BETTER RE turns old smartphone batteries into portable power packs

Just because you’re done with an old smartphone doesn’t mean you should be done with its battery. A product called the BETTER RE is applying the concept of upcycling to extend the life of discarded smartphone batteries by turning them into portable power packs for mobile devices.

The foundation for the BETTER RE is the assertion that the average smartphone battery retains about 80 percent of its capacity after two years, and since the average smartphone replacement cycle is 1.3 years, a lot of these usable batteries are going to waste.

The BETTER RE is a portable charging pack that aims to solve this environmentally unfriendly problem. The device, which resembles an iPod nano, is an empty clip that can be loaded with a used smartphone battery of any size or model. Once loaded and closed, the BETTER RE can be hooked up to your dying mobile device via a USB cable to act like a typical power pack. For more charging power, BETTER REs can be stacked on top of each other and joined together by built-in magnets to expand capacity.

According to the project’s Kickstarter page, the BETTER RE will take approximately 54 minutes to charge an iPhone 6 and about 77 minutes to charge a Samsung Galaxy S6.

The device is built with eco-friendly materials, such as recyclable aluminum and pieces of FSC-certified walnut and maple wood, and the top of the device can be engraved. It comes in four colors: white, silver, matte black, and brushed black.

The first deliveries of the BETTER RE are scheduled for November. The Kickstarter project, which ends June 9, currently has about 640 backers and nearly $58,000 in funds, exceeding its $50,000 goal. For every additional $10 a backer adds to their pledge they’ll receive a used smartphone battery.