Keeping My Smart Phone Alive

A look at Fatcat's Powerbar Travel Charger

Ever since I got my smartphone, I’ve been watching the little battery indicator — Will it last unitl I get home?  Do I need to borrow a cable from someone?  What happens if the battery dies before I finish taking the party pictures?  I tried buying an extra large spare battery with extra charge — it didn’t make enough difference to notice, and it kept my phone from fitting in its protective case.  I have a car charger, but it’s only good when I plan ahead.  It wasn’t until the folks at FatCat sent me their external battery pack that I could handle a low battery while on a long hike or in the middle of an airshow.

The small, sleek black PowerBar module has just one button — and that’s just to check the charge.  It’s very simple — hook it up on one side to charge it up (4200 mAh or about two cell phone charges worth of power is stored in that little device), or hook it up on the other side to charge up your cell phone. Or camera. Or MP3 player.  Or video game.

Now I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if I remembered to plug the phone into its charger.  I can go camping and have confidence that I’ll have power at the end of the weekend.    I can run IHeartRadio full blast while having a marathon Angry Birds session and not worry about the phone dying later in the day.

The PowerBar came 70% charged and holds the power for months, so it’s good for an emergency backup.  And as an emergency preparedness kind of guy, that’s important to me, and a whole lot more convenient than some of the hand-crank chargers I keep in my emergency bag. It also came with a power cable with a full size USB plug on one end and a set of interchangable cell phone plugs for the other, making it even more convenient and useful.

It’s not often that I find a neat gadget like this that actually changes how I do things, but this one really does make a difference in how I charge my phone and how much I worry.

The PowerBar Travel Charger sells on Amazon for $79.95.  The larger PowerBar for Ipads and Kindles holds 9600 mAh and sells for $129.95, along with all sorts of other neat electronic devices that I am putting on my Christmas wish list.