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If your smartphone has ever run out of power, there are now some great on-the-go options. Nokia’s DC-19 universal micro USB battery backup/charger is the pick of the bunch.

External batteries, capable of charging a smartphone have become standard kit for travellers. Many are simply not up to the job having too little juice – mAh or milliamp hours – or do not produce enough charge output – mA milliamps. The DC-19 works with any micro USB smartphone or, with an adaptor, an iPhone.

For example, the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2800mAh battery. Nokia’s DC-19 has a massive 3200mAh capacity and 1200mA output in a tube weights just 78g and is 99.5mm long and 25.4mm round. Plug it in to the smartphone and it instantly powers and charges it in about 2.3 hours. Being over capacity is good - there is about 400mAH left for a top up.

If you use a lower mAh backup battery – many are only 1800 to 2000mAh - you will only get a partial charge of the Galaxy S5 and it will take several hours to charge.

Recharging the DC-19 itself takes about 3 hours with a 1.2mA charger (not supplied – you can use any USB charger). If you use a 2.1mA USB 3.0 charger it will take about 1.5 hours. Avoid using older USB 2.0 chargers or notebook USB ports as these provide 500mA and will take about 6 hours to charge the battery.

The DC-19 has four LED indicators to show remaining charge and you can both recharge it, and charge an external device, at the same time – another feature of an over capacity battery.

It has been cleared for aircraft cabin baggage. Expected recharge life of the Li-Ion battery is about 2-3 years before degradation reduces capacity. The charge should keep at 100% for about 6 months of non-use.

The Nokia DC-19 comes in yellow, cyan or white and is available Aussie online company MobileZap at $52.99 plus freight.

If you don’t need 3200mAh a lower cost alternative is the 2200mAh Veho Pebble at $25.99 and an 1800mAh Intempo at $15.49. I repeat however, over capacity backup is best.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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