In a world where most of our readers are toting around iPhones, you may wonder why in the world we'd write up a AA-powered emergency phone. I very nearly passed this one by myself, until the pitch man noted "we have an app." Honestly, I think the SpareOne is a great solution to real problems, and yes, the app has a purpose. Here's Engadget's coverage of the SpareOne from last year.
SpareOne made a splash last year as a "15-year phone" in that the battery would still power the device (provided it was powered down) up to 15 years later. The Plus still features this, plus 10 hours of talk time and 24 hours of LED flashlight power.
This year SpareOne debuted the SpareOne Plus, which includes GPS location and you can now locate the phone via SpareOne's iOS app. The app isn't live yet, but I was told the phone could be tracked for several days on a single AA battery.
You can make 911 calls without a SIM, but with a SIM you can choose a GSM carrier and use the phone to make regular calls.
If you're looking for a handy emergency phone, the SpareOne is a good deal at around $50 retail. Add the GPS tracking via app, and it becomes a useful phone for the elderly and kids as well.