Review: Scosche ReviveLite Home Charger with Nightlight
Every once in a while, something shows up at iLounge that isn't quite like anything else we've covered. Rarer still is the occasion when such a thing is a really brilliant idea. Scosche's ReviveLite ($40) is one of those outside-the-box-but-maybe-it-shoulda-stayed-inside concepts.
The premise is this: what would happen if you combined an iPod or iPhone-ready charging dock with a nightlight, but not the sort of nightlight that sits on your nightstand—instead, the type that sits a feet off the floor in one of your wall outlets? When you want to charge your device, you just bend over, drop it into the dock, and leave it there until you want to get it again. Prefer not to use the dock, or the light? You can fold the dock into the rest of the base, or press a button on the front of the unit to deactivate the light. You can also fold the wall blades into the back of the base for easy carrying in a bag or briefcase.
On a positive note, ReviveLite’s light has an ambient light sensor and only turns on when the room is actually dark. It’s far from the brightest light we’ve ever seen, but you can see it in a dark room. Similarly, the dock works exactly as expected. Scosche includes a set of optional foam steadying inserts to keep your iPhone or iPod in place when it’s sitting in the dock, and the USB-based charging system will in fact keep your device fueled up. In other words, if the concept of merging these two things together appeals to you, you can jump in and grab one without fear.
From our perspective, though, ReviveLite’s an iffy idea for iPods and a generally bad one for iPhones. We could deal with leaving an iPod near, say, a pair of shoes on the way out the door, but there’s never been a day when we’ve wanted to put an iPhone on a charger so close to the ground that we’d need to make an effort to pick it up when it rings. Such a device makes a little more sense if you’re thinking of charging your device at a hotel, a bathroom, or a kitchen where there’s an outlet at counter level, but then, do you really need a nightlight for such places? Wouldn’t a plain $29 Apple USB charger—or one of the many less expensive alternatives out there—do just fine under most circumstances?
The other thing worth noting about ReviveLite is the position of its retractable blades. They’re found on the upper rear back, such that the bottom of the plastic will cover a wall outlet located below the unit. Consequently, you’ll need to plug it into the lower of the two outlets or obscure the bottom one while using the top one. It’s a small issue, but one that made ReviveLite a little less convenient in our testing.
You can decide for yourself whether ReviveLite is the sort of iPod or iPhone charger you’d need, but in our book, it’s a nichey idea at best, and not a great value for the $40 asking price. While it does what it promises to do, we’d recommend spending the same or fewer dollars on a standard charger and a separate night light unless you really have a need to mix the two in a single device.