At this point in 2014, there are an exceptional amount of batteries available for your gadgets. How could anyone know what works best for them? Over the last few months, I have utilized 15+ batteries from multiple brands, known and not so much. Some companies focus on design while others engineer a longer lasting device. Whichever you prefer, there should be something that fits your needs.
Some of these batteries will power MacBooks and laptops. Other accessories like the Lightning AluCable from Just Mobile is Apple certified. Then there are smartphone cards from Fonesalesman that deliver power via an ingenious Qi wireless induction system.
IntoCircuit’s Power Castle 26k mAh $99
For value and sheer compatibility, the Power Castle from IntoCircuit has the most of everything that you could need. This is the same type of battery that some solar power charging brands use for their travel kits. It is designed with an aluminum alloy body, has multiple charging adapter tips included and several charging power modes. IntoCircuit claims that it has AAAA Li-Polymer cells, which can handle 1,000+ recharging cycles. The battery only has one USB port but it more than makes up for that by being able to a smartphone and a laptop.
Intocircuit PC Castle 26k mAh Battery Unboxing
Lenmar ChugPlug $159
External batteries for the MacBook Pro typically require a weird spliced power cable with an adapter for MagSafe compatibility. Lenmar is the first to create a backup battery solution that works with the MacBook Air 11”, 13” and MacBook Pro 13” existing 45W and 60W chargers sans splicing. That means you can switch from MagSafe and MagSafe 2 in seconds. Simply plug a MacBook Air charger into the ChugPlug and voila, instant backup power for up to four hours on the 11”, three hours on the 13” and three hours on the MacBook Pro 13”. To charge the ChugPlug, plug in the Apple power cord on the other end. This is the easiest way to add hours of power for crazy long international flights or for epic road trips. Even if you visit international destinations, the ChugPlug is compatible with 110-240V AC outlets and charges itself in about four hours.
Lenmar ChugPlug MacBook Battery Unboxing
LimeFuel Blast L240x 24k mAh $149
This super high capacity backup battery with multiple USB ports integrates a flashlight and comes with a 2-in1 micro USB to 30-pin Apple compatible cable. The USB ports output a charge up to 5V at 2.4A. The lifecycle for this 91.2Wh Lithium Ion battery is at around 500 uses and can take from 16 to 24 hours to fully charge. It does have a 5V 2A input port for faster charging. The white plastic and green LEDs make it look like it’s from the future.
LimeFuel Blast L240x 24k mAh Battery Unboxing
Lenmar Mutant 20,800 mAh $199
For quality and customer service, Lenmar is one of my go to brands for backup batteries. I have reviewed their products for years. The Mutant can charge an iPad up to 2x full, and an iPhone 2x full simultaneously or it can charge an iPhone up to 10x. It comes with four USB ports, two of them can handle 2.4A each and the other two can handle 1A each. It comes with a charging adapter for faster charging of itself. The included international adapters work in the UK, AUS, EU and USA. The compact design of the Mutant battery helps it to fit in backpacks.
Lenmar Mutant 20,800 mAh Battery Unboxing
RAVPower Deluxe RP-PB13 14k mAh $39.99
The brand name stands for reliable, affordable and value. $40 for a 14k mAh battery is a very good value. It can charge normal smartphones seven to eight times depending on the brand. But this battery is more than that. It has two USB ports, a 5V / 2A and a 5V / 1A with a flashlight and a 5V / 1A input micro USB port. The package comes with two coiled cables and four connectors. You get one mini USB, micro USB, Nokia DC 2.0 and a Samsung 30Pin connector plus a travel pouch to keep everything together.
RAVPower Deluxe 14k mAh Battery Unboxing
TYLT Energi Battery Pack Series
– Energi 2K mAh $39.99
TYLT’s most basic battery is better than most other 2k mAh devices out there. It has one USB port supplying 1A of current. It features pass through charging that helps power up two devices at once, saving time and a second wall socket. It can charge an iPhone about one and a half times.
