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Richard Solo 1800 Smart Backup Battery for iPhone and iPod


pocketgpsworld.comAnother iPhone goodie that we had for review from The Gadget Show Live was the Richard Solo 1800 "Smart Battery Backup". Mike Alder has been putting this device through its paces and his review and findings are below.

While the Richard Solo is not a device that can not realistically be used easily at the same time as your iPhone/iPod it it there to provide some emergency juice just when you need it.

There are a number of different power boosting options on the market, all of which have some unique features. The Richard Solo's claim to fame is the inclusion of a laser pointer and an LED torch.

Mike Alder's review follows...

As with all mobile “connected” devices take them away from a power outlet for too long and you will soon get a low battery alarm. This applies to SmartPhones, PDA style units and the iPhone. Use the phone for internet access with the unit in 3G mode you get a very quick internet connection at the price of battery life, its not much good if you flatten the phone after three hours use and then need to then make calls.

The Richard Solo 1800 provides that all important portable power pack for the iPhone with a few other features added in for good measure.

Richard Solo 1800 battery extenderIn the box you get the instructions, battery pack, charger cable (retractable style) and a twin outlet car ciggy power adaptor.

The build quality is excellent even if the capacity is only 1800mA, but a fully charged pack and iPhone managed to keep me connected for 48 hours away from a power source on a recent camping trip.

Richard Solo 1800 battery extenderBuilt in to the unit are two push buttons, one for a laser projector/ pointer, the other for a white light LED which comes in handy for looking under a car seat when you drop something down the side of a seat! 3 LED’s for indication of charge state and a mini USB socket to charge the internal battery pack.

Blue (Top) steady indicates the device is charging the iPhone
Green (Middle) flashing indicates the device is charging
Green (Middle) steady indicates the pack is fully charged
Red (Bottom) flashing indicates Battery pack flat and needs charging

Interestingly you can have the device connected to the iPhone and charge both the internal battery within the iPhone and the external pack via the single mini USB socket. The iPhone battery gets charged first before the external pack is topped up so the phone should always be fully charged as this takes priority.

Also supplied is a different head adaptor for the earlier 2G style devices, these simply clip to the battery pack surrounding the connector and offer some physical support to the otherwise fragile connector.

Richard Solo 1800 battery extenderRichard Solo 1800 battery extenderOn the rear of the battery pack is the laser safety switch, putting this to the off position renders the associated push button inoperative – A nice touch should young kids get hold of the this and decide to play with it.

The laser pointer has quite a decent range certainly greater than 100 feet/ 30 meters, I have only used it once so far for a presentation at a university lecture last month, again having this capability in a single device is handy and avoids carrying lots of different gadgets.

Locked to the iPhone its not something you would want to use as a phone but it is certainly possible if the need arises, but for the odd shot of charge its great. The battery won’t simply disconnect as its secured in place needing two buttons on the edge of the case to be pressed to release the latch between the two devices.

Treat it as a second battery for the odd trips away and it proves a very valuable bit of kit for the pocket, even if the price is on the high side the build quality is excellent and justifies the cost if you want portable power for the iPhone.

The Richard Solo 1800 is available for $69.95 from www.richardsolo.com in the USA or £64.95 from www.usabest.co.uk in the UK.
Comments
Posted by SSR on Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:05 am Reply with quote

Some typos in that second paragraph.

And any recommendations for higher capacity alternatives? I've not spotted anything that's straightforward and available in the UK (in the form of a rechargeable battery pack).


 
Posted by mikealder on Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:24 am Reply with quote

Have a look at This its a much neater solution but costs considerably more - Mike


 
Posted by SSR on Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:04 am Reply with quote

That looks ideal. Thanks!


 
Posted by Lui-G on Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:15 am Reply with quote

Here's a more versatile solution, with more power, at half the price!

http://www.battery-force.co.uk/detail_AMPPIP001A-Ansmann-iPod-iPhone-3G-Apple-Portable-Power-Pack.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/n34u36

Lui-g.

PS - I know this is my first post, and it looks like I'm advertising - but I'm just a customer of battery-force. The first unit I bought was in fact DOA, but they replaced it with a working one this week.


 
Posted by Darren on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:15 am Reply with quote

SSR Wrote:
And any recommendations for higher capacity alternatives? I've not spotted anything that's straightforward and available in the UK (in the form of a rechargeable battery pack).

Not sure what capacity you need but I am delighted with a Morphie JuicePack. It has the same size battery as the 3G/3GS so effectively doubles the runtime and the design is good enough that I have mine fitted to the phone permanently.

Link


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by SSR on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:28 am Reply with quote

Thanks for the link.

Probably something fairly big, so in the 1800-2000+ mAh range.


 
Posted by SSR on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:47 pm Reply with quote

I went for Battery Force's Ansmann. Cheap and high capacity, and looks fine so far. Charged up in around 3-4 hours.

Double thumbs up for Battery Force. Along with being a well packaged item, they also sent a foam plane and some sweets!


 
Posted by Lui-G on Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:30 am Reply with quote

SSR Wrote:
I went for Battery Force's Ansmann. Cheap and high capacity, and looks fine so far. Charged up in around 3-4 hours.

Double thumbs up for Battery Force. Along with being a well packaged item, they also sent a foam plane and some sweets!


That's great SSR - I'm really happy with mine too.


 
Posted by SSR on Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:11 am Reply with quote

Thanks lots Lui-G for the link! Very Happy


 
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