Review: myCharge Portable Power Bank 6000
There are few things more frustrating than getting the "beep beep" notification and popup that you need to connect to a charger when you're trying to use your HTC EVO. At times I've called our power-hungry phones "landlines" because they're plugged into the wall so much.
That's why I was pleased to get the chance to check out the myCharge Portable Power Bank 6000. It boasts 1029 more hours of standby time, 24 additional hours of calling, an additional 137 hours of music, and 34 more hours of WiFi or video.
Inside the myCharge Portable Power Bank 6000 is a 6000mAh battery, which is four times the size of the stock EVO 4G battery and three and a half times the size of an EVO 3D's battery. It includes a USB port to plug in any sort of device to, an iPhone/iPad charging port capable of delivering 2.1mAh power, and a dual micro/mini USB plug capable of charging our EVOs and an old BlackBerry or Windows Mobile friend.
Unfortunately I was not able to put this thing to the ultimate test and see how much amperage I could draw out of it. I peaked at a Nook, an HTC EVO 3D, an old Windows Mobile phone, and an iPod that probably didn't need much charging. All indicated charging with +mAh.
The dual micro/mini plug delivers a total of 1 amp combined, meaning if you're plugging in two things that need to be charged on that line, you're not going to charge very fast, and if you're using your EVO 3D you're going to just lower your loss of charge. It's good for a nighttime top charge for two devices, but only realistically good at charging one. If you want to charge a couple of EVOs, you need to use a USB cable in conjunction with the built-in; it should deliver an amp to each port.
The iPad connector can deliver 2.1 amps. Not having an iPad to play with, I'll assume that's about the maximum output the Portable Power Bank is capable of delivering, which means you should be able to charge an EVO 3D, a 4G, and maybe a Bluetooth headset without pushing it to the point of not charging well.
For a portable charge, that's really not too shabby. It means a recharge for you and a friend, or a slow trickle charge for you and two friends if one of them brought a cable.
The one thing I could not get an accurate read on is how much of the 6000mAh we can expect to be delivered out of the battery and how much would actually be usable by our devices after charging loss. 6000mAh doesn't charge six 1000mAh batteries to 100%; there's always some loss due to chemical and physics gremlins.
My only experiences thus far with portable chargers were the Seidio 2200mAh, which I reviewed back in November, and a 770,000mAh car jumper battery with a 12-volt car charge adapter plugged into it, which was not really all that portable unless I wanted a workout. The car charger offered an expected 137 days of full EVO 3D use, but it's kind of difficult to lug around a 22-pound battery.
Looking at the myCharge Portable Power Bank versus the Seidio Charging Vault, I noticed that I really missed having the latter's ability to charge the PPB on its own. The Seidio Charging Vault has prongs that just pop out and you can slap it in a wall when you want to charge it; the PPB has to be plugged into a USB power supply (the same style our phones came with) and it is not included.
The thing where the Power Bank wins hands-down against the Vault is the ability to turn off the power indicator lights. Until you're on a camping trip using a charger at night, you do not realize how absolutely horrid it is to have unwanted lights and how bright those things are.
The Power Bank also has an on-off switch, which the Charging Vault doesn't, but I'm confused about why this exists. You don't drain power until a circuit is completed, and you don't leave a fully charged phone plugged into a dead power source. Perhaps this has something to do with the iPod pass-through mode, although the manual tends to indicate it may be polling battery strength.
MyChargePower, the company that makes the myCharge Portable Power Bank, is probably best known for the the PowerBag, which is a line of bags, briefcases, etc. with power chargers built into them. It's an interesting concept, but my wife asked me why you wouldn't just get a nice REI bag and then put this 6000mAh battery charger in it somewhere.
The MyCharge Portable Power Bank has a MSRP of $99.99, but a Google search found some for $60. Your shopping results may vary.
Evidently with the PowerBag line of products, you can change out the battery should you need to, keeping spares in the bag. This lead me to the thought of what could be purchased for $99.99 that might be more useful. For example, you could buy four 4000mAh batteries for your EVO 3D, giving you a total power footprint of 16,000mAh, or 266% more battery life than the Power Bank. Of course, in this scenario, you'd have four batteries to keep up with and keep charged. You're also going to have to crack the case five times to replace the batteries, and you're not going to be able to share with anyone other than EVO 3D people.
Here's a breakdown of my experience with the myCharge Portable Power Bank:
- Can share power with almost any USB device
- Looks neat
- Automatic overload protection
- Can sync an iPod while charging off your computer
- Needs a separate charger
- Not pocket-friendly unless you have large pockets
- Battery is not replaceable unlike the company's PowerBag options
- Seems larger than it needs to be
If you're looking for something to get you by when you need it, I think this will do it for you. It's a wickedly useful device when charged to keep around, especially if you need your phone to work all the time.
I've been carrying portable chargers in my car since last year, and there are always friends of mine who need charges when we're out. I'm always the battery life of the party…