If you’ve ever found yourself without a phone charger, whether that’s for your iPhone or Android smartphone, then you know the annoyance of knowing you’re going to run out of battery at any moment. The EchoKey from Echo Connect is a small flexible charge key that can be kept on your car keys or house keys and allows you to charge your device anywhere where you have access to a USB port, without the need for a USB cable.
Echo Connect, having already released a couple of products including invisible and flexible iPhone cases, and also a key-chain flash drive, are the company behind the EchoKey.
“The evolution of the cable”, is what’s written underneath the Echo Connect logo on their products and website. And that’s very true for their most recent products, the EchoKey and Echo Connect Plus; the latter being a “pro” version of the EchoKey that allows you to charge two devices at the same time.
The EchoKey arrived in a relatively secure and protective plastic case, with the EchoKey securely fastened in by a foam surround. Nothing overly fancy, just a simple protective case.
Design / Testing
In general there’s not a great deal to comment on apart from the fact that it’s incredibly light-weight and will not take up much room at all on a set of keys. The durability of the EchoKey is great thanks to the material it’s made out of. It’s actually ultra-flexible silicone, so accidentally sitting on your keys isn’t going to cause any damage to the EchoKey (an obvious advantage as we all know the ends of charging cables often become damaged and torn because of excessive use / bending).
The actual product features a USB connector and device connector (iPhone 5 and above, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, iPod touch (5th Gen), iPod nano (7th Gen) and all newer generations, as well as a microUSB version for Android smartphones).
The loop to secure the EchoKey to your keys is located next to the device connector.
With only two necessary instructions to follow, connecting the EchoKey up to your device is simple:
Connect your device to the EchoKey.
Plug the EchoKey in to a USB port.
Obviously using the EchoKey works best when using a laptop, or device where the USB port is parallel to the surface you’re placing the smartphone on to.
You could plug your device in to a regular old USB port on the back of a PC, but you’ll end up with a smartphone that’s dangling in mid-air with nothing to protect it if it fell; and that’s not how this product is really designed to be used.
One thing I did find was that the USB connector decided to be a little temperamental at one point, because of it’s very slimline design, and lost connection, so my device was in a state of continuously being connected and disconnected until you wiggled the EchoKey around in the port so that the connectors were touching properly.
A minor problem, one that only happened the once. This could either be because of the positioning of my device, or the height at which the USB ports sit on my laptop.
In the grand scheme of things, the EchoKey, is a device to keep on your keys in the event that you don’t have a charging cable available. That being said, it works great, is unobtrusive and has a moderately low price tag of £15. For those moments where you desperately need to charge your device, the EchoKey could be a real life-saver.
You can purchase the EchoKey direct from Echo Connect, or it is also available on Amazon.
Taking everything in to account the slim-line design and flexibility of this product make it a great little device to carry around with you, so we’re awarding the Echo Connect EchoKey 9/10.
Bottom Line: If you like to have a fully charged device when you’re out visiting friends and don’t want to carry a USB cable around, carrying an EchoKey around on your keys is an unobtrusive and easy way of achieving this.