I’ve been testing this universal external battery from Amstron for the last month or two. When I venture into New York City for the day I’m often away from any source of electrical power. There’s nothing worse than having your device power down on you 1/3 of the way through the day.
The Amstron P33 supplies power via a USB port. This is a great method because it means in a pinch I can use most of the charging cables for my devices (the manufacturer notes that the iPhone 3G cannot be charged via its own USB cable – you must use the included retractable cable and tip). In many instances there’s no need to buy additional tips unless you don’t have a USB cable. There is a handy retractable cable included. Pair this up with any of the 6 charging tips to create a charging cable. Additional tips are sold on the manufacturer’s web site.
There are 6 tips included with the battery. I tested on my BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G and iPhone Touch (2G). All tips worked perfectly when connected via the included retractable cable.
Here’s a list of the devices the manufacturer say’s the battery is compatible with:
To re-charge the Amstron P33 you simply use the mini-USB port and retractable cable. There is an included power plug that accepts a USB connector. Plug this into the wall and re-charge. The manufacturer indicates the re-charge time will be 6 hours. In practice I always re-charged overnight.
There are 5 LED lights that indicate the remaining charge on the battery. In practice I found the device would fully recharge my iPhone in about an hour and still have about 1/2 the power remaining as measured by the LED lights. More typically I would use the battery as supplemental power to my devices and plug them in when their battery indicators approached zero.
Here are the specs as stated by the manufacturer:
4X Battery Life for iPhone
Increase the life of your Apple iPhone by 4 times with the Amstron PP33 battery and charging system.
# Chemistry: Li-Ion
# Capacity: 3400mAh
# Output Voltage: DC 5.5V
# Output Capacity: 700mA
# Charging Mode: USB or USB AC adapter
# Charge Time: 6 hours
# 5 Level LED Display
# Use with your iPod Video for an extra 2.5-3 hours of play time
# Includes: Samsung, Mini USB, Treo, LG, iPod, PSP connectors
# Warranty: 1 Year
Package Includes: miniUSB tip, Samsung tip, iPod tip, LG tip, Palm Treo Tip, Sony PSP tip, Retractable USB Cable, AC Jack, & PP33
Note: For Apple iPhone 3G you must use retractable cable that comes with PP33. Will not work with Apple’s USB Cable
What I Liked:
– Powers multiple devices
– Retractable charging cable included
– USB connector accepts most (not iPhone 3G) OEM charging cables
– Easy to put in my pocket or backpack for quick trips
What Could Be Improved:
– Include more tips
– Increase the size and add even more battery power
– Fold out charging (AC) prongs so you don’t need to carry a charging block