If you're not in the know, a portable charger is basically a long life battery that you can charge up at home and then carry around with you - maybe in a glove box, briefcase or handbag - in case your smartphone or iPod runs out of power. You then plug the portable charger into your gadget and you can charge it up on the go. It's not a new idea, but it's the first time I've seen Duracell offer such a product.
This little Duracell 3 Hour Portable Charger has an 1150 mAh capacity. The mAh rating is basically the size of the battery's gas tank. All things being equal, the higher the mAh rating the more powerful the battery. The battery size of different smartphones and music players is quite variable. For example an iPhone 4 battery has a capacity of 1420 mAh, so this Duracell 3 Hour Portable Charger will charge it up about 80% or at least give you in the region of 3 hours extra usage. An iPod nano has a 750 mAh battery, so this Duracell 3 Hour Portable Charger will give you over one and a half full charges.
The Duracell 3 Hour Portable Charger is very small - smaller than it looks in the images above. It charges up via USB and has two different charging heads supplied - mini USB and micro USB. This doesn't cover a great deal of smartphones and mp3 players, but that's not really a problem - you can just use the USB charging cable that came with your gadget to connect it to the portable charger and then you're away.
I found the Duracell portable charger to be a compact and effective product. The main thing I liked about it was the size - it really is quite small. On the downside, that means it's not as powerful as other portable chargers that are available. For example I already own a Powermonkey Classic portable charger which is a little bulkier but features a 2200 mAh battery inside - almost twice the capacity of the Duracell 3 Hour Portable Charger. It also came with a greater selection of charging tips, a small case and a wall charger and it cost about the same money.