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Does it Work Wednesday

Energizer Energi To Go Instant Cell Phone Charger

Does it Work Wednesday
Energizer Energi To Go Instant Cell Phone Charger
By: Lauren Keith

Energizer just came out with the new "Energi To Go" instant cell phone chargers. They're supposed to give your phone instant boost,  even phones that have been dead for several hours. So, I wondered first: does it work? Secondly, do you really need this?  Here's what I found.

Don Hinkebein rips into this brand new cell phone product. Don is an electronic guru; he doesn't sell the new Energizer Energi To Go chargers, at his JCS TEL/LINK store, just yet, so I thought he'd offer an unbiased and expert opinion for our test.

First, we use a cell that indicates it has a low battery.   however, we have to put two lithium batteries in the charger before it will charge our phone... kind of ironic, huh? Anyway, a flashing light is supposed to turn on after ten seconds to show the phone is charging.  We found it turned on and flashed blue almost immediately.

We see our phone is charging, but can we make a call while it's charging?  Don calls his receptionist.  She answers, and we hear everything clearly on the cell phone. So, these chargers ace the first part of our test, but Energizer also claims these chargers can power up phones that have been "dead" for several hours.

Our next phone hasn't had a charge in about 12 hours.

"This battery is completely dead. It's to the point where I can't even turn it on," says Don.

So, we plug in the charger.  The Energizer light flashes, but the phone still isn't on.  However,  after just three minutes, this dead phone comes back to life.

We again make a phone call to the receptionist with no problems.  I also asked don to monitor how long it takes to fully charge his cell phone. He says Energizer powered it up in about four hours. He also said the charge lasted for about three days, with him only using the phone for about an hour and a half of talk time.

"I think this charger would be great to store in your car's glove box or to put in your home emergency kit.  I really don't think the average person needs it though.  I think business travelers might like it though.  You could put it in a purse or briefcase and not have to worry about finding an electrical outlet somewhere," says Don.

However, he cautions: if you buy this instant charger, don't use it as your primary way of charging. Don says instant charging causes most cell batteries to wear out over time. In fact, he says even when you use a regular charger at home or a car charger, you can over-do it.

"The best thing to do is to let your phone's battery wear down.  Try to see how long you can go with a small charge.  It's not necessarily practical, but it will lengthen the life of your battery.  If you're constantly charging it at home and in the car, you will wear down that battery quickly," says Don.

Here's another catch. This charger works, but it requires lithium batteries, which cost $2 to $3  more than regular alkaline batteries. 

"I think this product works, but the expense to keep it up, isn't exactly economical.  Most people probably do not need this product," says Don.  

I agree.  The instant chargers are ideal in an emergency, or if you're traveling or camping, but they're not for everyone. The $20 Energizer Energi To Go chargers dial up a B minus on this Does it Work Wednesday test. I bought the Energizer Chargers at Walgreens.  Energizer offers chargers for many different brands of cell phones.

I also want to tell you, I originally set out to test some different, instant chargers.  I found them on-line, before Energizer came out with its product.  However, the first one I tested, the AA Turbo Charger Universal, is no longer available.  The company's web site says it's temporarily reorganizing, and they've put orders for the AA Turbo Chargers on hold.

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