This Christmas I gave several family members the gift of power, that would be portable power to charge their USB devices. When we traveled on vacation last year as a family I brought along a portable battery to keep my iPhone charged and it was quickly passed around from person to person. In the past, there were only a few makers of these portable power supplies, but today there is no shortage of options depending on your power needs, size and taste. Recently I was sent two new models from RAVPower’s Luster line to review.
Initially I was most interested in the RAVPower Luster 6000mAh External Battery (Amazon) because of the compact size but comparatively large power supply. As the name implies, this is a 6000mAh battery which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 5s more than 3 times. (The iPhone 5S has a 1570mAh battery). While there are batteries with similar and even larger capacities on the market, the RAVPower is one of the smaller ones I’ve seen measuring only 3.9“ x 0.8” x 1.6" and weighing only 4.3 ounces. While the RAVPower doesn’t pack enough power to fully charge an iPad Air (which has a 8827 mAh battery) unlike many of it’s competitors, it will charge an iPad at more than a trickle thanks to the 2.1A charging port.
Perhaps the feature of the RAVPower luster line designed to set it apart from other battery packs is the colorful exterior. The battery is available in a metallic gold, blue, pink or black. (Of course they sent me the pink one to review!) While flashy colors aren’t my thing, I know many people love to deck out their devices with colorful accessories and this power supply will fit right in. In the box the RAVPower comes with a USB to micro USB charging cable and a small carry pouch, they assume you’ll use your existing USB charger to power the battery. The 6000 mAh charger has a list price of $50 and sells for about $22.00 on Amazon.
I assumed the RAVPower 6000 mAh battery would be the most interesting to me because it was the most powerful of the models, I actually was drawn to the smaller member of the Luster line, the3000 mAH “Lipstick” battery (Amazon). While it’s branded as a “lipstick” battery charger the reality is it’s a good bit larger than a tube of lipstick measuring 4.33“ x 0.9” x 0.9 and weighing 3.07 oz. This is about the size of a tube of rolled nickels. Still, an impressively small size to pack in 3000 mAh. While this charger has a smaller capacity, it’s size and shape makes it easy to toss in a bag or the bottom of a purse.
For the few weeks I tried out the power pack I dropped it in the bottom of my purse and forgot about it until I found myself in a situation where I needed a charge and I had one. The 3000 mAh battery will provide one full charge to an iPhone 5S with a good bit to spare to top off a second charge which is more than enough for me on a typical outing. The power supply also has a built in flashlight which I found surprisingly powerful and useful. Except for the on/off switch for the flashlight the power pack is plug and play meaning it will start charging a device when a USB cable is plugged in, and stop when the device is charged or the cable is disconnected.
Like the other members of the RAVPower Luster family, the 3000 mAh charger comes in a slew of bright metallic colors including gold, silver, pink, blue and black and includes a micro-USB charging cable in the box. Again, they assume you’ll use your existing charging brick to charge the battery. The output of the 3000 mAh charger is only 1A so while it will charge an iPad, it will only do so in trickle mode.
While I would probably opt for a larger power supply when traveling, the size and connivence of the “lipstick” charger can’t be beat for everyday use. It has a list price of $50 but is currently $19.00 on Amazon which is a nice price point for a gift or to use as a second charger. I keep mine in my purse with a task in Omni Focus to top off the charge every couple of months. But you could easily toss it in a backpack, glove compartment or briefcase.