Home > Editorial > Isn’t this the most genius little thing?

Isn’t this the most genius little thing?

January 14, 2010

Having a personal blog does untie my hands to post various articles and ramblings that I wouldn’t immediately call the top tier material. It’s shamefully bad and I know it. Still, here’s something interesting I found with the LG BL40 Chocolate that I had the opportunity to trial. In particular, I was amazed by the LG approach to the standard microUSB charger.

The phone itself was supplied as a completely bare bone review unit  and not in the actual retail package mind you, so there’s a chance you won’t see this little wonder exactly with this phone.

I’ve unboxed phones from a couple of different manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, and this the first time I came across a microUSB charger that has this little twist in functionality. This particular charger unit from LG, model number STA U12RD, consists of two parts: the standard USB to microUSB data cable and the housing of the AC charger itself that you plug in the power socket. I’ll leave it at that for now and let the pictures speak volumes for me:

Why is this so important? We’re all going through harsh economic climate (more or less I can guess) and companies are on their crusade to cut expenses as much as possible. Take  Nokia for example. Their flagship Nseries devices come in an extremely modest looking gray boxes. They call them ‘recycle friendly’, telling us it’s the contents of the packaging that count. I can partially agree with that, but naturally it’s not an universal approach as there some phones where the packing is part of the attraction.

Another interesting example is Sony Ericsson removing unnecessary paperweight that almost none would ever read through, and relying on short quick start guides only. There’s no disc coming with the phone, making sure that the available space is used more rationally between only the most relevant things. All necessary in-depth guides  and PC Sync applications are conveniently stored in the phone’s mass memory instead. There’s no risk of losing the data and it’s easily reachable as soon as the user connects the phone to his computer. The company found a good way to reduce the production cost of the phone, thus keeping the phone’s price attractive and competitive in the market. Accidentally formatted you phone’s memory? There’s an easy cure to that, just visit the listed download page and you’re back in business. Everybody stays happy, right?

The not so happy part starts to surface when the user experience is directly affected by company’s greedy profit making machine. To put it simply, it’s the occasion when you don’t find a TV-out cable with your high-end multimedia smartphone or obligatory memory card is missing from the package. There’re many examples that can be listed here as all companies have their black sheep in their portfolios.

Going back to Nokia, I’ve heard complaints that the Finnish giant even supplied their Eseries smartphones with some horribly short data cables. Being a long time Nseries user I can’t comment whether the problem has been already addressed, but why stick to so many different cables instead of one? Since the universal agreement that all phone manufacturers should gradually move to the microUSB format, the need for different cables ceased to exist. So why not to look after the LG solution and combine the charger and data cable together, making a  natural 2 in 1 solution?

The standard allows charging the phone with a computer that is already an indispensable part of our lives and is virtually always accessible. But in case the computer is turned off, the user simply uses the same cable to charge the phone in the usuall way. I understand that devoted environmentalists will call me on this, but I rarely remove the charger from the AC socket after each use, simply because I don’t really have the time to do this extra step. The housing of the charger would remain plugged in the socket without the cable until next time I’d need to charge up my phone without the presence of a computer.

In my opinion, it’s the simplest way to get rid of the mess of cables while traveling, and it’s also an effective means to reduce costs on the manufacturer’s side. What’ are your thoughts on this?  Would you like to see this solution carried over to other companies phones or you already see some shortcomings?

Looking at the future, wireless charging is the way to go, but until it get’s a widespread appeal and becomes more affordable, I think this 2 in 1 charger solution is a brilliant idea and a welcome change to the countless plastic peripherals we usually find with our phones.

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Categories: Editorial
  1. Slipurson
    February 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I have one of those charbers also, but a 3rd party one, i also have one for the cigarettelighter in my car, it was originaly included in a “travel-pack” for my nintendo DS.

    I totaly agree that this should be standard in all phones that charge throught the USB-port.

  2. Diogo Neves
    February 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I don’t agree. I need the big cable that a 1-piece charger gives me! The standard USB cable to connect with the PC has to be smaller though.

    I would certainly buy a full charger if I found this in my phones box.

    • nexudus
      February 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      But it’s certainly better solution than producing shorter USB cables to cut expenses, don’t you think so?

  3. December 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    you can always tell the quality of USB cables by looking at the thickness of the cable. thicker usb cables have higher quality ~.,

  4. DC
    May 18, 2011 at 6:47 am

    The “Travel Adapter” provided with small fine print..

    Travel Adapter
    STA-U12RD
    S/N DA090088335
    Input 150 – 240 ~
    50 / 60 Hz 0.2A

    So can this “Travel Adapter” cannot be used worldwide cos voltage is from 150 – 240V?

    maybe use in Asean countries only not even Asia..(Japan/China)

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