Power Up

Way back when, cell phones had removable batteries and during times of heavy usage, you could easily swap batteries out mid-day to extend your battery life. Those days are long gone and a whole industry has popped up around the portable charger market to juice up your phone through the day.

I usually have my TravelCard charger in my wallet for a jump start and when I know I will be away from an outlet for most of the day, I have a Anker charger as well. Between the two I can use my iPhone all day without worry.

Recently, a company called Fuel Rod has a new offering in this space. For $20, you get a small USB battery, short USB cable, and adapters for Apple 30-pin and lightning. The battery can be purchased at an automated kiosk. Fuel Rod kiosks are at many airports, a few malls, and now at Walt Disney World.  

The battery is lower capacity than my Anker (2600mAh vs 3200mAh) but is the same “lipstick” style that is common. So what is so special about Fuel Rod? Well, your $20 investment includes battery replacements. Charge up your Fuel Rod at home, top up your phone on a plane, and when you arrive at your destination, go to the Fuel Rod kiosk and swap it out for a fully charged one. The swaps are free and unlimited.

You, can, of course, recharge the Fuel Rod using any micro USB cable and use it like a regular battery.

So while the battery itself is middle of the road, the ability to swap out (assuming you’ll be in an area where there are kiosks) is very appealing to ensure you always have enough power for your mobile devices.



The Fuel Rod Kiosk at Philadelphia International Airport in terminal E.

The Fuel Rod Kiosk at Philadelphia International Airport in terminal E.