18 December 2014

External mobile phone battery for a ski trip

In a few weeks' time, I'm off on a ski trip ... and since I use my iPhone for both tracking my runs, and also tracking my exertion ... I'm certain to need extra power - especially since battery performance is reduced in cold weather ...

I started off my search thinking that one of the Mophie Juice Packs would be the best option - as it would mean that I couldn't forget the battery, and they eliminate the need for a cable.  There is the Plus (2,100 mAh), the Air (1,700 mAh) and the Helium (1,500 mAh) ... but the downside is that they bulk up the iPhone, they are charged via a micro USB (rather than the Apple connection) so another cable to lose,  I'm worried that the on/off switch could activate in my jacket pocket by mistake, the screen protection they offer isn't good enough for my needs ... and ultimately, even the Plus doesn't provide a stunning amount of battery power !

Then I started looking at alternatives to Mophie Juice Packs ... there are quite a few out there, including some from Boostcase and from PhoneSuit that I seriously considered ... but ultimately they all suffered from some of the drawbacks listed above for the Mophie Juice Packs ...

On my searches, I came across two promising looking devices, which wouldn't need cables, but would stow safely beside my phone in my jacket pocket.  Firstly the Revi Charger looks great ... but despite launching in April to rave reviews ... it doesn't look like they have actually delivered.
Secondly the ChargeCard from Nomad looked like a good product - however a lot of user reviews complained that it stopped working after a few uses, and Nomad have quietly confirmed that it has been discontinued !

So then I turned to the small battery packs - which can offer more power, but do require a cable.  Another advantage is that fellow travellers might be able to suckle on the battery in times of need !

The top sellers on Amazon are (excluding the models that are too bulky for me):

1, 3, 4 & 6) Anker Astro Mini (3,200 mAh) - different colours
9 & 17) Jackery Mini Premium (3,200 mAh)
10 & 19) RAV Power Mini (3,000 mAh)

It appears that the only way to buy Anker products is through amazon, so that may boost Anker's rankings ... however other reviews suggested that the Astro Mini was more efficient than the Jackery or the RAV Power products.

So, after quite a few hours learning more about mobile phone batteries than I care to admit ... I went with the crowd, and have ordered an Anker Astro Mini ... in black !
Now I just need to remember to bring both the battery and cable each day, and hope that I don't lose the cable !!

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