I try and spend a good amount of time researching electronics before I purchase them - I'm going to discuss a couple different portable battery units in this post: the Mophie Powerstation and Neptor Dual Port battery pack (seen first here). I purchased the Mophie from a Best Buy vending machine in an airport for about ~$60 (now they run $80) while traveling home - plugged it into the wall and wait for my flight to test it out, these battery units especially for travelers and photographers can be a lifesaver. Let me keep explaining why these will always find their way into our travel packs...
The last place you want to find yourself is lost in a European country with no phone battery, unable to communicate and unsure how to navigate. Now I am not saying that isn't still going to happen to us a few times on our trip but to prevent total breakdown from batteries dying I've went ahead and purchased a few of these portable battery units. Not only will these juice our phone batteries after sight seeing all day but with the Mophie Unit (pictured below) I am able to jump start my camera back to life and the Neptor units come with 2 ports giving you the option to charge tablets as well as smart phones.
I prefer the Mophie brand because they make a better product, and now offer phone cases that will charge your phone in addition to just portable battery units. Mophie has developed a 'Smart Charging Circuitry' to safely provide each device with the perfect amount of power also very quickly. The Mophie I prefer to keep in my camera bag (but now since I have a back up camera battery) I have been using it again to charge the iPhone and other devices. The portable battery units are great to leave in the car (as long as you've taken the steps to charge them properly) instead of having to leave your phone plugged into the car, toss into your backpack or purse and off you go onto your adventure while your gear charges with you. I prefer these to the Goal Zero chargers because you don't rely on sunshine to get your gear charged and going - so for camping I bring them into the woods and leave them into the car for the drive or trek out. Here's how I would rate these units and why:
- WINNER - the Mophie Powerstation (sturdy build quality, safely and quickly charges most devices including camera, tablet and smart phone, 4 / 5 stars
- Runner up - the Neptor Dual Power (although these chargers were cheaper and can charge your phone twice - I had a real issue when I first received them, so I sent them both back in exchange for two working ones, I'll elaborate on this story below, two separate ports and small light built into battery pack, 3 / 5 Stars)
My only gripe with the Neptor Battery units were that when I first got them in the mail thru a promotion on Amazon (read about these thru the blog Pause the Moment) they really frustrate me - and small tech companies with very little customer service frustrates me even more. I learned a valuable lesson with these charges - NEVER PLUG THEM INTO YOUR MACBOOK PRO TO CHARGE THEM - I ended up draining my laptop battery severely and had to take my computer to a Mac repair store all because I plugged in one of these Neptor battery packs. This never happened to me before with the Mophie (a more trusted Tech company) after I contact customer service at Neptor and gave them an ear full - they sent me a Lime green battery and a Purple one for Emily as replacements. The purple one still shows signs of slight defects - but for ~ $25 we didn't complain instead we take them and use them on our adventures with us. I still think the Mophie is a better product but if you don't have $60+ to shell out on a portable charging unit go with the Neptor but remember to only charge it off of wall block - not from your computer. It's also important with the Neptor to ensure your using the correct port - one is for smartphones and the other built for tablets (2.1A). Also we learned that you cannont rely on portable battery packs alone - always remember to bring along your wall units and keep these packs charged for emergencies more than anything.
Thanks for reading another gear review ~ more coming soon... MYT