Brando has been a long time supporter of the DigitalReviews Network with their multitude of gadgets and accessories. The latest to hit the desk here is the Multi-Purpose Charger.
What is so special about this charger? Read on!
The first thought that came to mind when unboxing the Brando Multi-Purpose Charger was actually "did someone pack an electric shaver by accident?" The Multi-Purpose Charger has the look, feel and about the size of a standard electric shaver, with a colour scheme to match.
On the "foil" end of the charger is the 4 white LEDs. Under the yellow acrylic cover on top of the unit is a spring loaded clip with two adjustable charging pins. On the opposite end to the LED is a "solar in" port and a mini-USB port for DC out. Left side of the unit is a power indicator and a three way switch to control LED, Off, and On. The right hand side has Charge and DC Out indicators.
The Multi-Purpose Charger is charged from mains power via retractable pins on the underside of the unit. Unfortunately it is in the standard US two pin configuration which means I require an adapter.
The basic operation of the Multi-Purpose Charger is simple enough. Firstly the trick that is not stated in the rather skimpy manual is to put the 3-way switch into Off mode if you are charging the unit. A full charge takes around 8 hours via mains power. To charge your portable device using the Brando unit, you simply plug the supplied USB cable into the DC Out port along with the appropriately shaped connector.
The unit comes with six different connectors to suit the most common needs such as a Nokia, Motorola or Sony Ericsson phone. None of the connectors are labelled but it is assumed that you have your device handy to try it on for size. To charge your device, it is a matter of making the connection and putting the 3-way switch into the On setting and charging begins. The charge LED flashes during the process and then turns steady once the device is fully charged. The charger will adjust the polarity automatically.
What sets this Multi-Purpose Charger apart is the ability to charge devices with removable batteries such as for a digital camera. The spring loaded clip holds the battery in place, and the charging pins can be moved closer or wider apart to meet the requirements of the battery terminals. It is not known whether it can concurrently charge via the clips and USB though.
Brando claims that you can connect any dynamo devices, solar panel devices, etc to the Solar In port of the Multi-Purpose Charger to charge up the battery. A full charge via solar takes around 20 hours.
As with most things from Brando, the user manual is minimal. But as with all things from Brando, they are not so complex as to be unuseable if one spends a few minutes playing around. I found the labelling on the device inconsistent and slightly confusing. For example, I turn the device On to discharge into my gadget.
* Built-in Battery: 3.7V, 6000mA high capacity polymer lithium battery
* Output Voltage: DC5.5V +/- 0.5V
* Input Current: 500mA-800mA
* Input Voltage: AC110V-AC240V
* Input Frequency: 50Hz-60Hz
The Brando Multi-Purpose Charger with 4-LED Torch is an useful, if inelegant, device to keep my gadgets powered for longer than they are designed to by manufacturer. For someone like myself who could be away from mains power for the best part of a day and constantly draining the life out of my batteries, the 6000mA battery really helps keep things alive for me.
The charger is available here for USD$39. Thanks Brando for the on-going support!