Hidden gem for iPhone

If you think, like I do, that iPhone's only real hardware shortcoming (software ones such as missing video recording will hopefully be dealt with soon) is that there is actually too little of it, i.e. that its battery doesn't survive a day of heavy usage, then I have found a must-have little gadget for you: the portable charger LT025 from tiny Swiss firm Lifetrons. The charger takes a charge of 4800 mAh (probably about 3 iPhone charges), which it delivers actively to iPhone, i.e. it is not an external battery pack that needs to remain connected to be effective, it actually charges iPhone, and it does it very quickly. The gadget's power input is USB and it charges lots of other mobile devices via a plethora of adapters for its USB cable. The device's footprint is smaller than iPhone's, but it is about 2 2.5 times thicker. The device is well designed and nicely executed.

But as the title of this post holds, it is a hidden gem. So much so, in fact, that I only stumbled across it in a duty free catalogue. Strangely, Lifetrons only distributes via airlines and duty free shops, and they don't market their wares actively - it is not even available in their own online store. At least not for the moment, I'm told by their CEO. Another instance of under-marketed Swiss engineering ingenuity? You bet! I hope they get their marketing act together really soon, because they deserve it!

Here's the anecdote of the purchase: I saw the description on my way to Brussels and decided to hold off on buying until I could do a little online research, which I did in Brussels. But it yielded very little, there's virtually no online reviews available nor, as mentioned, alternative distribution. So, I decided to buy on the way back, even though Swiss has all three colours as long as it's white/silver. But I created a bit of a stumbling block for the friendly flight attendants - the catalogue advertises that you can pay with M&M Miles rather than cash, which I wanted to. But their payment appliance didn't work, so we had to use a regular credit card slip. Now, I'm a little nervous that I am going to be charged CHF 22'000 for the device rather than 22'000 miles ... keep your fingers crossed! 

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