We've all been there at some point. Your cell phone or smartphone is low on battery power, you're nowhere near an outlet to recharge, and panic starts to creep in at the thought of a dead handset. However, there are a number of accessories out there to help you resuscitate your phone on-the-go. One such solution is the Freedom Mobile Power.
The Freedom Mobile Power is about the size of a Zippo lighter and measures 3.2 inches tall by 1.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and weighs 2.2 ounces, so you can easily put it in your pocket or throw it in your bag. It's also sturdy, with a water-resistant aluminum casing and features a "click off" top to protect the various ports when not in use. When you are using the device, however, you can magnetically attach to the top cover to bottom of the device, but we found the magnetic connection to be pretty weak and felt like it could easily fall off at any time.
When you remove the cap on top of the device, you'll find a fold-away USB cable, a mini USB port, and three LEDs. To transfer power from the portable charger to your phone, simply plug the USB cable into your handset's mini USB port; conversely, when the Freedom Mobile Power needs a recharge itself, you can attach your phone's AC adapter to the unit's built-in mini USB port. We were also able to charge the accessory via USB to PC connection. Finally, the LEDs show you the status of the Freedom Mobile Power's internal battery: orange when it's being charged; red for low battery; and green for full charge.
The Freedom Mobile Power gets its juice from an 1800mAh lithium ion rechargeable cell that takes about 4 hours to recharge from a flat state. Once it's good to go, the company claims that it can provide enough power to fully charge your mobile 1.5 to 2 times and can hold up to 60 percent of power for six months--enough to provide a single full charge. Though the accessory is specifically manufactured for BlackBerry and HTC smartphones, it's also compatible with a number of other devices with a mini USB charging port.
We tested the Freedom Mobile Power with the T-Mobile G1, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310, and the HTC S743. Our G1 had less than 15 percent of battery life left and wouldn't even turn on. Within about 5 minutes of plugging in the Freedom Mobile Power, the smartphone had enough juice to at least power up. After about 2.5 hours, the red LED came on to indicate low battery on the accessory. We removed the charger and found that the G1's battery to be three-quarters full.
Meanwhile, our BlackBerry Curve was at 50 percent battery life, and the Freedom Mobile Power was able to bring it back to 100 percent in about 45 minutes and had enough juice to fully charge the HTC S743, whose battery was also at 50 percent.
While we didn't get the full charge on the G1, the Freedom Mobile Power gets its main objective done: to charge your smartphone's battery when you have no other source of power. Our only gripe with the product is that it's slightly on the expensive side at $49.95. Still, for those who are constantly on the go and rely on their mobile devices, the Freedom Mobile Power might be worth it to ensure you're not left with an empty battery.