Friday, June 8, 2012

The Law Of Diminishing Returns Is Evident In The Duracell Go Mobile Charger.

The Good: Durable charger, Easy-to-use, Nice accessory options, Includes batteries.
The Bad: Batteries do not retain their charge, Poor quality to the batteries.
The Basics: The Duracell Go Mobile Charger is a great idea with good fundamentals, but oddly inferior batteries.

No one is more surprised than I am when I begin a review of a product from a well-established company that is clearly headed in the direction of a panning. And yet, with the Duracell Go Mobile Charger, it is surprisingly hard for me to give an enthusiastic product review. Instead, I found the Duracell Go Mobile Charger to be a worthwhile secondary product for a surprisingly inferior primary product.

Shortly after my wife and I moved in together, it became evident that our battery consumption was going to grow. Between my decorations like lit snow globes and her digital camera equipment, batteries were going to become an annoying expense. So, we talked about it and decided to get some rechargeable batteries. We chose the Duracell Go Mobile Charger when we found it in the store because it could charge both AA and AAA batteries and it came with a pair of both! Considering we paid $7.50 for the Duracell Go Mobile Charger, it seemed like we could not go wrong.

The Duracell Go Mobile Charger is actually a full charging system. It comes with the wall charger, a power cord, a car charger and 2 AA and 2 AAA Duracell rechargeable batteries. The Duracell Go Mobile Charger, the physical unit, is 4 3/4” tall by 2 5/8” wide by 1 5/8” deep and it is designed to hold four batteries at any time. As a result, it may hold the four batteries the unit comes with or four AA or four AAA batteries at any time. The Duracell Go Mobile Charger is a fairly stylish recharger with a flip-top door and clean ports for recharging your batteries in.

The Duracell Go Mobile Charger is exceptionally easy to use. Simply flip open the front cover. Inside, there are clear etchings in the battery compartment that make it clear how the batteries are supposed to be oriented. Place two to four batteries – they must always be recharged in pairs! – into the Duracell Go Mobile Charger according to the diagram inside the charger. Then, close the lid. It snaps closed to indicate it is closed. Then, plug the unit into a wall socket or into a car lighter port using the car charger. The front cover has a light up LED that indicates that the unit is on and charging. When the batteries are not at all charged, the light on the front glows a bright red.

When the batteries are charged, the red light turns to green and the batteries may be removed.

Initially, my wife and I planned to buy more Duracell rechargeable batteries in order to keep a rotating supply of batteries charged and charging. However, within two months of charging and recharging the batteries that came with the Duracell Go Mobile Charger, we discovered we would need another option. Within two months of normal use, the Duracell batteries that came with the Duracell Go Mobile Charger began to show severe external wear and a problematic degree of internal wear. On the outside, the coppertop batteries started to peel. The copper portion actually peeled off and that is the type of wear that the packaging explicitly states one should stop using the batteries for.

As for internal wear, the batteries from the Duracell Go Mobile Charger began to show significant charge degradation. One of the globes I lit with the batteries initially would run for eight hours. After a month of charging the batteries on pretty much a daily basis, the same batteries only lit the globe for four hours and after two, the lights were significantly dimmer than normal. The Duracell Go Mobile Charger seemed to have no problem recharging the batteries, but the batteries themselves seemed unable to retain a charge.

Ultimately, the Duracell Go Mobile Charger works, but not as well as one might hope for a total battery replacement solution that moves one to using all Duracell rechargeable batteries.

For other power supply reviews, be sure to visit my reviews of:
CB-5L charger
Nikon L16 AA batteries
AV600 Monster Cable Power Protector


For other electronics reviews, be sure to visit my Electronics Reviews Index Page for an organized listing of all the electronics I have reviewed!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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