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This week in tech: March 28, 2015
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We are seeing a lot of portable chargers in the market these days. We had reviewed the Nokia DC-16 charger last year and were quite impressed with its performance. Considering most of us these days use smartphones and tablets, these portable chargers are a significant investment till we see major technological innovations in battery technology. This time around, we have a contender from Sony - the CP-F1LSA. So does it out-perform the Nokia DC-16? We shall soon find out.
Build and Design
The Sony CP-F1LSA comes in an aluminum body with two white coloured plastic strips on the top and bottom. The form factor is similar to a candy-bar phone and it measures only 9.4mm on the sides. Both the sides are clean with only the Sony branding on the front and charging details on the rear side. On the top portion you have a USB port, a micro USB port and a button on one edge.
Some of you may not like this form factor as compared to the Nokia DC-16 stick as it occupies lesser space, but then it all comes down to personal choices. Moreover, portable chargers aren’t devices you will necessarily carry in your trouser pockets.
Features and Specifications
The Sony CP-F1LSA houses a 3500 mAh Lithium polymer rechargeable battery and the box also contains a microUSB to USB cable along with a wall adapter. You can either self-charge the battery from the AC wall adapter or from your laptops USB port. You can charge any smartphone or tablet which has a microUSB port using the CP-F1LSA. But since it has a 3500mAh battery, it is ideal to be used only for cellphones as the tablet batteries are of much higher capacity. You can still charge tablets in emergency situations.
There is a button on one edge which can switch the battery on or off. There are two status indicators on either side of the microUSB port. When the charging is on, you have the green LED glowing. While self-charging, you will notice the orange LED glowing.
We used the Sony CP-F1LSA quite extensively and charged a variety of devices including a smartphone, a tablet and even a Kindle. It took us around three hours to charge our cellphone which has a 2800mAh battery from no charge to full charge. The Kindle 3 keyboard was fully charged in around 2 hours 20 minutes. We liked its rate of charging devices.
But charging the Sony battery from the wall adapter is time consuming though. It took a good 5 hours to go from no charge to full charge.
It promises about 500 recharge cycles which is quite decent if you are only going to use this in emergency purposes.
The Sony CP-F1LSA is priced at Rs. 3,000 for the 3500mAh capacity battery. When compared to the Nokia DC-16 which offers 2200mAh at Rs. 1499, the pricing is on the higher side. If you are a power user and always end up with a dead battery while in transit, this high capacity charger is a great buy. The decision to buy this or not depends on your smartphone battery capacity. If you want an economical option, the Nokia DC-16 is provides good value for money. Around Rs.2200, the Sony CP-F1LSA would make for a great buy.