Dexim, who also makes the Richard Solo iPhone batteries has expanded its line to include the new BluePack S3. This device is different from the earlier iPhone specific offerings in that it does not have a built in iPhone dock connector but instead a USB connector and the necessary cables to charge most of your portable devices.
In the Box
The BluePack S3 is about the thickness of an iPhone but narrower and shorter. The design is black with silver accents and, after banging around in my bag for a month, shows no scratches. Also included is an AC Adapter and cable to charge the BluePack and three cables (iPhone/iPod, MiniUSB, and MicroUSB) to charge your devices. There is also a nice pouch to carry it all. Dexim always does a good job of giving you everything you need. The cables are short but rugged and the USB cables carried enough current to also drive my portable USB drive.
Using the BluePack S3
There is nothing to using the BluePack S3. You recharge it by connecting it to the AC adapter or your computer. The charging cord includes two USB plugs so when charging it off a computer you can double up the power. The power connector going into the BluePack S3 is not USB so if you are going to charge it on the road, you need to bring the cable.
Charging your devices simply requires you to plug the device into the BluePack. The BluePack has a series of three lights to indicate battery power. It also has an LED flashlight powered by holding down the battery indicator button. There is no power button so if you leave your device plugged in after it gets the full charge, the BluePack will continue to trickle charge.
What Can You Charge?
Because the device is not iPhone specific you can use it to charge just about anything in your bag. Since most manufacturer’s have adopted USB charging standards, I was able to charge and use my iPhone, iPod, Richard Solo phone charger, Verizon MiFi internet device, pocket camera, Livescribe Pen, and Plantronics wireless bluetooth headset all off the Dexim device. It also charged my wife’s (ack) BlackBerry. In short, if it plugs into USB or an iPod connector, the Dexim will give you juice.
How Much Juice?
The BluePack includes a 2600mAh Polymer Lithion-Ion battery. This is a substantial bump over the 1800mAh in my Richard Solo phone charger. In my testing I got about 1.75 iPhone 3GS charges. It gave several recharges on my various iPods and extended the life of my Verizon MiFi.
There are several vendors selling portable battery packs. I really like the Dexim product for its attention to detail and build quality. The BluePack S3 feels solid. The carrying bag and included cables are good quality and are a great addition to your bag. It is really nice knowing that when you forget to charge, you’ve got a spare tire. The package retails for $80 and can be found from several online vendors. It is also available from Amazon.
You can listen to this review on the MacReviewCast Podcast.
The above is based on a review unit provided by Dexim.