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Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:51 am

After running my phone completely flat a couple of times on a recent trip, I've finally decided I need some form of portable charging device.

I ordered two:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P7N0320/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007MLHS2S/

The first one is your typical self-contained rechargeable lithium battery pack with in/out USB connections. The second one is powered by 4 standard AA cells (alkaline or NiMH). Bought the first one because I've had good luck with Anker products in the past; the second one was because I like the idea of having something where the batteries aren't soldered in, and you can use disposable AA cells to charge your phone in a pinch (e.g. during a power outage).

Haven't tested the rechargeable one yet (it is still charging), but I did test the AA one.

The construction of the Verbatim AA-based charger seems a bit on the flimsy side (the battery door is fiddly), but it topped up my LG G4 from 65% to a full charge in what I would consider to be a reasonable amount of time (did not time it precisely, but it was under an hour). Will try again at some point with the phone completely drained, and measure actual time taken. Based on the battery specs alone I should be able to get nearly (but probably not quite) a full charge from one set of fully-charged AA Eneloops.

The Anker rechargeable unit looks and feels solid. It should theoretically give nearly 2 full charges of the G4 on one charge of the battery pack. Will test that at some point too.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:59 am

I've got two of those anker ones, they do the job perfectly. I get between 2.5 and 3 charges on my nexus 5 with them though I suspect the battery in my nexus 5 isn't that healthy.

How about one you can start your car with?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/C-POW-Portable-External-flashlight-Emergency-x/dp/B01IASVQ0Q/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1498561074&sr=8-18&keywords=jump+starter
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:01 am

My 2nd-gen Moto-X seems to get excited when I'm in a location with poor coverage that frequently loses contact with AT&T's network - it gets noticeably hot in my pocket and the battery drains flat in under 2 hours. I've had to plug in a charger in my office to top it off during the workday.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:14 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
My 2nd-gen Moto-X seems to get excited when I'm in a location with poor coverage that frequently loses contact with AT&T's network - it gets noticeably hot in my pocket and the battery drains flat in under 2 hours. I've had to plug in a charger in my office to top it off during the workday.

My G4 sometimes does that if I am in my basement and WiFi calling isn't enabled (or randomly disables itself, as it seems to do sporadically). I assume this is due to the phone repeatedly yelling "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" at full power, looking for a tower to connect to.

I just keep a wireless charging stand at work, and set the phone on it when I'm at my desk. If I surf on my phone all the way in to work and back again (I have a fairly long commute on public transit) a single charge doesn't quite cut it.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:34 am

I just bought that same Anker one for my wife a couple of weeks ago. It works great. She was able to completely charge an iPhone 6S and an iPad 2. You're right, the build quality seems solid, especially for the price.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:13 am

We have a 20 AH Anker and love it. Solid unit and I have no complaints.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:14 am

I picked up one of these massive battery packs to augment the Pokemon Go obsession my 4-year old son and I have gotten caught in.

For my iPhone 6S Plus and his old iPhone 5, it's basically infinite battery life, I'm pretty sure it would keep both running for over 24 hours. The only thing I wish it had which I've seen on other packs is an AC plug for faster charging because refilling it after it's low from a single 12w USB charger takes a long time.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:15 am

just brew it! wrote:
After running my phone completely flat a couple of times on a recent trip, I've finally decided I need some form of portable charging device.
<snip>
The Anker rechargeable unit looks and feels solid. It should theoretically give nearly 2 full charges of the G4 on one charge of the battery pack. Will test that at some point too.

I have the Anker 10000 and 20000 MAh units.
I recommend them.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:02 am

https://www.banggood.com/Original-Xiaom ... mds=search

Review: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/51270

Far and away the best powerbank for the dollar, if you are willing to wait for shipping.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:09 am

Heh. I should've probably asked here first; that one is available on Amazon for $19.98 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:57 am

just brew it! wrote:
Heh. I should've probably asked here first; that one is available on Amazon for $19.98 with free 2-day Prime shipping.

be warned... I've had a 50,000 mAh one I ordered... came from China for a very good price.
On trying it out it was a 5,000 mislabelled. I contacted seller and they only offered me 1/2 my money back.
Days later they disappeared from Amazon (likely booted)
Money was cheap enough that I did not want to use my limited A to Z claims for a cheap item.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:25 am

Always liked Anker. I recently got a 15600 mAh pack that should work well with my new Nintendo Switch for really long trips. People are obsessed with making sure the Switch charges using one of those packs, but I'm perfectly happy for the pack to just severely slow down depletion of the battery. I really can't imagine needing more than 6 hours of battery life straight, and if I do, I'll just switch (sorry, pun) over to my DS Lite or PSP for the rest of whatever trip I'm on.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:36 am

Nice to see that everyone else seems to have had good experiences with the Anker units. This is the first battery pack I've bought from them, though I do own a few other random Anker accessories (plug-in chargers, USB gigabit network adapters, USB 3.0 hubs, maybe a couple of other things I'm forgetting). IME they seem to be one of the better brands of accessories out there.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:16 pm

SuperSpy wrote:
I picked up one of these massive battery packs to augment the Pokemon Go obsession my 4-year old son and I have gotten caught in.

For multiple outputs, that looks like a nice one. Some of the cheap units with 2+ USB ports only support 2.4A charging on one output.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:43 pm

This I recommend
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01JIY ... UTF8&psc=1

Sorry about the .ca link but I could not find exact on .com. It has USB 3.0 and Quick Charge 3.

