five times, as per their estimate. If your device is already fully charged, Upp will automatically turn itself off so that no power will be wasted. This is a zero-emission device so the environmentally conscious mobile user should definitely have one of these.

But to make the most out of your portable charger, you would also need to download the Upp app on your device, so you can have better control over how it gives power. It shows you how much energy is left on each cartridge and how long you can use the remaining power. You can also use it to turn your Upp charger in flight mode so it won’t charge continuously. You can even set it up so that if your device reaches a certain percentage of charging, Upp will automatically turn off.

You can buy the Upp portable charger for $226 and it comes with one free cartridge. Succeeding cartridges will cost you $76 each, but if you exchange spent cartridges for new ones, you just pay $9. The app also has a feature to show you where is the nearest store where you can buy or exchange the cartridges.

SOURCE: Upp

AMPL powered backpack solves charging issues, debuted at CES

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Modern society has been so reliant on its gadgets that running out of battery power is a very real – and in most cases, a very stressful – issue for most. That is why mobile power banks are in vogue these days. But the AMPL powered backpack presents a novel solution to the issue – a backpack with charging capabilities so that if you are not using your gadgets, they can be in your bag and charging at the same time.

The AMPL SmartBackPack as it is officially called is a bag and a charger, it is made by AMPL Labs to resolve all that anxiety you feel when your tablet, laptop, or smartphone is running out of juice and there is not a power outlet in sight. Instead of having another device in your bag to charge – namely a power bank – why not a bag that is in itself a power bank? The AMPL SmartBackPack has an internal 18.5 watt-hour battery that can charge a smartphone up to 3 times full charge.

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Aside from that, it can also support up to 3 more modular batteries as additional juice for your gadgets. These modular batteries come in two models – TabletBoost, which supplies another 18.5 watt-hour of battery power, and LaptopBoost, which adds a huge 55 watt-hour and can charge most laptops directly. The bag is in itself has protective shock absorbing dampers for the safety of your devices and rain-resistant coating.

The AMPL SmartBackPack will be available by middle of the year, starting at USD$299. Additional battery modules will be at USD$59 (TabletBoost) and USD$139 (LaptopBoost).

SOURCE: AMPL Labs

Limefuel LP200X 20,000 mAh battery is back with a discount [DEALS]

Posted by wicked December - 30 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Batteries. We can never have enough of them. Especially when our increasing smartphone and tablet use drain our little power buddies faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Luckily, accessory makers like Limefuel are one the case and its heavyweight LP200X is back on the table. And like before, the offer comes with an equally heavyweight 58 percent discount, giving you the confidence to burn through your reserves without worrying about burning a hole through your wallet.

With a battery capacity of 20,000 mAh and two USB ports that lets you charge two devices at the same time, what’s not to like? Perhaps the $85 price tag? No sweat! This sweet battery pack is available with at 58 percent off, ending you with only a $34.99 expenditure. Not that bad if you’re smartphone is hungry for power like any high-end smartphone these days.

Let’s put things again in perspective. The Samsung Galaxy S5′s battery is a 2,800 mAh one. A bit of rudimentary math would tell you that you can charge up the smartphone fully at least 7 times. And that’s just with the Galaxy S5 alone. Though you’ll have fewer charging cycles, you can charge up a lot more even simultaneously if you have more devices to feed.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the Limefuel LP200X while it’s still hot at Android Community Deals!

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Petalite Flux with 2600mAh battery recharges itself in 15 minutes

Posted by wicked December - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

There are lots of portable charging systems on the market today to help you keep your smartphones and other Android devices topped off and full of power. The catch is that it can take hours to charge some of the portable battery packs before they are of any use to you on the go. A new portable charging system called the Petalite Flux has surfaced and it promise to be blazing fast.

The Petalite Flux needs only 15 minutes on the dock to charge itself completely. Once it is charged completely it has enough juice inside to charge a smartphone with a 2600mAh battery inside to 100% capacity. To charge the Petalite Flux in only 15 minutes, you do have to have its special power dock with you.

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It can be charged from a normal USB port or wall adapter, but that will take two hours. The device ships with a micro USB adapter that is perfect for most Android devices and an Apple Lightning connector. The USB port only provides 1A, so it won’t charge tablets needing more amps.

