See if this hasn’t happened to you. You’re in the middle of a run listening to music or in the middle of an intense Zombies Run! episode. Or you’ve walked into an area with multiple lures and a bunch of rare Pokemons pop up. And then you get the dreaded message, “Your phone is low on battery. Recharge or connect to a power source”.
It’s happened to me many times. Most often, it’s because I’m running around in meetings at work all day with my phone and can’t get to my computer in time to give it a full charge. It doesn’t help that my phone is getting older. Each time you charge your battery, it ever so slightly decreases the battery life.
The kinds of apps I’m reviewing here for fitness and exercise, including Pokemon Go and Zombies Run!, not to mention traditional workout apps like Strava or Runtastic, are notorious for draining your phone’s battery, simply because you need to have them on all the time, and they are constantly using your cellular data and your GPS, two of the biggest battery drainers.
You’ve probably heard of portable battery chargers, but the options can be dizzying. Here are my personal favorites.
The Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger provides relative lightness with huge capacity and the fastest charging available. It’s on the heavier side at 12.5 ounces (about double or triple the weight of your phone, or the weight of a can of soda) but the weight is proportional to how powerful it is. It can charge your iPhone 6s about eight times, an iPad Air about 2 times, or a Galaxy S6 five times before needing to be recharged. Its maximum charging speed is 4.8 amps, meaning that if you plug one phone into one USB port and the other phone into the other, both will enjoy fast 2.4 amp charging. The list price is about $80, but you’ll typically see it on sale for about $40.
If you need the maximum in capacity, you’ll want the Anker Astro E7 External Battery Charger; this is the one I personally have. It holds a whopping 26800 mAh capacity. It’s the heaviest portable battery at 15.8 ounces but if you frequently find yourself running out of power on long trips, this is the one for you.
When my wife and I go out, I just bring this one battery and charge my iPhone and her Galaxy on it. Something else I like about all these batteries is that there are protections built in to prevent your device from overcharging or power surges.
What I usually do is just put it in my pocket and run a line to the phone in my hand. It comes with a micro USB cable for most Android devices, and you can purchase a cheap MFi (Apple certified) Lightning cable for your iPhone or iPad directly from Amazon.
This thing has saved me many, many times, and it’s my charger of choice. It easily handles a 5-hour cross-country flight with plenty of juice to spare. On the last cross-country flight I was on, I saw that the poor woman next to me had run out of power after an hour into the flight on a flight with free Wi-Fi. I offered to let her charge on my battery, and it was like giving a cup of water to someone dying of thirst.
This one isn’t cheap at a list price of $119.99 (although more typically you’ll find it selling for about $55), but it’s well worth it if you want the ultimate in extended battery life.
If you’re looking for something more portable, or a little more affordable battery pack the size of a tube of lipstick, try their PowerCore+ mini portable charger. It’s able to charge an iPhone 6 a little more than one complete time before it needs recharging, so it’s great if you just need power for the commute home or the short trip to the store.
Of course, the most impressive thing is this thing’s weight–at less than 3 ounces it’s about the weight of an egg. You won’t even notice it in your pocket or your purse. And at under $20 chances are you won’t notice the dent it makes to your banking account as much as other portable battery solutions.
This isn’t a paid spot–I’ve owned just about every Anker charger since the beginning, and have paid full price for them, and they only get more impressive. Don’t leave home without one when you need to hunt monsters or run from zombies.