I also have the 20,000 mAh version but cannot get a link for it.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:05 pm

The LG G4 has a removable battery. Unless you have some kind of fiddly case, wouldn't it be faster to just swap the batteries and use an external charger?
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:35 pm

bfg-9000 wrote:
The LG G4 has a removable battery. Unless you have some kind of fiddly case, wouldn't it be faster to just swap the batteries and use an external charger?

When you pull a battery you are down for a few minutes.
if you want 24/7 uptime you need to USB charge
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:35 pm

also if you are outdoorsy here is another suggestion I have and love

https://www.amazon.ca/ALLPOWERS-Sunpowe ... ar+charger

use it to charge a battery pack and not the phone and you are golden.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:02 pm

Arvald wrote:
bfg-9000 wrote:
The LG G4 has a removable battery. Unless you have some kind of fiddly case, wouldn't it be faster to just swap the batteries and use an external charger?

When you pull a battery you are down for a few minutes.
if you want 24/7 uptime you need to USB charge

Lack of 24x7 uptime isn't a problem, though if I go that route I suspect the need to swap will tend to occur at the worst possible time. TBH didn't think of looking for an external charger for the G4's battery pack.

Edit: The downside is that it can't be used to charge anything else. At least it's cheap (extra G4 batteries are surprisingly cheap too).
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:38 pm

And then there's this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Charger ... 06XQTGJ25/

I doubt you're gonna get a full charge out of that, the energy content of a pair of AAs is probably less than that of most cell phone batteries.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:00 pm

My "Big 3" brands for these are Anker, Aukey, and RavPower. You should be good getting from any one of these. 8)
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:
And then there's this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Charger ... 06XQTGJ25/

I doubt you're gonna get a full charge out of that, the energy content of a pair of AAs is probably less than that of most cell phone batteries.


On the bright side, you could use normal AA rechargables with that, though.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:53 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
And then there's this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Charger ... 06XQTGJ25/

I doubt you're gonna get a full charge out of that, the energy content of a pair of AAs is probably less than that of most cell phone batteries.

On the bright side, you could use normal AA rechargables with that, though.

Well yeah, that's why I got the second one I linked in the original post in addition to the Anker one.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:59 pm

Arvald wrote:
be warned... I've had a 50,000 mAh one I ordered.


Wow.

I have a ~20k mAh one, and it unsettles me.

50k is just like, scary.
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:12 pm

So the mAh rating on these things... assuming the vendor is being reasonably honest, is that measured at 5V? Or is it at nominal cell phone battery voltage (3.7V-4.2V)?
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:14 pm

The one I have explicitly states 3.7v

And I wouldn't assume honesty either. :lol:
 
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:21 pm

Glorious wrote:
The one I have explicitly states 3.7v

And I wouldn't assume honesty either. :lol:

Of course not, especially with "off" brands. And it does not surprise me that they would quote it at 3.7V, since that allows them to claim the highest possible mAh number they can without being brutally dishonest.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:
So the mAh rating on these things... assuming the vendor is being reasonably honest, is that measured at 5V? Or is it at nominal cell phone battery voltage (3.7V-4.2V)?

I always assumed they were at 5V, since that's what they are providing via the USB ports. I guess I'm not surprised some may...massage that rating a bit.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:50 pm

If you've got an Android phone, the Ampere app is a godsend. The cheap paid version gives you charging rate in milliamps, voltage to 3 significant digits, maximum source current from the charging source and, most importantly, battery temp. I'm plugged in to a 4-port USB 3.0 hub living in a 5.25" bay using an Anker USB-A to USB-C cable and Ampere shows me a max charging current of 1500 milliamps and a battery voltage of 4.401V. USB hub is plugged into USB 3.0 header on an Asus Z97-A.

Using this app I have discovered that a Nexus 6P on USB 2.0 (500 milliamps max charge) will be in a discharge mode even when plugged in if the screen is lit (Ampere also shows outgoing current draw). When you plan for a 4 hour trip through the security line at O'Hare (like last year) and instead get a 4 minute trip, one has time to analyse things one never thought to analyse until faced with the crushing boredom of an airport terminal. Worst part is that all the bar seats were taken.
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Re: Portable chargers

Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:47 pm

Waco wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
So the mAh rating on these things... assuming the vendor is being reasonably honest, is that measured at 5V? Or is it at nominal cell phone battery voltage (3.7V-4.2V)?

I always assumed they were at 5V, since that's what they are providing via the USB ports. I guess I'm not surprised some may...massage that rating a bit.

With the various quick charging standards the voltage at the port can go significantly above 5V too. And not all phone batteries are 3.7V. So really it only makes sense to quote watt-hours, not mAh. Of course since it makes sense, we don't do that... :roll:

Captain Ned wrote:
If you've got an Android phone, the Ampere app is a godsend. The cheap paid version gives you charging rate in milliamps, voltage to 3 significant digits, maximum source current from the charging source and, most importantly, battery temp. I'm plugged in to a 4-port USB 3.0 hub living in a 5.25" bay using an Anker USB-A to USB-C cable and Ampere shows me a max charging current of 1500 milliamps and a battery voltage of 4.401V. USB hub is plugged into USB 3.0 header on an Asus Z97-A.

Using this app I have discovered that a Nexus 6P on USB 2.0 (500 milliamps max charge) will be in a discharge mode even when plugged in if the screen is lit (Ampere also shows outgoing current draw). When you plan for a 4 hour trip through the security line at O'Hare (like last year) and instead get a 4 minute trip, one has time to analyse things one never thought to analyse until faced with the crushing boredom of an airport terminal. Worst part is that all the bar seats were taken.

Cool, I need to look into that. I do have a pass-through USB dongle that tells you voltage, current, and total power transferred thru the port, but that app sounds like it gives more detail since it knows where all the power is going inside the phone.

Does it require a rooted phone?
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