There are those days when your on-board iPhone battery cannot handle the stress of a working day. Typically, I get around 4.5 hours of usage between charges, which on a busy news day, leaves me bumming a power cord around the office. Mobile battery backups and chargers are a great way to extend battery life if your cubical neighbor forgot to bring in the cable you always borrow. Cellink I by Cell Drive is a pocket sized – let’s call it a snack portion – of battery boost to keep you reading, tweeting, posting, or blogging until you get home…
Almost 3″ tip-to-tip, the Cellink I is just over half the length of the iPhone 4 and slightly wider than the aging 30 pin connector. The USB and 30 pin connector are fixed, without the ability to retract, flip or bend them into the main housing. To prevent the tips from snagging items in your pocket, a simple cover that slides over the entire unit is provided. Overall, it is a very simplistic design, which is appropriate, but I would really like to have a small key ring somewhere to clip this into a book bag.
Well, as all chargers do, the Cellink I charges your iPhone or iPod. After a couple runs, I found the 600 mAh tends to recharge around 20% of my iPhone 4 (CDMA) in approximately 20-25 minutes. While recharging, I left my iPhone on, but did not use it. I found it interesting neither of the three indicator lights emitted while the unit was charging the phone, but the iDevice has an on-screen way of alerting the user. The LEDs only denote when the device battery is charging, has a full-charge, or during data transfer.
To charge the unit, plug it into any USB port and if the port happens to be on a computer, the Cellink I is capable of synching your iDevice too. The catch? If you have vertical USB drives on your laptop, this will not be the preferred charging method, as the Cellink I may be wider than your laptop is thick, requiring you to dangle the Cellink I over the table edge to accommodate. However, assuming we are all Mac users, there is no need to fret. Silly PC’s.
Finally, the Cellink I doubles as a MicroSD card reader, which for some may be the awesome surprise at the bottom of a cereal box, but for me, seemed like a useless feature. Not just useless because the Cellink I is primarily designed to be a charger, but useless because I cannot remember the last time I used a card reader to accomplish anything.
The Cellink I – Mobile Charger and Card Reader for iPhone is a quick fix for a draining battery, but there is a steep $49.95 price tag for a small charge. With a small on-board emergency power supply, the 600 mAh will get you a decent amount of talk, text, or tweet time before you make it to your final destination. I would not use it as a primary way to charge my phone or rely on it for a long travel trip, but it is a great small companion for everyday use and I appreciate our friends over at Cell Drive for sending us a review unit.
- Small and portable
- Regain ~20% battery life
- Built in card reader(?)
- Syncs via USB
- Small charge capacity
What do you guys think about the Cellink I? Would you rather use a back up charging stick, like Cellink I, or a backup battery case?