Battery Pack Review: Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 for iOS and Android Devices
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Portable and light, works with most smartphones, has a built-in stand.
What's Not: The gel adhesive pad might give some users a second thought.
Concord Keystone made the first gen ECO Booster external battery pack for smartphones with micro-USB ports, and it was small and portable. At CES 2012, Concord announced the second gen, the Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 battery pack that upgrades the battery capacity from 1400mAh to 2000mAh without adding any bulk or increasing the size. As with the original Keystone ECO Booster, the 2.0 version works with any smartphone or device with a micro USB charging port and 5V power input. Also, for iPhone and iPod users, the Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 includes a micro USB to Apple's 30-pin connector adapter. The new ECO Booster 2.0 is coming in March 2012.
The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 comes in a small size measuring 4 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches and weighs 2.5 ounces. It's smaller than most today's smartphones including the iPhone 4S. The battery pack has several hidden features that make it easy to use. One of the cool features is a retractable micro USB cable that's about 3.5" long, and for those who often forget to take their charging cables for external batteries, this is a sure way to keep your cable with the battery pack. The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 doesn't exclude Apple iDevice users by providing a micro USB to 30-pin connector adapter, which is great for users who need to charge an iPhone as well as an Android phone.
The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 offers another feature thanks to the unique design: a built-in stand for your phone to view movies, video chat and more. The Booster 2.0 comes in two parts: one part is the battery slab with a micro USB power input port, a retractable micro USB output cable and a gel adhesive pad on which you can attach your phone to the battery pack; another part is an attachable stand that can clip onto the back of the battery when you need a stand, or the front to protect the gel pad when you are not using the stand. The adhesive isn't super strong and doesn't leave any residues on your phone. Our first concern when we saw an adhesive pad was that if the adhesive is too strong it might add pressure to your device when you try to get it off. But the gel pad on the ECO Booster 2.0 isn't that strong, so there isn't any risk of adding damaging pressure to your phone when you take it off of the battery pack. In fact, after you use it a few times, the adhesive loses its strength; to get it back you need to take the gel pad off and wash it to regain the strength. The stand puts your phone in a comfortable viewing angle (about 45 degrees) to watch movies, do video chat and more.
For mobile phone users, a 1400mAh battery pack is good for end of a day top up or extra gaming or video watching hours. But for the road warriors who are away from power outlets often, a beefier 2000mAh makes more sense for the extra space and weight in your gear bag. The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 can charge an iPhone 4S more than a full 100% cycle and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus a full cycle, which comes in handy for those long plane rides or layovers at an airport.
The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 has smart battery technology built-in for protecting over charging your phone. It can charge any mobile device with a micro USB port and iOS devices, and it outputs 5V, 600mA max power. You won't be able to charge larger devices such as tablets as they require more powerful output than the Booster 2.0 offers. It takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge the ECO Booster 2.0 via your computer, and if you connect your phone to the battery pack and charge them together via your computer, the battery pack will charge itself first then your phone. The Booster 2.0 takes about 2.5-3 hours to fully charge your device (varies depending on the phone's internal battery capacity), and it will shut itself off when the phone is fully charged or its battery is depleted.
The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 comes with 3 LED indicators on the side and a small button for checking battery levels while charging or on standby. The package includes the battery pack, an iOS device 30-pin connector adapter, a USB to micro USB charging cable for charging the battery pack via your computer, and a printed user manual.
The Keystone ECO Booster 2.0 makes two key improvements over the original version, increasing the capacity to 2000mAh and giving iOS device users an adapter to use the battery. The pack is small and light, and it can work with your phone's USB to microUSB cable so that you don't have to bring an extra one. The retractable power output microUSB cable is very useful design and the built-in stand is versatile since it's detachable. The battery charging speed is average and it has built-in over charging and short circuit protection.
Price: $44.99 coming in March 2012
Web site: Concord Keystone
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