Just a quick PSA: Garmin has just announced that they are voluntarily recalling 1.25 million nüvi navigation units due to the possibility of faulty batteries. A press release explains that some devices, with a specific printed circuit board design, could contain defective third-party batteries that, “in rare circumstances, increase the possibility of overheating, which may lead to a fire hazard.” The nüvi models affected include those with the model numbers 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT. If you want to determine if your nüvi is being recalled you can visit garmin.com/nuvibatterypcbrecall to check. We have the full press release after the break. More →
Yesterday, Facebook acknowledged that their recent Android application update — version 1.3 — contained a bug that was draining handset batteries. The post looked like this:
Hi folks, a number of you have commented on seeing a battery drain on your device since installing the new Facebook for Android app. We have identified the bug that is causing this battery drain and are working on a fix now. As soon as the patch is ready, we will push out an update. Thanks for the quick feedback and for your patience as we get this fixed!
Today, the company has released an updated version of the software — version number 1.3.1 — that, according to a subsequent Facebook post, “includes a fix for the battery drain problem some of you were running into.” Hit the Android Market to install the update. Anyone experience unexpected battery drain after installing Facebook 1.3?
[Via Androinica] More →
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple, Inc. is looking into reports that the performance of iOS 4, on the iPhone 3G, is sub-par. The most common gripes are that the two-year old handset is “sluggish” and “burns through a charge” very quickly after the update is installed. Anyone out there experiencing this? More →
Japanese electronics manufacturer Brother is stepping outside its printing and sewing machine roots to explore motion-powered battery technology. The Japanese company is unveiling prototype AA and AAA batteries that are comprised of a rechargeable battery and an accompanying generator which produces power from vibrations/movement. The system can generate up to 180mW and is designed for low power devices like remote controls and LED flashlights. No word on when, or even if, these batteries will hit mass production but folks in Japan can get a sneak peek at this shake and charge battery system during the upcoming Techno-frontier 2010 being held July 21 to 23 in Tokyo. More →
A rumor out of TmoNews suggests that the newly announced Motorola Charm may be delayed before it even gets out of the starting gate. The handset is reportedly experiencing issues with the battery that are serious enough to force Motorola and T-Mobile to delay the launch of the Android handset until August. Under the same breath, the whisperer mentioned the possibility of Motorola including an extended battery with each handset; a scenario that may allow for a timely launch and a bandaid for the problem while Motorola works out the kinks. Whatever the case, those interested in the Charm may want to watch for a follow-up to see if this rumor pans out. More →
We weren’t the only ones to get an iPhone 4 early — iFixIt just released one of their famous teardowns, and while nothing is really new, we do have confirmation on some of the bigger points:
- RAM is confirmed to be 512MB compared to 256MB in the iPad and iPhone 3GS
- The two screws on the bottom allow removal of the back glass plate, not the front LCD as with previous models
- The battery, while not user accessible, is easily replaceable — and huge!
- The entire from LCD assembly will require replacement if damaged. On earlier models people would buy either the LCD or digitizer separately and adhere them together, but with Apple’s new manufacturing process, this won’t really be possible
- The integration of cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radios into the case assembly is “genius”. We agree
So, interested in checking out some more shots of the iPhone 4′s insides? Couple more photos after the jump, and hit iFixIt for the rest! More →
If there is one thing that definitely needs catching up in the gadget industry, it’s battery technology and charging options. Powermat showed us where the future is headed in terms of battery capabilities and new ways to charge them. You’re all probably familiar with how Powermat works: you slip on Powermat’s case onto your iPhone or BlackBerry, or attach the corresponding plug to your device of choice, and place it on the mat for wireless charging. The real issue with current models is that the receivers can be a little gaudy for some of you with Powermat’s bulky cases. In June 2010, however, that’s all going to change. Hit the break for the official press release and more, and some pics of the new Powermat offerings in our gallery!
