Need More Power

20 Feb 2012
February 20, 2012

dead_batteryThis weekend we had a bit of a family emergency and found ourselves driving  90 minutes north to find a hospital as quickly as possible. While en route we were using our smart phones for typical smart phone stuff: texting, calling, researching on the web and GPS. The phones did all that just fine.

Once we got to the hospital our phones got more use. More phone calls, more texting and some light web research.

We left the hospital (everyone was discharged and OK, thankfully!) and headed south to find the lot where a wrecked car was deposited. More phone calls, more GPS and…

Out of battery.

5 hours of steady use (not non-stop though) and both of our phones were dead. Crap!

I know there are folks out there who use their phones WAY more than I do. How are they solving battery issues? I often carry an extra charger with me to get a charge in the car but forgot it in all of the excitement when we left… What other options should I explore to be better prepared next time?

External battery-based charge packs? I remember some fun projects back in the day with AA’s and an altoid case. Solar? Good intentions?

Seriously, in this era of short battery life, what’s an effective approach?

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4 replies
  1. Vox says:

    It depends on what phone you have…if it’s an iPhone, there’s a few battery-in-a-case solutions, like the ones from Morphie ( and its competitors…for android phones? probably external battery packs like the one by duracell and others like that…problem with the externals is that you have to remember to charge them too, while the iPhone cases recharge while you charge the phone.

  2. Joseph says:

    Glad to hear everyone’s OK.

    I have a Palm Pre (yeah, yeah, I know… thanks a lot, Léo!) so there are no dedicated solutions, other than those super-fat extended batteries that I’d rather not carry in my pocket every day. I have an external battery pack which works pretty well. In a case like yours, though, I probably wouldn’t have had it along. I normally only take it with me when I know in advance that I’ll need it.

    The Zagg Sparq is good for about 3 full phone charges, or some small fraction of an iPad charge.

  3. Rich G. says:

    I use a
    Duracell rechargeable battery pack with great success. I’ve got one in the car cigarette lighter charging just about all the time. I’ll discharge (using it to power the car’s GPS) once a week or so and the one I’ve had is over a year old and keeps my phone going for me on camping trips when power isn’t available to charge the phone. I plan on using it on bike rides this biking season as well.

    Glad everybody’s OK.


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