USB MultiCellular Battery Charger Review


USB Geek sells all sorts of geeky products that require a USB to operate them. They recently sent me their MultiCellular Battery Charger, which I was curious about and happy to review…

USB cell battery charger

This charger comes in a little bitty box, with no instructions whatsoever. Maybe the instructions are printed on the back of the box, but since I don’t read Chinese, I’m not really sure…

USB cell battery charger

The charger is a small spring loaded plastic clip with a keychain attached to it.

USB cell battery charger

The back side of the charger hides…

USB cell battery charger

…a fold down USB connector.

USB cell battery charger

To use this charger, you have to squeeze the clip open to reveal the two fang like metal leads.

USB cell battery charger

You might wonder how these leads will be compatible with all the different cellphone batteries on the market. That’s a really good idea and is one that I wondered about myself after pulling the batteries out of multiple phones to test with this charger. All (but one) of the batteries that I had were narrow like the Palm Treo battery you see above. It’s sitting on top of an older Nokia battery, that has wider lead spacing. The Nokia fit in the charger just fine – the leads matched up with the outer two contacts. I kept thinking, how can this thing be a universal charger when all but one of the batteries that I own won’t fit in it. Sometimes I can be really slow…

USB cell battery charger

I finally noticed that the lead spacing can be adjusted by just moving the plastic arms on the top of the clip. Duh…

USB cell battery charger

Once you seat the battery in the clip so that the two metal leads are touching the outside leads of the battery, you’re ready to plug the charger into a powered USB slot on your computer or powered hub.

USB cell battery charger

As soon as I plugged it in the first time, I noticed three tiny LEDs at the base of the fold out USB connector.

USB cell battery charger

The LEDs will either glow Red or Green. Again, without instructions it’s hard to tell what the significance is with each LED. It seems that when I put a completely dead battery in the charger, the LEDs are Red, Red, Green. After 8hrs or so (I left it plugged in over night), the rightmost LED glows green and the rest are off.

Yes, this small charger works as advertised, but it charges very slowly. I’m also not sure how useful it is. I mean, you have to take the battery OUT of the device to charge it. Most people just plug their phone into their a USB port with a cable or to an AC outlet to charge it, allowing the phone to receive calls even when charging. Really, the only way this product would be useful would be for people that carry a spare battery with their phone. I’m not sure how many do that. I don’t have a spare battery for ANY of my devices. So, for me, the Multicellular Battery Charger is one of those quirky USB devices that might be interesting to own, but probably won’t be used much if at all.


Product Information

Retailer:USB Geek
  • Customizable lead spacing
  • Doesn't come with instructions
  • Slow charging
Posted in: Gear
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • John Kes October 2, 2008, 11:10 am

    I presume the instructions say something about connecting the + terminal of the charger to the + terminal of the battery, and vice versa? Reversing the terminals would probably be bad.

  • Hai October 2, 2008, 11:26 am

    I am not an electrical engineer and I don’t know enough about electronic equipment, but here are my thoughts:

    • Battery chargers are large because they need to regulate the flow of the electricity (besides converting from AC to DC). Not only that, some chargers are smart enough to cut off the flow when the batteries become full. I doubt this little device can do that flow regulation trick.
    • I wonder how the device know which lead is positive and which is negative? More importantly, how do you know which two leads on your battery are for charging? Are they always the outer ones?
    • What’s the point of being compact when you will probably need an extension USB cord in many cases?
    • Julie was right on the money for the practicality side of it: you have to remove the battery to charge.

    Thank you for the review. It is interesting to see what products across the pond look like.

  • Julie October 2, 2008, 11:53 am

    John & Hai:

    I also wondered about polarity issues. It seems that the LEDs light up the same way regardless as to which way I put the battery in. I only assumed that the outside leads are positive and negative… I guess I was right because the 2 batteries that I tested with this charger both charged by connected the outside leads and leaving the center one open. One thing though… since posting this, I found another battery in my collection that as more than 3 contacts… hmmmm…

    Also, I had emailed Joe at after receiving this product to ask him for some instructions. He didn’t reply to my email…

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