You already have a trendy protective case for your iPhone, but you want to carry some extra juice for it, too? This is when non-form-fitting battery packs such as the Callpod Fueltank UNO come into play. Unlike the form-fitting juice packs--such as the Mophie packs--the Fueltank doesn't require you to take off the phone's protective case to charge it. However, its downside is that it's not handy to use the phone when it's charging. But that is because the Fueltank UNO isn't an iPhone-only accessory, it supports charging a wide range of devices, and isn't designed with only the iPhone in mind.
The Fueltank UNO supports the same devices as the Callpod Fueltank, which we reviewed. The only difference is that the UNO is just half of the size and weight, merely 3.5 ounces, making it even more portable. It also costs less that the other version, just about $40 compared with the $70 price of the Fueltank.
Out of the box, the Fueltank UNO comes with two adapters, one for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as one for other Mini-USB-based-powered devices. You can buy more adapters to charge up to three thousand devices, according to Callpod. However, the adapters are not cheap, costing about $10 each.
We like the design of the Fueltank UNO. It has a solid build and comes with a very nice battery gauge that show how much power is left in the unit. At one end, the unit has a Mini-USB input for use with the included AC adapter, on the other, it has a proprietary adapter port.
Apart from its AC adapter, we were able to charge the UNO via a computer using a Mini-USB cable. However, we didn't like that the UNO doesn't let you sync an iPhone with a computer through its USB cable while it is charging--most packs allow for charging and syncing.
We were able to charge our iPhone 3GS to full power with the Fueltank UNO and still have some energy left in the pack. It takes about 2 hours to charge the Fueltank from empty to full using the AC adapter. You will likely get different charging times and energy numbers depending on the device you use with the juice pack with, but overall, we were happy with what we got out of it.
For iPhones, iPod Touches, and other hand-held devices that charge via a Mini-USB connection, the Callpod Fueltank UNO is worth the $40 investment. However, if you want to charge other devices that have proprietary power connectors, the cost of buying adapters might make it too expensive to warrant buying it.