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The benefit of having a phone with a user-replaceable battery, is that you can carry a spare when you’re going to be away from a charger. The downside, however, is that eventually the phone has to be plugged in twice as long to recharge the battery, and then the spare. This has been the case for me lately while using Nokia’s E55 and N97, both of which run on Nokia’s hero battery, the BP-4L.
Thanks to MobileFun.co.uk, I have a Nokia battery charger to review.
The charger is roughly the size of a deck of cards, and has two sockets for taking power, a micro USB socket and a Nokia 2mm charging socket. The charger is supplied with a USB to Nokia 2mm cable to get you started. For testing I connected the charger to a USB port on my laptop via a retractable USB to Nokia 2mm cable, but you can of course use a mains adapter with either a 2mm or Micro USB jack.
The body of the charger forms a tray for the battery to sit in. The tray area is a snug fit for a BP-4L, with finger holes cut out of each side, to allow the user to prise the battery out. Even though there is a wide range of shapes and sizes for contemporary Nokia batteries, they all have their connectors in the same place and orientation. This makes it possible to lay other batteries in the tray and charge them.
Besides the BP-4L and its extended counterpart, I have also charged a BL-4U (from a 5530) and a BP-6MT (from an E51). However, these differently sized batteries are not secure in the tray and could easily slide off of the charging connectors, e.g. if the charger were knocked. The charger comes with a spacing bar which clips into the tray, but this was not helpful for the two other battery sizes I tested, so the caveat of your mileage may vary applies here.
Update: After having borrowed an N97 Mini, I’ve since found out that this clip makes the tray suitable for its BL-4D battery. The BL-4D is the same width as the BP-4l, just a little shorter, which the spacing bar makes up for.
Since the charger connects to both USB and mains adapters, it will charge batteries just as quickly as they would be charged within a handset. The packaging claims the charger has smart circuitry which can detect when the battery is fully charged and will switch into trickle charge mode. This seems to be the case from my observations. While charging, the unit has a bright blue LED panel that slowly switches on and off while charging, and switches to constant on when charging is complete.
The only thing I found fault with was the charging indicator; it’s too bright! Even in a room with artificial lighting, this blue glow is quite piercing. It would most certainly be disturbing if you were to use this in your bedroom. Your best bet is to turn it upside down, place it behind something else (e.g. your laptop) or put some tape over it.
Despite the irritation of the light, this is an ideal and versatile solution if you need to charge a range of spare Nokia batteries. Particularly with it being best fitted for BP-4L’s, which are very common these days, being in phones such as the : E90, E71, E72, N97, E52, E55, etc.
If you are interested in trying the charger for yourself, then follow this link, if you have an older battery and 3.5mm Nokia charger, then you’ll want to follow this link. You can also find other Nokia accessories.