Here we are, in our world of technology.Toaster ovens, DVRs, Blue Ray, Portable game units, Laptops, Smart phones and our iDevices. All these things use energy. Aside from Air, Water and Food. It is the most needed commodity we, as people are most addicted to. It is the central source, the origin of literally all our creature comforts, conveniences and society. It also happens to be the most precious and demanded resource we use.
Our iPhones are no different. Our precious iDevices are amazing in their versatility, capacity and function. There is just one small problem with them. As good as they are the power they deliver is too much for any real heavy use on the battery they come equipped with. The very battery that supplies our toy with the power to run. No power, no function. No function no fun. No ticky, no shirty!You get the point.
The iPhone battery is nominally functional and with any degree of heavy use, will find you with a brick. My Girlfriend, knowing I could use something like this, for the holidays surprised me with a little gift. It was a Duracell backup battery. It cost her $30. It sucked, to say the least. While finely crafted, it offered a measly 1 time charge and only then would charge my iPhone 50%. I was extremely appreciative of her thought but lets be honest her between us, that just will not cut it for our uses. Hence the need for a back up. In my search for such an item I scoured the web looking for a quality unit that would perform exemplary but at a reasonable price.I looked at Richard Solo. I looked at iSound. I looked at them all. Prices, capacity, function. But then I stumbled completely on one completely by accident from a company called Newtrent and one particular product called The IMP500.
Here is what caught my attention in the listing in my search 38 hour video play back. When I saw this in combination with their reasonable price of $53.95 I was hooked to find out more. So I do what I always do for myself and my readers. I investigated.Therein (as you will see in the site) is a 10 min Video with the head of the company demonstrating the IMP500, John Chang. In there he explains and shows how to use the IMP500. I was very interested in this product and decided to contact Newtrent and Mr. Chang. After an email and a follow up call, Mr. Chang immediately sent me an IMP500 to test, review and now you will get to know everything that you need to know about this product and the company that builds it. So hang on kids cause here we go!
First off, delivery of the item (BTW shipping is free for orders over $30) arrived no later than 3 days. Yes three days! That in itself is good, damned good. The packaging is a typical hermetically sealed blister package. Removal of the items are simply done with a sharp knife or razor blade along the sides. But aside from this, who really cares about the packaging? It is a marketing device which holds absolutely no merit to the form and function of this review. Personally I would not care if any item I got came in a wet paper bag with a Tuna Fish Sandwich and a Banana inside. Once we get our items home usually we just chuck the packaging away. So great, we all agree. Aside from getting it to us, Packaging means nothing. Moving on
Inside, there is an:
2 Component adapters (iDevice & Mini USB)
Self Retractable Wire for Charging/Syncing
& of course¦
The IMP500 PowerPack
What surprised me was actually how small the IMP500 is. It is literally the size of a 2007 BlackBerry. To give you perspective here, it is approximately 40% thicker that the iPhone. Slightly shorter and slight wider than the iPhone as well. Essentially it is the size of cellular device. So portability is going to be a cake-walk. This in combination with the self retracting charge-wire makes portability a dream. The same wire is used to charge both the IMP500 and the iPhone. Which makes the need to carry your cumbersome, stock sync cable with you, no longer necessary. Ah conveninece Anyway, the IMP500 can be charged via the wall or the USB port on your computer.Charge time via the wall out of the box is 4 hours. From 0-100% is 6 hours. It is also important and worth mentioning, that while for the purpose of this review I will constantly refer to the iPhone, the IMP500 PowerPack is not relegated to the iPhone alone. No sir! It is good for just about any portable device as can be seen in the picture on top of this article. Now time to test this bad boy called the IMP500.