Listen up Quickfire owners, AT&T just made a pretty major announcement: Your phone is going to self-destruct in exactly five days! Just kidding, sort of — if you don’t follow the proper procedures for charging your device, it just might. On Monday we broke news of the Quickfire being pulled off shelves and being cut from sales indefinitely without any public statement from AT&T. Now Big Blue is saying there have been reports of significant overheating when the charger is forced or incorrectly inserted into the phone. While there is usually only one way to get a charger in, sometimes phone designs allow for some wiggle room and these bad connectors appear to be the culprit of the Quickfire’s dismissal. If you own a Quickfire and haven’t received a notice already, you’ll soon receive an email and SMS that reads:
Please take special care when charging your Quickfire GTX75 mobile phone. There have been a few reports of significant overheating of the phone when the AC Charger adapter is inserted incorrectly and forced into the phone. The clearly marked, embossed arrow on the AC Charger adapter should always be face-up on the same side as the display screen of the Quickfire when it is inserted into the phone. See the diagram below for proper positioning and insertion of the AC Charger adapter into the phone. You should never force the AC Charger adapter into the phone.
This goes without saying but be sure to take note of this to avoid any injuries or serious damage to your phone and property. At least now we know why such a cool little device was suddenly yanked from store shelves and we hope the problem is remedied soon.
Here at BGR, we’ve learned several truths over the years: What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, you really shouldn’t eat yellow snow and most importantly, there is no such thing as a phone with a big enough battery. Discounting those first two for the time being, we’re long-time Proporta portable battery users as having that extra 3400 mAh of juice in reserve can be a life saver. Last month however, we were made aware of an alternative option from London-based Devotec Industries and our interest was immediately piqued. While Devotec’s offering holds 47% less juice than our Proporta battery, we couldn’t help but get reeled in by a key feature that no other portable charger we’ve come across in the sub-$40 price range can tout — solar. Needless to say we scooped up a handful of them and went to town. Hit the jump to read our impressions of the Devotec Solar Charger after a few weeks of abuse from the BGR staff.
The battery in Apple’s recently revamped 17″ MacBook Pro, incase you somehow missed it, is amazing. With a single charge it can power the monster notebook for approximately eight hours while using the NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor or approximately seven hours while the 9600M GT chip is at work. What’s more, the new powerhouse has a charge cycle life of 1,000 charges which is leaps and bounds beyond the shelf life of a standard laptop battery. While those are some remarkable specs, it doesn’t mean that the new battery is immune to problems of course and Murphy’s Law makes it likely that problems will occur after the one-year battery warranty has expired. It also can’t (shouldn’t) be replaced by end-users so what happens if the pack starts to go after its estimated five-year lifespan and you want to swap it out for a new one – though we can hardly imagine using the same notebook for two years, let alone five. Apple has just put up a support page detailing the process and cost to put your mind at ease as you debate shelling out that $2,800 – $4,000 on a shiny new Pro. In a nutshell, the replacement battery will run you $179, which includes the installation of your new battery and the disposal of your old one. If you can find your way to an Apple Store, the turn around time is just one day. If you choose to mail your baby to Apple you’re looking at three to four days from the date Apple receives it. There, now you can sleep better at night.
Sony has just announced its latest line of laptop batteries, engineered exclusively for masochists. Wait, no, don’t get excited. It looks like it was just an accident that Sony’s notebook batteries have been melting on people’s laps. Back to the shadows of society you go, you crazy deviants. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has decided to recall approximately 35,000 laptop batteries after reports from 19 people that their lappys got a bit too hot to handle. 17 of the 19 reported that their computers actually caught fire and two of them even suffered burns as a result. The affected batteries have shipped out in various manufacturer models including Dell, Toshiba and HP notebooks. Sony, buddy, what’s going on here? The world has been having some serious battery shortages lately and you’re off frying people’s thighs. Not cool. Sony also issued a major recall for similar reasons last month, affecting about 438,000 laptops around the world. Now this. It might not be a bad idea to start checking the battery make on potential notebook purchases from here on out… Hit the jump to find out if there’s a chance your laptop might try to stop you from reproducing, and for recall info if you plan to thwart it.
Self-powered cell phones may become a reality if M2E Power has their way. The company has developed and tested batteries that are powered by human motion. The batteries are housed inside a charger which can be thrown in your purse or pocket and pulled out when you need to charge a device. Right now efficiency is marginal as it takes about 6 hours of cumulative motion to provide 30 to 60 minutes of call time. That is a lot of movement for not a lot of talk time but you have to start somewhere we guess. With cell phone companies seeking “green” alternatives to power, this battery charging technology may someday find its way into your phone. We’d prefer built-in solar panels though, that way we don’t have to walk around too much…