Archive for the 'New Product Reviews' Category

18
Feb

Buyer Beware: BTY Rechargeable Batteries Are Cheap On Price – And Capacity

BTY rechargeable battery review

Photo of BTY rechargeable Batteries from Dan's Data

At just $9.99 for 8 pieces, BTY AA rechargeable batteries seem like the best buy in the battery world. But a preponderance of test and reviews reveal that don’t even hold 10% of their capacity after just 2 or 3 charges.

When it comes to finding the best deal on rechargeable batteries, many consumers look for the highest capacity (mAh) they can get at the lowest price. And at first, that would appear to be a smart way of shopping. The only problem, however, is that what a rechargeable battery brand prints as the capacity on their batteries and what they actually offer users are often two completely different things.

We recently took a look at the UltraFire brand of rechargeable batteries, which actually have been known to catch fire while in use or being charged. Today, we’re looking at some of the data, testing, and reviews of the BTY brand of rechargeable batteries. Continue reading ‘Buyer Beware: BTY Rechargeable Batteries Are Cheap On Price – And Capacity’

06
Jan

EcoSwitch Standby Energy Saver Solves “Vampire Electronics” Problem

EcoSwitch

The EcoSwitch makes it easy for consumers to control the amount of wasted electricity running through unused “vampire electronics.”

You may recall an article we posted back in October about “vampire electronics” —  devices and cables that are left plugged in on a regular basis — and how they cost consumers and the world a great deal in wasted money and energy. Some analysts believe that $10 billion is wasted a year worldwide in energy from cables and chargers that remain plugged in even when no device is connected to them.

The fact of the matter is, when an electrical item is plugged in, even if it is turned off, it is still drawing power from the electrical socket. For a single device, this may not seem like much of a concern. But when you consider how many electrical devices that remain plugged in in just one household, it’s easy to see how quickly the waste and cost could rack up.

At the same time, it’s also understandable that constantly plugging and unplugging electrical devices on a regular basis is tedious and unrealistic for today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

fortunately, the EcoSwitch Standby Energy Saver has solved the issue, making it easy for consumers to turn electronic devices on and off without wasting electricity and money. Continue reading ‘EcoSwitch Standby Energy Saver Solves “Vampire Electronics” Problem’

02
Oct

Mixed Reviews For iPhone 5 Battery Life

New iPhone 5 users have complained about a wide range of hardware and software issues with the iPhone 5, one of which has been the battery. But is the battery life of the new iPhone as terrible as some users claim it to be?

There’s no doubt that the rechargeable battery on a smartphone is one of the most underrated components. While no one would deny that, of the new features on the iPhone 5, the battery ranks low in terms of excitement compared to the new form factor, display, 4G, and iOS 6, the bottom line is that without solid battery life, the mobile computing experience is greatly diminished — even on an iPhone.

Early reports from iPhone 5 users suggest that the battery life is a problem, just as it was for the iPhone 4S last year, which we reported on about a year ago. According to PC Advisor, “Some iPhone users and bloggers are reporting that older iPhones updated to iOS 6 are draining their batteries much faster than before, and sometime heating up during or after recharging. Based on posts at Apple’s online support boards and other online forums, it’s difficult to know what the cause or causes are, and how widespread the problem is. The boards are replete with complex experiments by users trying a wide range of fixes to the battery life problem.”

The sense among users is that the rechargeable battery itself was clearly not upgraded enough to support the new A6 processor, larger screen, and 4G LTE connectivity. We reported on the marginally upgraded battery pack back in August, and how the mAh was only marginally upgraded. That was a rumor at the time, but it turned out to be true.

