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Survive with Sony's hand-crank USB charger

How would you power a smartphone or other USB without a power outlet? Sony has an answer.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
This charger could save a life, or at least a smartphone. (Click to enlarge.) Sony Japan

One possible solution to resurrect a dead phone resides in Sony's latest portable CycleEnergy USB charger with a built-in hand crank, due in Japan on June 20 for 8,000 yen ($100).

The modular charger (CP-A2LAKS) features a dual port unit capable of charging two USB-equipped devices and a built-in 4,000mAh battery chargeable via AC power.

A Sony press release states the large battery capacity within can deliver enough power to charge a smartphone about two times, with an additional reference noting it would take about two hours to give the Xperia Acro HD smartphone a full charge.

As for charging from hand-crank power, don't expect any miraculous numbers; it takes about three minutes of cranking for one minute of call time, and five minutes for one minute of Web surfing. Those seeking a full charge would need to crank for many hours. But in a disaster scenario where power no longer exists, that doesn't sound so bad.

See our comprehensive summary of emergency cell phone charging options here, or watch Donald Bell's video on the issue below.

Power your phone in an emergency
Watch this: Power your phone in an emergency