Clipper Gear Cell
Phone Emergency Battery Recharger
The Clipper Gear Cell
Phone Emergency Battery Recharger is a simple small device
that has interchangeable adapters to fit most cell phones.
If your mobile phone's
battery dies while you're away from your charger, this
recharger will quickly transfer the power from a set of AAA
batteries into your cell phone, getting you back on the air
Now you no longer need to be
always charging your cellphone, even when the battery is still
The Clipper Gear Cell Phone
Emergency Battery Recharger has enough emergency power to
provide you about two complete battery recharges - more than
enough for almost any time you find yourself with a dead mobile
What you get
The Clipper Gear Cell Phone Emergency
Battery Recharger comes packaged
on a plastic card that is very easy to open and remove.
Inside the pack is the recharger unit itself, four adapters for
different models of cell phones, and a backing sheet with some
The unit measures 2¾" x
1¾", and is ½" thick.
It weighs 0.7 oz empty, and with a set of four AAA batteries
inside, the weight is 2.3 oz.
The four adapters (see image
below) are for :
Sony Ericsson plug - almost
all Sony Ericsson phones except for some of the newest
Nokia small circular plug -
most modern Nokia phones
Siemens flat plug - S46 and
earlier models (a second thinner flat plug is available for
newer model Siemens phones as an extra option)
Motorola flat wide plug -
older model Motorolas (a second flat thin plug for T and V
series and other modern Motorolas is available as an extra
Five other adapters (see
image below) are
also offered as optional extras ($1.50 each)
Samsung and LG flat wide plug
- for many Samsung models including A288, N288, A388, A400,
A408, R220, T108, N628 and A300, plus LG models including
G510, G1500, G3100, G5200, G5220, G5220C, G5400, G5410,
G7070, G7100, G7120, W510, W3000
Siemens new thin flat plug -
most newer Siemens phones
Motorola short flat plug -
for most V and T series phones (but not the new V3 Razr)
Motorola V3, Blackberry and other
mini USB powered devices plug
Panasonic - fits
various models of Panasonic phone
The instructions are very
simple - basically 'plug in, wait for a while, then continue
using your phone', and the unit comes with a one year warranty.
How it Works and What it Does
Insert a set of four AAA
batteries into the unit, plug it into
the charger socket of your cell phone, and it transfers the charge from its (non-rechargeable)
AAA batteries into your cell phone.
Wait a few minutes for your
cell phone to get some fresh charge, then turn your phone on and
start using it again.
It is as simple as that.
But how much extra life can
you expect from the Emergency Recharger? Read on....
Quick Emergency Boost Talk
It isn't always convenient
to keep the charger plugged in to your cell phone, so we tested
two more scenarios, using a Sony Ericsson T610.
We first flattened the
phone's battery so that it wouldn't even turn on. Then
gave it a quick two minute charge from the Clipper recharger,
and then made a phone call.
Two minutes of charging a
battery that was deader than dead gave four minutes of air time
before the phone cut out again. It seems reasonable to assume
that this rule of thumb - two minutes of talk time per minute of
charging - would probably extend for larger charge periods too.
Quick Emergency Boost Standby
We then gave the T610 -
again with totally dead battery - a five minute charge, then
left the phone on standby.
Five minutes of charging
gave something over 4 hours of standby time - I lost count, it
might have been over 5 hours. But whichever the number is,
it is an incredible extra life from just a quick five minute
Max life test
How much charge is there in four AAA batteries?
To find this out, we recreated the testing we did when
reviewing the Cellboost units almost a year ago. We used
four regular Duracell 'Gold Top' alkaline batteries (not their
new high performance batteries, just the standard ones) for this
We discharged the battery in
a Motorola V66i until it was so dead the phone wouldn't even
switch on. We then connected up the Clipper Gear Emergency
Battery Recharger, gave the phone a couple of minutes of
recharging to put some basic life back into the battery, and
then turned it on and immediately made a phone call, leaving the
Clipper unit still charging into the phone at the same time.
When doing this with the
Cellboost, the phone lasted on a call for 2.5 hours before
dying. With the Clipper unit, we ended the test after 3.5 hours
of being continually on a call - in theory, a fully charged battery
for the V66i is only sufficient for 3 hours of calling, and
in reality, you get something less, so we'd already put through
more than a full charge into the battery. Very impressive.
But keep reading....
After unplugging the Clipper
Emergency Recharger, we noticed an astonishing thing.
Not only had the unit powered the phone for a 3.5 hour call, but
it had also fully charged the battery at the same time!
The phone's battery was showing as fully charged! We could
hardly believe this was true, but after leaving the phone
switched on in standby mode for four hours and still having the
battery show as full, it is obviously correct.
At this point there seemed
little need for further testing. A single set of AAA
batteries has enough life in them to put more than two full
charges into the V66i's battery, and that's surely much more
than enough extra talk and standby time to get you back to your
The V66i takes a 500 mAh
battery, so there seems to be something in excess of 1000 mAh of
power in the four AAA batteries. This test result is
consistent with the typical claimed capacity of alkaline
If your cellphone has a
higher capacity battery - for example, my Motorola V600 has a
780 mAh battery - you may not get the equivalent of two complete
battery charges. But, on the other hand, the V600 gives
more than twice as much talk time or standby time from its 780
mAh battery than the V66i does from its 500 mAh battery, so the
Clipper Gear Emergency Recharger will actually give more hours
of usage to the V600 than to the V66i.
