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.
It looks like Radio Shack isn’t the only green game in town when it comes to swapping out your unused gadgets for some cash. California-based Flipswap has just received a whopping $14 million in venture funding to help expand its cell phone and iPod recycling program. Pretty impressive for a “green” company in this uncertain economy. With all of you buying or planning to buy new handsets this winter season, we figure there are a lot of older, now unused handsets floating around. Yeah, some of you will go the eBay or Craigslist route but if you’re looking for an alternative way to offload your phone, you may want to check out Flipswap which will give you cash in return for your old cell phone or iPod. Flipswap is located in 6,000 retail locations and have even partnered with a few online vendors like Newegg and Amazon so you can get cash in the form of a gift card for your old phone. If your phone is too decrepit for cash, Flipswap will still take it for recycling purposes and will plant a tree in your name instead. One new tree is much better than one new handset in a landfill and this year alone Flipswap has planted an estimated 28,000 trees! BlackBerry owners in particular should take note as Flipswap recently partnered with RIM and will give you an extra $50 if you swap an old BlackBerry for a new BlackBerry. The company is also in the process of expanding its retail program so you can get cash for your old phone and apply it immediately to your new handset purchase. w00t! Flipswap is definitely worth looking into before you toss that old handset into your garbage can. Think green and recycle, y’all! Hit the read link for more info or if you’re a Berry addict, go straight to Flipswap’s dedicated BlackBerry page.