One of the biggest drawbacks of the 3G radio and GPS receiver in the new iPhone is the tax that it takes on the battery. Most people using the new iPhone have noted that it can be difficult making it through a full day on a single charge when using even a moderate amount of Wi-Fi, 3G or GPS.
Compounding the problem is that Apple makes it unnecessarily difficult to toggle iPhone's various radios on and off. At minimum Apple should provide easy access to the radio switches by clicking on the battery icon, at best an enterprising developer will create a killer radio toggle app.
Sensing the problem, Richard Solo has stepped in to fill the void with their Smart Backup Battery Pack (US$50). Slightly smaller than an iPod nano the ingenious battery pack connects to the 30-pin dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone (2G and 3G) and most iPods. Simply keep the 1200mAh lithium ion pack charged, toss it in your bag and you've got backup power when you need it most.
The battery pack has three LEDs that indicate its charging status and capacity:
- A blue LED shows the current charge level
- A green LED illuminates when the iPod/iPhone is fully charged
- A red LED flashes when the battery has less than 10 percent of its charge remaining
The kit comes with the 1200mAh battery, retractable USB charging cable and a 110-240V wall adapter. As a bonus, you can connect the battery to your iPhone and charge both from A micro USB cable, convenient if you forget your iPhone cable. I'm told that it even charges the iPhone first, then the battery when plugged in. Sweet.