The iPhone has been great for the aftermarket battery business. I don’t know any power-user who does not carry at least one additional method of charging the device. I’ve tried, and been impressed by many. Most recently PhoneSuit sent me one of their Primo Micro Batteries to try out. The last product from PhoneSuit that I had the chance to review was the Mili. It had a design similar to the original Mophie Juice Pack. I liked it a lot and got a good bit of use out of it before giving it to a friend.
The Primo takes a different approach. It is your more traditional “clip on the bottom via the dock connector” battery. That means it is great for use with my iPod touch as well as my iPhone. The thing is… the battery only offers 800 mAh. As compared to the 2000 mAh of the Mili this thing is small… really really small. Usually the diminutive size would have made it a battery I would take a pass on but, in fact, I’ve taken to keeping it in my bag.
Let’s take a look…
The PhoneSuit Primo is the ultimate in iPhone & iPod power portability. It’s an ultra compact rechargeable battery that will provide immediate power to your iPhone or iPod. The Primo is so small it can easily be attached to your keychain or kept in your pocket for emergency use. The sleek micro design allows for a natural, comfortable feel while using your Apple devices. Take the Primo with you anywhere and never run out of power!
PhoneSuit isn’t kidding when they describe the Primo as…
about the size of a person’s thumb, yet pack[ing] enough power to give you many hours of audio and video play on your Apple devices.
It is small… really small… but it has gotten me through the last few days without the need to plug my iPhone into a wall charger. That’s thanks to the fact that the Primo’s 800mAh capacity battery is rated to provide up to 45 additional hours of music time on your iPod or up to 3 hours additional iPhone 3G talk time.
One of the things that stands out about this battery as compared to other iPhone batteries such as the Mili or the Mophie Juice Pack Air is that each designed to work with a wide variety of Apple devices. In fact, the Primo is “Made for iPod” and “Works with iPhone” Apple certified. That means the battery is compatible with iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod, iPod Classic, iPod touch, iPod touch 2G and iPod Nano (All versions).
As noted previously, when I first saw how small the battery was I was a bit underwhelmed. I really didn’t understand how it could be helpful When it has such a small battery. After the first time I began using it, however, I discovered one of the “hidden features” of this particular battery — the small size means that you don’t lose any functionality when the battery is attached. In other words with the Primo connected to the iPhone or the iPod touch and still able to play again that requires me to hold the device in landscape — in fact it kind of makes a good grip. Moreover, the design of the Primo is such that when the battery is attached to the iPhone it actually helps ensure that the microphone and speaker are left uncovered.
The lithium-ion battery is good for over 500 full charges. And speaking of charging, this is one of those batteries that is truly simple to charge. Using the included mini USB cord you simply attach the battery to any USB-compatible outlet and you’re good to go. You don’t need to carry while charger — just the battery and the short cable.
One of the things I actually like about this battery is its simple design. There’s no on-off switch, no flashlight, it’s simply basic and easy. It does, however, have an LED indicator on the front that lets you know how much charge remains in the battery. As the company explains, “when charging, the third LED shines red and turns green when it has fully charged.”
Now we get to the best “feature” of this particular battery — it’s price. The MSRP for the Primo is just $34.95. At that price it’s worth buying one or two and leaving it where you might find it most useful. For example, the review unit is now charged and has a “permanent” place one of the (MANY) pockets in my Scottevest fleece. If I am out and about and run out of juice I will always have enough extra power to keep me going.
The PhoneSuit Primo has an MSRP of $34.95 and
What I like —
Small, simple to use, well made, inexpensive
What needs improvement —
Well this certainly isn’t a case of “needs improvement” I would note that if you need serious battery support on the go this small battery isn’t for you. If, however, you simply want to make sure you don’t run out of juice at the last minute it’s worth grabbing one or two Primos.