Backup-Pal review: Backup-Pal

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Backup-Pal has a simple, easy-to-use design. It does what it promises it will do.

The Bad The Backup-Pal can only store the contacts of one phone at a time.

The Bottom Line The Backup-Pal offers a convenient and user-friendly way to back up your cell phone contacts.

8.0 Overall

Backing up a cell phone's contacts is probably something no one thinks of doing until it's too late. When the phone is lost--or dies a watery death in a swimming pool--it can be a major pain to gather the contacts again and input them in a new handset. Fortunately, a SIM card reader can help guard against such mishaps. However, CDMA phone owners will find that a card reader won't do them a lot of good. So for those SIM-less consumers, the Backup-Pal is a comparable choice.

Connecting Backup-Pal to a phone lets users save contacts for safekeeping, and then transfer them back to a phone if the need arises. It's functional and user-friendly, and it worked just as it promised. It's compatible with both GSM and CDMA handsets; however, at the time of this writing it supports only certain Motorola, Samsung, and Nokia models. The manufacturer, Advanced Wireless Solutions, says it will support more handsets in the future, but the company hasn't yet announced specifics. The Backup-Pal is $49.95 and extra phone adapters are $19.95 each. That's more expensive than many SIM card readers, but it's comparable to many brands of cell phone syncing software.

The Backup-Pal consists of just two parts: the hockey puck-shaped storage unit and the connecting cable. The storage unit is compact (2.7 inches diameter, 1 inch high) and lightweight (2.75 ounces). Users will have no problem carrying it in a bag or stashing it in a drawer. What's more, the plastic case and plain gray color scheme makes it simple, no-nonsense design.

To start the backup process, connect the phone cable to the storage unit. Three AA batteries are needed; they snap into a compartment on the back. Next, select the correct phone adapter for the handset model, then snap it onto the end of the phone cable. We tested the Backup-Pal with a Motorola Razr V3. However, as we mentioned, the Backup-Pal is compatible not only with several Motorola handsets but also a selection of Nokia and Samsung models.

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