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Friday, September 6, 2013

Palette's Product Reviews: Halo Pocket Power Charger

I was first alerted to the existence of the Halo Pocket Power Charger (hereafter referred to simply as 'Halo') after Shelby talked about it on her blog back in May. Being a good little prepper, I thought that a gadget with such a small form factor which could charge any electronic device would be useful. That it reportedly held a charge for up to 12 months, however,  was what sealed the deal for me.

Now,  Shelby bought the version with the built-in flashlight ($32.96 + S&H) but I bought the one without it ($29.98 + S&H). I did this for two reasons: One, I already have a small flashlight in my every day carry kit, and my bug-out bag contains a crank flashlight, so I don't need that function; and two, I read that it was pretty easy to accidentally turn the flashlight on, which would of course drain the battery -- and a dead battery in a recharger is useless.

This is of course not a slam against Shelby -- she bought the one which was right for her, I bought the one which was right for me. Diff'rent strokes, world go 'round, etc. I mentioned this solely to make clear that my review doesn't specifically speak for hers, and vice versa.

Appearance
The Halo charger itself is a very basic cylinder that is 3/4s of an inch in diameter and 3.75 inches in length. For a battery it does not seem especially heavy, perhaps as much as a "C" cell. Also included are instructions, a charging cable with a universal mount at one end, a collection of device adapters, and a carrying bag.

Micro USB, mini USB, and 30-pin connector all come standard.

Function
As far as I am concerned, the true genius of the device is the cable. It has not one but two USB plugs, and the Halo can use either one to charge a device. Not only do you not have to worry about which end to use, this also means that you can charge your device from the battery while you're also charging the battery from a USB port or a wall plug with a USB adapter. This is quite convenient, especially when you're in a rented car and your iPhone dies...


Performance
Does it hold a charge for 12 months?  I don't know. What I do know is that I charged the Halo back in May when I bought it, and when I needed it during my drive to the Bidet Shoot nearly 2 months later, it still had a full charge. I used it to recharge my iPhone when, for whatever reason, my iPhone would not take a charge from the rental car's USB port. (This wasn't a problem with my phone's cable -- I bought a new one at a truck stop and it still wouldn't charge. I think that the voltage from the car's USB port was too low.)  Not only did the Halo charge my iPhone so I could listen to music and audiobooks during the drive up, it was also able to take and hold a charge from the USB port, which enabled me to stay in electronically entertained bliss for the 2,000 mile trip up and back.

Since coming back from the Bidet Shoot, I haven't used the Halo charger. Turning it on indicates it still has a full charge, and it was able to take my Kindle Fire from a 45% charge to 50% in only a few minutes.

Things of mine which the Halo will charge:
  • 5th generation iPod
  • iPhone 3GS
  • any flip phone we have adapters for
  • Kindle Fire
Things of mine the Halo will not charge:
  • my 2010-vintage Nook Color (the Nook is quite power hungry)

Recommendation
So far, I highly recommend this product.  I say "so far" because I have yet to test its claims of holding a single charge for 12 months. So far, it has done what I want it to do and takes up very little space. It is a touch expensive at $30, though, and there are less expensive versions available. However, I have yet to see another model that even offers 12 months to a charge. 

I'm quite happy with my purchase, and I recommend it to everyone. If you try another model, please let me know how well it works and I will include your findings. 






... Yes, I know, it's kind of a boring review. What do you want from me?  The Halo is a charger, it either works or it doesn't. This one works. 


Obligatory FCC disclaimer:  I bought the Halo with my own money, so neener neener. 


4 comments:

  1. At 2800 mAhours the halo will not quite fully charge my Galaxy note, but it would fully charge a Galaxy S3 or S4. Nice and small, too. I've used the PowerGen Mobile 5200mAh External Battery Pack and really liked it - it's about the same length but a little bigger (3.7 x 0.9 x 1.7 inches) with almost twice the capacity, and does have a flashlight. The light is turned on and off with a quick double press of the switch. I have managed to turn the light on by accident once or twice, but it's generally not a problem. Available at Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/PowerGen-External-Blackberry-Sensation-Thunderbolt/dp/B005VBNYDS/ref=pd_sim_cps_2

    I have recently ordered the PowerGen 12000mAh External Battery Pack which is 3.8 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches. It has enough oomph to charge my Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet about 1 and 3/4 times. It was just delivered today so I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. It's at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085OB0IE/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'f you'd like to write a follow-up product review for either of those products I will be happy to post it here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review as always and yes what one needs is not necessarily what another does. Glad your choice is working well for you so far.


    I will say that the one I have one( as well as my hubby and our teenage daughter) has never had the flashlight turn on and the battery has never been drained.I also carry a flashlight, but I like having a back-up.


    Good piece of gear.

    ReplyDelete

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