Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Good battery charger but part broke when in USB mode for HTC Hero
on 31 December 2010
I bought this charger with the intention of using it in battery pack/backup/emergency mode as a USB power source for my HTC Hero, so that when travelling I could easily charge up the phone using AA rechargeable batteries. I bought two, and both chargers' USB modes broke (a part of the USB circuitry must have burnt out) within 1 hour of use charging my HTC Hero. It would seem that the USB power mode is not compatible with devices that have a high charge current (2009 and newer smartphones I think). So, not very useful for me so only a two star rating overall. Perhaps if you have older devices that draw a lower charging current the device will work for you.
Now, the good part: the battery charger. The charger charges 1 to 4 AA or AAA (in any combination) batteries in 4 hours (AA, less for AAA), with full battery detection/overcharge prevention and bad battery detection. Also, each of the 4 charging lines are monitored separately, so there's no need to charge batteries in pairs, and batteries with different charge levels are charged the amount they need, rather than some fixed amount for all. As a battery charger this device is very well featured. The charger does tick quietly (cutoff timer in use) and will smell of plastic when brand new. Also you'll need extra space around the mains plug since the charger is flush to the plug.
Feedback from the LED lights is reasonable, but a bit limited: one light per charging lane solid red while charging, flashing red for bad battery and green on completion. A button switches a pair of blue LEDs from charge mode to USB mode.
The second good part is the AA batteries provided: Duracell ActiveCharge, which are the low self-discharge NiMH type, the best available AA batteries. Apparently they are rebranded Sanyo Eneloops.
Technical data on USB mode: HTC Hero charges at 750 mA from wall chargers, or ~280 mA from PC USB sockets. With this charger it charged at ~790 mA from AA batteries until charger USB mode broke (numbers from app called CurrentWidget). In theory 4 AA batteries (2000 mAh) would charge an HTC Hero 1.5 times (~1300 mAh).