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Savvy Duck Reviews
Revolve XeMini USB Device Charger with Battery Backup


How many gadgets do you carry around in your daily life? How about when you're on vacation? How many of those can charge their batteries with a USB cord? If you're like me, you have many devices that can charge from USB, but they tend to run out of juice at inopportune times. That's where the Revolve XeMini comes in. This handy little device can charge any USB device and also act as a backup battery when you need some extra juice. But how well does it work? Read on.

Appearance

The Revolve XeMini came in an attractive, understated package, and is itself an earthy brown color. Due to the casing being made of recycled plastic and the company's philosophy of not using unnecessary materials, it doesn't have the sleek, smooth look that most of its competitors have. However, it is still a very attractive little device, and the fact that it houses a solar panel probably means that it will still appeal to this device's target market. Nearly the entire front face of the device consists of a solar panel, all of the ports and status buttons are on the bottom, and the AC plug folds neatly into the back of the device. The size of the device is of a little concern. It is much wider than most phones, meaning it won't fit easily into a pocket along with a phone or other device (see above). However, it is still small enough to squeeze into most pockets in a pinch, and the positioning of the AC plug allows both sockets in a standard power outlet to be used if you plug the Revolve XeMini into the bottom.

   

Features

Upon searching for a new backup battery for my phone, I discovered that most did not have the features that I was looking for. I wanted something that I could charge through the wall without an extra wall plug that I could lose, I wanted something that could charge through a car charger so I could make good use of it on my occasional road trips, and finally, I wanted something that could charge my phone through a USB port so that I could also charge other USB gizmos (like the SYBA SY-AUD23018 Bicycle Speakers) if needed. I found that despite some difficulties, the Revolve XeMini could do all tht and more! It can even charge from the sun with its solar panel, or from a computer like a portable netbook.

Ease-of-Use

Having used this device for a couple of months now, I like it in general, but I have had some issues with it.

The first thing I noticed is that it didn't work right out of the box. I plugged it into the wall and plugged my phone into it, and the red light on the device came on, but my phone didn't indicate that it was being charged. I tried everything, from switching ports, to plugging the Revolve into a computer instead of a wall, to removing and reseating the battery, and nothing happened. Finally, exasperated and convinced that I would have to return it, I left it plugged in and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I was surprised to find that the red light on the device had turned green, indicating a full internal charge. I plugged my phone into it and sure enough, the charging indicator lit right up. It seemed to work fine from there on out, except occasionally when I would drain the battery on some long outing. In these circumstances, it would give me problems again (and not always the same ones) until I charged it fully.

Other than the issues the device gives me when the internal battery is low, the Revolve XeMini works beautifully. It seems to be have the advertised battery life, charges great from the solar panel even through thin clouds, and I am able to use it to charge two devices at once, even away from a power source. Its sheer number of features suggest that the designers of this device were very interested in attention to detail.

Conclusion

The device does have occasional issues (as I mentioned above) when the internal battery has been drained. However, I should note that I am a very early adapter, and ordered it very soon after it was relesed. In fact, the serial number on my model suggests that it was the 133rd produced! Hopefully, Revolve Electronics will be able to work out these little hiccups and future produced devices will work a little better. But if you don't mind the occasional hiccup and remember not to completely drain the device, I highly recommend the Revolve XeMini. Among both chargers and backup batteries, you just can't beat it for the features!

Revolve XeMini
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