Energizer’s massive battery/phone proves a viral hit ≠ crowdfunding success

Oof. This isn’t the sort of thing you want to see when you’re rounding the corner of your crowdfunding campaign:

There are long shots and then there’s coming up with $15,000 of your $1.2 million goal. The Indiegogo page for the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop understandably focused on the viral sensation the ridiculously beefy phone with the 18,000mAh battery spurred at Mobile World Congress this year. There are even photos of the scrum of journalists elbowing to take a shot of the thing at the event.

Understandable that its creators took that approach. Heck, the thing may have outshined all of the foldable and 5G phones that were set to take center stage at the event. We wrote about it. Lucas rightfully called it “basically a giant battery with a smartphone built into it.”

The takeaway seems clear, though. Just because everyone’s talking about a product doesn’t mean that anyone intends to buy it. If anything, the devices seemed more a comment on the state of smartphone battery life than actual enticing product.

And honestly, there’s been a shift in recent years among many smartphone manufacturers to provide power saving options and larger capacity batteries, so this has become less of a problem (though 5G’s approach could aversely impact that). Also, there are eight million power banks, and you can get them pretty cheap these days, making the P18K Pop any even sillier proposition. Not to mention all the things that can go wrong when you buy a phone based on a single feature.

Even so, the product’s creators closed the campaign out on a hopeful note, writing, “Although it didn’t reach its goal, we will work on further improvement on the P18K (design, thickness, etc.) as we do believe there is a rising interest for smartphones with incredible battery life, which can also be used as power banks.”

Certainly features from companies like Samsung and Huawei have proven that power sharing is a compelling feature. It just probably won’t come with Energizer’s name attached.