Tag - External battery
Rather than do a simple hands-on on a given battery pack -- which are becoming increasingly popular because people cannot get off their smartphones or tablets (and to be fair, they are pretty awesome) -- we thought we'd compare three different models with different purposes. The idea is not so much to pick a "winner" as it is to show off the differences and best use cases for each of the three external battery packs, which all perform perfectly well. For this article, we're looking at a 10,000mAh Superpak unit from Unu, a 13,400mAh unit from Lumsing, and two larger models from Anker (15,600mAh and 20,100mAh, respectively).
We long to call this Look Back in Anker -- but the worst we can say about this external battery, after weeks of exhaustive use, is that we have a tiny little niggle or two. It's still just a big battery, and yet that size and that weight hasn't proved to be a problem. Instead, the Anker E7 has slotted into our workflow, and our bag, as if we always had it.
Android users have called us iPhone owners "wallhuggers" because we keep needing to recharge our phone batteries. We do. We are. I'm not convinced Android users are actually any different, but it doesn't matter: even if they had infinite battery life, I'm not going to swap to Android because it would mean swapping to Android. Yet power is a big problem for me, and there has never been a day that my iPhone didn't need recharging. Unfortunately, there have been many, many days when I couldn't recharge it, so at best I was ekeing out time by using it less, and at worst I was carrying a shiny black brick with me. Until I bought a Mophie Powerstation external battery.
We go camping regularly. Sometimes the conditions are quite primitive, sometimes there's Wi-Fi, but two things are always at a premium: light at night, and power ... always. So we were pleased when we first saw the Xventure SmartLantern: it's an external battery that doubles as a flashlight or a lantern. Now a great many external chargers we've seen over the years include a "flashlight" feature, by which we mean there's usually a single small LED sunk into the side of the case to use in an emergency. But the SmartLantern makes providing light a priority. Considering the name of the thing, it's arguably the primary function.
When we're traveling or just generally out and about, we've taken to bringing a tablet and Bluetooth keyboard with us, rather than a laptop or netbook. Power for both our tablet, phone, and any other chargeable devices is always an issue. Our personal motto is "ABC," or "Always Be Charging." When we're not in our car or near an outlet, if we're lower than 75 percent on something we plug it into an external battery. Really all anyone needs is power to nourish these digital brains, but extra features are generally useful. The Bracketron Power Flex Stand is a 10,400mAh battery with a built-in tablet stand and flashlight. It will not only support one's tablet or smartphone at a pleasant viewing angle, but will also charge two devices at the same time with dual USB ports. Is it a must-have? Check out our review to find out.
JunoPower has released the Hue Pro, a new external battery capable of charging two devices simultaneously. The 10,000mAh battery features a brushed aluminum casing, with a built-in LCD screen that displays how much power is left and when recharging it is required. Its high-powered LED flashlight offers an additional functionality, suitable for outdoor or emergency use.
Limefuel has succeeded in crowdfunding its latest gadget, the IP66 Rugged L150XR external battery. The battery is waterproof, dirt-proof, shock- and crush-proof, as determined by its IP66 protection rating. Featuring a 15,000mAh (57Wh) battery capacity, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR comes equipped with a 5V/2A(max) input for faster charging, dual 5V/2.4A(max) outputs to charge multiple devices at the same time, a touch-activated power indicator, pass-through charging enabled, auto-on and auto-off functionality, and a slot for a strap or clip for carrying. The rugged Limefuel battery will be available in two smaller capacities as well, with the L104XR offering 10,400mAh and the L130XR holding 13,000mAh. Its Kickstarter is ongoing until mid-March, and those interested in pledging as way of pre-ordering the Limefuel Rugged can receive the lowest capacity battery for $50, with shipping beginning in May.
QuickerTek has expanded its line of external batteries with the new Apple Juicz for iPad. The 9400mAh lithium polymer battery is claimed to be rated for over 2000 charge cycles. The pack features advanced safety circuitry with failsafe protection, temperature and charge/discharge controls and automatic cell balancing. The Apple Juicz can fully recharge an iPad in three hours, while a second USB port can charge a second device such as an iPhone or iPod touch. It can power any USB-chargeable device, but has special circuitry guaranteeing compatibility with Apple's range of products.
IvySkin has launched Zappak, the latest product in its line of iPhone and iPod accessories. Zappak works as an extra external battery for mobile devices, charging an iPod or any other USB-powered electronic. The pack can also be used to extend the battery life of an iPhone or BlackBerry. Built-in LED status lights display the amount of energy left within the battery, while the USB cable is attached directly to the case.
USBfever has launched its latest iPhone accessory, an external battery featuring an integrated adapter for two SIM cards. The dual card capability is geared towards iPhone users that may need to switch phone companies when traveling between countries. The battery doubles as an iPhone case, while allowing users to sync the device without removing the battery.