We’ve all been there. Just when we need our phone or tablet the battery is either near death, or dead. Maybe we forgot to charge our phone overnight? Possibly your cats, no matter how cute they are have decided that USB cables are a perfect cat chew toy, either way, your battery isn’t fully charged. Or, if you have a newer device with a larger screen, and didn't notice that Location Services, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, were quickly draining your battery. What to do? Well, either find a place to plug in your charger, or use a portable battery to charge your device.
As much as battery technology has changed, our devices are ever more dependent on batteries then ever. If you are looking for a portable power source, these two battery packs won't let you down. The MyCharge HubMax and Ventev powercell 10000+ are solid, stylish, and well-executed designs.
We have been fans of both MyCharge and Ventev for some time. Both make great products. MyCharge specializes in portable power with an extensive line of battery options. Ventev has a broad product line including full line of commercial wireless options, recently began offering a full-line of stylish cables, Chargers, batteries, and more for consumers.
We have reviewed a stack of battery chargers over the years and for the most part they are pretty similar. A few years ago any portable lithium-ion battery was pretty cool, but differences soon became apparent. The most obvious were differing capacities, which impacted the ability to boost, or fully charge a device. Then users became aware that some units seemed to charge devices faster, the result of circuitry that could detect the current draw, so that a device that could accept a higher amperage charge received the proper charge, often cutting the time to recharge a device dramatically. This "smart charge" feature goes by different names, and we consider it pretty much a requirement for any decent battery.
One thing we don't love is having to deal with cables! Ok, let’s clarify that, we love cables, but for a phone or tablet charger, it’s all too easy to find yourself with a battery but not the proper cable or charger, a frustrating experience. The solution is to design batteries that have cables permanently attached to them, and both the MyCharge and Ventev units reviewed here have that feature. The MyCharge HubMax Portable Charger boasts one of the largest amperage levels we have seen, and one of our favorite features, a built-in US style two-prong plug that folds out for instant use. So, no need for cables, chargers, or anything else. It features both Micro-USB and an Apple Lightning connector, so it covers the bases. Finished in a black and silver anodized aluminum body, it exudes a tough industrial vibe. Sporting a serious 9000mAh rated battery we found it could charge my Virgin Mobile Samsung S5 from dead in 30 minutes, and had plenty of charge left for at least two more full charge cycles, and it charged our iPads almost as quickly as plugging them into a wall socket with the Apple supplied charger. Befitting its large battery capacity, it's a bit heavier, larger, and thicker than lower powered units, but serious power requires a larger battery pack. It has “Smart-Sense” and “Rapid-Recharge” and a set of green LED’s let you know the charge state, and you can charge two devices at once, an Android, and Apple iOS device, with 3.4 amps shared output. Rated at 67 hours of power, if you are looking for portable power with a built-in wall charger, two built-in cables, serious amperage from a large battery, Integrated folding AC prongs, the MyCharge HubMax comes highly recommended.
Headed for the outdoors, then check out the MyChage All Terrain 3000mAh IP68 military grade portable charger. It is small enough to fit in your pocket, and is waterproof, temperature-proof, dirt-proof and shockproof. It features a built-in USB port, and its 2.1A output it is perfect for charging a smartphone on the go. We liked the big brother, the 6000mAh All Terrain+ unit for a bit more capacity. Perfect for the explorer or klutz in your life.
Ventev has built a strong following around its meticulously engineered line of cables, batteries, chargers, and desktop power accessories, in addition to their commercial line of Wi-Fi products. One of the first things that drew us to their cables was their line of stylish flat USB and iOS cables. Packaged in elegant small plastic boxes, they had a wide variety, all color coded, with differing lengths and connectors. We found their new line of chargesync alloy micro cables, beautifully engineered, with a strong tough braided covering, and with high-quality solidly machined connectors they are among the best cables we have tested. Their signature flat cables are available in a variety of configurations including a new line of USB Type-C cables, which if the USB industry folks are correct, will be the cable and connector to rule them all.
The Ventev line of portable batteries is no different. Thin, with contrasting orange and dark gray colors, they offer the all the expected features, some with built-in cables, and others with a built in charger and built-in cables. Our favorite was the powercell 10000+ model that is a 2-in-1 portable battery and wall charger. Featuring built-in Micro USB and Apple Lightning cables and folding AC prongs, it is a unit that needs no other cables. It can charge three devices at once has a 10,000mAh rating, so plenty of capacity to charge a phone a couple of times, as well as doing it with flair and style. It has a maximum Charge Rate of 2.4 Amps, compared to the 3.4 amps shared output of the MyCharge HubMax, which offered faster charges. The powercell 10000+ is rated at 42 hours of talk time. It has an LCD digital power display to keep you informed as to the units charge state. For the power hungry fashionista in need of portable power, the Ventev powercell 10000+ comes highly recommended.
Since not all countries have adopted the US wall plug design, world travellers should always pack an extra adapter or two to make sure they can charge their devices. One of our favorites is the Ventev global charginghub 300. At first glance it looks like a standard multi-plug adapter, but it’s built better then others, looks lovely with it’s dark gray and orange color scheme, and is also a USB hub capable of charging devices across 150 countries. You can charge 2 devices at the same time and not lose your three-prong outlet, and with 4 AC prong configurations we doubt it won’t fit any socket you can find. Planning on a trip outside the U.S. or two the US from another country, the Ventev global charginghub 300 comes highly recommended.
Harris Fogel, posted 3/15/2016
For more information on the MyCharge HubMax, visit: www.mycharge.com
For more information on the Ventev powercell 10000+ visit: www.ventev.com