– Energi 3K mAh $59.99
Having to search for a cable to charge your mobile gadget is a pain. TYLT knows that and has built in a micro USB cable along with a full sized USB port supplying a total of 2A. And with 3k mAh, most smartphones should get a full charge with a little left over.
– Energi 3K+ mAh $69.99
Those that have an Apple device and a Lightning charging port, this is the TYLT 3k mAh backup battery for you. Most of us have extra micro USB charging cables that we carry around but Apple’s own Lightning cables are hard to come by. Having one built into a cable on the battery pack is convenient. It should give your iPhone a complete charge with about 400 mAh left over. It comes with a total of 2A charging current and a full sized USB port.
– Energi 5K mAh $79.99
1A per port on TYLT’s Energi 3K+ and 3K batteries is ok when charging two low drain devices simultaneously. But they stepped it up with their 5,200 mAh version. It has an integrated full sized USB port and a micro USB tipped cable. With 3A of total current available, it should charge tablets or phablets needing 2.1A of current. This battery should provide three full charges for most smartphones.
– Energi 5K+ mAh $89.99
Integrated USB cables on the Energi 5K, 3K+ and 3K are a step forward in backup battery design. TYLT is always thinking ahead and knows that road warriors need more. That’s why this 5,200 mAh battery has one full sized USB port with embedded Lightning connector and micro USB cables. A total of 3A of current is provided from this battery.
– Energi 10K mAh $99.99
10,400 mAh is a lot of backup battery. Today’s tablets devour as much charge as we can toss at them. TYLT recognizes this and is now offering a nearly identical battery as what they include in their Energi+ Backpack. It has 4.1A of total charging current for up to three devices and can recharge an iPhone up to four full times. The Energi 10K can handle a high drain and two low drain devices simultaneously. A multiple LED charge level indicator is included.
TYLT has set a high standard for backup batteries with their Energi line. The four certifications are CTIA – IEEE1725, UL 1642, UN38.3 and CE EEA. See what each certification means to you here. The charge time for each battery ranges from two on the Energi 2K to seven hours for the Energi 10K.
TYLT Energi Series of Backup Batteries
Just Mobile Gum++ Gold 6k mAh $79.95
Just Mobile devices have won many international design awards like the reddot design award in 2013. Their Gum++ 6k mAh backup battery is small, like a pack of gum, delivering a higher than normal amount of current. The aluminum case gives it a nice feel and keeps it light. A single USB port on its side carries 2.5A of output current. That means this compact battery can charge high drain gadgets like the iPad, which isn’t the situation for most batteries of this size. It comes with a USB to micro USB cable and fits in small pockets.
Just Mobile Gum++ Gold 6k mAh Battery
DRACOdesign Ducati 5k mAh Power Bank $99.99
DRACOdesign is known for their high quality aluminum smartphone cases. Now they have translated that engineering prowess into an external power bank, backup battery, in collaboration with Ducati. It comes in signature Ducati red wrapped with airplane grade A6061 aluminum and is inspired by the 1199 Panigale superbike. Two full-sized USB ports, one providing 1A and the other 2A, can quick charge low drain devices and give a tablet a few more hours of life. It’s rated to power an iPhone 2.5x and comes with a carry pouch. I like how it adds a touch of racing design to my pack of tech travel accessories.
DRACOdesign Ducati 5k mAh Power Bank
Tego Power – Power Grid 4,200 mAh $59
The Power Grid is a lightweight backup battery in a fun design that comes in four colors, has an up to 80% charge out of the box, Grade A Lithium Polymer cells and an automatic power off function. Two USB ports offer the ability to charge multiple gadgets at once. Easy to see charge level indicator LEDs shine through its case on top. It should provide 2.25x charges for an iPhone.
