Battery life is one of the most vital elements of a mobile device, especially if it's as multi-faceted as the iPhone 3G or 3GS. Playing games, chatting, Web-surfing, and multimedia playback can quickly drain the phone. Fortunately for iPhone diehards, portable chargers like the $79.99 Energizer Energi AP1500 Energi to Go can double the amount of time you can spend away from an outlet. Although other chargers can revive a dead iPhone faster and supply more juice overall, we love the sleekness of this accessory.
Made of black, shiny plastic that attracts its fair share of fingerprints and smudges, the 2.9-ounce AP1500 closely resembles the Mophie Juice Pack Air minus the two-section design. In terms of build quality, this device (made by Xpal Power but marketed by Energizer) feels sturdier than the Juice Pack Air, but we wouldn't expect it to survive a major impact without cracking. When an iPhone 3G was slipped into the casing of the 4.7 x 2.6 x 0.8 device, the total weight came to 7.0 ounces. On the left and right sides of the charger are raised bumps that act as no-slip grips.
Juicing the AP1500 via the USB 2.0 port located on the bottom of the AP1500 illuminates a LED strip across the face of the portable battery. This blue light serves as a charge indicator; you can see at a glance if the AP1500 is at 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, or full capacity when you press the small power button on the lower left of the device.
Energizer rates the AP1500 to deliver an extra 10.6 days of standby, 20 hours of music playback, 6 hours of video, and 4 hours of Web-surfing and talk. It took 1 hour and 57 minutes to fully charge the AP150, which was slightly longer than the FastMac TruePower iV (1 hour and 50 minutes), but significantly swifter than the Mophie Juice Pack Air (2 hours and 10 minutes), Case-Mate iPhone 3G/3GS Fuel (2 hours and 30 minutes), and RichardSolo 1800 (4 hours and 50 minutes). When we connected the AP1500 to a depleted iPhone 3G, the phone was brought to operational status in 10 minutes; the FastMac TruPower iV was able to do the same in less than a minute.
The AP1500 fully charged the iPhone 3G in just under 2 hours, which is on a par with the competition. We then pressed the charge indicator, which showed that we had approximately 25 percent juice remaining. After draining our iPhone, this accessory supplied about a quarter of a full charge, which is less than four other devices we tested. The Mophie Juice Pack Air, for example, supplied 1.5 full charges, and the FastMac TruePower iV delivered enough juice for nearly three charges (though that device is considerably bulkier).
If you're looking for a sleek iPhone charger to use when you can't get to an outlet, the Energizer AP1500 Energi To Go is a solid choice. It doesn't provide as much power as other products in its price range, but we like that its charge times are quicker than the competition.