At the iPhone 5 announcement on September 12th, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted of the new rechargeable battery technology on the iPhone 5, claiming that the new battery adds 2 hours worth of life to the phone, compared to the iPhone 4S. Also, independent tests are beginning to reveal that the iPhone 5’s battery actually performs quite well:

To get a worst-case estimate, I set the Pandora app to play Web radio nonstop, then disable the phone screen’s auto-lock option to keep the display lit. For a best-case data point, I’ll leave the phone on a desk with the screen off, mobile broadband active and Bluetooth and WiFi powered up but not linked to anything; 24 hours later, I’ll check its battery status. I don’t look at talk time, because we increasingly use smartphones for things other than calling. By those metrics, the iPhone 5 is terrific — but not by a huge margin. In the Web-radio test, it lasted 7 hours and 44 minutes; in the second, its onscreen battery gauge read 85% after 24 hours idling away. Each figure beats any Android phone I’ve tested on an LTE signal, although some 3G models have done better.

So, which is true? Is the iPhone 5’s battery a success or a failure? Some believe that the answer lies in what users do with their iPhone, and how many apps they leave running all the time. This explanation fits in more with Apple’s explanation of battery issues — that it is more of a software issue than a hardware issue. And Apple has a degree of plausible deniability here: would Cupertino invest so much into their research and design for the iPhone 5, only to purposely equip it with a bad battery? Wouldn’t that seem foolish?

Perhaps not. The fact is that the types of users who post in tech forums and write blog articles about the iPhone 5 battery life tend not to be “average users.” Instead, they tend to be avid tech enthusiasts, who most likely push their mobile devices a lot harder than average users do. For as much as the geeks of the world lie to believe that they fuel the tech market, it is the average user who is buying the iPhone 5 in droves — and quite frankly, their bit of texting and web surfing may not have warranted a bigger, bolder, more expensive battery for the iPhone 5.

In future releases of iOS 6, expect to see Apple address battery life at the software level. But they will certainly never admit that there is any kind of hardware design flaw.

Thanks for reading our article! Are you looking to purchase rechargeable batteries? Electronics Warehouse has a wide selection of the finest rechargeable batteries in Australia! .

02
Sep

Nanotechnology Changes The Way That Batteries Work

nanotechnology batteriesThe word “nanotechnology” conjures images out of science fiction. Microscopic machines that can be injected into a person’s bloodstream or surveillance equipment undetectable by the naked eye. The reality is that nanotechnology is not usually as sexy or dangerous as novels and movies would have us believe. On the other hand, what it lacks in mass market appeal, it more than makes up for with raw, practical utility. Nanotechnology used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles can make them cheaper to produce, cheaper to buy, more useful for long trips, and able to recharge at a greatly increased rate.

Increased Power and Storage

Researchers have found that by coating the surface of an electrode within a standard Li-Ion battery with nanoparticles they can create greater surface area which allows more current to move between the electrode and the chemicals contained within the battery. This improved power flow allows the battery to increase its power output, which means it can supply more energy more efficiently. This is good news for electric and hybrid vehicles by reducing the overall weight of the batteries they use.

The other advantage to more efficient power flow within the battery is that recharge times are significantly reduced because more electricity can enter the battery more quickly. Continue reading ‘Nanotechnology Changes The Way That Batteries Work’

26
Aug

Batteries Powered By Movement

batteries powered by motionKinetic watches are nothing new. They are timepieces that translate the everyday motions of a person into magnetic energy that can be stored for up to six months. They were exciting back in 1986, but anymore, the conversion of motion into energy is a trick that we’ve seen again and again.

While kinetic watches and similar devices might be old news, full-blown Li-Ion batteries that be recharged just by bending and flexing are certainly new on the scene. Their process is entirely different – and more efficient – from anything ever released before. They also have far-reaching connotations that could mean that human curiosity will have a new ally in long-range exploration, be it in outer space or under the sea.

Continue reading ‘Batteries Powered By Movement’

21
Aug

The Incredible, Paintable Battery

paint-on batteryThe discovery of the electron as a part of every atom of every element was initially seen as a complete waste of time. It had, on the surface, no practical application. Now, we live in a world that runs on electricity, and devising new ways to harness the power of the “worthless” electron is a billion dollar industry. Every company that works in the mobile and rechargeable power field is tirelessly searching for ways of capturing and storing energy.

