It's always great to see Kickstarter projects that have made it past funding and into manufacturing, and today's example is no exception. Fluxmob's BOLT is a USB iPhone charger and a battery pack in one small package, and today I'm going to take a look at this well-designed little box that had 1,790 backers on Kickstarter.
- Price: US$59.99
- Dimensions: 70mm x 34mm x 28mm (2.75″ x 1.33″ x 1.10″)
- Weight: 87.9 gm (3.1 oz)
- Battery capacity: 3000 mAh
- Input voltage: 90 - 240 V AC, 50-60 Hz, 0.15A
- Output voltage: 5V DC, 1A
- Colors: Stealth (dark gray), Argon (blue with dark gray top), Crimson (red with dark gray top)
What hit me first about the BOLT is that it looks like something designed by Jony Ive. The plug prongs fold into the BOLT's case to protect them from damage during transport, and click satisfyingly into place for plugging into a wall socket.
The front of the device has four blue LEDs to indicate remaining battery capacity, as well as a single green LED that lights when the device is plugged in and charging or is charging your iPhone. A single dimpled button on the front is used to check the battery capacity. As the designers note, the edges are subtly chamfered to give the BOLT a sleeker look and there's a little thumb ramp that makes one-handed extension of the plug possible.
As expected, the BOLT works well both as a charger and as an external iPhone battery pack. It's small enough to fit in a purse or backpack without taking up a lot of space, and the LEDs are bright enough to see even in daylight.
Probably the best thing about the BOLT is that it keeps iPhone owners from having to purchase both an Apple power brick ($19) and a 3000 mAh battery pack ($20 from Anker on Amazon), then try to keep the two devices from getting separated from each other. If I have any complaints, it's that the price is a little on the steep side and that the company doesn't include a USB to Lightning cable with the BOLT. Hopefully the BOLT will be successful enough in the marketplace that Fluxmob will be able to price it more reasonable in the future.
The Fluxmob BOLT is a well-designed and nicely manufactured product that connoisseurs of design will love. Making this product more affordable, perhaps at a price point of around $40 - $45, would turn it into a best-seller.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible