If a hiker screams in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, did they really make a sound? What happens if your cellphone battery dies while camping, or really in any other situation that is nowhere near a usable electrical source?
Normally you would be completely out of luck, but these days devices exist to charge up most common cellphones using standard AA batteries. The Turbo Charge TB550 by Voxred is one of these.
The TB550 — sometimes called the TC2 — is a portable, reusable charger that uses something called "DualAlgor Chip technology" to charge cell phones without overcharging or damaging them.
The operation of this device is very simple. Insert a pair of AA batteries into the charger, connect the appropriate charging cable, and switch the device on.
With a full charge the unit will display three blue dots on its level indicator, and as the phone charges charges this level will go down. As soon as the last light turns off, disconnect the charger.
Another feature of this battery charger is an emergency flashlight. The charger has two bright white LED’s mounted on the top, and they worked great to light up a foot-well sized area of my car. I wouldn’t go as far as saying you could change a tire with this light, but it wouldn’t hurt.
Voxred claims the TC2 offers "Up to 3 complete charges with 2 AA Batteries!" but I have no idea what devices were being charged. Out of all the devices I tested with this charger, the highest charge level achieved was only 50%.
I suppose if someone was trying to charge up an incredibly small cellphone (with a small capacity battery) you may have better luck.
For an emergency cellphone battery charger, the Turbo Charge worked just fine. If your phone is dead, even having a small 25% charge is plenty to make your needed phone calls.
With its compact size and almost universal compatibility this type of charger should be in every backpack or glovebox.
The Turbo Charge TB550 sells for $24.95 with an adapter of the user’s choice on the Voxred web site.
- Works with a wide variety of devices
- Small size, not much bigger than a pair of AA batteries
- Bright LED lights
- Could not verify advertising claims of three complete charges from two batteries