Philips Offers Mobile Phone With AAA Battery Backup

Mar 29, 2007 (10:03 AM EDT)

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Royal Philips Electronics has introduced a mobile phone that uses a single AAA battery as backup when subscribers go too long without recharging.

The Xenium NRG was built in partnership with Energizer Holdings and Techtium, a chipmaker specializing in power management. The latter company's hardware makes it possible to mix conventional battery power with the lithium-ion pack used in cellular phones.

The backup battery offers up to three hours of talk time after the main battery runs out of power. The Xenium phone's main battery provides 10 hours of talk time when fully charged, Philips said. The backup system operates on a standard-sized AAA battery. If the latter battery is rechargeable, then the phone will recharge the backup when doing the same for the main power source.

The duo recharging is possible due to Techtium's integrated circuit with patented charging and battery-type detection algorithms. While providing convenience, the backup doesn't alter the Xenium NRG's slim, compact form, Philips said.

In joining the partnership, Energizer is marketing its e2 Lithium AAA as the best battery for use in the phone. The company claims its battery lasts longer in high-tech devices than alkaline batteries. An e2 Lithium, for example, can take up to 630 pictures in a digital camera while competing alkaline batteries can take up to 90, according to Energizer.