Getting the most power from your
To understand how the
Clipper Recharger transfers power from the batteries inside it
to the battery in your cell phone, it is helpful to think of two
glasses, one full of water, and the other empty. The empty
glass is your cell phone battery, with no charge remaining.
The full glass is the Clipper Recharger, and the water is the
charge in the fresh batteries inside the unit.
When you plug the Clipper
unit into your cell phone, it is like connecting a tube between
the two glasses. The water will flow from the full glass
into the empty glass until the level is the same in both.
At that point, the water stops flowing. From a full glass
to an empty one, you end up transferring half a glass of water.
It is similar with the
transfer of charge into your cell phone. At a certain
point, the two batteries equalize and no more charge flows from
the Clipper Recharger to the cell phone battery.
BUT - and here's the
important part. There is still plenty of charge remaining
in the Clipper's batteries. Imagine you now disconnect the
tube between the two glasses, and empty one glass. When
you reconnect the tube, more water will flow from the half full
glass until both glasses equalize at a new level, with a quarter
of a glass of water now in each.
It is the same with the
Clipper Recharger. Using it the first time might use half
to two-thirds of its charge. But there's still a good
amount of power that can be used for a second recharge, and even
a little bit more for a third (and fourth) recharge before the batteries are
totally used up.
Naturally, when you're
keeping the Recharger ready for emergency top-up, you should
have fresh batteries in it, and after using the Recharger, you
should replace the batteries with fresh ones again before
putting it back into its standby emergency role, but if you need to use it and then need to use it again before having a
chance to replace its batteries - perhaps you have two phones
that both need to be given a quick recharge, you can
realistically do this.
What sort of batteries to use
with the unit?
The Clipper Recharger is
best used with regular alkaline batteries. As the test
results showed above, a set of regular alkaline batteries gives
more than enough power for at least one and possibly two
or more recharges of your cell phone battery, which should be more than
enough extra time to get you to your regular
Using the new highest
capacity alkaline batteries is probably overkill, because we
recommend that once you've had to use the batteries in the
Recharger, you consider replacing them so as to keep the unit
always ready with fresh new batteries. In that case,
you're likely to waste much of the extra capacity in the new
more expensive high performance batteries.
We also recommend - perhaps
surprisingly - that you don't use rechargeable batteries in the
unit for two reasons.
The first reason is that
rechargeable batteries self-discharge quite quickly. This
can be a problem with a unit like the Clipper Recharger, which
you probably might not use for months at a time. With
rechargeable Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries, when you need them,
perhaps three months after charging them, you will find
that most of their charge has faded away. In comparison,
regular alkaline batteries keep their charge for six or more
The second reason (although
the first reason should be enough for most of us!) is that
rechargeable batteries have a lower voltage. Alkaline
batteries have about a 1.5V rating; rechargeable batteries are
about 1.2V. This means the difference between 6V and 4.8V
coming out of the emergency recharger, and the lower voltage
reduces the ability of the unit to transfer power into your
Most phones are compatible
Most but not all cell phones
are compatible with the Clipper Recharger.
Firstly, it needs to be a
phone for which the Clipper unit has a matching adapter plug.
See the image on the left (click it for a larger version) for
pictures of the four adapters supplied standard (top) and the
three extra adapters also available (bottom)
Secondly, it needs to be a
phone which uses a 3.7V or lower battery. This covers just
about every modern Lithium-Ion battery powered phone.
Thirdly, a very few phones -
like the Nokia 3650, for example - need an unusually high
voltage of charge to start its charging circuit. The
Clipper Recharger - and most other rechargers - do not work
reliably with the 3650 accordingly.
All other phones should work perfectly.
Uses for the Clipper Recharger
I have several cars and
several phones. Rather than have a tangle of car chargers
in each car, I now simply have one of the Clipper rechargers in
each car, together with whichever adapter tips I'm likely to
need, stored in the glove box.
Sometimes when I'm traveling
for just one or two days, I find myself wondering if I need to
pack my cell phone's charger or not. I'd rather not - it
saves space and weight and hassle. Now, with the Clipper
Recharger, I simply keep a Clipper unit in my computer/carry
bag, and know that if I need to, I've got one or possibly two complete
battery recharges available for my phone, and if that's not
enough, I can either buy or bring extra batteries with me.
The Emergency Recharger
costs $9.95, and comes complete with four adapters to fit into
many popular cell phones. Additional adapters for other
phone models are $1.50 each.
The unit does not come with
batteries included. It uses four AAA batteries, which can
cost you as little as $3 for a set of four; even less if you're
buying them in bulk.
The unit itself is reusable,
so the cost per use is only the underlying
cost of the batteries - $3 a set or less. That's a great deal.
We sell these units
directly, ourselves. Prices are as above, and a flat rate
of $2.50 shipping covers any number of units, sent to anywhere
in the world. Here's
the page to buy them from.
Other recommended cell phone
We have two other products
you might also want to consider.
Clipper Gear Micro Light can be mounted on the back of your
phone. It is small and lightweight, and has two powerful
LED lights in it - ideal for giving you light in an emergency.
Clipper Gear SIM Saver allows you to back up and transfer
your phone's SIM (or R-UIM) card phone book data. Great
for backup in case you lose/damage your SIM card or phone.
There are a wealth of
different cell phone
accessories out there, to do with power, cases, and
This is the closest yet to
finding a universal charger that will always work and always be
available. All too often you can find yourself stranded
with a flat battery in your phone and no way to charge it.
Now, as long as you keep this small lightweight unit with you,
you're never stuck for extra power.
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7 January 2005, last update
19 Dec 2013
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.