Inside the small Petalite Flux device is a lithium iron phosphate battery, this is the secret to the fast charging capability. The project is on Indiegogo now seeking $30,000 in funding and has raised a bit more than its goal with 24 days to go. A Petalite Starter Kit will set you back $68 with shipping in June 2015.

SOURCE: Indiegogo

Zerolemon is the battery your Galaxy Note 4 deserves

Posted by wicked December - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Still one of the biggest problems facing digital people is this: Why are smartphone batteries still so easy to run out? Despite the advances that some brands have made in providing us with devices that last just a few hours under heavy use, we still cannot live without our battery extenders. Zerolemon now brings us a battery case for your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and it might just be the (temporary) solution for you.

Your Note 4 will not be the most fashionable looking device when you use Zerolemon, but long after your friends’ own smartphones have run out of juice, you will be the last phone standing. At 10,000 mAh, it is the most high capacity battery case for the Note 4, with three times the capacity of your device’s own original battery. It is a little bulky compared to other cases, but would you rather have a slim, decorous casing but with your smartphone lasting just a few hours? Bulk/battery over comfort/design, we say.

The battery case will not interfere with your smartphone’s features and your activities (except that it’s heavier, but who are we to complain?) as it has all the necessary port openings so you can still charge, use your headset, take pictures, and all the other external buttons are exposed. It also has NFC support so you can continue using your S Beam and Google Wallet to your heart’s content. Of course, the actual battery life it can give your smartphone depends on how you use it, your phone configurations, what apps you use, etc.

The battery also comes with a 180-day warranty so you can test it out for 3 months to see if it really does work. And it’s also covered by Amazon’s 30 Days Full Refund Guarantee. Other reminders is that you will not be able to use this on the Galaxy Note 4 Edge and to be able to use it, you need to remove your device’s back cover and replace it with the battery case provided. You can get the Zerolemon Galaxy Note 4 battery on Amazon for $59.99.

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SOURCE: Zero Lemon

Flat Attack charges smartphones with normal AA batteries

Posted by wicked December - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

It can be a challenge keeping your smartphone charged if you use it a lot and aren’t near an outlet all day. There are plenty of rechargeable portable batteries out there that you can use to help keep your device topped off. The problem with those rechargeable batteries is that they will lose their charge over a few days if you use it or not.

A new portable charger for mobile devices has turned up on Kickstarter called the Flat Attack. The unique thing about this portable charger is that it uses a normal AA battery for power. Normal AA batteries can keep their charge for years without being used. That means you can keep the charger on you for years without worrying it will be dead when you need it.

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The Flat Attack charger has a built in USB charger on the bottom that will fit most Android devices. Adapters are available to allow the Flat attack to charge iOS gadgets as well.

Flat Attack is on Kickstarter seeking $30,000 AUD and has raised over $11,600 AUD so far. The charger would retail for about $23 AUD with shipping expected in February.

SOURCE: Kickstarter

OnePlus 10,000 mAh Power Bank coming soon

Posted by wicked December - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

OnePlus power bank

Poor battery life proving problematic? OnePlus wants to come to your rescue with a 10,000 mAh portable battery pack. Although you’ll have to wait a little bit, as it won’t go on sale until next year.

OnePlus’ upcoming Power Bank comes with a hefty 10,000 mAh of additional juice for your smartphone, tablet, and other USB powered devices, which is enough to provide three full charges for your OnePlus One. The pack features dual USB ports, each capable of outputting 2A at 5V, if you need to charge two devices at the same time and it has a dedicated charging port to power up the pack, which takes approximately 5.5 hours. The Power Bank also comes with short-circuit, overcharging and overheating protection, just in case.

In terms of size, the pack measures 142.8 × 72.6 × 16.2 mm and weighs 220g, which is quite reasonable. It will be made available in both Silk White and Sandstone Black options, presumably to color co-ordinate with your OnePlus One.

Better still, the Power Bank will cost just $14.99 when it goes on sale early next year. If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on one, you may want to check out OnePlus’ You Name It contest. Let’s just hope that this isn’t another ill-fated smartphone accessory from OnePlus.

Limefuel 20,000 mAh Battery Pack 58% off at Android Community [DEALS]

Posted by wicked December - 12 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

We’ve all been there: you’re out and about all day, using your phone for GPS, music, maybe streaming some video. Then, when you need it most, you run out of battery and your super-powered Android device becomes a useless brick in your pocket for all intents and purposes.

