To be honest, I’ve never been much for iPhone accessories. I don’t keep my phone in a case and except for an upgraded set of headphones, I’ve skipped over most of the accessory madness. However, the limited life of my battery has become enough of a problem that I found myself looking for a solution. I found one with the RichardSolo 1800 iPhone backup battery.
The RichardSolo 1800 on first glance looks a lot like a slightly smaller iPhone. It has a similar design aesthetic and shape to the first generation iPhone. It is slightly slimmer and slightly shorter. It is also much lighter than your iPhone. Regardless, it fit in my pocket nicely and was very easy to carry around in my bag.
Sticking out the end of the RichardSolo 1800 is the standard iPhone/iPod connector port. Once charged you simply plug it into your device and the RichardSolo starts recharging it. There are several charging batteries that require you to plug the iPhone in through a separate iPod cable. I hate having to bring extra cables and the built in solution is much better. The built in connector on the RichardSolo 1800 is firm and actually locks on to your device requiring you to squeeze two points in order to unhook it not unlike the older iPod cables. It also includes two plastic connectors that lend a little more support to your phone while it is charging. In a pinch, you can use your phone while it is charging but it does feel a bit funny talking into it with the battery attached. On the other hand, I found holding it with the battery convenient while watching a movie.
Because the battery plugs in from the bottom instead of the wrap-around design of some of its competitors, the RichardSolo can charge just about any iPod with the 30 pin connector. I used it successfully on a first generation nano, third generation 30 gig iPod, and an iPod Touch in addition to my iPhone.
With 1800 mAh, you can recharge your iPhone and then some. I let my iPhone drain down to 10% and then plugged it in. In about 80 minutes, it was fully charged again. Charging the RichardSolo simply requires you to plug it in through the MiniUSB connector to your computer or any USB charging device. Speaking of which, the RichardSolo 1800 includes home and automobile USB chargers along with the required cables. I thought this was a great touch allowing me to recharge the battery from just about anywhere. You can also charge the RichardSolo and iPhone together simply by leaving them connected while you USB charge the RichardSolo 1800. Charging the RichardSolo 1800 from my MacBook Pro takes about 5 hours.
I find the RichardSolo 1800 perfect for days when I use my phone a lot and when I travel. If I know I will be stuck on a plane or relying on my phone and away from extra power, the RichardSolo 1800 is a champ. Once in awhile I will mistakenly leave the iPod running on my iPhone and suddenly find I’ve drained my battery. The other nice thing about having this device in my bag is that it pretty much shuts up that inner voice that tells me I’m not allowed to watch long movies, play games, or otherwise carelessly use up my battery. I don’t care anymore. I’ve got insurance. I don’t need the RichardSolo 1800 everyday, but when I do, it comes in very handy.
As an added bonus, the RichardSolo 1800 has an included LED flashlight and laser pointer. While these extras may seem like window dressing, I actually find them quite useful. I most often need the RichardSolo 1800 when I’m on the road giving presentations. Having a flashlight and laser pointer in my pocket is quite handy. You can also use the laser pointer to torment cats.
The RichardSolo 1800 is a great solution for anyone in need of extra power for their iPhone. It retails for $69.95 and you can purchase it directly from the RichardSolo website.
This review was recorded and published on the NosillaCast podcast.