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Summary:

While I do carry a spare battery for my Palm Pre, I can’t do that with my iPhone 3GS. For $20 though, I might address that problem by picking up one of the Duracell Instant Chargers that earned rave reviews at Giz. Duracell actually has a […]

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Image Credit: Gizmodo

While I do carry a spare battery for my Palm Pre, I can’t do that with my iPhone 3GS. For $20 though, I might address that problem by picking up one of the Duracell Instant Chargers that earned rave reviews at Giz. Duracell actually has a line of three chargers that can power portable devices: the Instant, the Powerhouse and the Pocket Charger. Each stores energy during a charge cycle from an electrical outlet, or can be charged from your computer.

The Pocket Charger looks the most portable, but it’s also the most limited — it only stores 500mAh of power and works with Mini-USB devices. The $20 Instant and $50 Powerhouse both hold four times the energy and support USB devices as well as Mini-USB, so they’re usable with more gadgets. The larger Powerhouse can charge two devices at one time, but I can’t think of a solitary instance where I needed that function. I also don’t need the larger bulk, so the “nearly weightless” Instant model ought to do the trick.

There’s a number of iPhone-friendly charging cases and solutions out there — we put two in the ring together last year — but they’re generally specific to the iPhone. When I look for a mobile technology solution, I try to find the most generic solution that still fits my needs. That’s why I’ve always used a USB adapter for my 3G plans and that’s why I’ll take one of these Duracell chargers over a device-specific solution. Well, I’ll get one after they appear online — Amazon shows the device, but says they’ll notify me when it becomes available.

  1. $20 for a 2000mAh battery with iPhone support is awesome! definitely picking one up when it becomes available.

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  2. Those of us that live by a “FRY’s” store have been able to get these for months now and the older (larger) ones for the past year 0r so……While I assume you could oreder them shipped, the cost might not be worth it…unless you wait for them on sale, which they were a while back about $15 so shipping would have made that about the $20 mark.

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  3. Got one of these which will be nice with this: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25809

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  4. There’s hundreds of similar items sold on eBay. I got one from Japan for a few dollars and wonder if the Duracell’s any better…

    http://tinyurl.com/ml2uwg

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  5. I bought one of these today (09/07/09) at Target. Target said that they were on a temporary price cut from $34.99 to 19.95. The SKU is 041333376356. When I scanned the barcode via google I received no hits, although I re-entered the information twice with the same result, no hit. The target receipt shows a number of 057060181 which I’m sure is some type of internal target #. This model look like the instant in your review. The reason that I point this out is that apparently there is a older instant rated at 1000MAH. The instant that I purchased is rated at 5volts/1150MAH. I am somewhat confuse because when I went to the Duracell site it states that the instant is rated at 2000MAH. I’m also confused on the price because your review make it sound like the regular price should be $20.00 which is different then targets regular price of $34.99. What Gives?

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  6. I used to use a 4 AA battery pack/usb charger that I bought on Ebay.

    But nowadays I use the Viliv S5 as a battery charger for my gear that can charge via USB (iPhone & Camera mostly) when I’m on the go. I love having to not take bulky chargers everywhere! Now, if the S5 could charge via USB that would be nice.

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  7. as Doug Mccauley pointed out, Duracell Instant is 1150 mAh, not 2000. Looks like they advertised it wrong on their page and Kevin probably got the specs from there(http://www.duracell.com/us/smartpower/products_PowerReserve.asp).

    For anyone interested, it’s output power is 0.6A at 5V, so it might NOT chager some of the smartphones that needs 1A at 5V.

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