Recently I had a few pennies burning a hole in the proverbial pocket. I also for some reason had decided it might be nice to have a couple of "pocket power-packs" and being the cheapskate that I am I decided to visit the eBay and see what I might gather...
I did a quick search and turned up a LOT of pocket batteries. I set it to show me the cheapest (inc P&P) first and "Buy Now" only and started down the list. There are are a lot of really really cheap "battery boxes" where you have to put in some alkalines - but those don't count. I wanted proper rechargeable pocket batteries.
Excluding all the tricksy from.... to... deals I went to the first actual "buy this for" I could find. I found these - iPower Milk Portable Power Bank External Battery Pack (why milk? why the hell not "Juice"????) and these - USB Power Bank Keychain Battery Charger Backup Pack Stick. I also bought some 99p a go Lighting Cables.
I was pleasantly surprised when all of them turned up the next day (on free delivery no less, though I admit to making sure I got "dispatched from the UK" sellers).
The cables were, as you might expect, just obvious copies of the Apple standard Lighting Cable - they worked to charge my devices without complaints and that is good enough for me (Sorry Apple I will happily pay the premium price for your devices. But you can shove £15 a cable somewhere dark and smelly...). I mean - I just need a spare for my car an one for the laptop bag and perhaps one for my desk at work or whatever.
All the items arrived in "Jiffy Bags" with no packaging. I ordered 3x the "Milk" ones, and 3x the PowerBank ones on the grounds that if one of the cheapo makes was totally rubbish then at least I had a 50% chance of not being stuck with all totally pants items. I also did this on the grounds that I know my family... if I only bought a couple they'd all be stealing mine once they got wind of the fact I had one!!!
The "Carton" styled ones were nicely made, in a novelty carton shape, and stamped with the impression Milk (again why the hell not "Juice"?) Nice enough but despite plenty of places to facilitate it not even a hole for a loop/lanyard/keychain, and more annoyingly no USB cable to actually charge the battery itself...
The "PowerBank" ones came with a very short charge cable and were all already fitted with a lanyard/keychain. So they already won out over the "Carton" ones for me on that one.
Tested them all - all charged up in about the same (reasonable) time, and all have internal LED indicators that can be seen through the plastic casing - though the PowerBanks have a translucent white side on the bottom to make this easier to see.
I tested both sorts to see how much "oomph" 2600mAh in these batteries was... On my iPhone 6 that was enough to take it from 20% to 90% (with the phone left on but locked in a moderate time). It is also enough to keep an iPad 2 or a 10" Android tablet running on low battery for a decent period whilst still under "surfing" use (may daughter tried this and didn't time it - but it was good enough she didn't find it disappointing.
Overall what can I say? For a measly £2.99 a piece I bought 6 reasonable looking and well enough made pocket rechargeable 2600mAh batteries. Yes you can no doubt buy better ones, and no doubt get better looking ones (though none of these look bad). But let's face it you need a pocket battery why? To charge up devices when you are low and no other option is available. What it looks like isn't top priority for me - getting some more life out of the devices is. If I can have 6x 2600 for £18 v 1x "flashier" one for the same cash I say get the cheap ones.
Just thought I would share that with you all.
© Serenak 2015 - Published with Permission