Product Review: Rechargeable Polaroid USB Stick Battery Charger
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Product Review: Rechargeable Polaroid USB Stick Battery Charger

This article is on my thoughts and personal experience with the Polaroid USB stick battery charger.

It happened again. One minute I was happily taking pictures with my digital camera and the next minute I was searching for anyplace that would sell me batteries. Camera batteries fail at awkward moments. Thankfully, there was a store nearby and in a few minutes I was back to snapping photos left and right.

So when I found the Polaroid USB stick battery charger with batteries at Wal-Mart I had to take a look. It has a compact slim design and would easily fit into my purse or backpack. The package comes with a set of two AA batteries, which is exactly the number that is required by my camera. It was also intriguing that this is a USB adapter. Instead of plugging the charger into the wall I could run charge it from my computer battery if needed.

The price for this little gizmo was $9.97. That looked good too so I decided to give it a try. There wasn’t another USB charger on the shelf to compare it with but Polaroid has never failed me in the past.

I cut open the heavy plastic package and began to look over the item. What I didn’t realize in the store is how heavy the charger actually is. Compared to other chargers it is lightweight but it is still a little heavy to be dangling off the side of the computer. When I inserted it into my desktop computer, the Polariod USB Battery Charger dangled at an angle in mid-air. It seemed to scream “play toy” to my dog so I quickly took it out. The best position seems to be to plug it into my laptop when the computer is lying flat on a surface.

After getting the Polaroid USB charger and batteries situated I began to read the package insert. That’s when I found out the bad news. The set-up is a trickle charger. This means that the batteries are going to charge very slowly. Instead of looking at a few hours the package insert informed me that to fully charge the included batteries would take between 24-27 hours!

This didn’t make me a happy customer. Who cares if the package insert says you can charge the batteries 1000 times? I bought the Polaroid USB stick battery charger for convenience and ease of use. Somehow, I just wasn’t feeling the love and definitely feel that this information should have been included on the outside of the package, instead of just on an insert.

So, I did what anyone else would do. I went back to the desktop computer, plugged in the Polaroid USB charger and dared my puppy to touch it.

Later the next day I removed the charger and batteries and threw the whole unit into my purse. One thing about it, you can’t beat the Polaroid USB stick battery charger for portability. The next time my camera batteries died mid-photo I reached into my bag and pulled out the charger, and only the charger.

The Polaroid USB stick charger doesn’t come with a cover over the batteries. During the charging process heat is generated and the batteries need to have air circulating around them. I understand that, but during the storage process a cover would be helpful. When the charger is bumped around in a purse or backpack, the batteries don’t stay in their slots. It took a few minutes to fish the escaped batteries out of the bottom of my purse.

One I actually got them into my camera I was pleased with the results. The batteries that were changed on the Polaroid USB stick battery charger performed better than most. We took an estimated few hundred photos and shot some videos before going through the recharging process again.

It should be noted that the package insert tells you that other batteries are available for the Polaroid USB stick battery charger. The quickest seems to be the Polaroid AA 1000-1800 rechargeable batteries. According to the insert these beauties charge in 11-21 hours.

The Polaroid USB stick battery charger is a great idea but could use a little refinement. After charging the second time I gave the unit to my daughter. The batteries lasted a little over a week in her backpack before she permanently lost one of them. On our next trip to Wal-Mart I picked up a traditional charger with batteries. It’s doesn’t work over a USB cable but it takes less time to charge and has performed well.

The Polaroid USB stick battery charger is a great idea in theory. In practice, it’s just not there yet.

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Comments (3)

Gayle, I have to admit I was giggling a bit while reviewing this in the pending screen. Prior to purchasing my DSLR, I was the queen of battery deaths in the middle of the perfect photo taking sessions. When I bought my SLR, I spent the extra $100 on an additional battery since I go through them so fast, but I've found the battery life on the bigger SLR batteries is much better than those on point and shoots. I can go days before one dies (I typically take 1,000-2,000 photos on any given travel weekend). Great review - I'd be a little annoyed if I purchased that product and then found out it takes a whole day to recharge the batteries. Ugghh!

Good article. The only camera equpment that I use AA batteries in are my Nikon flash units. Flash units can eat up batteries quicker that you can say "battery Charger," and I always carry four or five fully charged sets in my gadget bag. The charger that I use is actually made by Radio Shack, it has to be plugged into an AC outlet but it fully charges a set of rechargable Ni-Cd batteries in 15 minutes. It not very compact, being 1 1/4" X 3" X 4 1/2" but it works great. The Radio Shack model number is 22-038. It charges I-C^3 batteries in 15 minutes and regulat NiHH or NiCd batteries overnight. I've had mine for four years now and don't remember exactly what I paid for it but I think that it was around $20 and it came with two batteres.

This is very useful for people who usually travel for their business or vacation. I really learn a lot from the information you have provided. Keep it up! Thanks, voted and shared.

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