ChargeGenie: Device-agnostic charging on the go

HTC and O2 have already announced their first phone that comes without a bundled charger, so it seems that Energenie’s ChargeGenie first universal portable smartphone charger could have been brought out at just the right time.


Why would you want a universal charger you may ask? Well, we guess that should your charger break, or get lost, you can shell out on one charger, that will also charge up whatever phone you happen to buy next. And should the trend for not bundling chargers continue, this could prove to be a useful investment.

Energenie, a specialist manufacturer of smart energy saving and power management products, has devised the ChargeGenie, with a gel pad design, which clamps to the back of any Android, Windows or BlackBerry smartphone. Because a lot of handsets these days have shapely design profiles, rather than being completely flat, the charger’s flexible spine ensure’s it follows the device’s contours for a secure fit.

The charger is connected to the smartphone using a tethered USB cable that neatly unfolds from under the pad and is long enough to reach the handset’s microUSB port, wherever it is on the phone.

The ChargeGenie’s neat shape means that you can carry on using the phone while it is charging – and because it only weighs 75g, it’s easy to pop in a bag or pocket once placed in its plastic storage case.

The device features five LED lights that show the battery power level, and its own internal battery can be charged on the move via USB from a car charger or laptop.

The Energenie ChargeGenie is £24.99 and available to pre-order from It is expected to go on sale in early December 2012.

Casemate Barely There range for Samsung Galaxy II and iPhone 4

If you’re tired of reading endless iPhone case reviews and wondering why your Samsung Galaxy S doesn’t get more love than look no further (well look no further than halfway through this article – I’ve snuck an iPhone 4 case review in at the end as well. Also maybe try not reading reviews for cases of phones you don’t own).


We’ve looked at a few casemate releases recently – battery packs, novelty animal designs and even a combo purse/phone thing that turned a few heads. The Barely There range however is in the less is more school of case making and is more about supporting your phone than it is about detracting.
The slim and minimal case design is for people who are really into the look and feel of their Galaxy S II and don’t want to augment the design or add bulk to an already massive handset. In addition to protection, cases offer a way to bring a little colour to the device and the Barely There range comes in a variety of colours, including a T2-esque metallic silver.

Apparently made from specially engineered materials, including a hard-to-break plastic shell, the form fitting case slims in all the right places, getting out of the way of buttons, ports and connectors. Of course, this does make it a little bit like squeezing into a pair of perfect jeans and popping the case on and off in a hurry is a little bit difficult. Then again this is a problem that affects maybe 30 people doing case reviews and no one else so it’s not a major concern.

The iPhone 4 Barely There case is all of the above, just wrapped around a smaller, older and yet somehow insanely popular phone. There is a circular cut-out so you can let the world see your Apple logo except for the brushed aluminium version which has a lovely metal lining and a case mate logo.

Check them out at

Binatone’s new ‘Speakeasy’ mobiles – Great phones for the grandparents in our lives

Despite the huge success of iPhones, mostly due to the multitude of multi-media capabilities they provide, there are some who dislike the ‘fiddliness’ of modern mobiles, such as iPhones, and have a disinclination towards all the ‘unnecessary’ features many modern mobiles possess.  In-light of this surprisingly rampant abhorrence to the seemingly endless technical capabilities of modern multi-faceted mobiles, Binatone, a leading consumer electronics company, has expanded its range of Big Button Mobile Phones – a refreshingly simple, stylish alternative mobile.


Following on from the huge success of the Big Button range which was launched in 2010, Binatone has introduced the Speakeasy 300 GSM phone, which costs £59.99 and its ‘top of the range’ Speakeasy 600, priced at £79.99.

As the name suggests, the mobiles are designed to make calling and texting easier than ever. Large, sturdy keys means accidentally pressing the wrong number when you make a call is virtually impossible, whilst large, easy to read displays make reading texts a whole lot simpler. And for those a little hard of hearing, an amplified sound and speakerphone creates a clearer sound and improves call quality. Accidental calling may burden us no more, as the Speakeasy 600 has a built-in slider screen, resourcefully concealing the keyboard, ensuring misfortunes like ‘accidentally calling the ex’ are avoided – Yes we’ve all been there!

Although for those yearning simplified phone usage whilst maintaining some sophisticated features, the Speakeasy 600 is Bluetooth enabled, meaning users can safely use their phone handsfree when driving a Bluetooth enabled car. Binatone’s ‘top of the range’ model also features an in-built camera, meaning there’s never an excuse for not capturing those precious moments on camera.

The LG verdict? Whilst the Speakeasy 600 may be mildly in-keeping with the present decade, the Speakeasy 300 GMS may make a good present for our grandparents, notorious for their inability to send text messages and even answer their phones!