Under the Radar

iBattz Battstation Optimus: iPhone Power in a Crisis

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The ibattz Mobile Battstation Optimus features a massive 20400mAh battery to recharge your mobile devices in a crisis, promising to recharge your smartphone up to 8 times on a single charge and two full charges for a tablet device.

The Optimus retails for $129.95. There are a lot of smaller backup batteries that fit more easily into a backpack for quick on-the-go charging. While the battery itself fits into a compact 5.5" by 2.8" by 0.87" case, the device weighs a hefty 12.5 ounces.

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The extra capacity comes at a price: it took more than 12 hours to fully charge the Optimus after it was fully depleted and the speed at which it charges a phone or a tablet doesn't compare well to some of its smaller competition. However, an fully-charged Optimus left unplugged for a couple of weeks held about 80% of its charge.

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It's that extra capacity in an emergency that makes the ibattz so attractive. We were without electricity for four days during the winter storms in February even though the cell network was still online. Snowstorms and hurricanes usually offer enough advance warning to give one of these a full charge before disaster hits but even users who live in tornado or earthquake country could find one of these useful if they added the device to their preparedness routine and drained and recharged it once a month.As the photo suggests, a group might also find the Optimus useful on an extended camping trip.

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The Optimus comes with a micro-USB charge cable to charge the device and a 30-pin Apple connector and a Samsung Galaxy Tab connector to use with the micro-USB cable. You can also use whatever USB charging cables that came with your device. There's a power level indicator light and a built-in flashlight that activates and deactivates when you push the power indicator button twice.

It's the massive battery that's the attraction here: slow recharge times seem like a much less important issue when you're getting the power to keep your phones working during an extended power outage.

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