Quick review of the DC-18, a portable charger from Nokia

You can get pretty stellar battery life on Windows Phone. Variables like your specific phone, usage, and which apps you have installed (and whether they’re running in the background) all impact battery life. You might want to carry a portable charger for those times you find yourself away from an outlet or power source. There are plenty of third party options when it comes to selecting a portable charger for your smartphone, but if you’re rocking a Lumia why not get one to match it?

The Nokia DC-18 is a universal portable USB charger that you might want to check out. Here’s our quick hands-on with it.

Sizing it up

A portable charger is something nobody wants to carry around all the time, but it’s invaluable for the times you need power and don’t have time to sit around an outlet. The DC-18 is modest in both size and storage capacity. With the DC-18 you’re getting a rectangular cuboid shape measuring 57mm x 57mm x 14.9mm and weighing just 65g. It isn’t super thin, but you can easily put this into a pocket if you really need to. Otherwise your bag is a good place to keep it.

The DC-18 has the microUSB cable built-in, which is great because that’s one less thing for you to carry when you’re mobile. You can easily pull it out of the body with the little plastic protrusion on the side The LEDs on the front of the device light up when you pull the cable out and represent how much charge is left inside the DC-18. On the opposing side you have a microUSB port, which you’ll be using to charge the device.

The little charger comes in either red, white, cyan, or yellow. Odds are that you'll be able to match this to an existing smartphone in your collection. 

The charge inside

When it comes to the amount of juice inside, the DC-18 isn’t going to be winning many competitions. Its battery capacity is rated at 1720 mAh. For perspective, let’s compare the capacity of some smartphones you might be using this with. The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 1430 mAh battery, the Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 1020 are rocking a 2000 mAh battery, and the latest flagship, the Lumia 1520, packs a whopping 3400 mAh battery.

For those concerned about the capacity consider this. The Camera Grip accessory for the Lumia 1020 doesn’t just act as a comfortable grip with a nice shutter button, but it also packs a 1020 mAh battery. Which makes it perfect for topping off your phone or eking out just a bit more battery life when your late night is about to turn into an early morning.

The DC-18 is also a perfect complement for phones like the Lumia 520. Both in terms of price, but also because the DC-18 can easily give the Lumia 520 another complete charge.

Is this for me?

So would you get this if you’re looking for a way to keep your power hungry Lumia 1020 or upcoming Lumia 1520 always charged? Probably not, there are portable chargers out there that offer greater capacity (like Nokia’s own DC-50 at 2400 mAh). But this little charger is highly recommend if your phone doesn’t have such a big battery to begin with or if you’re looking for an easy way to make sure you have enough battery to get through a night out on the town with friends.

Want the DC-18? You can find it in various places online in places like Amazon or eBay for prices that range from $27 to $40. 

