It never fails – I’ll either get caught on a flight with no power outlet under my seat, or I’ll be stuck somewhere with no power outlet and a device with a dwindling battery. Because of this I am always on the lookout for products that will help manage or extend my battery life, which is why I was interested in reviewing the ULTRABattery Rechargeable USB Power Bank.
Measuring 3.9″ tall x 2.4″ wide x 0.8″ thick and weighing 5.7 ounces, the ULTRABattery is housed in a pearly white plastic casing which feels quite solid in hand and does not creak when squeezed. This box is basically a portable 2200mA backup battery that will recharge and power 5V devices.
Power Source: DC 9V or mini USB in 5V
AC Adapter: AC120V 60Hz 9W
Power Output (USB): DC 5V
Built-in Battery: AA NiMH 5V 2200mA x 1
Charging Time: 12 hours
Charging Life Cycle: About 500 times
Included in the package are the ULTRABattery, five charging tips, an AC charger, a split USB power cable, and a user’s manual.
To charge the ULTRABattery, the AC adapter should be plugged into the DC In plug. The ULTRABattery can also be charged by plugging into a laptop’s USB port and connecting to the USB IN port. The USB OUT port is where the included split USB cable should be plugged to draw stored power from the battery.
While the ULTRABattery is charging, an orange LED will glow to the far left of the green Battery Indicator button; once charging is complete it will glow green. Pressing the green Battery Indicator button shows the remaining battery life; three green LEDs indicate 85 – 100%, two indicate 70%, one green light indicates 40%, and when only the red light is left the battery is “low”.
The tips include one that is sized to fit most Nokia phones, a tip that fits most Motorola phones, a mini USB tip for Motorola RAZRs and other mini USB charged devices, a Samsung tip (for A400, A500 & N400 series phones) & Kyocera 2255 phones, and a LG tip which will fit VX500 and VX6000 phones. I found it a little odd that the packaging for the device touted iPod capability and the user’s manual included iPod specific directions, but there were no iPod specific tips included.
However, iPod tips – as well as other not-included tips –. Each of these tips plugs into the split USB cable which will allows up to two devices to charge at the same time.
So the cool thing about this doo-dad – other than the fact that it will recharge a drained phone, iPod, and PSP battery – is that the ULTRABattery is portable enough to slip in a gearbag pocket without weighing the user down. Since 2200mA is a larger capacity than most regular batteries will offer, the ULTRABattery should be good for at least one full charge when a device’s batteries have grown low. The biggest thing to remember is that after the device has been recharged, and once its battery is full, it should be unplugged from the ULTRABattery…or the freshly charged devices battery may begin to drain.
What I like about the ULTRABattery is that it not only works with the included USB cable and tips, it also works with any USB charger. Here it is charging the HTC Star Trek / Qtek 8500 (750mAh OEM battery) with the Qtek’s OEM USB charger cable. The ULTRABattery will also work with mini USB charging cables such as theor the BoxWave miniSYNC and their respective devices.
But of course there must always be at least one caveat…the ULTRABattery was not powerful enough to charge my HTC Universal (1620mAh OEM battery) even with the WiFi turned off. Granted the Universal is a high power device, but I was hoping that the charger would be able to squeeze out the necessary juice to make it happy. I’m guessing that the ULTRABattery is probably best suited for devices with >1500mAh rechargeable batteries installed.
Even with that caveat, the Datexx ULTRABattery is a great device to keep on hand for times when a recharge may not be possible. It is not a huge capacity backup battery, but it should be just right for recharging phones, iPods and portable gaming devices in an emergency or on a long plane trip.
Additional power tips.
The UltraBattery Rechargeable USB Power Bank is available directly from the manufacturer.
What I Like: Compact design, easy to use, multiple included tips, accepts any USB charging cable
What Needs Improvement: If it could carry a higher capacity, it could also charge more demanding 5V PDA batteries.