June 14, 2009

Review: Griffin PowerDuo Reserve

Lets say you are in the market for an iPhone or iPod battery backup solution incase you run out of juice in midst of a flight or commute. What if the solution provider also tosses in an auto charger as well as a home charger for the backup battery as well as charging your iPod or iPhone simultaneously? That is exactly what you get when you buy the Griffin PowerDuo Reserve.

The following is what comes with PowerDuo Reserve (MSRP $59): (Amazon sells a non-auto solution for $39)
1. Reserve Battery for your iPod/iPhone which can extend playback of MP3 and Videos for hours
2. Home AC Charger (which can recharge the reserve battery and charge iPhone & iPods via USB)
3. Auto AC Charger (which can recharge the reserve battery and charge iPhone & iPods via USB)

Keep in mind that these AC chargers are outputing DC5V at 1AMP; which means it can practically be used to charger other devices over USB (ie. BlackBerry, headsets, etc...).

Overall, I am quite pleased with this solution. The reserve battery is portable and can fit into pockets of your jeans or backpack with minimal effort. It takes about 3 hours to charge the reserve battery. When fully charged, depending on your device model and settings, you may get up to additional:
* 24 hours of music playing time
* 6 hours of video playback
* 1.5 hours of internet surfing
* 2 hours of talk time

The package is very thoughtful as it offers reserve battery charging solution IN ADDITION to capabilities in charging an iPod or iPhone at the same time. The glossy black finish offers a hint of luxury and matches up quite nicely with my favorite iPhone 3G case, the Clarifi. Griffin's instruction suggests that I keep the battery stowed away in one of the two charger base when not in use; the device is smart enough to not over charge the battery while lefted in the charging base. The reserve battery is attached to the charging base via a magnetic connection which is very slick. If there is a couple of feedback, I'd hope for two things: 1). It would have been nice if Griffin could toss in a black USB data cable and 2). a small plastic cover for the reserve battery connector would be a nice addition to keep the connector protected.

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