Tego Power Power Grid 4,200 mAh Battery
RAVPower Luster Gold 3k mAh $14.99
Stick chargers are everywhere in the battery accessory market. RAVPower entered it with a 3k mAh version wrapped in gold anodized aluminum to match the iPhone 5S. It comes in multiple colors and has an integrated bright LED flashlight with full, half and flashing modes. The thin round design measures in at 4.33” x 0.9” x 0.9” and is always in my travel bag. Plugging in any compatible gadget turns on a LED that shows approximately how much charge is left. It goes from green, blue to red. When the Luster needs to be recharged the bright light starts flashing. RAVPower says the Luster can extend an iPhone 5 for an additional six hours.
RAVPower Luster Gold 3k mAh Battery
AluCable Lightning Cable $24.95
The AluCable with Lightning connector from Just Mobile is Apple certified and measures in at 5ft or 1.5m. Upgrade your charging experience over the Apple Lightning cable with this higher end version. I liked the premium feeling of aluminum that wraps both ends of the cable. It feels like it could last longer than the standard Apple Lightning cable.
Just Mobile AluCable Lighting Cable
iQi Mobile Receiver For iPhone 5S/5C/5 $35.19
The iPhone is a closed hardware system without a memory card slot, removable battery or any kind of port supporting a third party solution other than the Lightning port. It’s through the Lightning port that Fonesalesman has devised a Qi standard wireless receiver card. The card is super thin with a cord that’s meant to wrap behind the iPhone and fit into a thin plastic case. The iQi isn’t Apple MFI Certified but it’s the thinnest option for iPhone wireless charging. MacTrast’s full review of the iQi Mobile receiver here.
Fonesalesman iQi Mobile Receiver for iPhone 5S/5C/5
S5 PWRcard Receiver for Samsung Galaxy S5 $28.47
A few of the most modern smartphones have integrated wireless charging. Building in wireless charging is a little tricky, as a standard hasn’t yet been fully adopted by all of the manufacturers. Instead of building in wireless charging hardware, Samsung for instance, has added charging contacts next to the battery on the inside of the case. Fonesalesman has created a Qi wireless charging card for the new S5 that’s compatible with the Samsung power contacts. It charges the smartphone with 5V at 800 mAh of power. Keeping the micro USB port on the S5 closed makes it less prone to dust and water. Wireless charging is convenient, as you won’t have to keep track of any cables. NFC functionality is maintained with the card installed.
Fonesalesman S5 PWRcard Qi Mobile Receiver
KookPuck Qi Wireless Charging Pad $26.99
Qi wireless charging coil cards need something to deliver current to your device. The KoolPuck from Fonesalesman measures in at 69.5mm in diameter, or 2.3x the size of a 50-cent piece and is 11.5mm thick. The charging efficiency of the KoolPuck is 72% and provides up to 700 mAh of power. To power the KoolPuck, plug in any compatible micro USB cable into the charging base unit from a computer or your original smartphone charger.
Koolpad Qi Wireless Charging Pad $24.98
Qi wireless charging base units come in many sizes. If you need something a little larger than the KoolPuck, get the Koolpad from Fonesalesman. It’s 74.6% efficient at charging and provides from 500 mAh to 700 mAh at 5V of power to Qi wireless receiver cards.
Nokia Wireless Charging Plate DT-900 $49.99
Qi wireless charging is integrated into several of the Nokia smartphones such as the Lumia ICON, Lumia 1520, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925. Since their wireless charging plate is built on the Qi standard, it is also compatible with the iQimobile receiver for the iPhone 5S/5C/5 from Fonesalesman. It produces 750 mAh of power at 5V and measures 120mm long, 60mm wide and is 11mm thick. A charging cable comes included.
As with any purchase, be sure to research the product you want by visiting the appropriate brand website. This should give you a better idea if the battery, charger or Qi wireless device is fully compatible with your gadgets. Some of these products are available on Amazon at a reduced price. The future of wireless charging and going all day without plugging into a wall socket is here, what are you waiting for?
Disclosure: All photos are from the above brands. I received the above products for review at no cost. I did not receive compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.