Well you can finally put that fear behind you with the Limefuel LP200X portable battery pack, which boasts a huge 20,000 mAh capacity, two USB ports to charge two devices at once, and an LED showing how much juice is left in the Limefuel. Normally $85, you can grab this battery pack for just $34.99 at the Android Community Deals Store – that’s 58% off.

To put the 20,000 mAh capacity into perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 2,800 mAh battery. Doing a little math, one full charge of the Limefuel is good for over 7 full charges of a Galaxy S5! It’s tough to find a high quality battery with that capacity (and this relatively small size), especially below $60.

Portable batteries come in handy for charging tons of stuff: phones, tablets, bluetooth speakers…basically anything that can be charged through USB, which encompasses almost every piece of portable technology these days. Whether you throw it in your backpack, leave it in your car, or use it on trips when you’ll have limited power connectivity, it’s extremely convenient to always have a charge at arm’s length.

Stay Charged! Pick up the Limefuel LP200X for $34.99 at the Android Community Deals Store!

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Budget Android Phones and Tablets: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Skimp On

Posted by wicked December - 12 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

penniesIf you’re like me, you love technology. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you also are strapped for cash. As any lover of tech knows, these two things don’t mesh together very well. The life of a technophile with a budget is a sad one indeed. The solution to this dilemma is, of course, to purchase and use lower-end devices with weaker specs and features. Since I’ve been living this life for a while, I’ve found out the hard way which features and specs to skimp on and which ones must always be a priority. Flashy cameras, brilliant displays, and blisteringly fast processors can be sacrificed in the name of saving a dollar, but the following cannot.

1. Battery:

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The most important feature on any phone is the battery. You may have a blazing processor, a brilliant screen, and all your music stored on the device, but without a battery to keep it running, none of it will matter. A beautiful, intuitive dead phone is just as fun to use as a horribly designed dead phone, so make sure your phone can handle the stress you plan to put on it. To find out, it is important to read the spec description on the manufacturer’s website, but be warned: the manufacturer tends to exaggerate the amount of time a phone or tablet will stay alive. A good way to beat a bad battery is to have a device with a removable battery and carry around a few extras for when your phone goes kaput. Some good devices for strong batteries are the Moto G, Moto E, and the HTC Desire 610. A few great tablet choices for strong battery life are the two Nexus 7s. As far as removable batteries go, Samsung again always has this option (for smartphones), and while the feature is coming back into style, at this point it seems to be a luxury on phones from other manufacturers.

2. Storage:

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This is especially important on a tablet, since apps used on the larger devices tend to be big, space-intensive games that will quickly fill your device. However, even phones will fill up if you put all of your favorite apps on them. Unfortunately, most budget phones and tablets have only 8 GB of storage on them, which won’t come close to covering your needs even if you’re a casual user. Thankfully, expandable storage in the form of micro SD cards seems to be making a comeback. If you can put at least 32 GB of expandable storage in your device, you will be able to store contacts, songs, videos, and maybe some apps. Otherwise, you will most likely need at least 32 GB of storage to cover your needs. Samsung has always been faithful with its expandable storage, but Motorola has been adding the feature to its product line as well with its second-gen Moto line. HTC has been working it in also, with devices like the HTC Desire 610. As far as tablets go, the Asus MeMo Pad 8 comes to mind. If you just want pure storage, an old Galaxy Nexus will have 32 GB, as will an HTC One (M7) and an LG G2, but those might cost a little more than you planned, unless you buy used.

3. Build Quality:

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If there is one category that a manufacturer will neglect more than any other in the realm of budget devices, it’s build quality. Most budget phones look and feel like they are worth every dollar you spent on them, which in this case is not a good thing. Build quality is a major reason that I shy away from fringe manufacturers, especially for budget devices. However, just because a manufacturer makes quality devices doesn’t mean that its budget phones will be superb. Although HTC has some of the most beautiful devices the market has seen, even its budget phones suffer from some necessary shortcuts. In general, it is still a good idea to look at a manufacturer’s high-end devices, then move down until you find the device in your range. For example, the HTC Desire 610, Moto G, or LG  Transpyre all have hints of their pricier cousins in the design without the price tags. Nexus devices are also notorious for being cheaper with relatively sturdy build quality, especially among the tablets. Amazon’s tablets (I know, I know, it’s not REALLY Android), have excellent build quality as well. However, let it be known that just because your device looks beautiful doesn’t mean it has the sturdiness to back it up. I’ve seen plenty of cheap-looking plastic devices handle a scrap or two, so make sure you watch plenty of drop tests before purchasing (no matter how painful it may be).

