With the advances in technology today and the more battery-operated devices we are using, it’s no wonder that people are continuously looking for more ways on how to keep their devices charged. So whenever there’s a new product with great promises in terms of charging, people are instantly hooked. To give you an idea, there’s the UsBidi Charger, which was said to be the “World’s most intelligent charger ever.”
Then there’s also the Wyrex Charging Pad, which is marketed as the “wireless charger for all your devices.” Both chargers were launched on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They were very successful and exceeded their target goals. However, both were also proven to deliver less than satisfactory results.
Aside from these two, there’s also the AMPY Move Wearable Motion Charger. It is a wearable battery that is designed to transform the energy from your movements into power for your devices. But how did it perform? Find out with this AMPY Move review. Can’t read the whole thing? Click on any of the links below to skip to that section.:
Wouldn’t it be great if there’s a power bank that you can easily carry around and charge by just moving? You can attach it to your leg, belt buckle, and arm or even throw it inside your bag. And the more you move, the more energy you can store, which you can use to recharge your phone. Well, that’s exactly what the AMPY Move Wearable Charger was designed for – or better yet, what it was marketed as.
Launched on Kickstarter in October 2014, the AMPY Move smashed its $100,000 target and received a total of $309,323 funding from 2,573 very excited backers. Then in October 2015, the company received another $875,000 from venture capital investment. So it’s safe to say, a lot of people were impressed by what this small device can do. However, by the time people received their products from the Kickstarter campaign, the excitement quickly turned to disappointment. It was also sold on Amazon in 2015, but it didn’t do well there too.
Turns out, the AMPY Move Charger was overhyped. Its features and capabilities were oversold by the company. To make it worse, this is a $100 portable charger with the accessories – which isn’t exactly cheap. Nowadays, you can get power banks with better capacity and performance for only $20, such as the Anker PowerCore 10000. Sure, it can’t charge through your movements, but neither is the AMPY. Fast forward to today, the AMPY Move Motion Charger is no longer available on Amazon.
The company’s website and applications on both Google Play and App Store are also non-existent. And if Crunchbase is to be believed, AMPY has already closed.
For those who are not familiar with the AMPY Move, here’s a quick rundown of its features.
Motion to Charging
The main selling point of the AMPY Move Wearable Charger is its ability to capture your kinetic energy when moving and turn it into power for your smartphone and other USB-powered devices. It was said to charge when you walk, run, and cycle. The company also claimed that you can leave it in your bag to generate power. In reality, you’d need an insane amount of activity to charge the product. To give you an idea, a user had the AMPY on during his 32km run. But this just got him less than a minute of charging. You can, however, charge the device through an outlet.
The AMPY did have a lot to offer in terms of versatility. It comes with accessories, including the sleeve, clip, and armband. So you can wear it on your arm, leg, hip, or however you want.
The company also developed its companion app call the AMPY+, which you may or may not use with the product. This was available for free on Google Play and the App Store but is now unavailable on both platforms. The app can display the amount of energy you have generated and what each LED on the AMPY device can offer. Furthermore, it can track the calories you’ve burned and the number of steps you’ve taken. So it serves as a basic fitness tracker. While this is a good option to have, the AMPY+ doesn’t have any valuable information to offer other than tell you how much energy you’re making. Certainly, there are better and more useful tracking applications today.
Based on the product’s Kickstarter page, here’s our AMPY Move review of the specs.
|Dimensions||2.5 inches X 2.5 inches X 0.75 inches|
|Compatible Devices||iPhones, Android, and other USB-powered devices|
As you can see, there’s not a lot of details about the AMPY. The same goes for its Amazon listing. However, based on the company’s response to one of the comments on Kickstarter, the new AMPY had a 1800mAh battery capacity. But compared to other power banks around, this is still very small, especially considering its $100 price tag. Today, you can purchase power chargers with 10,000mAh at only $20 and hand crank phone chargers with 10,000mAh for $35. Also, if you take a look at new phones today, a power bank with 1800mAh capacity just won’t do. For instance, iPhone 7 has a 1960mAh battery size, iPhone 8 with 1821mAh, and iPhone 11 with 3110mAh. Androids have bigger battery sizes too, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 with 3000mAh, Huawei Mate 10 Pro with 4000mAh, and Google Pixel 2 XL with 3520mAh. Since AMPY has a lower battery capacity, it won’t be able to fully charge these devices. Also, this charger claimed to provide the following battery life:
|Activity with the AMPY||Smartphone||Smartwatch||Fitness Tracker|
|Walk (10,000 steps)||3 hours||24 hours||72 hours|
|Cycle (1 hour)|
|Running (30 minutes)|
These values were based on charging an iPhone 5, Pebble Smartwatch, and Fitbit Force. While the AMPY may work on these devices, such claims for other smartphones are just false. We walked 60 km with the AMPY strapped on our ankle or 3 miles of running, and there was still no way to light even a single LED. Sure, the company says that motion should not be the main recharging method. But since they centered their sales pitch around it so much, who could blame us and the others who expected more from the AMPY, right?
Now, here’s an aspect where the AMPY Move did very well. Its presentation from the box is excellent, and the product itself looks very attractive. With its rubbery plastic coating and no-screw look, this device feels sturdy and well-built. However, while it may seem to have just the right weight at first, it may start to feel too heavy when you start running.
What’s It Like to Use?
If you were to charge the AMPY Move Charger from a wall outlet using a micro-USB, then you’d have no problems. However, if you are looking into recharging the device through your exercises, you’d need to do a lot of movements over an extended period. According to this Teardown of the AMPY Move, it might take 36 hours of activity before you can fully charge the 1800mAh. Also, from BBC’s review on the product, the estimated amount of time to fully charge an iPhone 6 using an AMPY is 13 hours. All these just sounds very impractical.
The AMPY Move Power Pack is a waste of money. While it can serve as a decent emergency power bank when charged through an outlet, there are a lot of better ones out there with bigger capacities at a fraction of the cost. If you are really looking into living green and producing your own clean energy, you are better off with a hand crank phone charger. Also, be careful when choosing which products to support on crowdfunding platforms. Just like the AMPY, there’s always a high risk of ending up with a project that looks great on paper and in theory but bad in real life.
AMPY Move Review Box
AMPY Move Review
Design & Build - 3.5/10
Features - 0.6/10
Sound Quality - 0/10
Mic Quality - 0/10
Battery Life - 0/10
Comfort - 0/10
Total Value - 0.5/10
AMPY Move was built on the right idea. Storing one’s kinetic energy and converting it into electrical energy CAN be life-changing. It’s clean, and it’s sustainable. However, this product’s technology is just not there yet. Worse, it was presented to users like it was capable of doing something that it can’t.
✗ Doesn’t work as advertised