Nitecore's latest battery has a built-in USB-C charging port

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,141   +154
Staff member
In brief: Chinese flashlight and charger manufacturer Nitecore is aiming to challenge the traditional camera battery industry with an interesting innovation. The company's UFZ100 rechargeable li-ion battery is designed for use in some of Sony's most popular digital cameras including the a7 III, the a7R III and the a7R IV. What makes it unique is the fact that it features a built-in USB-C charging port right on the battery, complete with LED charging indicator.

A red light means the battery is below 10 percent, blue is less than half capacity and green means you've got more than 50 percent.

While it's true that most modern digital cameras are capable of charging the battery within them when plugged into a power source, it's also true that many serious photographers go through multiple batteries during a photo shoot. Not having to haul around a proprietary battery charger could lessen your daily loadout and eliminate any concern about losing your charger.

The UFZ100 affords multiple safeguards including overcharge, over-discharge, overvoltage, overcurrent and short-circuit protection. The 2250mAh battery can take approximately 500 photos between charging cycles, and can be fully recharged in about four hours.

Nitecore hasn't yet revealed pricing or availability, so it's unclear what sort of cost savings buyers might be looking at - if any. Regardless, it's a neat idea, even if the era of user-swappable batteries is largely behind us.

Permalink to story.

 

yRaz

Posts: 4,432   +5,186
I have mixed feelings on this. For tool batteries in a construction environment I see this as a potential failure point, but sometimes someone forgets a charger or a charger gets broken on the job.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,156   +2,656
I wish ALL consumer level electronics had a UNIVERSAL charger.
Save for Apple, pretty much all phones use USB-C. There needs to
be a universal charge port for batteries, so you don't have to screw around
with finding the proper charger.
My phone has usb-C
Watch is wireless mag
Car GPS, usb-mini
Camera, take a charging dock
UAV take a charging dock.
Bluetooh headset takes usb-mini
Bluetooth speaker takes usb-c
Bluetooth flashlight takes usb-micro
 

NumberSix

Posts: 142   +193
Genius idea, I have several DSLRs and several battery chargers which all take a different battery, this instantly solves it, Canon take note.
 

bviktor

Posts: 852   +1,268
I wish ALL consumer level electronics had a UNIVERSAL charger.
Save for Apple, pretty much all phones use USB-C. There needs to
be a universal charge port for batteries, so you don't have to screw around
with finding the proper charger.
My phone has usb-C
Watch is wireless mag
Car GPS, usb-mini
Camera, take a charging dock
UAV take a charging dock.
Bluetooh headset takes usb-mini
Bluetooth speaker takes usb-c
Bluetooth flashlight takes usb-micro
Apple has a really ironic and controversial take on this.

They were the FIRST on the market to have a laptop that has absolutely no other ports but USB-C. Even for charging. USB-C connector, USB-PD protocol, and also Thunderbolt. Fully standard and compliant. Since then, Thunderbolt also became an open protocol, and even part of USB4.

Apple were also among the firsts to utilize the USB-PD protocol to charge their phones. Even Android phones lagged behind extremely, because our beloved "friend" Qualcomm subsidized OEMs to use their stupid proprietary QuickCharge instead of standard, royalty-free USB-PD. Then Google stepped in and started "strongly recommending" implementing USB-PD, but of course OEMs still didn't care, they wanted cheaper Snapdragon chips, so still opted for QuickCharge to please Qualcomm. So eventually Google said f*ck it and started REQUIRING OEMs to implement USB-PD. So again, protocol-wise, Apple was the pioneer.

BUT for whatever darned reason they just refuse to use the USB-C connector on their phones. The protocol is USB-PD, but the connector is Lightning. Heck, almost all Apple products (including most iPads) now use USB-C, but NOT the friggin' iPhone. By the looks of it, they'll sooner phase out charging connectors altogether than replacing the stupid Lightning connector with USB-C on the iPhone.

I mean, yes, the Lightning connector definitely looks more durable than USB-C. BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER. You'll never have a mainstream, ubiquitous connector if it's not royalty free*. So Apple should've either made Lightning an open standard, or give up on it and switch to USB-C. It seems the latter is happening but it takes WAY too long.

* the one notable exception is the HDMI connector, but that was only made possible by the cartel known as "HDMI LA". In a nutshell, main TV vendors got together to make this connector, and required the rest of the world to pay royalties. They obviously don't care as they pay the fees to themselves, and the rest has no other option but to follow. The protocol is inferior to free and open DisplayPort, AND also has a license fee, but you just can't avoid it, because you have no other connectors on TVs. The DP protocol is also an integral part of (now) open Thunderbolt, but never mind that, we still gotta have HDMI, because TVs! Pay that precious royalty fee, please. So that's also why GPUs have sometimes up to 3 DP ports, but almost always only 1 HDMI. Because DP is free, and does everything that HDMI does, and then some.

Lesson of the day: say NO to proprietary protocols and connectors. Let Lightning, Quick Charge and HDMI die.