Duracell's USB Instant Charger is still best in show among budget models. It has dominated its class so long for a reason. Years of stiff competition, even from other Duracell products, cannot compete against its quality, simplicity and value. It carries 1150mA of stored power, just enough for one good charge on most devices. Compatible with any USB device, it's just icing on the cake that the little device comes at little cost.
It's a no-brainer. Gizmodo.com reviewer Mark Wilson says the Duracell is a "perfectly executed little gadget." Simply attach one end of the included USB/mini USB cable to the charger and the other to the appropriate port in the device. Push a button and charging begins. Little wonder OhGizmo.com reviewer Andrew Liszewski says the Duracell is "dead simple to use."
All black with a touch of copper harkens back to Duracell's Coppertop. The Duracell Instant USB Charger has an indicator light that turns red when the device is discharged and green when fully charged. Otherwise, it is super-light and highly functional.
Works like a charm. In one test, Alisa Clark from The-Gadgeteer.com let her iPhone drain to 9 percent. "Two hours later the little battery was dead but my phone was charged up to 70%!" She also recharged her iPhone when at 75 percent, and "my phone was back up to 100% within the hour." On Amazon.com, most customers give high marks to the Duracell Instant USB Charger's performance, where it rates 4 out of 5 stars.
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Review Credibility: Good Mark Wilson calls the Duracell Instant Charger a "perfectly executed little gadget." It's small, sleek and simple, and it stores enough power to charge an iPhone "about halfway," or power just about any other USB gadget.
Review: Review: Duracell Instant Chargers are…Pretty Perfect?, Mark Wilson, Sept. 2, 2009
2. The Gadgeteer.com
Review Credibility: Good Alisa Clark recommends the Duracell Instant Charger as an easy-to-use portable power source. When she tested it, the charger held enough power to charge her iPhone from 9 percent to 70 percent full.
Review: Duracell Instant Charger Review, Alisa Clark, Oct. 14, 2009
3. Anything But iPod
Review Credibility: Good Andreas Ødegård of AnythingButiPod.com says that because of its small size and low cost, the Duracell Instant USB Charger is "the ideal emergency charger." He goes on to say it is a "great value for money and highly recommended."
Review: Duracell Instant Charger Review, Andreas Ødegård, Nov. 29, 2009
Review Credibility: Good PCMag.com recommends the Duracell Instant Charger in this best-for-travel list. The one-paragraph write-up praises the "simple and portable device" that can provide hours of rechargeable power for a low price.
Review: Fall 2010: Best Tech for the Connected Traveler, Courtney Boyd Myers, Oct. 19, 2010
Review Credibility: Good Andrew Liszewski says, "It's really hard to find anything wrong with Duracell's Instant USB Charger." He likes its size, cost and simple operation. For those devices that do not offer the option to swap out a dead battery, Liszewski says, "it's the perfect solution."
Review: OhGizmo! Review -- DuraCell Instant Charger, Andrew Liszewski, Oct. 7, 2009
Review Credibility: Fair With more than 200 reviews posted, the Duracell Instant Charger rates an overall 4 stars out of 5. Most customers love its light weight and extreme simplicity, but some complain that it doesn't hold enough power or isn't compatible with their devices.
Review: Duracell Instant USB Charger with Lithium Battery, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013