external battery Stories November 11, 2015

Mophie introduces new power banks with a sleek aluminum design and Bluetooth monitoring

From 9to5Toys.com:

Just a few weeks after launching a new slim iPhone 6/s battery case and power bank, Mophie is back again today with five new external batteries. We’ve seen a lot of power banks in our day – and regularly have deals too – but the new Mophie powerstations use an aluminum shell that, from pictures alone, standout from the pack.

Available in five different capacities, each model provides a different feature set focused on a variety of needs. The smaller 1X provides a 2,000mAh battery with speeds up to 1.8A. Going up to the larger 2X and 3X models provides 4,000 and 6,000mAh capacities along with 2.4A charging speeds, the latter of which adds a second USB port to the mix.

Mophie has added a couple of standout features to the largest powerstations, the 5x and 8x, including Bluetooth monitoring via the free Power iOS and Android app. The smaller model packs 10,000mAh of power, while its bigger brother has 15,000mAh. Each model has dual-USB charging ports and LED indicators.

Most of the new power banks are available for purchase today via Verizon Wireless, and will be coming to Apple Store locations as well. Pricing is as follows:

 

external battery Stories April 14, 2015

Last month, budget charging accessory maker Aukey released PB-N30, the first external battery with a female Lightning recharging port. For only $15, PB-N30 seemed like a steal given its 3,600mAh capacity — just right for use with any iPhone — but wasn’t capacious enough for power-hungrier iPads. So Aukey has released PB-N28 ($25) as a solution for tablet users, remarkably equipping it with over three times the power for only $10 more.

PB-N30 is an upgraded sequel to the company’s older PB-18, which stuffed a 12,000mAh battery into an iPhone 5-shaped enclosure. While the new model’s capacity is the same, PB-N30’s USB ports jump from 2.1-Amp/1-Amp charging to 2.4-Amp/1-Amp support, and it has a more neutral design that neither sticks out nor knocks off an Apple product. Not surprisingly, it cuts a corner or two to achieve its super-low price…

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external battery Stories March 2, 2015

There are hundreds of external battery packs out there, and most of them are highly similar to one another: cosmetics aside, their capacities, features, and pricing tend to be predictable. Anker’s 2nd Gen Astro E7 ($80) is a complete outlier. It has the highest capacity of any external battery pack I’ve ever tested, yet it’s priced competitively with products that deliver half as much juice.

If you have an iPad or plan to carry your iPhone around without access to wall power, Astro E7 is as close to a must-have battery as I’ve seen. Delivered in efficiently designed, eco-friendly packaging, it quickly earned a place in my personal travel bag, for reasons I’ll explain below.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

external battery Stories December 22, 2014

The secret to understanding USB battery pricing is that you tend to get what you pay for: cheap batteries lose their charges faster and can bulge and leak over time. Other companies specialize in selling atypically nice batteries that last longer and work better. Just Mobile is a leader in quality batteries: for the past six years, its Gum series (shown below) has spanned every Apple device type, size, and speed, but it has never built a Lightning cable into a battery before. That changes with the January release of TopGum ($80), which advances the company’s prior state-of-the-art Gum++ model in two ways: an authentic Lightning cable’s integrated into the battery’s left edge, and a matching magnetic battery charging dock is included.

topgum-8

Of course, these features – and a choice of gold or gray metal exteriors – come at a premium over typical all-plastic batteries, so if you don’t need the cable or dock, you’ll be equally well-served with the company’s earlier batteries. Read on for the full story.

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external battery Stories September 23, 2014

Charge your iPhone 6/Plus twice as quick with these 2.1A USB Car/Chargers/Batteries/Surge protectors

Yesterday, it was revealed that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus could be charged faster (in some cases as fast as 2 hours to full) using a 2.1A AC charger like the one that comes with the iPad. Curiously, Apple has only included the same 5W 1A iPhone charger that it traditionally has with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus meaning that your iPhone charge times coming from much smaller iPhones are going to go through the roof.

Not to worry! The 9to5Toys team will get you updated to 2.1A USB ports across the board with the best gear/deals we could find for a wide range of 2.1A USB needs…

 

The no fuss move is to just get a 12W Apple iPad AC adapter (above). They are at Amazon for $19 Prime shipped. You can’t go wrong appearance and reliability-wise there but perhaps your $20 can be better spent?

Anker makes a product we love called the Anker® 25W 5-Port Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology which sells for $15.99 Prime shipped. That will charge your iPhone 6/Plus fast but gives you 4 more USB outlets and 13 more watts for charging other devices (Tablets, Androids, Cameras, Batteries and more). If you want to step up to a 40W model, you are only at $21.99 Prime shipped. That’s only a few bucks more than Apple’s 1-port option.

Speaking of batteries…

You can also upgrade your external USB batteries with a 2.1 A version that will charge your iPhone faster. A best best is the $20 Omaker Brilliant 10000mAh(2.1Amp+2.1Amp Output) Dual USB Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power bank with 1W Flashlight. I have one of these and it works well all around and feels well made (OK the flashlight isn’t the brightest). It charges via included MicroUSB cable and has DUAL 2.1A outputs for iPhones iPads and anything else you want to throw at it (expect at least 3-4 full iPhone charges). I also favorably reviewed the Lumsing Harmonica ($20) and huge RavPower Xtreme 23000mAh which might be better options depending on your needs.

Want popular brand immediately? Head over to your local Best Buy and grab a Mophie 4000mAh Juice Pack. The Product (Red) version is half price at $39.99 shipped or for pickup.

Don’t forget your car. Typical car USB ports and chargers are only 1A. Step up to more with PowerGen 2×2.4A Charger for $8.99 Prime Shipped. That will provide plenty of juice for 2 iPhone 6s or even add a Tablet instead. Need moar portz!? We LOVE this Omaker 3-port 26W Car charger (pictured above) in all of your favorite iPhone colors (at once) for just $9.99 with free Prime shipping.

You are also going to need an AC travel charger too, right? We love Belkin’s SurgePlus dual 2.1A Travel Charger (we won’t tell if you use this at home all the time too) for $19.99 shipped. Grab a 6 outlet dual 2.1A Belkin version for $22.87 . Monoprice has a similar 3 outlet option for only $13.50 with some shipping.

However, if you just want to charge at 2.1A and get out as cheap as possible, jump on the MonoPrice 2.1A AC wall charger for $5.73 plus a few bucks for shipping.

Apple shipping a slow charger for the iPhone 6 is a mystery but solving it is easy and very inexpensive if you know where to look. Follow 9to5toys.com for all the best gear and deals.

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