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The SpareOne mobile phone runs on a single AA battery

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January 17, 2012

The SpareOne can keep a charge for a whopping 15 years (or the shelf-life of the battery y...

The SpareOne can keep a charge for a whopping 15 years (or the shelf-life of the battery you're using)

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What if you could power your phone on a single AA battery? The SpareOne is a mobile phone that can to do just that. Designed as a back-up that you keep in a glovebox or emergency kit rather than a phone you keep in your pocket everyday, the SpareOne claims to deliver you up to 10 hours of talk time on one AA battery and it has an isolator that prevents current discharge so that (depending on the shelf-life of the battery you're using) it can hold charge while unused for up to a whopping 15 years.

The SpareOne comes unlocked and requires a SIM card in order to make calls, with the idea being that you swap the SIM card from your regular phone when the power is drained and there's no way to recharge it.

The phone could come in handy in situations where you're traveling away from power for long periods of time, or for emergencies like a flood or earthquake. If you stored the handset in a glovebox with a pack of batteries, you could be chatting for weeks in an emergency situation long after your smartphone loses its juice.

The SpareOne will be available in two different GSM versions (850/1900 MHz and 900/1800 MHz), meaning it should work pretty much worldwide (here's a GSM coverage map ) and it also features an always-on 911 feature that works without a SIM and an LED on the top that could pass for an emergency flashlight.

The SpareOne is expected to start shipping in March at a cost of around US$50.

6 Comments

For best results, I would store this without a battery. That way an exploding battery wouldn't ruin it.

Jon A.
17th January, 2012 @ 04:03 pm PST

My experience in the Christchurch NZ earthquake is that cellphones are fine, if you have a car charger, you can keep it going as long as you have petrol/diesel.

The big problem is the cell towers themselves.

Directly after the Feb 11 quake, all cell towers became overloaded, and as the power was out to the entire city (400k people) the backup batteries in the towers ran down in a matter of hours.

The only connection I could get to the outside world was REALLY outside, I called my fiance's parents on the other side of the country, they called her, then called me back.

3g Data however, was working fine, I was able to use MSN to contact other relatives in Christchurch on their phones.

The cell companies had generators attached to all key towers by nightfall, unfortunately, 20 or so of them were stolen by morning.

Tony Smale
17th January, 2012 @ 04:20 pm PST

This is something we need anyway, standardized cell phone batteries or cell phones powered by easy-to-replace, standard disposable or rechargeable batteries, although my personal preference would be for the 9V variety. I have a number of no-longer-used cell phones, and no two batteries are the same, so they can't be used in other phones.

Another good idea would be a cell phone that can be powered by a car charger or USB cable even when the battery is missing.

I also have another rant about each phone requiring a proprietary charging device, although I've seen a trend toward the micro-USB connector as becoming more or less standardized in cell phone chargers, so I'll leave that issue alone for now.

William H Lanteigne
17th January, 2012 @ 04:21 pm PST

I had a universal mobile charger powered by one AA battery, like this one

http://www.gizmag.com/go/4542/

Muhammad Zaki
17th January, 2012 @ 09:39 pm PST

Finally, and I envisioned a phone using 2 AA batteries, why didn't it come out earlier?

Dawar Saify
18th January, 2012 @ 06:33 am PST

Do't know what the fuzz about it. Motorola use to make a phone that can use 4 AA batteries to replace its original rechargeable battery. Pity Motorola stop making it.

Simon Sim
18th January, 2012 @ 05:25 pm PST
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