4. Upgrade Potential:

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For an uncomfortably long time, all budget phones ran on Gingerbread. This embarrassing fact was the norm from the Gingerbread days up until just last year, when Kitkat improved the ability for low-end devices to run software that wasn’t from 2011. Now most devices are on Jelly Bean or KitKat, with a few potentially being upgraded to Lollipop. Unfortunately, as updates keep happening, and Google continues to move forward with its OS, some devices, like budget devices, will inevitably be left behind again. In order to combat this issue, take a look at the manufacturer. Since Google’s OS is open source and available to anyone, manufacturers are the ones who dictate which device gets what update. It helps if you take a peek at the manufacturer’s history. Has the manufacturer been showing some sweet Kitkat love to its low-end devices? Does it have any plans of doing the same with Lollipop? Many manufacturers have fixed up their game in this regard, like Motorola and LG, and started sending out updates faster. However, what is even more important than the availability of updates is the usability of updates. As we saw with the Nexus 7 2012 Lollipop debacle, an upgrade that renders your device useless is hardly an upgrade at all. As long as you keep up with your potential device’s manufacturer’s track record, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

5. RAM

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RAM is one of the most important features in increasing the usability of a device. Android is already a fairly RAM-intensive operating system, so having a phone with anything less than 1 GB of RAM is going to be painful. Apps will run sluggishly, transitions will drag, and the phone will be a chore to use. The same goes for a tablet, but you might want no less than 1.5-2 GB. It’s not necessary to splurge for 3-4 GB of RAM on any budget device, but these minimums should be met or, and if possible, exceeded slightly. This shouldn’t be too huge of a problem: RAM has exploded in recent years in the mobile realm, making it hard to find a device with less than 1 GB. However, if you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get your device, you may run into a phone or tablet short on RAM. Give it a pass.

Taking all of these features into consideration, a few devices stand tall in my mind. The Moto G, LG Transpyre, and HTC Desire 610 are all well-priced, capable devices that were released this year. If you want a used, high-end device of yesteryear, a few that have been steadily dropping in price are the LG G2 and HTC One. Any older Sony device would also be a good choice; since Sony  tends to stay ahead of the technology curve with many of its devices aging well. For tablets, both Nexus 7s are still capable and inexpensive, Amazon’s tablets are perennial favorites, and Asus has been making some waves as well in the area of value tablets.

Is there any feature or spec that I missed? Do you have a specific device in mind that deserves to be mentioned? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Come comment on this article: Budget Android Phones and Tablets: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Skimp On

Tommy Hilfiger brings solar panels to jackets to charge your device

Posted by wicked December - 5 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

When designers and product developers at fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger heard the term “wearable tech”, they probably took it to heart. They have now come up with a line of clothing that is not just fashionable, but can also be used to charge your mobile devices because it is equipped with solar panels.

Yes, you heard that right. There are solar panels on a piece of clothing so you can justify the purchase of a designer jacket by saying you need portable chargers for your devices since they run out of juice fast. The clothing brand worked with solar manufacturer Pvilion to come up with a jacket for men and one for women that has a bit of tartan design to go with the rectangular looking solar panels. In fact, the panels are detachable from the jacket, just in case you don’t feel like sporting the water resistant solar panels while walking around.

The front packet has a battery pack that doubles as a USB port so you can charge two devices at the same time, in case your friend needs juice for their smartphone as well. It is capable of charging a 1,500 mAh device up to four times if fully charged. And if you feel like charging from the sun takes too long (it doesn’t indicate how long the process is), then you can get the battery pack out and charge it the usual way through a USB power source.

The limited edition jackets are now available at the Tommy Hilfiger online store and in several stores in the northern hemisphere. Both the men’s and women’s jacket cost $599 each and 50% of the earnings will go to an the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit that gives free summer vacations to disadvantaged New York City kids.

VIA: CNet

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