When I’m on the road I prefer to carry around a minimal amount of gear. That’s why I like gadgets that perform more than one task.
The Lil’ Sync DUO Pro HandsFree & Charging Adapter from Pocket PC Techs is just the sort of thing I’m looking for. It does two useful jobs for people with HTC smartphones.
Speeds Up USB Charging
There’s a couple of ways you can recharge your smartphone: you can either plug it into a wall socket or into the USB port on another computer.
Many people prefer the second option when traveling, because it means you only have to carry round one cable for both power and synchronization. Of course, this assumes there’ll be a PC with a USB port at your destination, but that’s rarely a problem when you’re on a business trip.
The downside of charging your phone this way is it’s slow. When you have a connection that exchanges both power and data, your device is only being trickle charged. With this setup it can take all day to fully recharge a phone.
This is where PPC Tech’s adapter comes in. You put it between the data cable and your mobile device, flip a switch, and you’re immediately fast charging your phone.
Naturally, this means you can’t have an ActiveSync connection at the same time, but I consider that an advantage. I don’t really want my smartphone constantly synchronizing with my PC just because I’m charging it because this takes up valuable system resources on my desktop.
When you want to synchronize your device you don’t have to take the adapter off. Just flip a switch on it and it’ll go into data mode.
HTC makes some of the best Windows Mobile devices around, but just about all of them have an irritating flaw: they use the USB port as a headphone port. This means you have to have an adapter to use regular headphones.
I have a pair of noise-canceling headphones I use on plane trips, and I can plug these into PPC Tech’s adapter and use them with my HTC Diamond.
The additional benefit of this is you can both charge your phone and listen to music or a video at the same time, which I always want to do on long flights. Without an adapter like this your headphones take up the USB port, so you can’t charge at the same time, or vice versa.
Naturally, it works with stereo headsets, plus it lets you use a normal set of headphones when making phone calls. Built into the adapter is a microphone and the control button you need.
There is one disadvantage to this gadget. It’s always acting as a headphone jack, so whenever you have you phone plugged in to charge, you won’t be able to hear the notifications for your alarms or incoming phone calls. You can get around this by putting your device on vibrate, though. I know the vibrate mode on my phone is louder than some of my alarms.
Add a Retractable Cable
As long as I was ordering the adapter, I went ahead and got a Lil’ Sync Pro Retractable Sync-N-Charge Cable.
The cable is also USB 2.0 compliant, and is also thick enough to be able to handle anything you throw at it.
The Lil’ Sync DUO Pro HandsFree & Charging Adapter may have a slightly silly name, but it can be a valuable addition to your traveling kit.
It works with every smartphone made by HTC in the last few years. HTC’s name isn’t on every device it makes (like the AT&T Tilt) but if you have a Windows Mobile Pro or Pocket PC device whose headset plugs into the USB port, then this accessory is right for you.
The Lil’ Sync Pro cable is for anyone who needs a USB-to-mini-USB retractable cable.
Both accessories can be ordered from Pocket PC Techs’ website. The adapter is $19.99, the cable is also $19.99, or they are $33.99 when purchased together.