If you are a fan of celebrity food fanatic Alton Brown, you may know that the one thing he steers clear of when equipping his kitchen is a "unitasker," an object that can only perform a single function. That is what I like the most about the Patriot FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable Battery. It combines a mobile device battery charger, something many of us will only use occasionally, with a flashlight.
The FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable battery comes simply packaged with a MicroUSB to USB cable, which can be used both for charging the battery via wall or USB jack. The same cable is also used for powering your devices off of the battery pack. The 2000mAh lithium-ion battery ensures that you will have plenty of juice for whatever device you need to keep up and running.
The Flashlight on the FUEL consists of a single LED, which is bright enough to light your way or find that tiny screw you dropped. It is touted as a three-stage flashlight, but I found only the first of the three to be truly useful.
The flashlight button on the back of the FUEL is small and flush with the surface of the case, so it sometimes takes one or two tries to turn it on or toggle through stages. When you first press it, the LED turns on at its brightest level, a pretty impressive light with a wide radius. A second press dims the light slightly, providing enough vision to skulk around in the dark, but not much else. The last stage is the ever-familiar strobe effect. I have never once found a use for this on any flashlight. Then again, I rarely find myself at a dance party or needing to flag down a helicopter.
With its compact design and sturdy aluminum body, reminiscent of tiny MagLite flashlight, the FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable battery perfect for your glove box or tool bag. As an IT consultant who carried around thirty pounds of equipment in his backpack, it was helpful to have one small device that had a couple of uses, be it keeping my phone charged through a long day or lighting up a cramped server closet so I could trace cables behind a rack of network equipment.
If you find yourself needing a battery backup for your mobile devices, why not get more bang for your buck and get a durable, compact flashlight as well? It will make your inner Alton Brown nod in approval.
You can find the Patriot FUEL Active Mobile Rechargeable 2000mAh Battery with LED Flashlight, available in black or gun metal grey, in the Windows Phone Central Store for $19.95.