Recently a group of mechanical engineers released a paper to Nature Scientific Reports that shows the little cell shapes that we typically think of as batteries could be broken down into their component structures and rendered liquid, allowing them to be applied to any surface and still work with the same efficacy that can be seen in our standard rechargeable batteries.

This liquifying process could make it so that batteries do not have to hold a particular shape or be a particular size. It could make them fully malleable and permit them to adhere to objects – such as solar panels – helping to resolve the problem of energy storage that has plagued many kinds of renewable energy. Continue reading ‘The Incredible, Paintable Battery’

15
Apr

Ansmann NiMH Rechargeable Batteries Offer A Nice Balance of Price, Quality

ansmann battery charger and rechargeable batteriesOne of the challenges when it comes to buying rechargeable batteries is finding a good balance between price and quality. To be sure, there are plenty of rechargeable battery brands out there that offer an extremely cheap price point. Of course, the problem with these generic NiMH rechargeable batteries is that they are often very poor in quality, and the batteries run the risk of losing their ability to charge, destroying your electronics, or even exploding, causing injury.

On the other hand, while premium brands like Sanyo Eneloop offer the highest level of quality and performance, sometimes users are looking for a more value-priced rechargeable battery solution. This is especially true if a user needs to buy a large quantity of rechargeable batteries.

German-based Ansmann rechargeable batteries might offer a good balance between price and quality. Read more about what Ansmann has to offer, and whether or not they might become the right choice for value-priced rechargeable batteries. Continue reading ‘Ansmann NiMH Rechargeable Batteries Offer A Nice Balance of Price, Quality’

07
Nov

Does NiZn Really Outperform NiMH Rechargeable Batteries?

PowerGenix NiZn Rechargeable Batteries

PowerGenix NiZn Rechargeable Batteries

NiZn rechargeable batteries claim to have higher capacity and longer life than NiMH rechargeable batteries. But for the extra cost, are they really worth it?

If you’re a digital camera, gadget, or electronics enthusiast, then you know that the rechargeable battery market never stands still — there is always a new kind of battery technology seeking to replace the status quo. For years, NiCd dominated the rechargeable battery landscape, until NiMH offered a higher quality, more eco-friendly replacement. And for quite a long time, NiMH has remained the standard for most consumer-based rechargeable batteries. Even many hybrid automobiles use NiMH rechargeable batteries.

In recent years, however, LiON batteries have come into vogue, particularly for high-profile gadgets like SLR digital cameras, some of which take AA batteries instead of digital camera battery packs. AA LiON batteries, however, are often not offered as rechargeable, meaning that camera hobbyistys and professionals alike run into the age-old problem of constantly having to invest in disposable batteries again, or otherwise using NiMH rechargeable batters for cameras that call for LiON.

A new kind of rechargeable battery technology, however — NiZn — has sought to replace NiMH rechargeable batteries as the next step toward the output of LiON. PowerGenix has come out with the first mainstream NiZn rechargeable batteries and battery charger, claiming big claims against standard NiMH rechargeable batteries. According to Steve’s Digicams, a reliable website on battery technology, “Their unique NiZn (Nickel-Zinc) batteries offer better voltage output when compared to NiMH rechargeable cells at about 1.6 volts (NiMH average around 1.2V). This means NiZn cells can deliver more than 0.4V of additional voltage (about 30% more than NiMH), whether at open circuit or under load.” As a result, PowerGenix says that you get higher power density in a smaller, lower-cost package, and in the end, they outperform NiMH rechargeable batteries.

But is this really the case?

Continue reading ‘Does NiZn Really Outperform NiMH Rechargeable Batteries?’

06
Oct

Did Apple Improve the Rechargeable Battery on the iPhone 4S?

Apple’s new iPhone 4S uses the same form factor as the old iPhone 4, while boasting some powerful, new components. But did they increase the power of the battery to handle the new performance levels?

