Smartphones, eBook readers, tablets, portable gaming devices and so much are vital to our daily lives. Ok perhaps not all the devices we use each day are vital, but they’re important to each user in their own way. One thing many of these devices, if not all of them, is that they run on batteries and these days you’ll find that most devices have a built-in battery that is charged via USB, or if you’re an Apple fan, a lightening cable. There’s nothing worse than being on a night out, away on a business trip, out camping, or even just relaxing at home, only to find out your battery is dying or has died. We’re not always within easy reach of a charging socket and carrying around the mains adaptor isn’t always the most practical solution. This is where mobile USB battery recharges come into play and today we’ve got three solutions to try out. The real question is, which one is best suited to your needs?
In the office today I have the Patriot Fuel+, the Antec Lifebar 10 and for something a little different, the Luxa2 PL1. Each of these is designed a little differently from each other, so let’s get right to it and see what they have to offer.
The PL1 was included in this test, as I loved the unique approach to its design. It doesn’t come in a leather pouch, it is the leather pouch.
The stitched design is really nice and it’s quite slim too, meaning it’s going to fit easily in your jacket pocket or handbag very easily. It’ll also look more stylish that a big hunk of plastic.
There’s a magnetic cover on one end, just flip it open and you’ll find the microUSB charging socket (in) and the standard USB charging socket (out). The PL1 is rated for 2800mAh.
The compact size is easy to hold in your hand and the overall quality feels very good.
The Fuel+ is a lot bigger than the Luxa2 device. It’s got a stylish white and red theme, but it’s quite clear that this is a big mobile battery. There’s a set of LED lights down the side to show you how much charge is remaining, as well as a master power button.
There are two charging ports on the Fuel+, a 2.5A and a 1A; perfect for charging a high power device such as an iPad, as well as a mobile phone at the same time.
The Fuel+ is rated at 900mAh.
It’s not very big overall, as you can still hold it in the palm of your hand, but it is quite thick, meaning it’s not going to be suitable to fit in your pocket.
The Antec Lifebar is the largest and the heaviest of the three devices and comes with a metal exterior that not only looks great but also makes the unit feel more durable than the others.
Like the Fuel+ it has two charging ports, a 2.1A and a 1A.
There’s a small power button on the end, which could be a little better in terms of quality if I’m honest, but there’s also an LED light that can be used a torch if you double tap the power button. There’s also four small LED lights above the charge (in) MicroUSB that show the current charge remaining.
The Lifebar is slim enough to hold in your hand, but it’s length and weight make it a little too much to keep in your pocket.