Review: RAVPower Deluxe 14000mAh External Battery Charger – Portable Power for Everything you own
I get a lot of e-mails this time of year from PR companies asking if I plan to put together a year-end holiday gift guide, and if so can they please get some of their client’s stuff on it. Traditionally this stuff ranges from crap to semi-crap, but here’s an item that turned out to not only be NOT crap, but should really be on both your and your friend’s holiday lists – the RAVPower Deluxe External 14000mAh Battery Charger ($43 on Amazon).
Now, a battery pack may not SEEM all that exciting to you, but honestly, I found myself using this thing almost every day in some way for about a month and a half, so if you are ANY type of mobile device power user, you need one of these.
As you may be able to tell from the picture, the RAVPower Deluxe is basically a brick of power. This is not a sleek, stylish battery pack case you slide your iPhone into – this is a brick measuring roughly as tall as an iPhone 5, an inch wider, and twice as thick. RAVPower did do their best to make this brick as sleek as a brick can be, however, so it has nice rounded, scratch-resistant edges that feel good in the hand, and an aluminum edge that is somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone 5′s styling. The RAVPower Deluxe comes in two sizes, the 14,000mAh model and the 8,400mAh model. Given the whopping $7 in savings on the 8400mAh model, I’d say go for the 14,000.
So how much power is 14,000mAh? Well, it should be enough to get just over 7 full charges on your iPhone 5-5S, which is a big benefit over battery cases which traditionally will give you one full charge. Another nice benefit is the RAVPower has 2 USB ports, allowing for dual charging of both your iPhone and your iPad, or your iPad mini and your iPod touch. Or any combination of them. There is a total of 3A total charging output between the two ports (split 2A and 1A) so if you are in need of a quicker charge, you can go for the 2A port. You could even use it to charge NON-Apple devices, although I don’t know why you would want to.
The RAVPower is not dainty, but not a monster to be feared either. I have been keeping mine in my inside jacket pocket these past fall and wintery months, but it also fits in my jean pocket, albeit not super comfortably. However a girl would easily throw this in her purse as well and never be stranded without power.
It’s a fairly simple and straightforward device. The RAVPower charges via an included mini USB cable you can connect to any computer or US wall adapter.. There are the seemingly required blue LED charge indication lights found on all batteries and cases. A press of the single round button on the top edge of the unit will show you the current power level, and, if an iDevice is plugged in, turn on the charging. A sustained hold of the button will activate a tiny but very bright LED flashlight, whose inclusion seemed quite random at first, but after I thought about who may be using the RAVPower most (victims of sustained power outages and campers on long trips looking to keep their devices charged) the flashlight makes sense. The RAVPower turns itself off when it senses it has fully charged your device.
I only ran into one issue in my nearly 7 weeks of testing the RAVPower, and that was I found when I tried to simultaneously charge two iPhone 5′s, I could only charge one at a time. I eventually found the culprit to be my 3rd party Amazon iPhone lightning cable. When I used 2 Apple-original cables, the dual charging worked fine, even with an iPhone 5S and an iPad mini.
Whether you are a camper going on a weekend trip, a victim of Hurricane Sandy who still has nightmares of being without their cell phone for a week, or you just want to be able to take a lot of video or use your GPS while hiking without being left stranded, there are dozens of reasons why you would want the RAVPower external battery.
Price: ($43 on Amazon)
Pros: Can charge your iPhone 5 over 7 times!, reasonably small, 2 USB ports for dual charging of devices, affordably priced, can charge pretty much any USB-powerd phone or tablet
Cons: A Little heavy for carrying around daily