04
Feb
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As we've clearly seen over the past several months, there's a new trend in portable charging solutions making the rounds on crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Some are simply smaller cables with an interesting design, while others – like ChargeCard, for example – are little more than a cable with a different form factor. Along those same lines is the Jumper Card, a new product that just hit Indiegogo today. Basically, it combines the idea behind ChargeCard with a very small (480mAh) portable battery – something that seemed to be exactly what people wanted from ChargeCard.

The Jumper Card guys were cool enough to send me one to check out before the campaign went live, so I've been testing it out over the past few weeks. Before we take a closer look at the unit itself, let's talk about its specs:

  • 480mAh battery, should provide around 10% charge for most smartphones
  • 1/4-inch thick
  • About the size of a credit card
  • MicroUSB, Lightning, and iPhone 30-pin connectors
  • Built-in flashlight

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Jumper card next to ChargeCard, a credit card, and a stack o' credit cards.

While that mostly sounds good on paper, Jumper Card faces certain hurdles right out of the gate – like battery tech, for instance. As a result, it's much thicker than a typical credit card thanks to its internal battery; in fact, it's about the thickness of five credit cards. For something you may want to toss in your wallet, that's pretty thick. Other than that, however, the overall form factor is on par with a normal credit card.

One major area where the Jumper Card differs from the ChargeCard (aside from the battery, of course), is that it features the three most popular connectors on mobile devices: microUSB, Apple's Lightning connector, and the old-style 30-pin iPhone connector all on one dongle. That's incredibly useful for anyone who has multiple devices.

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It also has a little flashlight built in, which is just cool. It's pretty bright, too.

Using the Jumper Card is pretty easy and far less awkward than the ChargeCard, because the cables are thin and quite flexible. Both ends (USB and the multi-dongle) pop out of place, making it good as a sync/charge cable, which seems to be its primary use. The internal battery is presumably an "emergency" backup since it only supplies the device with 10% charge (give or take depending on the device, of course).

That brings up a pretty important question: how long will the Jumper Card hold its charge? According to the FAQ on the Indiegogo page, "up to one year." That's good info to have for anyone who might throw the Jumper Card in a wallet, purse, or backpack and leave it there until it's actually needed.

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Overall, the idea of the Jumper Card is good, and the execution is probably as good as it can be given current battery technology. The addition of a flashlight is a good idea, especially for something that's really designed to be on your person most of the time. If you'd like to support the project, $25 will score a Jumper Card when it's supposed to be ready in April of this year.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Ray Gray

    This one actually looks good

  • Pataso

    not impressed at all

  • Cherokee4life

    Not impressed but Thank you AP for telling us about this before it closed funding! :)

  • Alonso Tucati

    Useless. Even if it would have had the actual size of a credit card (in terms of thickness) I doubt it would render the card useful in any situation in my life.

  • oilfighter

    Interesting concept, but I'll stick with just taking a spare Note 3 battery with me. It's about the same size, but gives me a 100% boost.

    • LSH99

      No doubt. Seems pretty clear that this would only be valuable to those with phones that don't have removable batteries.

  • Gav456

    I don't get the torch... you'd have this on you if you have a smartphone (with it's own torch) if your phone is dead, surely you'd use this to charge your phone before wasting battery on the torch...

  • jcopernicus

    Size =! Foot Print

  • usaff22

    Why would I ever charge my phone just 10%? What is the point?

    • StriderWhite

      Like someone before me said: "I feel like I would basically only have the thing in case I needed to make an emergency phone call."
      So that's the point!

      • Matthew Fry

        I don't know about you but 10% charge on my phone is like 2 minutes of talk time.

        • StriderWhite

          Well, if you are out of battery and you absolutely need to make a phone call, this battery comes to the rescue! :)

        • Wayne Randall

          20 minuts on a full battery, huh. Time to trade in the old Nokia maybe?

          • Matthew Fry

            Nope. It's much more likely that it would charge my HTC One to what it calls 25%. I feel like HTC either doesn't report actual values or isn't calculating it right. The time between 14% and 0% is much much much shorter than 100% to 86%. Seems to be about 5 minutes display on, 10 minutes display off.

          • Wayne Randall

            Reminds me of my Dinc 2. After 40% and discharging, it's like the phone would race to 3% and die. Like that was the phone's whole purpose.

            Same thing with my truck, full tank down to 3/4 tank takes 150 miles. Then 200 miles will finish it off.

            Conclusion: Ford builds HTC's battery gauge.

          • mikeym0p

            It might be counting in increments of 10

  • LSH99

    I'm impressed with the form factor--it's much better than having to carry around a cord and find a socket, which is often very impractical if not impossible--but 480 mAh is just so small. I feel like I would basically only have the thing in case I needed to make an emergency phone call.

  • Matthew Fry

    Can this be a new trend please? I would love to have Android related Kickstarters sending prototypes to AP to review on a regular basis.

  • Vibrunazo

    How come that thing is so huge? I have a 5kmAh (over 10x this one) external battery that is about the same size as this thing. There are many of these around today.

    • ins0mn1a

      ok, that is the funniest use of "km" ever (kilo-mili? wait, what?). now, i am quite sure that your 5000mAh battery is a bit bigger than this, since i have a few of those as well. if you really have a 5000mAh battery pack the size of a stack of 6 credit cards, please share the name of that miracle device with us (pleeease!).

      now, having said that, this thing *is* huge for what it is. a more realistic comparison: my 3200mAh battery pack is, volume-wise, 2x the size of jumper card (and is almost 7x more useful). it seems to me that including all those different cables made it quite bulky. so if one doesn't have any interest in charging both android and ios devices, they'll be carrying a lot of useless stuff. not worth it.

  • patrik

    I prefer my Note 3 extra batteri kit, it's the thickness of 3 credit cards but holds 3200mAh and doesn't even need to charge :D

  • NOT RahmEmanuel

    No flashlight, but otherwise this (mid-2012!) 680 mAh capacity 'PocketPower' seems the better buy.:

    http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/15530_Proporta_TurboCharger_Pocket_P.php

    Currently priced at $18, I bought one on sale for slightly less and still got free UK-to-USA shipping.
    .

  • mikeym0p

    Is this by the ChargeCard guys? I think I'll keep my Chargecard(s) one broke the 2nd day but the other works great.

  • morzinbo

    This video is pretty cheesy

  • T

    There's also https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nativeunion/jump-the-first-charging-solution-that-fits-your-li on Kickstarter, it has a slightly larger charge on it.

  • Chuck

    FYI, the Indiegogo project suddenly got cancelled.. no reason from the campaign manager, no more communication. And this is AFTER I paid for it. Indiegogo refunded the money.. but it seems fishy..

    • Minh

      I feel not happy too. It seems that some company bought the idea so the campaign managers just dropped it.

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