Go to the archives

Portable Power for your phone

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Dec 03, 2016
Category: Gifts and Gadgets

A phone in the pocket for a full day is a problem — the charge runs out fast.

The solution: an AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank. This device, which is about the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S3 and just a smidge thicker, is a veritable tower of power. Plug it in at night — it takes 6 to 8 hours to reach full charge — and you can use it to charge an iPhone (4-5 times), Nexus (4.1 times), Galaxy S5 (2.6 times), the Galaxy Note III (2.3 times) or an iPad (once.) It has two ports; you can charge two devices at a time. Note: It will not charge the Microsoft Surface. Cost: $23.99. [To buy the AmazonBasics Power Bank, click here.]

Cool features:

The Power Bank has 4 LED lights that tell you where you are in the charging process: active charging, charging complete, charging of a connected device, your remaining battery power. It has an on-off option that helps you conserve energy; without it, the battery would run down.

Can you charge the battery and have the battery charge a connected phone at the same time? No. And you can’t override it. When the battery pack is being recharged, it turns off both USB ports. And it doesn’t weaken quickly if not used. It will hold a full charge for about a week.

Less cool: Most buyers do flips for the battery pack. But it’s not Apple-quality. Some buyers report getting a broken battery pack. Others complain that it fails after a month. My take: You roll dice.

Want a smaller power supply? Right here.