Mobile technology is, quite frankly, one of the scientific advancements I am most thankful for. We are living in Star Trek (minus warp drive and sexy green women), and when I sit back and think about that, I am simply amazed at how far we have come in such a short time. Now, for the love of Trelane, science me up a new battery technology to keep my devices running longer! As I await that next leap in science, I can at least keep my mobile technology charged via alternate solutions.
Enter the Universal Gadget Wrist Charger from ThinkGeek, a portable power plant you wear on your wrist. Not only is it incredibly useful for those long days where you just can’t stop to recharge, it’s convenient and, dare I say, quite fashionable: geek chic, perhaps? Eyes were turned and questions were asked while I was donning this wonderfully useful wrist adornment at a press event yesterday.
As you can see, it comes with a lot of little plugs and adapters straight out of the box, which is an absolutely fantastic way to ship a product. If your mobile device needs to be recharged, odds are good that this has the right adapter for it.
- iOS Devices
- 2mm Nokia II
- 3.5mm Nokia I
- Mini USB (for Motorola/HTC/Dopod/MP3 and MP4 devices/more)
- Samsung i900
- Sony Ericsson
- Sony PSP
- Nintendo DS Lite
- Nintendo DSi
- Nintendo 3DS
The “I look like I’m wearing a bomb” compartmentalized design of the wrist charger is actually functional, rather than designed to get me (a Middle Eastern man with a beard) lynched while wearing it. Each of the six compartments contains a separate rechargeable Lithium ion battery, with a total combined capacity of 1,500mAh at 5.5V.
The Universal Gadget Wrist Charger reaches full charge in around two to three hours, and provides a varying number of full device charges, depending on the capacity of the device you’re charging. I was able to keep my iPhone 4 fully powered with a streaming charge during five hours of intense use with some juice to spare. It is charged via USB, so you need one of four things to charge it: a laptop, a computer, a wall adapter, or another USB charging device. Once it is fully charged, all four (very bright) LED circles will be solidly lit. Charging your mobile device off of the UGWC is easy and hassle-free. You simply plug your device in using the supplied cable and appropriate adapter, and long-press the activator button located directly adjacent (above or below, depending on which way you wear it) to the LED lights. This will do two things: start charging your device and activate the LED indicator lights so that you can see what level of charge remains in the UGWC.
I do have two complaints about this device. First is the additional snap-button provided to extend the size of strap. My wife has tiny wrists, so the standard size was a bit too big for her. I have larger wrists, so the standard size was, at first, very tight on me. I tried installing the secondary snap-button so that it would fit my wrist more loosely and comfortably, but after 30 minutes of using various techniques (I pulled out a pair of needlenose pliers about 20 minutes in), I ended up tearing the installation hole and accidentally snapping the two sides of the snap-button together. I went ahead and wore it on the standard size, and after a few hours got used to the way it felt, but would have been much happier had there been an easier installation, or a more versatile size selection system. The world’s wrists do not fall into only two sizes, and this device does not take that into account. Second is that when I tried to use the device with my iPhone, the adapter would not work unless I removed my iPhone case first. This left my iPhone naked to the treacherous world around it. An adapter that takes case thickness into account would be appreciated.
Aside from those small (but frustrating) complaints, this device is an absolute godsend. If you’re a power-user of any mobile device that this thing can charge, you are doing yourself a disservice by not having it with you at all times. I can tell you one thing: you will see me wearing this at E3, without a doubt. I plan on power-using the hell out of my devices, and this will keep me going without having to take a break to recharge. You can purchase the Universal Gadget Wrist Charger for $39.99 at ThinkGeek. From day to day use, to power-use at conventions and press events, the Universal Gadget Wrist Charger is worth every penny. And if the usefulness isn’t enough to hook you, while wearing it you will look absolutely FAAAAAABULOOOOOUS!
|Mobile charging for multiple devices|
Convenient to wear
Does not take up valuable pocket space
|Lack of consideration for|
multiple wrist sizes
Unable to use iPhone power adapter
with case on my phone