Something that is fairly common at blogging events, whether it’s a PR thing or a blogging conference is the desire for plug sockets. On many occasions I’ve seen my blogging peers sniffing out the nearest plug to give their phone / tablet a much-needed top up. Phone batteries just don’t keep up with the big luscious displays we have, so after a few hours playing on your phone on the journey, the battery will invariably be dying on its arse by the time you’ve reached your destination.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, a lot of Android phones have removable batteries, so you can have something like this, and have a fully charged battery ready to go when your other battery is depleted. I’ve got one for my Galaxy S5, and it’s massively useful. If you’re using an iPhone, Nokia or pretty much any make of tablet, you’re stuffed, you can’t do that.
You can get battery cases for a lot of phones, similar to this – it’ll give your handset a burst of extra juice, but at the cost of adding bulk to your handset, and you can only use it on the phone it was designed for. If your iPad is dead, you can’t do much with an iPhone charging case.
The best solution is a battery pack, these have been around for a while, and they are slowly getting larger batteries to keep up with the demands of our power-hungry gadgets. One I’ve recently treated myself to is the PowerGen 12000mAh External Battery Pack – this battery pack has a mahoosive 12000mAh battery, and three USB Sockets for charging three separate devices at once. To give you an idea of how big the battery is, the iPhone 5S capacity is 1560mAh. So in theory you should be able to charge an iPhone at least 10 times with one charge of the PowerGen. Obviously that’s just a bit of ‘fag packet’ maths, and all depends on the efficiency of everything – but even so – that’s pretty good going. Obviously the more devices you charge in one go, the more the charge will decrease, but this little box of tricks should keep you going through a long weekend away!
The 3 USB Ports are marked as ‘1 Amp’ (which is good for older phones and accessories), and there are 2 x 2 Amps USB Sockets, one marked ‘S’ (Standard) and the other ‘A’ (Apple). The 2 Amp sockets are designed for devices that need a bit more ‘welly’ to charge them, so pretty much any new phone or tablet. It’s happily charged whatever I’ve thrown at it, a Galaxy S5, a Lumia 1020, a Nexus 7 and a Kindle Fire HDX. I did find the tablets charged a little slower than they would using their wall chargers, but it’s fine for a little top up.
In the box they supply cables for pretty much all the standard sockets you’ll find on phones, Micro USB, Mini USB, Nokia and the old style Apple Power connector, if you’ve got a newer Apple device, you’ll need a Lightning cable to use this. You charge the PowerGen 12000mAh External Battery Pack via the Micro USB socket on the side. It takes around 4-5 hours to fully charge the battery, and the charge is indicated by 4 glowing blue circles on the front. When all four stop flashing, you’re good to go. The remaining charge is indicated in a similar way, and there’s a little button on the front to turn on the battery, a quick double press of this will activate the ‘torch’ which is a bright white LED – handy for rummaging around for keys in a bag at night!
Really, the Powergen 12000mAh External Battery Pack is a fabulous bit of kit and a MUST for any blogger that is glued to their gadgets. It does add a bit of weight in your bag / pocket, but it’s so handy having a little box that’ll charge your toys several times over with you. There is also a version with an even LARGER battery – a whopping 14000mAh