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Are portable chargers useful

  • Yes they are

    Votes: 34 97.1%
  • Not really

    Votes: 1 2.9%

  • Total voters
    35

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,494
33
Are they worth it? They seem fairly cheap but are they useful if you travel a lot?
 

santaliqueur

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,014
578
Even if you don't travel frequently, I love knowing I have an extra few charges out of my iPhone if I have this small cylinder with me. I would never buy anything but Anker as I've had great experiences with their stuff, but I'm sure there are other good companies making the same type of thing.

It's $15. Just keep it in your car, top it off with the 12V plug every now and then, and consider it your emergency battery.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,256
6,410
US
All depends on whether you'd need one or not. I know folks who swear by them. I've never had a need. So for those guys they're worth it, for me they're not. For you? Depends on whether or not you need it.
 

chillstatus

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2008
93
10
Los Angeles
Comes in handy especially if you're travelling, at an all day convention, or somewhere where you're constantly waiting in lines (amusement parks).

I've had a rental pocket wifi constantly plugged in to mine (10400) when I traveled overseas since the battery on those die quickly. The larger size is nice since I could charge 2 devices at once.
 

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,494
33
Could you argue that these sorts of products are unhealthy because they promote looking at your phone all day?
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,256
6,410
US
Sure you could. People argue dumb positions all the time. Nothing to stop you from arguing that one too.

Supplemental battery packs can be useful even when not touching your phone at all. You'll burn through the internal battery surprisingly quickly with it just sitting unused in a spot with marginal cell service.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,314
8,198
Here(-ish)
I like them for the peace of mind, especially when traveling internationally. When doing so, I use my devices much more for photos/video, communication with loved ones, entertainment, navigation, translation, etc.

If one relies on battery limitations to restrict his mobile device usage, then there are other issues that ought to be worked out: having/deny one's self a battery back isn't a solution here.
 
Last edited:
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GalFieri

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2016
143
43
California
Could you argue that these sorts of products are unhealthy because they promote looking at your phone all day?
Uhh, I guess...? But they're incredibly useful and cheap for what they are. Just because you have an external battery doesn't mean you're more addicted to your device or something. They're great for use on airplanes where there might not be an outlet, on a road trip or even just regular use if the car you're using doesn't have a charger and you need to use GPS, etc. And you can use them with all sorts of devices. Mine's generally a backup for my phone, my Bluetooth headphones, and my iPad.
 

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,494
33
Comes in handy especially if you're travelling, at an all day convention, or somewhere where you're constantly waiting in lines (amusement parks).

I've had a rental pocket wifi constantly plugged in to mine (10400) when I traveled overseas since the battery on those die quickly. The larger size is nice since I could charge 2 devices at once.
Is 10,000 an ideal size? Or is 5000 better? If you want something portable and light for travelling but enough to make a phone or tablet last on a long haul flight or whilst camping or something.
 

ultra7k

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2012
261
40
I went for the 4,000 mAh Mophie Powerstation a couple years back. Slim and portable and most importantly it's light - It may not have as much mAh as other packs, but it has more than enough juice to last a day and a bit. I've never really need more than that unless you don't want to re-charge. It has saved my wife and I a couple times while travelling!
 

GalFieri

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2016
143
43
California
Is 10,000 an ideal size? Or is 5000 better? If you want something portable and light for travelling but enough to make a phone or tablet last on a long haul flight or whilst camping or something.
Consider how much you need and your use cases. For example, the iPhone 7 has a 1960 mAh battery, so you can get a bit over 2 full charges out of a 5000 mAh battery pack (some power is lost during the transfer so you never get the full amount). If you're going on a camping trip for a few days, that may or may not work for you depending on if you use your phone for GPS while hiking or you just leave it on airplane mode, etc. If you're going on a flight, that should be more than plenty.

But if you're also using it for an iPad? An iPad Air 2 has a battery of 7340 mAh, so a 5000 mAh battery won't cut it if you wanted to fully recharge it.
 

