Brunton. Good old Brunton.
I have to admit that, in the past, I’ve had a bit of a problem with Brunton. The few products I’ve seen from the company have always left me slightly deflated, feeling that they tend to favour style over substance.
The last product we looked at – the Hydrogen Charger was a complete flop in my view, but the Revolt 9000 might just be the start of a new era.
In a nutshell, this is a portable device charger. Like a big, good-looking 9000mAh battery. It’s not trying to change the world and it’s not trying to address problems that don’t exist (back to the Hydrogen Charger again). It’s just nice and simple.
You plug it in, fill it with the magic of electrikkery and take it off on your holibobs or, in my case, hospital.
Without going into the gory details, I recently managed to find myself at the mercy of the greatest health service in the world (so they say), lying flat on my back for 24 hours and wide awake for every single solitary second of that tedious, mind-numbing experience.
With only Sky News, crappy games and my evil, mickey-taking Facebook friends for company on my iPhone 6 (and the slightly less evil Mrs Muz from 2.30pm – 4.30pm and again from 6pm – 7pm), I managed to drain my phone a couple of times over. And the Brunton Revolt was a sanity-saver.
Let’s start with the aesthetics.
First of all, put the tips of your thumbs together and make that heart shape all the kids do. Thank you. I love you too. Now keep your thumbs there and use your fingers to make something resembling a square. That’s roughly the size of this unit (just short of 4” on each side), and it’s 1.4” thick.
Predominantly bright yellow* in colour with a little bit of black thrown in, the whole thing is rubberised and really quite nice to fondle, and it has a black Vibram base so it doesn’t slide around on shiny surfaces. If you think you’ve heard of Vibram before, check the soles of your hiking boots – they’re probably Vibram too.
A little door flips down on the side of the waterproof unit to reveal both USB and micro USB ports, in to which a supplied adaptor fits. These wires feature a standard USB plug on one end, splitting three ways in to a micro USB plug, olde-worlde i-device plug and a new-fangled lightning adaptor plug.
According to the box the Revolt came in, these allow you to charge smartphones, E-readers, digital cameras, GPS devices, head torches and MP3 players. And probably anything else the plugs fit.
So, on to filling the thing with juice.
There are two ways to do this. The first is to plug it in to your computer, filling it from the USB port, and the second is to use the three-pin plug/USB adaptor that probably came with your smartphone. Either way I found charging to be a pretty lengthy process, taking in excess of five hours for all the lights to glow and for it to be fully primed. So get it plugged in early doors.
And then comes using it in anger.
So far I have only used the lightning adaptor on this for my iPhone 6 and Mrs Muz’s iPhone 5s, but despite Apple devices often auto-rejecting anything other than their own branded lightning adaptors, I have to say that I’ve had no problems (despite seeing an Amazon review to the contrary). Plug the phone in, press the button to set it off, and a couple of hours later you’re ready to rock at 100% battery. Or, in my case, play Crossy Road. Again.
The only quibble here is that Brunton’s sales blurb claims that this will charge your smartphone six times over, but so far I have only managed three-and-a-half times from absolutely flat and four-and-a-bit times from about 10-15% power remaining. Something to bear in mind if you’re in the middle of a field somewhere.
Overall, this is a good product which is pretty to look at. It even drew attention from the masked medical team who whisked me off to (minor) surgery, so naturally I took the opportunity to direct them here to GWA. Hello. Thank you for not removing my leg by accident, even though the wrong name was on my headboard for far too many hours before I realised.
There are a couple of things I’d like Brunton to re-think before they launch the next version though. One is that the flippy door in front of the built-in ports feels flimsy enough to break off with careless use. Two is that the Revolt could benefit from somewhere to stash the charging cable when it’s not in use so the two things don’t get separated in transit.
It’s also a little bit pricey and at a claimed 353 grams (12.5oz) it’s also a little bit heavy, but at the end of the day it’s a great big battery, isn’t it.
Nothing major all-round, but I don’t feel like I’m doing my job if I don’t criticise something…
* Also available in orange, black & 2 different shades of green