Increasingly, we’ve become dependent on our mobile phones, but those phones don’t feel so mobile when we find ourselves far from a wall outlet or phone charger. There are, of course, options, from the wide range of solar chargers currently on the market to kinetic chargers that generate juice for your portables while you run or walk. The simplest solution in the short term, however, may be a more archaic form of technology, with which we’re all already well acquainted: the AA battery.
The recently debuted SpareOne cell phone from Xpal Power — which makes use of what is dubbed smart patented power engineering — can operate differently from your average cell phone using the lowly AA battery. While it will grant you up to 10 hours of talk time – which is ok by most standards – what really grabs our eye from an eco standard is that, left unused, this phone will reportedly maintain its charge on that one battery for up to 15 years, depending upon the battery one makes use of.
The reason for this in part is because the Spare One — as the name suggests — wasn’t intended to take the place of your features-loaded smartphone. Its manufacturer sees it, rather, as a back up phone, to be kept in the glove box of your car for emergencies (i.e., when your regular phone conks out), or for use when the power grid itself becomes unreliable (i.e., natural disasters).
Towards that end, it features a built in emergency flashlight and the ability to automatically transmit its location via the cell ID, making it a reliable tool for urgent response during a crisis or disaster when AA batteries become the only source of power.
There’s also the adventure angle — for those who regularly venture into the great outdoors, be it via yachting, skiing, canoeing or plain old backpacking, as this phone reportedly offers a reliable means of communication with folks back home (or even with the office, if you must). Regardless of whether electric infrastructure is present or not., the developer says, SpareOne will maintain its ability to make and receive calls.
Price wise, Engadget notes the phone, which will take any GSM SIM or microSIM, will price around $50. It should be available come March.