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Flashback: That phone that ran on AA batteries

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Flashback: That phone that ran on AA batteries

A single AA battery. That’s all that is wanted to vitality primarily the most traditional phone dubbed SpareOne Plus. As it’s essential maybe additionally explain by the title, this one is supposed to be a backup phone only to be broken-down in case of emergency (it became before the entirety designed for first responders).

Its most tantalizing function is that it is going to sit down down on a shelf for 15 years and be willing if you happen to want it. Contemporary phones with their lithium batteries can’t match such endurance – the self discharge price could additionally additionally be as high as 2% per month, meaning lithium batteries lose price despite the truth that the instrument is fully powered down.

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Flashback: That phone runs on what?

And so that they are, clearly, very refined to swap out. Not so on the SpareOne, which helps you to pop in a recent battery with out downside. You potentially bear already bought an AA battery or two on the underside of a drawer, wonderful?

That is necessary because it is somewhat common for a strong storm or flooding to knock out the vitality grid. Talking of, the phone’s packaging served double responsibility – it’s a water-proof pouch, so that it’s essential maybe additionally fish it out of a flooded cellar and the phone will aloof work.

This became an especially traditional phone. It had 2G connectivity only (two bands), which is a downside in the US – AT&T already shut down its 2G network, T-Cell will likely be aware swimsuit in the following couple of months and here is a GSM phone, so it is going to’t connect to legacy CDMA network. The SpareOne first got here out lower than 15 years ago, by the reach. Skills ages faster than most issues, even when its supposed to final over a decade.

SpareOne Plus
SpareOne Plus
SpareOne Plus


SpareOne Plus

That you might additionally pre-program the phone with 9 well-liked contacts, or use the keypad to dial any number. There’s no demonstrate (just a couple of position LEDs), so a verbalize would converse the digit you typed. Additionally, the emergency button (the plus) sends out your location to take contacts in addition to the authorities too – traditional because it is, the phone supports Enhanced 9-1-1 (the use of triangulation).

That single AA battery is honest for as a lot as 10 hours of talk time. And when you wanted to present your bear SIM card for making calls to traffic and family, calling 9-1-1 doesn’t require a SIM. Whenever you wanted to, it’s essential maybe additionally take out the SIM card from your (presumably dreary) smartphone and pop it into the SpareOne. There became a SIM ejector instrument and a microSIM adapter stashed within the phone to let you know the technique to with that task.

A microSIM adapter and a SIM ejector were stashed into the SpareOne PlusA microSIM adapter and a SIM ejector bear been stashed into the SpareOne Plus

There will most certainly be a venerable LED torch on high, which is willing to reach lend a hand in at hand in case the vitality is out. There’s no FM radio receiver, on the opposite hand, which could bear been good so that it’s essential maybe additionally hear to emergency bulletins.

The SpareOne Plus wasn’t a extremely winning product because it price $60 when it before the entirety launched. Nevertheless, for the time being it’s essential maybe additionally clutch one for beneath $10 on eBay. But support in mind that 2G networks around the area are shutting down, they’ll undoubtedly be gone earlier than the battery expires.

Just a few years later SpareOne got here out with a 3G version of the phone (also, the 2G modem became upgraded to quad-band). That of course extends the lifetime of the instrument, despite the truth that some 3G networks bear already shut down, so somewhat soon this phone will face the identical disorders as its 2G sibling.

One other upgrade is that this mannequin featured an trusty GPS receiver, so that it can maybe maybe additionally calculate your location extra accurately than cell tower triangulation. Between the GPS and 3G connectivity, this SpareOne phone wanted two AA batteries.

These weren’t the only phones to be powered by commonplace AA or AAA batteries. In actual fact, in the early days of cell phones one thing relish this became somewhat common. But this day we’re drawn to the extra most modern devices.

Fancy this full thing from Sanyo. It became powered by a single AA battery, a chargeable NiMH battery this time, which became honest ample for 10 days of standby or 5 hours of talk time (this became again a 2G-only phone).

Flashback: That phone runs on what?

Searching at it, we salvage this became extra of a reach to advertise Sanyo’s Eneloop batteries than an trusty strive to sell phones. It became a showcase of the low self discharge price enabled by the Eneloop technology.

The Olive FrvrOn (“without a kill in sight on”) became a extra earnest strive to sell phones. And it became a considerably higher phone too. Not incredible or anything else, however it undoubtedly had a 1.5” coloration demonstrate (CSTN) with 128 x 128 px resolution. And it did bear an FM radio.

Flashback: That phone runs on what?

There became a 600mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery built in, however the phone could additionally additionally be powered by a single AAA battery. The FrvrOn became launched in India lend a hand in 2010 and had a price INR 1,700 on the time ($37 or so).

Flashback: That phone runs on what?

AA and AAA batteries apart, so a lot of strange strategies bear been proposed to vitality a phone. Just a few of them clever, others no longer so worthy. As an illustration, we already seemed lend a hand on the Samsung Blue Earth, which had a solar panel on its lend a hand. As did the Puma Phone.

The Samsung Blue Earth
The Samsung Blue Earth
The Puma Phone
The Puma Phone


The Samsung Blue Earth • The Puma Phone

You wanted to be very patient with these to earn even a minute while of talk time. That’s aloof higher than the Ulysse Nardin Chairman, which broken-down a rotating weight to trickle-price the battery from the vitality of your circulation (corresponding to computerized watches, which is Ulysse Nardin’s main industry).

The Ulysse Nardin Chairman was as luxurious as it was impractical
The Ulysse Nardin Chairman was as luxurious as it was impractical
The Ulysse Nardin Chairman was as luxurious as it was impractical


The Ulysse Nardin Chairman became as luxurious because it became impractical

A extra reasonable – if just as impractical – solution became to use wind vitality with an accent relish the iFan. Alas, this became a concept that never made it to consumers.

Wind-powered iPhones were on the table at one point, using the iFan accessory
Wind-powered iPhones were on the table at one point, using the iFan accessory


Wind-powered iPhones bear been on the table at one point, the use of the iFan accent

There became also the Pan Charger, which broken-down a Peltier ingredient to flip heat into electrical energy. Did someone yell coal powered cell phones?

Flashback: That phone runs on what?

Nevertheless, our “well-liked” reach ever proposed became dreamed up by South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University – it became establishing a technology that collected vitality from your verbalize to vitality the phone.

Flashback: That phone runs on what?

Granted, the prototype required 100 dB of sound – that’s as loud as a jet taking off or the use of a jackhammer – so that it’s essential maybe additionally bear wanted to yowl slightly a minute bit to waste a call. We salvage we’ll keep on with texting, thanks.

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Flashback: That phone that ran on AA batteries