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Reged: 11/24/03
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MyCharge Talk & Charge+ for Micro-USB
      #46848 - 08/16/14 02:37 PM

Have plenty of power for your phone? Never need to seek out the nearest wall outlet to top your phone off before heading out? Never see the red battery numbers that indicate you are about to become a deserted island in a sea of connectivity? Yeah, me either.

Portable consumer electronics revolve around battery life. No battery = no phone = painful isolation from the rest of the connected universe. But there is hope.

MyCharge has released a great solution that will free you from wall outlet slavery: the Talk & Charge+.

I reviewed the Micro-USB version that works with Android and any device with a micro-USB charging port. MyCharge also makes versions for the iPhone 5 series.

Operation of the Talk & Charge+ could not be simpler. It has a short, built-in micro-USB cable and connector to plug into your phone. Simply plug in the Talk & Charge+ and you now have a svelte external 4,000 mAh battery to charge your phone anywhere. It provides about 18 hours of talk time while you are on the go. You read that right - 18 hours!

Tanker Bob found that the Talk & Charge+ charged his Samsung Galaxy S3 (GS3) phone very quickly thanks to the 2A output which is equivalent to the better wall chargers. The Talk & Charge+ stops charging the phone when your phone’s battery reaches full charge, which causes your phone’s charging LED to extinguish. This provides a quick visual that your phone’s battery has reached full capacity. If you subsequently use your phone with the Talk & Charge+ still plugged into it, charging resumes and your phone’s charge indicating LED lights up until fully charged. This visual feedback proved very helpful.

The Talk & Charge+ itself can be charged either though its own micro-USB port or its full-size USB port. The Talk & Charge+ comes with a USB charging cable that’s micro-USB on one side and full-size USB on the other, but not an actual wall charger. It can simply use your phone’s charger or you can plug it into a laptop.

MyCharge designed the Talk & Charge+ to be held behind your phone while you are actually talking on the phone. It sports four rubberized feet on each side that keeps the Talk & Charge+ from slipping against your phone. Simply hold the pair against your ear and talk away. I’ve done this with my GS3 while in its Otter Commuter Box case and the combination works flawlessly. With the Talk & Charge+’s thickness at only 0.4 inches (10 mm), the combination also easily fit into my shirt pocket for charging on the run.

One monitors the charge level of the Talk & Charge+ using four white LEDs on the bottom of its face. Simply press the button under the LEDs and the number of lights indicates the charge level for a few seconds. For example, three lights lit indicates that the Talk & Charge+ still has 51-75% charge remaining. The lights blink during charging and stop when the Talk & Charge+ is fully charged. Very simple and elegant system that worked well for me.

I used the Talk & Charge+ for over a week in various situations. I used it to keep my phone battery fully charged during a day at work while listening to music and frequently using the calendar. At the end of the day, the Talk & Charge+ still registered four lights and my GS3 was at 100% charge. Sweet! My routine eventually evolved to charging both my phone and the Talk & Charge+ (whether it need it or not) at night, then use the Talk & Charge+ as desired during the day while never using a wall plug even if one was available. The Talk & Charge+ became particularly valuable with heavy phone plus reading and listening to tunes on a train or plane where no wall plug could be had. I arrived at my destination with my GS3 fully charged.

Is there a downside? Not really. The Talk & Charge+ weighs about 4.2 oz (118 grams), so it adds a little weight to your pocket or purse. It’s about the size of a cell phone, so it fits nicely in just about any pocket or purse. I believe the freedom that Talk & Charge+ provided to be well worth the little bit of extra weight.

Tanker Bob found the Talk & Charge+ much more convenient than a spare battery because you don’t have to shut down your phone, take it out of its case and pop the back off, interrupting your activities, to obtain more power. Simply plug the Talk & Charge+ into your micro-USB port and off you go! The Talk & Charge+ for iPhone 5 provides even greater benefit since iPhones don’t have user-swappable batteries.

At $59.99 retail, the MyCharge Talk & Charge+ provides far more operating time more cost effectively than a spare battery. After over a week of using the Talk & Charge+, Tanker Bob is hooked, having been freed from the tyranny of the wall plug!

Freed from the wall, oh happy condition,
I can now charge my phone while mobile on my mission!

Tanker Bob
Tanker Bob's Handheld Computing Page
Reviewer at MobileTechReview

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