No matter what devices you use to get work done - iPhone, Android or Windows, power is a concern. Mophie’s battery cases are nice, but I find them bulky. I do my best to keep my devices as thin and sleek as possible, which has its downsides but I find it results in the best overall experience. This is a list of my three favorite external batteries.
The Astro E7 is without a doubt the best purchase I made in 2015. The Astro E7 has more capacity than I ever imagined, and Anker’s PowerIQ technology remains totally unparalleled. The battery sports enough power to charge multiple iPhone 6 Pluses or iPad airs, not to mention it takes just a fraction of the time of a standard wall charger. You can even give your “new” Macbook a full charge if you have a standard USB to USB-c cable. (I’ve gone 16-hour days without having to find a wall outlet because there was so much juice in this thing.) The drawbacks? It’s a little heavy but not terrible for the amount of power it holds. It also takes FOREVER to charge. I suppose that is to be expected, though. I recommend plugging it in overnight. Your best shot at speeding up the charging process is to purchase one of Anker’s wall charging adapters that use the same PowerIQ technology that is in the battery.
Yes, this is also an Anker product. No, they did not sponsor this content. They’re simply the best at this point.
The Magic Magnetic Zolo packs only a fraction of the power in the Astro E7, but that’s okay because I don’t take it very far. I actually own two of these little guys, and they rotate between the charger and my fridge. I got a fridge mount for my first generation iPad Mini, which was collecting dust. (Mikah says first generation iPads make great paperweights.) The batteries allow me to keep the iPad on the fridge and just change out the batteries. I use HelloFresh for several meals each week, and I need to be able to look up the recipes online in a timely fashion. I also keep GrubHub and my “Pizza Locator” app from Workflow on the front page in case I’m feeling particularly lazy.
The batteries work like a charm and keep my iPad full of power. But more than that, they stay out of the way on the fridge. Living in a small apartment just outside of New York City, space is at a premium. These batteries help me conserve space and keep power handy both for the iPad and if I need to load a quick charge into my phone or another device.
“Solar is the future of power.” - A Smart Person, at some point probably
I’m still testing this device, but I have tried several solar batteries over the last year as they’ve become relatively inexpensive. The Upow is the sleekest of the bunch, easily attaching to my backpack via carabiner and only turning on when it can actually receive sunlight. (I tried one battery that appeared to drain itself trying to charge in a dark space.) This is the least-essential purchase of the three. But it might move up the list for those of you who spend a lot of time working outside or always run out of power sitting in the stands at baseball games. I recommend checking it out, and for $24, it might be worth getting one just to see if you can integrate it into your life.
The list is always changing.
The market for portable batteries is constantly being updated with higher capacity and quicker charging products. If you want to stay current on the best ways to keep all your devices charged and performing at their highest levels, be sure to subscribe to our podcast. Mikah and I are always working to find new and better ways to keep the electricity flowing!