If you own a smartphone or tablet, you most likely own a few chargers — one for work, one for home, one in the car — and maybe even a portable battery pack or two. What if you could have one charger that did away with needing multiple charging devices? Our Commuter Charger review takes a look at a 3-in-1 portable universal battery charger from Spyder Digital Research.
The Commuter 3-in-1 Universal Battery Charger features the following specifications:
- 2600mAh Lithium-Ion Polymer battery
- Input: AC 100-240V 50/60Hz; DC 12-24V
- Output: DC 5V/1A (max)
- Built-in over charge protection
- Foldable AC and DC plugs
- Dimensions: 91.4 x 61 x 20mm (3.6 x 2.4 x 0.8 in)
- Weight: 128 grams (4.5 oz)
What’s in the Box
The Commuter includes:
- Commuter Battery Charger
- USB cable
- Quick start guide
The Commuter 3-in-1 Universal Battery Charger features a compact rectangular design, and the entire unit is coated in a black rubberized finish for added grip. At 128 grams (4.5 oz), it’s super light as well. The front of the Commuter features the Spyder Digital Research logo at the top, and a green and red light indicator at the bottom which shows green when charged, and red when it is charging. The bottom features the USB port, while the left side houses the foldable DC adapter and an on/off switch, and the back contains the foldable AC adapter which folds over into the right side of the device.
Overall it’s a pretty compact design, making it very portable.
Ease of Use
The Commuter comes pre-charged out of the box, so if you did pick it up and need to use it right away, you could. Use is super simple as well, simply use the included USB to microUSB cable to charge your device straight from the charger, regardless if it’s unplugged, plugged into a wall outlet, or plugged into the DC port in your vehicle.
This 3-in-1 Universal Battery Charger works quite well, my only complaint is that it only has an output of 1A so you won’t be getting a quick charger out of this when using it in any of the three possible charging scenarios. Even when plugged into a wall outlet, my Nexus 5 reported charging over USB and not AC.
The 2600mAh battery should fully charge most phones, if not, it should give you enough of a boost to get through the rest of your day. Spyder claims it should give you up to 8 hours of talk, or 5 hours of video time. With the on/off switch, the Commuter keeps its charge when not used for quite a while as well.
At $50USD for a 2600mAh portable charger, it is a bit on the expensive side considering you can get larger portable chargers for the same price or less. However, the added bonus of being able to use it while plugged into an AC or DC outlet, or recharge it using AC or DC power is definitely an added value.
If you’re looking for a portable battery charger for your smartphone or other devices that you can use and re-charge everywhere, the Commuter will get the job done — as long as you don’t mind the slower charging output.
*We were sent a review sample of The Commuter 3-in-1 Universal Battery Charger for the purposes of this review.