  • My little red one almost fully charges my 1020 when the battery bar is looking empty
  • Agreed best portable charger. This thing allows me to charge my phone whole in my pocket. I have yellow on yellow. Gives my phone another 4 hours of use.
  • Red on red here hehe XD
  • Only 4 more hours? On 1020? I get at least half a day and I'm pretty heavy on usage
  • Red on yellow 1020 btw lol
  • Same with my red 920 its a nifty little gizmo :)
  • Just picked another charger today from Amazon via a Gizmodo link. Purchased a better looking unit with 10000mAh capacity for $30. I think I got a better deal, but this is cool too.
  • If I'm not mistaken that's the Anker high capacity battery? Bought that one as well, helped me a lot during my self guided tour-on-foot of DC. Since I had to use maps, camera, the browser and facebook a lot at that time, that thing served me well.
  • Will this work intenrationally?  traveling to asia next month.
  • Its a goddamn charger, it will work in Asia, Africa and wonderland
  • Lol!
  • Do I need an unlock for it? I kid, I kid.
  • i think what i meant was, will i be able to use a wall charger with it, but yeah of course.
  • lol in that case, excuse the early harsh comments, btw that portable charger gets juice throught a micro usb port like your phone so.. yes im sure it will work anyware with usb ports
  • China has other wall plugs so i suggest you get one or two converters to whatever standard you use in your country.
  • Omfg, LOL!!
  • It charges via a USB cable, as long as you have access to a USB port on a computer or other USB power source, you should be good to go.
  • If you're referring to charging the charger, then I'd say that that's a good question. Not sure if China provides 120v or 240v from A/C outlets like they do in Europe. Either way, maybe the Nokia product info page might provide the info you're after. Some times they come bundled up with the special adapter, specially international versions.
  • This one charges via USB, so anywhere you could charge your phone you could also charge the DC-18.
  • I think it wont work when u go to hell
  • Charming and useful response. Nice to see (where's the 'rolls eyes' button?)
  • Wait for the unlocked version.
  • He, her! Damn you sc!
  • I'm waiting for the wireless one.
  • I believe the FBI still owns the patent for that. The got it after Tesla mysteriously died if I'm not mistaken. Something about national security I think.
  • Yep and to this day still want say what all the papers were about, much less release them.
  • If it was $15-20 I would get one. But any higher you can get better capacities for the same price.  
  • Sure s, I did this with a power mat, but this one has kinks worked out.
  • A good straight-forward no-frills honest review. Thank you.
  • If you use the audible app at all, you'll need a dozen of these to make it through the day. In general, there are plenty of WP8 buggy apps that drain batteries.
  • Name one.
  • I have an e-cigarette with 2600mah battery that can also be used as portable charger. Filling up my L920 while polluting my lungs, how convenient !
  • These are 25$ at Microsoft Stores. I love mine
  • Another bonus , it does not take forever to charge it up to full capacity :)
  • I thought it was the Nokia guru despite the title. I wanna buy that to run with miCoach app
  • I want mine, for my Cadillac!
  • I think this recharging device is only useful for the lumia 520. Otherwise it is useless. The idea is good, but nokia should have developed corresponding models for the other lumia phones with bigger capacities. Currently the experience will be poor at best for the other lumia phones. I think the same about the battery capacity on the the 1020 camera accessory.
  • Should be a wireless charger.
  • DC-18 = Cyan, no Black. Lumia 1520 = Black, no Cyan. WUT As an owner of a black 920...no deal in these colors.
  • I have a 6000mah charger that also has a solar panel built in to suck juice straight out of mother nature and put that pureness into my phone. If you live somewhere that sees plenty of sun I'd recommend getting on of those. I haven't had to plug it in to charge it since I got it 5 months ago. It was also cheaper than this nice, but wimpy one.
  • What if in the darkness, do i have to absorb solar radiation too to get my phone charged that sucks
  • No you just plug it in like every other portable charger, so you still have ample time to fight all those vamps
  • Sounds incredible, care to share what it is and where you bought it from?
  • Yeah I was checking those out at DX. Quite a few choices there!
  • I pledged this and can't wait until it arrives: http://kck.st/15j2lIF
  • I have a Black dc-16
  • ROTFLMAO, you had me at "You can get pretty stellar battery life on Windows Phone."
  • You can my battery last at least 10 hours on pretty heavy usage
  • I don't have my phone stuck into my vein.  Minimal usage. Four days on a charge with a larger than factory battery. Yeah, WP can be battery sipping. 
  • Ummmmm......it's not a charger.  Any USB to micro USB is that. This is an external battery pack.
  • My stomach....so much pain....
  • Just get the PS vita portable battery. It costs $20 at gamestop. You would need to have a Ps vita though to use the ac cord
  • Thanks Sam I was wondering if I should get one of these this helped alot
  • Lumia 820 is at 1650mah, so it was perfect for this. Doing Yellow+Yellow here :)    
  • I personally still prefer the "older" DC-16. I find the shape a lot more pockatable and without the hard sharp edges found on the DC-18.