My phone isn’t what it used to be. Aside from the fact it looks downright puny compared to these more modern monolithic devices, the battery life has begun its long slide downhill. I first noticed the battery dwindling around Gen Con this year when my phone couldn’t quite make it through the whole day, even with just texting. It was time to find a solution.
For the past month, I’ve been playing around with two different devices from Justin, the 5,200 mAh and the 10,000 mAh Power Banks. These battery packs can be charged at home and then used to recharge your phone, tablet, or other devices.
Both devices take a 5 volt/1 amp input to charge up and can be fully cycled about 500 times in their lifetimes. There’s the obvious difference in battery capacities — the 5,200 uses a lithium ion battery and outputs 5 volts at 1 amp, while the 10,000 uses a lithium polymer battery and has two outputs (both 5V), one at 1 amp, the other at 2.1. A single amp is best for charging phones, while tablets charge faster with the 2.1 amp output.
Size-wise, the 5,200 is nice and compact. It fits snugly in the palm of your hand at about 2″ x 3″ x 3/4″ and weighs about a quarter of a pound. The 10,000 is about the size of an iPhone 6 at about 5.5″ x 3″ x 3/4″. Its weight is double the 5,200 at half a pound.
Both devices arrive already charged, but when you deplete their stores, the 5,200 will take a little over 6 hours to recharge and the 10,000 will take 14 hours to fully charge. Once full, the 5,200 will be able to fully charge your phone three times and the 10,000 can completely charge a phone five times. The Power Banks come with a mini-USB cord to charge the Power Bank, but not to charge your device. Both devices have a display to show how much battery remains. The 10,000 uses four LED lights to display the reserves and the 5,200 has a LCD readout.
Finally, the price of the Justin devices is equally impressive. The 5,200 is just $29.99 and the 10,000 is only $49.99
After a month of use, I’ve been very pleased with both devices. The 10,000 is a trusty source of power and I appreciate its dual output (you can charge two devices at once) and especially the 2.1A source for getting my tablet running again. But the 5,200 has been my go-to power source. Its small size fits unobtrusively in a messenger bag, backpack or pants pocket and I can tell at a glance how much battery I have left in the Power Bank. What’s more, compared to other battery chargers I’ve used, the Justin devices are both handsome and comparably lightweight.
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent samples of these products for review.