Gadling gear review – Dexim BluePack S3 backup battery pack

In this product review, we’ll take a look at the Dexim BluePack S3 backup battery pack. The BluePack S3 is designed to provide backup power for almost any device that can powered and charged using USB. Inside the pack is a 2600mAh Lithium-Ion battery.

The basic idea behind this product is that you can charge your device even when you are away from a regular outlet. This means you can keep your iPod, iPhone, Zune, Blackberry or other device running, for the duration of a long haul flight or long train ride.

The BluePack S3 is about the size of a small mobile phone and included in the box is an AC charger (rated for 100-240V, making it suitable for international use), a carrying pouch, a USB charging cable and three device cables (iPod/iPhone, MiniUSB and MicroUSB).

The 2600mAh battery is one of the highest capacities on the market. Most battery packs this size are limited to about 1800mAh. Now, what does this mean to us travelers? Well – take for example the iPhone 3G. This phone has an 1150mAh battery pack, which means a 2600mAh backup battery can give the iPhone at least two full charges (assuming you start charging when it is completely empty). When you start from 25%, you’ll boost it about three times past its normal capacity.

Charging your device is extremely simple – You pick the right cable, plug it into your device, and let the battery pack do its work. The only button on the BluePack S3 is for checking the charge level of its battery, and for turning on the LED light. If the iPod, MiniUSB or MicroUSB cables don’t fit your device, you can use any other USB charging cable.

My only minor gripe with the BluePack S3 is that the cable used to charge the pack is not a standard plug – most backup battery packs use MiniUSB to charge, but the BluePack S3 uses a small round connector. This means you’ll need to keep a close eye on the charging cable, as losing it means you won’t be able to recharge the unit.

There is one advantage to this cable – it has 2 USB plugs on the other end, making it possible to charge the pack using 2 USB ports, speeding up the charging process (the two connectors can double the power delivered to the BluePack S3).

All in all, a solid product. The included cables are a nice bonus, and a set of cables like this normally sells for about $20. The BluePack S3 feels sturdy and looks well designed. I’m a huge fan of backup battery packs as they can mean the difference between being able to use your gadgets, or having to read the Skymall catalog for 14 hours.

The Dexim BluePack S3 retails for $65.90 and is available from several US vendors.