Xpal's SpareOne disaster-ready cellphone was one of the most intriguing devices we saw at last year's CES. Using a huge capacitor, the stripped-down GSM handset promised a 15-year battery life from the charge of a single AA Energizer battery. While the call quality was basic, it could certainly be the sort of unit that you could stow in a first aid kit or car trunk for emergencies. Now the company has returned with the SpareOnePlus, which adds location-based data, readable with a smartphone app, which is good for keeping track of your loved ones on the go. Xpal has also tried to address one of our biggest gripes with the original by adding audio feedback, reading out the number that you're dialing and telling you who's calling -- although we're still wondering why they couldn't stretch to a screen. Bundled in the package is also a waterproof bag that promises to keep your essentials dry for 30 minutes under one meter of water. The only sting in this tail is that this extra technology (and bag) comes at a price -- which has increased from $50 to $99 and is expected to be available "early 2013."
Spare One Plus Hands-on at CES 2013See all photos
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SpareOne, Honored as Best of Innovations at CES 2013 for Being the Only Mobile Phone Powered by a Single AA Battery, Debuts SpareOnePlus at the Show
SpareOnePlus now features location-based cell ID service and audible numeric feedback, making it the ultimate safety and communication device in case of emergencies
Las Vegas – January 7, 2013 – SpareOne, the world's only emergency mobile phone powered by a single AA battery, debuts SpareOnePlus at CES, featuring a series of enhancements to the original SpareOne – recognized as a 2013 Best of Innovations recipient in a new category – Tech for a Better World.
"SpareOne has become a game-changing preparedness device since its launch, gaining national notoriety for its innovation and ability to keep lines of communication open when power is completely unavailable or inaccessible," said Alan Cymberknoh, SpareOne Project Director at XPAL Power. "SpareOnePlus is packed with additional safety features and communicates with users even more intuitively than before."
Upgrades to the SpareOnePlus include a location-based service which identifies the exact location of the cell ID, accessible through a free smartphone app, as well as audible numeric feedback which reads the number dialed and incoming calls aloud. SpareOnePlus now comes in Flat Black and Matte Silver, both with a red battery screen, giving the product a premium look and feel.
SpareOne, designed to be an ultimate safety and communication device, provides up to 15 years of battery life when stored unused (off, with plastic tab inserted) or 10 hours of talk time when in use. Features include a TorchLight on top which provides 24 hours of continuous light; a dedicated 911 dial button to alert authorities, which works with or without a SIM card; ability to pre-set 9 speed dial numbers; and a new talk-through, re-sealable waterproof bag with a humidity-proof seal. The floatable bags operate in extreme temperatures of -22F to 140F and protect against water submersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter, also designed with room to accommodate a few small items such as credit cards, bandages, etc.
Both versions of SpareOne are designed to work independently of a cell phone carrier, with no monthly fee. Users simply insert a SIM card with credit to begin making calls at local rates. SpareOne is SIM unlocked, so it can accept SIM cards regardless of the GSM operator, and micro-SIM adapters are also available for iPhone users to insert their iOS SIM.
The SpareOnePlus will be available beginning early 2013 for $99.99, and SpareOne, is available now on www.SpareOne.com. Two versions of the phone are currently available – one for the Americas and one for Europe/Asia/Africa/Oceania (based on GSM availability: spareone.com/gsm-map).
SpareOne and SpareOnePlus will be displayed at The Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel & Resort Hospitality Suite, as well as on the International CES show floor in the Innovations
Design and Engineering Showcase.
Recognized for design and innovation by Popular Mechanics, Entrepreneur Magazine, PC Magazine and many more, read about SpareOne's awards at spareone.com/buzz#bawards. Read the press release announcing SpareOne's recognition as Best of Innovations here: maxborgesagency.com/press/spareone_ces_innovations_2013_winner/.
To learn more about SpareOne visit www.SpareOne.com and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.