Brookstone brings Upp fuel-cell phone charger to US for $199

The hydrogen-powered charger for mobile phones and tablets will hit the US market in early 2014, Intelligent Energy announces at CES.

The Upp combines a charger and a detachable hydrogen cartridge to supply about 5 full phone charges.
The Upp combines a charger and a detachable hydrogen cartridge to supply about 5 full phone charges. Intelligent Energy

Upp, a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell charger for those who want to use mobile phones or tablets for a long time away from a power plug, will go on sale in the US for $199 through Brookstone.

Upp developer Intelligent Energy announced the partnership with the retailer on Monday at the CES 2014 show. The company launched the product in Africa, where power can be harder to come by, but Intelligent Energy officials are hoping it'll appeal to power-hungry buyers in the US, too.

"We see Upp as a real game-changer to meet the needs of a growing user base of power-hungry, portable electronic devices," said Steven Schwartz, vice president of merchandising and product development at Brookstone, in a statement.

The device has a detachable cartridge that has 25 amp-hours (25,000mAh) of charge -- more than 10 times the 1,800mAh to 2,300mAh common in today's smartphones. In practice, a single cartridge is good enough for five charges. The company plans to sell the reusable cartridges through subscriptions costing $5 to $10 per month.

The device competes with more conventional battery-powered recharging devices and with portable solar chargers.

The Upp charger weighs 235g, or about a half pound, and the cartridge weighs 385g, or about 0.85 pounds.

The Upp's hydrogen cartridge can be detached from the fuel cell.
The Upp's hydrogen cartridge can be detached from the fuel cell. Intelligent Energy

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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