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With a million and one batteries to choose from, manufacturers and companies really have to go out of their way to throw something unique into the mix.  In the case of the Richard Solo 1800, it’s the LED flashlight and laser pointer.  Obviously not revolutionary in its own right, but coupled with a decent back-up battery and dual USB car charger and you’ve got yourself a quality package.

First things first, the name is just lame.  It sounds like the name of a naughty online file you’d find where Richard engages himself at, oh around 1800.  That being said, the LED flashlight and laser pointer were handy enough and the battery itself was there when I needed it.

Aesthetically, Richard Solo isn’t anything to gaze longingly as its general shape reminded me of one of those Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.  The device is lightweight but it comes with too many pieces.  Packed with the Solo is a retractable USB cable, an iPhone/iPod cable, and a dual USB car adapter, and a USB AC wall plug.

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The retractable USB cable is pretty ramshackle and could break at a moments notice.  Pulling it back and forth never seemed to get me anywhere I wanted to be and it was usually uneven by the time I was done futzing with it.  I’ve seen this type of cord before and while the idea is fine and dandy the execution is shoddy at best.  The body of the Solo 1800 seemed robust but the connections between the various cords were too loose.  The connection is not something I’d trust inside a bag but rather somewhere isolated, where it wasn’t touching anything else, assuring a good charge.  The hold between pieces wasn’t super weak, but it’s just something I’d want to keep an eye on, especially if the timely charge of your phone is imperative.

The 1800mAh battery did well against purported charge time and I got just around 1.5 full iPhone charges before the lithium-ion was fully discharged.  So, not as big as some of the batteries we’ve seen, but the Richard Solo also performed better than most.  The discharge amount was at 1% a day so it didn’t nearly deplete as bad as say, the Technocel Powerpak.

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As far as the LED flashlight and laser pointer is concerned, there’s a toggle switch underneath Richard that prevents accidental use and battery drainage.  The flashlight has a nice round bloom but don’t expect it to be awesome at spelunking.  The laser pointer has a fairly long range and is good for whatever people use laser pointers for.

When charging up Richard, the many included pieces provide for several options.  You can charge the Solo through the wall or your car while simultaneously charging your phone, but none of the pieces included let you directly charge your phone through your computer, even though you probably already have one of those cords already.

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In the end, I liked the Richard Solo 1800, albeit it has crappy name and too many pieces to keep track of, it’s a solid backup battery with some nice touches via LED Flashlight and laser pointer thrown in for good measure.

If you are looking to find a competent battery to add to your scenario, the Richard Solo 1800 is fairly priced and includes almost everything you need when it comes to maintaining a charged iPhone.

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Robust package
  • LED Flashlight/Laser Pointer

Cons:

  • Too many pieces
  • Connections could be more secure
  • Lame name and bland aesthetic

Buy the Richard Solo 1800 for $70!



Jeff B