California-based Tekkeon remains somewhat unknown in the cell phone accessories world, but the company has produced some well-received Bluetooth headsets. The Tekkeon EzTalker Mini was particularly impressive, successfully blending a user-friendly design with exceptional audio quality. Now, Tekkeon branches out into cell phone chargers with its myPower Go MP1500. Like the Energizer Energi To Go, the MP1500 provides emergency power for your cell phone through a few AA batteries. Amazingly simple in form and function, it's ideal for adding extra juice to your phone when it's about to die and you're away from an electrical outlet. It won't work with all handsets on the market, and it didn't power up one of our fully depleted phones, but it can extend your handset's life for a few extra hours.
The MP1500's design is so simple, we barely needed to look at the instruction manual to know what goes where. The main part is a white, rectangular battery pack that holds four AA batteries. At 3.2x2.4x0.7 inches, it's larger than the Energi To Go but still slips easily into a bag in the included carrying pouch. And at 4.5 ounces with the batteries installed, it won't weigh you down either. The plastic casing is solid enough, but we wouldn't want to get into the habit of dropping it frequently. On the upside, the battery cover doesn't require a lot of dexterity to remove.
Fortunately, the battery pack uses a standard USB port as the connection point for the charging cable. It's always nice not to fiddle with a proprietary connection, and we like that you can also use the same cable for charging your phone from your computer. And because the MP1500 doubles as a battery charger, you also can use your computer and the cable to power up rechargeable AA batteries. The MP1500 features a second input port for this purpose.
After inserting the batteries, we only had to plug in the cable to get the Tekkeon ready for charging. A small Test button lets you check the AA battery strength via four green LEDs on the top cover of the battery check. It's a nice touch and quite useful, as the LEDs also indicate when the batteries began to drain.
The MP1500 comes with 10 adapters for a variety of cell and smart phone models from RIM BlackBerry, HTC, Palm, Audiovox, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia. The range of supported models is admirable, but LG handsets and many of the newer Samsung models aren't compatible. On the other hand, the MP1500 will charge selected digital cameras, portable media players, Bluetooth headsets, and MP3 players (including some iPods). See Tekkeon's Web site for a full list of supported devices.
Once we connected all the cords and plugged in a phone, the MP1500 kicked into life quickly. We tried a few phones and successfully added power to a Nokia 7390, a Samsung SGH-D357, a Sony Ericsson W600i, and a Nokia 6133. On the other hand, we had more trouble with a Motorola Slvr L7e. Though the MP1500 comes with the appropriate mini-USB connector, we couldn't get it to maintain a constant charge. Instead it would start for a few seconds and then stop. The problem could be with the phone, but it was annoying nonetheless.
Of the phones that did work, we were able to get a full charge in about an hour when starting from less than 25 percent battery life. Yet the MP1500 wasn't reliable for charging a fully dead phone. Though it worked on the Nokia 7390, we had no luck with the Samsung SGH-D357. As noted above, you can't use the MP1500 to charge a fully dead phone; it must have enough juice to turn it on before you can start the process. You can use the MP1500 when talking, but the whole arrangement is rather cumbersome to hold. Tekkeon promises you can get up to six hours of additional talk when using the MP1500, but ultimately that will depend on the phone itself. In addition, the type of phone you're charging will have a bearing on how many charges you get off one set of batteries.