This week has been a disappointment for Apple fans worldwide. The announcement of a refreshed iPhone 4S instead of an iPhone 5, together with the death of Steve Jobs, has cast an unusual pall over the usually optimistic glow of Apple. For iPhone users, the death of Steve Jobs perhaps helps to put Cupertino’s decision to merely refresh the iPhone into better context, assuming that his passing will undoubtedly have some short term negative consequences on the image of the company he helped to make so successful.

In spite of the disappointment,  the iPhone 4S is an impressive new iPhone, to be sure, much in the same way that the 3GS improved on the 3G’s design performance-wise. The inclusion of iOS 5 and iCloud, as well as Siri and the A5 processor, all make the iPhone 4S the most powerful, versatile iPhone ever.

Granted, iPhone users really wanted a larger screen more than anything: most of the iPhone’s natural competitors all boast 4″+ screens, and many expected the next iPhone to be an “iPhone 5” with a larger screen and new form factor. But that’s not what we got. Perhaps one of the reason — from a technical perspective — why Apple was reluctant to increase the iPhone’s screen size this time around was their unwillingness to overhaul the rechargeable better on the iPhone?

From our observations, the iPhone 4S not only borrows the form factor of the iPhone 4 — it also uses essentially the same LiON rechargeable battery pack. Comparing the battery specs for the iPhone and iPhone 4S side by side, they read almost the same: talk time on the 4S up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM), which is a one-hour increase from the iPhone 4 for 3G; video playback up to 10 hours; and audio playback up to 40 hours.

There are, however, some areas where the iPhone 4S has seen a reduction in its battery performance as well. Whereas the iPhone 4’s specs for internet use boasts up to 6 hours on 3G and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi, the 4S is rated at up to 6 hours on 3G, and up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi. And while the iPhone 4 offers 300 hours of standby time, the iPhone 4S only features “up to 200 hours.”

Why has Apple gone backwards with battery technology on the iPhone 4S?

The answer is simple: they have sacrificed battery power for performance. The A5 chip, iOS 5, and the new Siri Voice Assistant technology all sap the iPhone 4S of its battery juice, in spite of Apple’s impression LiON technology. In particular, the A5 chip really puts a lot of pressure on the battery while the iPhone 4S is on, which is why there is such a dramatic difference in standby times.

It remains to be seen what the unintended consequences will be for the iPhone 4S with less rechargeable battery power. It very well may be that the 4S will have significant rechargeable battery issues, in spite of the fact that Apple is boasting of the A5 chip’s ability to run on a moderate amount of power. And because the iPhone still does not allow users to easily replace the battery, having spare rechargeable batteries for the iPhone 4S is still not an option.

Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading our article! If you’re looking for great deals on rechargeable batteries, be sure to check out Electronics Warehouse! As an added bonus, use promo code EWBLOW at checkout for an additional 10% off your purchase, plus fast, FREE shipping Australia-wide, just for reading this article!

26
Feb

Are Hybrid Rayovac Rechargeable Batteries Really “Hybrid?”

Rayovac is making a pitch for the rechargeable batteries market with their Hybrid Rechargeable Batteries in Canada. Find out what makes these rechargeable batteries “hybrids,” and when they might reach Australia.

The term “hybrid” has become a buzz word in the world today — especially when it comes to energy. Nearly every top automobile manufacturer now features at least one hybrid car model, which utilises a combination petrol and rechargeable battery power plant to getting you to where you want to go. These engines are of course referred to as “hybrids,” since they are somewhere between a traditional combustible engine and a next-generation electric motor.

And to be perfectly honest, auto manufacturers’ main reason for employing hybrid technology is monetary. People around the world are looking for new, renewable means of energy and transportation that is both cost-effective and good for the environment — and they’re willing to pay a premium for this type of technology. In this way, anything that has the “hybrid” tag can rake it the profits. (No wonder eco-friendly technology is called “green” technology.)

Now, Rayovac is looking to cash in on the hybrid buzz word with their Hybrid Rechargeable Batteries. But the question is, what makes these batteries “hybrid?”

Continue reading ‘Are Hybrid Rayovac Rechargeable Batteries Really “Hybrid?”’




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