Many gadgets come from third party manufacturers for our iPhones. There are a lot of quality producers of these gadgets.   One of them is iGo, with the their “Charge Anywhere” (CA).  This gadget is unusual for while it is not much more than another tethered, external battery to recharge your iPhone on the go.  What makes it different are a few characteristics.  And these characteristics are what actually make it a worthwhile consideration.

The first one is the CA has not one, but two USB ports.  This is a nice addition as this afford you to charge two devices simultaneously.  So if you and your Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Partner/Buddy need some juice at the same time you do?  There’s an extra, vacant USB port to plug into and refill your device.   The second, is that this battery actually has collapsible wall plug tongs that fold into the battery itself.  Now this is actually a really cool and ingenious idea.  This little addition does a couple of things for you.  First is, it allows you to charge the device independently from additional wires.  You know, those pesky things that can get tangled, frayed or lost?  So charging is a breeze.  Just find an outlet, pop out the tongs, plug in and the CA charges up.  But what this also means is that now, instead of having to lug around a power cord and an external battery like this, the iGo CA can replace the power cord entirely and still perform its remote duties of being an external power source.  And that is hella-cool!

So I took the CA around with me for the past couple of weeks, to see how it works and the convenience (or lack there of) it affords.  And I have to tell you.  While, it is nothing compared to the capacity of other larger battery packs, this little iGo did fairly well.  The additional wall-plug attribute is what made this really sing for me.  The reason is that all I needed to do was carry around a self winding USB-30Pin cable and this Adapter/Battery and I was good to go with  iGo in just about any situation.  The battery itself is about 2x as thick as a naked iPhone and about 25% smaller in stature.  So pocketing the gadget is a breeze.  A self winding cable is not included, though a normal wire with a USB on one end and a proprietary plug on the other does.  The proprietary plug is shaped to fit any of iGo’s many “Tips” for any electronic device.

Now the way that works is when you buy an iGo power unit like the CA, you get one Tip for a device free.  It’s built into the cost of the product.  Afterwards, any other Tips are around $7.49-$12.00.  The iGo CA will run you about $49.99.  The specs for the CA are as follows:

All starting with 0% battery on 3GS, 100% charge on Charge Anywhere:

  • 84% charge, iPhone off during charging
  • 83% charge, iPhone on but in standby (phone on, other radios off)
  • 6 hours video play time, iPhone in airplane mode
  • 4 hours talk time, all radios on, single call connected the whole time
  • For iPod Touch, we got a full charge from a dead battery plus 4 hours of music run time.  With Apple’s 36 hours of music time claim, that equals 40 hours of music time

My tests pretty much confirm these claims and I have no bones to pick with the gadget or iGo.  Would I like the battery to hold more power for more charges?  Hell yes, but with what the CA offers and delivers on based on the claims made by them and my findings, I cannot utter a single complaint.  The price point, while in the high region of “acceptable” is still within reasonable range and will not break your wallet.  As accessories go and my previous knowledge of iGo and their products I give the Charge Anywhere a thumbs up if you are in the market or need of a new adapter.  I see these in Radio Shack a lot though I know they have massive distribution and can be found in many phone and high end electronic stores.  So if you ever forget to bring a power cord or adapter and have to buy a new one.  I would look for this item and get it, because of the additional service it will afford you while performing exactly what you need.