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Sony's svelte external battery looks like a smartphone

Sony spices up the anemic world of portable battery chargers made for smartphones and tablets.

Sony's latest portable battery doesn't skimp on style, and offers a full-size USB port (or two). Sony

When you absolutely need to make sure your main squeeze -- your smartphone or tablet, that is -- can stay powered when away from a wall outlet, a seemingly never-ending number of external battery options exist.

Few of the chargers, however, look as sleek as the half-inch thick Sony CycleEnergy external battery announced today, featuring lithium ion flavors in either 3,500 or 7,000mAh capacities. The slim aluminum frame weighs up to 6.9 ounces and sports a design that probably makes it easy to bundle along with a phone.

As for stats, related documents state that the 3,500mAh (CP-F1L) external battery can provide about a full charge and a half for most smartphones, while the behemoth 7,000mAh (CP-F2L, with two full-size USB ports) offers about three full charges on the go. A related press release notes that the Xperia acro HD smartphone gained a full charge in about two hours from this portable battery, mostly due to the high amperage USB output.

Charging the largest version of this slick battery through an outlet takes seven and a half hours, while the smaller capacity takes around four hours to reach the max (there is an option for USB charging, too, but that takes double the time). Sony plans to introduce this portable charger to Japan on November 14, ranging from 5,000 yen ($64) for the CP-F1L and 7,000 yen ($89) for the CP-F2L. No word yet on U.S. availability.

This battery uses a new laminate technology by Sony for increased thinness. Sony