Duracell Powerhouse Charger Review

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The Powerhouse by Duracell is a little  portable charger that comes in handy when you need that extra juice to your cell phone or any other USB/MiniUSB device such as an iPod, mp3 player  or digital camera.

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After spending a few days with this charger I felt that it serves its purpose well.  I used the Powerhouse to charger my HTC Touch Pro.  However, it seemed that it was a slow trickle to charge my phone to full capacity. Much like charging from a USB port from your computer or laptop. On one note I tried charging my LG Lotus via the Powerhouse but I kept getting a notice on my Lotus to “Change to LG travel charger.” I think this was due to the fact that I was using LG’s USB cable.

It took  nearly two hours for my HTC Touch Pro  to fully charge to 100%. The Duracell website states that the Powerhouse is 2000 mAh.

The Powerhouse comes equipped with a MiniUSB  swing arm as well as a supplied USB to MiniUSB cable.  The swing arm felt solid when retracted and didn’t feel flimsy at all. However, the charger itself has  a plastic feel to it.  Considering the Powerhouse’s price tag I think it should have had a more solid feel to it.

The Duracel Powerhouse  features an on and off button to conserve power.

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The  Powerhouse is charged via the MiniUSB port on top of the charger.   On the bottom of the charger  is the  USB “Out”.

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There is an LED light on the bezel-like front above the On/Off button that lights orange when charging and green when fully charged.

The Duracell Powerhouse is part of Duracell’s new Smart Power Products.  Other products include The Duracell Instant Charger, The Duracell Pocket Charger, The Duracell GoMobile, and The Duracell GoEasy.

 

Product Information

Price:$49.99
Manufacturer:Duracell
Pros:
  • Can charge two devices simultaneously.
  • Can provide power for hours depending on device.
  • Comes with USB to MiniUSB cable.
  • Very portable.
  • Decent price.
Cons:
  • Not as small as other Duracell chargers.
  • Slight plastic feel.
Posted in: Gear, Travel Gear

18 comments… add one

  • mario September 23, 2009, 9:32 pm

    what happens if u try and charge itself?

  • Gene September 24, 2009, 6:32 am

    What is the point of this device? Does it plug into 110v as an adaptor? Is it a battery pack? Why does it have USB out as well as in?

  • Daniel T September 24, 2009, 10:15 am

    Will it recharge itself & operate as a pass-through device and charge the destination target device all at the same time?

  • Daniel T September 24, 2009, 10:17 am

    great site, but some of the product reviews need a little more depth … more real world geek usage rather than just a product overview … Thanks!

  • Raul September 24, 2009, 4:17 pm

    @ Gene
    as the review states “The Powerhouse by Duracell is a little portable charger that comes in handy when you need that extra juice to your cell phone or any other USB/MiniUSB device such as an iPod, mp3 player or digital camera.”
    So basically it is a battery pack. The USB Out is the port to charge a device and the MiniUSB In is to charge the Duracell Powerhouse.
    To charge Powerhouse you simply plug USB into your laptop/desktop computer. Some newer cell phones have a wall charger that you can plug the USB cable into so you wouldn’t have to just charge Duracell via computer USB.

  • Raul September 24, 2009, 4:43 pm

    @ Daniel T
    sorry, it can’t charge itself. I don’t think it would be a good idea to let the current loop itself. I had a camera battery in my gear bag burst because the terminals were touching something metal when they shouldn’t have. So basically the current was just bouncing back into itself and popped.
    You can use a device while it is connected to the Powerhouse during its charge cycle.

  • Jessy November 15, 2009, 10:53 am

    Will it recharge Blackberry Bold 9000?

  • Raul November 15, 2009, 5:04 pm

    @Jessy
    The BB Bold 9000 has a miniUSB port so it should recharge it.

  • amir November 17, 2009, 6:43 am

    The unit when being charged , do we need to press the light button or leave it as is to charge.
    Also once my unit got charged the minute i pluged it in to the i phone it turned red but when unpluged its green????

  • Raul November 17, 2009, 10:29 pm

    @Amir
    Leave it as is.
    That’s wierd. Normally on other battery chargers I have had if the light turns back to red then the unit is not holding enough charge to power a device.
    Are you sure the unit is fully charged?

  • Daniel D. June 22, 2010, 12:25 pm

    I bought one of these just a few weeks ago. Its a very easy to figure out battery power device. I own a Motorola Droid (A855), and it sucks the juice out of batteries. I carry a fully charged spare batt just in case I get stuck somewhere and want to pass the time browsing the net or youtube, because video and the internal boosting of radio power to get reception drain batteries. So last night I did not have a useable wall connection, but I did happen to have my Duracell Powerhouse (2000mA). It does “trickle-charge”, essentially like the USB connection to your computer. But from my experience, it charged my Droid MUCH faster than my computer. I am going to use this to plug in my smartphone as I download large files or watch youtube to charge until I can get to a wall plug or a full charge. I got mine for around 12$ at a local Target, so look locally before you pay top dollar. 3 year warranty is nice, but if worse comes to worse, I’ll just buy a similar spec’d battery and swap out the old one. Go buy one! Well worth the money :)

  • casey January 2, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Purchased the powerhouse and it does not charge my blackberry curve 8900.

  • darren February 17, 2011, 8:35 pm

    is there a duracell usb charger that that compatible to the blackberry 8530 or any of the newer blackberry phones?

  • William June 22, 2011, 2:50 pm

    My Motorola Quench (MB501) does not appear to receive any charge from the powerhouse. Whether my phone is turned off or on, it does not indicate being charged. Not sure if this is due to a defective unit or whether it is a compatability issue.

  • bclewis June 29, 2011, 2:52 am

    LED indicator lights explanation:

    Red=powerhouse is being charged via mini USB input (light will turn green when the powerhouse is fully charged)
    Orange=powerhouse is on and/or in use and internal battery level is getting low (light remains orange even if the powerhouse is not in use-hit button to turn off when not in use)
    Green=powerhouse is on and/or in use and internal battery level is good (light remains green even if the powerhouse is not in use-hit button to turn off when not in use)

  • Patrick January 13, 2012, 11:35 pm

    I own this solar charger http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00449U3K0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=AK832STHYY3A
    Do you think it could charge the powerhouse? If you think it can then I cant wait to get this battery.

  • Kimberly September 10, 2012, 2:04 am

    I am going on greyhound end of october. I am taking my asus netbook with me, as it has lots of videos on it. will this charge my laptop so i can continuously watch movies the whole way? i know the laptop charges the battery pack, but i want to know if it will work the other way around, with the battery pack charging my laptop, so i can watch movies the whole trip?

    • Raul Sanchez September 15, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Kimberly
      This DUracell charger will not be enough power for a netbook. I think the Asus netbook battery is around 4600 mAh and the Duracell Powerhouse is rated at 2000 mAh. You are going to have to find a power pack that can support a netbook. This charger is more for smartphones or iPhones.

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