It never fails – no matter what precautions I take, I still need more juice for my various gadgets. Whether it’s my iPhone showing the red battery meter of doom, or a “battery is low” ping on my Bluetooth Headset, there is nothing more aggravating that realizing that I’ll need to make a charging pitstop soon; being able to quickly recharge on the go is much more preferable.
When I was on my recent trip to New York, I found that even the Mophie Air wasn’t enough to keep my iPhone going on the day we traveled to DC, and that’s why I found myself eye-balling a packaged Callpod Fueltank DUO in a local Best Buy. No one could tell me how many mAhs it held and it wasn’t marked on the box, so I held off on buying one.
Shortly after I got home I took a look at the Duo’s specifications … and after reading them I purchased two; one to keep and one to give away. As circumstances would have it, I also indirectly received a unit from Callpod’s PR, so now I have two to give away. More on that at the end of the review…
The Fueltank DUO is shipped with the base unit, an AC/DC wall plug, a miniUSB adapter, a carrying pouch, and a voucher good for one free adapter of your choice (a $9.95 value redeemable at Callpod.com).
I went ahead and ordered a MicroUSB (which will work with both my Mophie and Vertu Ascent Ti), and a random assortment of adapters including one for the iPhone.
The base unit measures a smidgen under 5″ long x 3.5″ wide x 0.75″ thick, and it weighs just over 7 ounces; the body is composed of matte silver and glossy black plastic.
Fueltank® can simultaneously charge two small electronic devices without the use of an outlet. It contains a rechargeable lithium ion battery which has more than 7 times the capacity of a standard mobile phone. The Fueltank utilizes device-specific adapters – the same ones used for Chargepod® – so you can customize your Fueltank™ to meet the exact needs of you and your family. Proprietary voltage regulator technology senses the amount of power required to charge your devices. LED fuel capacity indicators display when charging indicator button is pressed.
The Fueltank DUO can be charged from its wall plug, a Chargepod (if you have one), or from a car charger (sold separately); it is not meant to be charged by a laptop’s USB port. It also can’t be used to charge a laptop, netbook, or other personal computers.
Battery Capacity – 4300 mA/hr
Battery Source – Lithium Ion
Estimated Charging Time – 2.5 Hours
Input AC Power – 110-240V AC, 50-60 Hz
Output Charge Power – 5.4V / 6.4V @ 500mA per port
Power Source – Refuel via AC power
One the back end there is a battery level button on the left and a charging port for the wall or car charger on the right. When the DUO is being charged, a green LED will light right above the charging port; at completion it will no longer glow green.
On the front end there are two ports for the interchangeable adapter cables, which will allow you to charge up to two devices at the same time. When the adapter cables are plugged in, a blue LED will glow – whether or not a device is attached. The LEDs will also serve to remind you that you must remove the adapter cables from the base unit when you aren’t charging a device, because otherwise they will slowly drain power from the DUO. Fair enough; you’ve been warned.
Pushing the battery level button on the back end displays an LED indication of battery status. As you can see, this Fueltank is fully charged. If no charge is present, the bottom red LED will glow on its own … assuming the unit isn’t completely dead.
The Fueltank’s physical size is such that it is perfect for tossing in my gearbag or purse; the extra 4300 mAh is such a generous amount of extra power that I can easily do an overnight trip without worrying about packing separate charging cables for my mobile electronics. If you own an iPhone, this can be considered a must-have.
The Callpod Fueltank DUO is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers. As a reminder, the Fueltank Duo is not for use with notebook computers or other large electronic devices, but it will charge up to two of your mobile devices at a time.
MSRP: $69.99; a coupon for a free tip comes in the box. Additional tips are $9.95
What I Like: Extremely portable; massive amount of backup power; ability to charge nearly any mobile device as long as you have the correct adapter cable; indicator LED leave no question about remaining battery life; ability to charge up to two devices at the same time.
What Needs Improvement: It can get expensive if you need to order a bunch of adapter tips — at $9.95 each they add up (but do bear in mind that you are getting two free with the unit)
Stay tuned, as tomorrow I will post on how you can win one of two Callpod Fueltank DUOs that we’ll be giving away.