Running out of juice on your smartphone never comes at a good time, does it? You’re chatting or texting along on your device when suddenly the “Low Battery” warning message appears. And Murphy’s Law being what it is, it often happens when an outlet is nowhere around. There’s a solution for that.
Jackery, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, today introduced its first products, two new chargers to bail you out in a hurry when you’re stranded with a dead battery. The Jackery Mini and the Jackery Bar are what are called in the industry “external quick charge batteries.” That means that you can carry them along with you in your briefcase, backpack, purse or whatever and when your smartphone, tablet or other device runs out of power, you plug it into the Jackery and you’re back in business. The device works again and the Jackery recharges it.
Jackery provides details on the products on its Web site and provides a link from there to Amazon.com for purchase.
The Jackery Mini lists for $29.95 and is rated at 2600mAh of power. That’s a measure of charging power and stands for milli-Ampere hours. The Mini is described as a “Lipstick” size charger because it’s about the same dimensions as a woman’s lipstick case. The Jackery Bar lists for $39.95 and is rated at 5600mAh, which means it stores a little more than twice as much juice as the Jackery Mini. According the Amazon page, the devices come in orange or silver cases.
Amazon also identifies the Jackery Giant, which is rated at 10400mAh (twice as much as the Bar), can charge two devices at once and is listed at $59.95. But a Jackery spokeswoman says the Giant is not yet available.
Jackery says that both the Mini and the Bar hold their own charge for six months waiting to be called to duty. The Mini offers up to 50 hours of operational use and, for example, can fully charge an Apple iPhone 5 in one full cycle. The Bar, meanwhile, delivers up to 120 hours of operational use.
Jackery is one of a number of companies offering these external quick charge batteries that are increasingly in demand as the public continues to go mobile. Today, people often have multiple devices such as a smartphone and a tablet and need them to be charged all the time. Jackery products can work with Apple iPhones, iPods, iPads, various Google Android-powered devices and smartphones powered by Windows Phone OS from Microsoft. Jackery products can also recharge various portable gaming devices and other MP3 music players, the company says.
Another option is portable solar-powered chargers. This Examiner article shows how solar-powered charges came in handy for survivors of Hurricane Sandy last fall when there were widespread power outages in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere. The article also notes that more and more smartphones and other devices have sealed battery cases, so a user can’t simply swap out a drained battery for a fresh one. Apple iPhones have always been like this and a company called Mophie sells a “Mophie Juice Pack,” which is basically a case for your iPhone that doubles as a backup power source.
Motorola, meanwhile, offers the P793 Back-Up Battery Charger that it sells through AT&T, the wireless carrier. You can probably find other chargers at various wireless carrier stores and other electronics stores like Best Buy and Fry’s.
Yet another option I recently wrote about is the line of wireless chargers in which you can place a device on or next to a charger and it charges using a process called "magnetic inductive power." However, the charger still has to be plugged into an outlet. Still, anything that makes recharging easier makes your devices more reliable.
Jackery is entering what it sees as a growing market serving the “must be mobile” consumer.
“Jackery’s products provide users with an immediate power boost that does not require scrambling to find an outlet,” said Julie Wang, chief operating officer of Jackery, in a statement.