Let me take some time to explain how this works. Most battery backups that we have seen actually clip into the bottom of the phone itself, no wires. The IMP500 uses a tether. So instead of the unit itself clipping itself into the bottom of the phone, the IMP500 uses the included wire. The wire was ingeniously designed to charge the IMP500 from the wall but also be used to charge the iPhone from the IMP500. Yes that is correct, the wire serves a dual purpose. So if you are looking for a backup battery that has no need for wires to charge the iPhone, the IMP500 is not what you are looking for. However, Newtrent is actually in development to make such an item (according to my discussion with Mr. Chang). And yes you can be sure that I will be testing that out for you as well. So stay tuned.
Now the video said 38 hours video playback. I wanted to test this for myself and yes, I really did test this. So I hooked up my 3G already charged to 100%. Set a few movies to play. Hooked up the IMP500 to my iPhone hit play, started a stop watch and hit the road to go about my life!
About a day later I checked on the IMP500 and saw that the powerpack was low on battery power. I watched it carefully from this point on to get the most accurate reading. The unit died at 16.5 hours. And the iPhone died 4.5 hours later. While certainly not disappointed (I mean 21 hrs of video playback is no small feat here), I was surprised considering the 17 hour disparity.I immediately called Mr. Chang, asking if maybe I had received a defective product. We went over the test parameters I performed, together. We then realized that the original test was done on an iPhone 1st Gen, with all ancillary items turned off including the volume and the fact that the 1st Gen has no 3G. Hence, it by default has less battery consumption. On the box it says 25 hour video playback. Considering the 3G/3GS consume power faster and also the fact that I left everything on; 3G, WiFi, Volume, etc 21 hours for such a small powerpack is extraordinarily impressive. Let me put it to you this way. If you have 21 straight hours to watch movies on your iPhone, you have way too much time on your hands, which is not many of us. So you are not going to need 38 hours anyway. Yes 17 hours lost seems like a lot, but does not 21 hours also seem like a lot of pure function? I say a resounding, yes.
21 Hours of constant playback is a flight to China. CHINA! Think about that for just a second. You are going to sleep sometime within that 21 hours. So 21 hours for such a small compact battery is simply amazing to me. How do they do this ?you may be asking yourself. Well aside it being an ancient Chinese Secret, the little known fact about Newtrent, is that they are no cheap, lame, third party manufacturer for power cells. No, not like Richard Solo, or iSound who simply dabble in this market. Newtrent, secretly, deviously is actually a subsidiary of an actual OEM company that manufactures power cells for some of the largest computer manufacturers in the world.Now the names of these companies were told to me, but under pain of death I was sworn to secrecy. And since I forgot my Cyanide Pill, I will not betray my oath of secrecy as I do not do well under torture (just ask my GF) and also, I have too much to live for to sacrifice my life to cater to your passing curiosity.But take my word for it.If you decide to get one of the IMP500 for yourself?You are getting an OEM battery, under a different name in a different package. Now how many companies do you know that can claim that? So the quality here, now regarding Newtrent should be incontrovertible.
So lets talk about the battery simply as an auxiliary power source for charging. Yes I tested this for you as well. The IMP500 PowerPack at 100% capacity is good for 4 full recharges of the iPhone before the IMP500 itself, needs to be recharged. The packaging boasts the IMP500 is good for 500 recharges. (This I will take their word for. Sorry guys but that is one area I cannot test in 2 weeks). The IMP500 comes in two colors. Black and White. Retail price for the units vary based on colors
Now why there is a price discrepancy between colors?I have no idea, but again, I am here to speak about functionality and simply report the facts, not debate them. From my experience the customer service with Newtrent is good, they are receptive and accommodating. The IMP500 performance, even though slightly exaggerated performs beyond anything I have seen to date, and Newtrent claim that This is the most powerful backup battery in the market today may very well be true. I can say to date I have not found one to top it.
Very Powerful with 21 hrs video playback
Incredibly, 4 full recharges of the iPhone
Good customer support
So if you are going someplace where for an extended period of time you have no real access to a wall plug, such as a camping trip, a long flight or an office where the USB port is out, or even just on the go and you forgot to charge your iPhone properly? You simply cannot go wrong with procuring one for yourself if you are in need of a battery backup. I give the product a resound thumbs up and the “Hilty seal of approval”.