Most of us have faced that sense of dread that comes when our phones lay drained and dysfunctional right when we need them the most. Sure, we could beat ourselves up for not charging them as long as we should have (or perhaps making a bad choice of phones), but that’s where this particularly cute Kickstarter project comes into play. Devotec’s Fuel micro charger is a terribly tiny rechargeable external battery for when a smartphone’s charge goes south at an inopportune moment.
How small is it? Think “clip it to your keychain small.” And it’s shaped like a little gas can! How quaint.
As you could probably guess from its size, there’s only so much juice you’ll be able to squeeze out of this thing. The Fuel’s internal battery is only capable of holding about 220mAh worth of charge, which Devotec figures will give your smartphone up to a half hour of extra talk time — more than enough to fire off a few frenzied emails or to make a brief emergency call or two. I’ve come to appreciate bulkier fare like Mophie’s PowerStation Duo, but folks looking for a pint-sized lifesaver that won’t weigh down their bags will find something to like here.
For this first production run, Devotec is focusing mostly on churning out Fuel chargers with microUSB connectors, but the team is also plugging away on Lightning versions for the iPhone 5s in your life. There’s still no ETA on when to expect them though, so iPhone 5 owners may want to look elsewhere for now — after all, the first-party microUSB-to-Lightning adapter costs nearly as much as the Fuel itself.
Devotec’s Kickstarter campaign launched less than a week ago and the team has already blown past its $20,000 funding goal, but you can still lock in your order for a microUSB model for around $18 at this point. The final retail version will cost $25, so the cheapskates among you may want to jump on this now (like I just did). (Chris Velazco/TechCrunch)