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,494
33
Consider how much you need and your use cases. For example, the iPhone 7 has a 1960 mAh battery, so you can get a bit over 2 full charges out of a 5000 mAh battery pack (some power is lost during the transfer so you never get the full amount). If you're going on a camping trip for a few days, that may or may not work for you depending on if you use your phone for GPS while hiking or you just leave it on airplane mode, etc. If you're going on a flight, that should be more than plenty.

But if you're also using it for an iPad? An iPad Air 2 has a battery of 7340 mAh, so a 5000 mAh battery won't cut it if you wanted to fully recharge it.
I don't use the iPad as much when camping etc and iPad also seems to last a lot longer anyway
 

GalFieri

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2016
143
43
California
I don't use the iPad as much when camping etc and iPad also seems to last a lot longer anyway
Well, it was an example. You know your usage better than any of us. I'd definitely grab at least something with a 5000 mAh battery. And these external batteries honestly are not all that large.
 

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,494
33
Well, it was an example. You know your usage better than any of us. I'd definitely grab at least something with a 5000 mAh battery. And these external batteries honestly are not all that large.
Even the 10,000? I can imagine that being fairly bulky like having another phone on you and not ideal for travelling?
 

pchan0

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2010
113
21
Just got myself the Anker power core slim 5000 and I absolutely love it!

61AiZi%2BThmL._SL1000_.jpg
 

chillstatus

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2008
93
10
Los Angeles
Even the 10,000? I can imagine that being fairly bulky like having another phone on you and not ideal for travelling?

It's not too bulky if you have some type of bag/backpack with you (which I always have when travelling), but I would never put one in my pants pocket.

I agree with what the other poster said that it all depends on your needs.
 

TheAppleFairy

Suspended
Mar 28, 2013
2,588
2,223
The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
I've had several over the years, from very small capacities to very large, 6 months ago I considered Anker but ultimately went with Aukey (PB-N15) instead based off a coupon code ($24.99 for 20,000 mah is a great price) Looking back now wish I went with Anker.

I went about 4 months and it worked perfectly, then one day while just sitting on my coffee table it started smoking and it got hot near the 2A USB port, I contacted their support department and they informed me they have a 24 month warranty and sent me another one, I had that one for just under 2 days and the same thing happened. It's sad because now I have 2 large battery packs sitting here, wish I could fix the electronics in them. Anyway they sent me a refund, and last week I was buying an antenna from monoprice so I added a 10,000 mah battery to my order. I received it yesterday....Hoping it works out.
 

mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
1,257
556
If you travel at all they are indispensable. If the rumors are true about the MacBook pro going to USB c you will even be able to top up you laptop with them.

I have 2 20,000 mAh battery packs, and I kept 2 phones and a Bose Bluetooth speaker fully charged for 3 days of camping far from a outlet.
 
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AppleDior31

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2014
750
355
I used to have to have it on me at all times when I had the 6+ and a faulty battery. Now with the 7+ never carry it anymore.
Now I find them useful when I travel and an outlet isn't too accessible.
 
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boston04and07

macrumors 68000
May 13, 2008
1,798
886
I've had several over the years, from very small capacities to very large, 6 months ago I considered Anker but ultimately went with Aukey (PB-N15) instead based off a coupon code ($24.99 for 20,000 mah is a great price) Looking back now wish I went with Anker.

I went about 4 months and it worked perfectly, then one day while just sitting on my coffee table it started smoking and it got hot near the 2A USB port, I contacted their support department and they informed me they have a 24 month warranty and sent me another one, I had that one for just under 2 days and the same thing happened. It's sad because now I have 2 large battery packs sitting here, wish I could fix the electronics in them. Anyway they sent me a refund, and last week I was buying an antenna from monoprice so I added a 10,000 mah battery to my order. I received it yesterday....Hoping it works out.

Oh wow, I'm so sorry that happened to you! That is exactly why I've been very hesitant to purchase a power bank, even though I'm really starting to need one. All the stuff with the note 7 really got me to think about what I have in my home and re-evaluate whether I want extra lithium batteries lying around. I know it's still relatively rare for one to actually catch fire, but still, it scares the crap out of me.

So if I got this right, you weren't using the battery when it started smoking? Yikes...
 
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