The world moves towards smartphones. We all love smartphones despite their flaws. One major flaw is the need to charge every day or 2, sometimes even several times a day. We still love them and use them. That doesn’t stop people with visions from trying to solve the problem which irks the millions of smartphone users. We already talked about some of these products like CulCharge and The Practical Meter, both of which were crowdfunded. Today, we talk of another device, also crowdfunded, Legion the portable battery based charger.
Legion is a new product from PLX devices that hopes to solve the charge-on-the-move problem. Legion is a portable energy source, which means, at the lowest level of abstraction, it is a battery you can use to charge your devices. It comes in 2 flavors, a 5,500 mAh and 11,000 capacity battery. But the features on top of those batteries are what make this product exciting. Two really exciting features are the OLED display and the microprocessor.
Legion uses an Organic LED display to give information about the battery inside, percentage and time to discharge and charge the Legion. It also shows cool information like number of charge cycles battery health, terminal voltage of the battery, current and power consumption. The microprocessor is what helps calculate all this information and the OLED puts it out there. Having information about the current and power consumption lets us find the optimal cables for charging the Legion and the device, as each wire works differently. Switching between the various display modes is done with a single button.
The Organic LED itself is quite advantageous, as it has a 10000:1 contrast ratio, and consumes power only for lit pixels, and hence the power used for the display itself is negligible. The on-board sensors sample the current and power at 100 samples / second and send the information to the microprocessor, which uses smart metering and power algorithms for correction, and finally displays to the user all he needs to know, via the OLED display. High quality components ensure that the device draws only nanoamps in sleep mode, and hence doesn’t dissipate much charge, and also has 97% efficiency on voltage stabilization, around 17% higher than competitors, according to the product description.
The Legion itself charges via the microUSB port, and has a USB port to charge other devices. Both charging and discharging can happen simultaneously. The device comes in 2 flavors, a 5,500 mAh and a 11,000 mAh capacity. The 5,500 mAh charge and discharge at 1A, while the 11,000 mAh works at both 1A and 2A. Since many tablets require 2A inputs, the tablet user may prefer the 11,000 mAh Legion. The smaller battery one weighs around 130g, while the larger capacity Legion weighs around 260g.
The Legion itself can charge any mobile device, Android, iOS, BB phones and tablets ( usually 2A ). The Legion battery retails at $84.99 for the 5,500 mAh Legion, and $99.99 for the 11,000 mAh charger.
Legion has been very successful on Kickstarter, and it quickly shot past the $25,000 funding goal. PLX devices has set a stretch goal of $1 million with around 12 days to go, and with nearly $85,000 pledged as of this post, it is likely to shoot past that too. The makers are also bundling 3-in-1 retractable USB charging cables to all backers.
Bottom Line, Legion is a great product making a well-timed entry into a market, clamoring for innovations in charging technology.