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TechnologyTell Review: Champ Bodyguard Battery, panic alarm

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These days, you can find external battery packs with a wide variety of additional features. The opposite also holds true, as more devices – coolers, toolboxes, lights, speakers, etc – are starting to incorporate internal batteries to charge out via USB.

But how about a gadget-charging battery that can also provide some personal security and peace of mind? Want a sonic alarm in the palm of your hand? Read on!

Design

The Champ Bodyguard Battery is a 3-in-1 external battery, flashlight, and personal panic alarm. Not a bad combination for someone who wants that little bit of extra while on the go. The rounded-square shaped body has a good length to it, perfect for holding in the hand as you might a slender flashlight. Two switches on the ‘top’ toggle the light, charging, and the panic alarm, each with icon indicators to show.

Champ Bodyguard Battery

Simple. Effective.

On either side of the top are the micro USB input port to charge the Champ Bodyguard battery (left) and USB output port to charge external devices (right). Both rates are the standard 5V/1A, which is sufficient for most anything in times of need. Regardless of the power switch’s position, the Bodyguard battery will always charge when plugged into a power source.

While it’s not a big deal to have the light on when charging up the Bodyguard battery, you won’t want it accidentally on when attempting passthrough charging. The Bodyguard switch has to be set to the ‘charge phone’ position in order to charge both the battery and an external device simultaneously. Sure, it’ll be slower, but it’s a nice feature to have that’s lacking on many other external batteries.

Champ Bodyguard Battery flashlight

The ‘flashlight’ works well in a pinch.

Unlike most mobile batteries out there, this one by Champ doesn’t have any LEDs to indicate the power level. Considering how widely inaccurate the 4-LED system can be, the Bodyguard battery isn’t missing out. But you will have to remember to keep it topped off after any amount of extended use. You’ll know it’s done charging when the red power LED next to the micro USB port goes dim.

The built-in flashlight is pretty basic. I was hoping for something a bit more robust, considering the size. The little light is about the same you’d find on a quality keychain micro-light. But I can say that the Bodyguard battery gets a pass for this feature because the shape holds in the hand like a flashlight. It’s way less ridiculous than attempting to use the puny ‘flashlight’ on a huge, bulky external battery.

But let’s get to the true business end of this Champ Bodyguard battery; the alarm emitter is down at the bottom. Even though this is considered as an external battery pack, I think of it as a personal panic alarm first. There is no mistaking the wail and high decibels that come out of this thing. It’s pretty close to the level of a smoke alarm going off a few feet from your face.

Also at the bottom is a loop to attach a lanyard strap if so desired. It could go around a wrist, or you could attach the kind that lets you hook it to keyrings.

Battery Performance

Although the Champ Bodyguard battery has passthrough charging, there is no autodetect. You have to manually charge via the switch. For most intents and purposes, this is as basic a battery you can get. The input and output charging rates are 5V/1A, and the included cable matches the same. This battery does what it means to without much (if any) wasted space or frivolous features.

The exterior gets a little warm to the touch while it’s been charging in/out for a while, but it’s easily missed if you just grab it and toss it in a bag or pocket. At only 2200mAh capacity, the downtime for a full recharge is only a couple of hours at the 5V/1A rate.

Champ Bodyguard Battery hand

Fits well in the hand, and buttons are easily readable.

Note: Most external battery packs I’ve ever purchased and used came only partially charged, so I’ve always made it a habit to fully charge them before use. I tend to fully charge and discharge a new battery a few times, just so I can level out the charge states of the individual cells. It helps to maximize the battery’s manufacturer-listed potential.

The standard efficiency rating of external battery packs currently on the market is 70 percent. This means that 30 percent of the battery’s listed capacity is consumed while charging up devices. So, for example, a basic 1000mAh battery would effectively deliver 700mAh of energy.

Right out of the box, the Bodyguard was able to deliver a total of 43 percent charge, or 1384mAh of usable energy, to my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 battery (3220mAh). That’s equivalent to 69.2 percent efficiency, which is good. I mean, we’re talking about a battery panic alarm, so it’s not too bad. Additional charge cycles brought up the efficiency values to a peak of 75.6 percent and an average value of 71.9 percent. That average is equivalent to 1438mAh of usable energy.

So what can you do with 1438mAh of battery energy? That’s good for 0.44 full charges to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (3220mAh), or 0.79 full charges to an Apple iPhone 6 (1810mAh), or 0.32 full charges to a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (4500mAh). It’s a respectable amount, especially for the convenience of it all.

Verdict

For being a rather basic device, the Champ Bodyguard Battery does a fantastic job at functioning as a panic alarm and external battery pack. The flashlight feature is good – handy for searching in bags or for items dropped in the dark – but is bested by almost any compact flashlight that would run off a AA or AAA battery.

Either way, the Champ Bodyguard Battery is very convenient for anyone who wants that extra layer for personal protection and/or energy on the go. It’s too bad a lanyard isn’t included, but I guess it leaves room for shopping options. It’s light, it’s loud, and holds nicely in the hand. Definitely recommended for anyone who is looking for a panic alarm with benefits.

 

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