Posted on

Cut The Cord: Wireless Portable Batteries That Charge By Touch

Portable batteries are a utility we hope ultimately becomes obsolete. But, for the time being, they’re pretty crucial when we need extra juice, and enable us to do a lot of things that weren’t possible before.

But beyond saving us when we’re in a power pinch, portable batteries are becoming gadgets in their own right–going wireless. Meaning: you don’t need any cables or cords in order to use it.

What’s so cool about a wireless portable battery?

No more cord clutter

These wireless-charging portable batteries mean that you no longer need to carry a lightning cable to charge your iPhone, and a Micro USB cable to charge the portable battery.

Freedom from outlets
– Wireless chargers are neat, but they still need to be plugged into an outlet to get power. These wireless portable batteries mean you can truly charge your phone anywhere.

Meta charging

A wireless portable battery can also be recharged wirelessly. Instead of needing to plug the battery into an outlet to recharge, you can place it on a wireless charging pad.

Multiple charging options

Perhaps the best thing about these new portable batteries is that you can still charge with a cable if you want. Wireless portable batteries are not getting rid of their ports, they’re just adding the wireless charging capability into the mix. They’re becoming super batteries.

It’s not all rainbows and ponies, but don’t worry

Consider these things.

Added size and weight

Right now, wireless portable batteries tend to be a little thicker and heavier than non-wireless batteries because of the extra hardware required inside.

No stow-and-go

With a charging cable, you can tether your phone to the battery and drop it in a purse or backpack. Not so with wireless portable batteries. The phone will slide around and not stay planted on the induction charging point.

Slower charging

Wireless charging can be slower than charging with a cable. iPhones can currently only charge up to 7.5W, which makes it just a tad faster than charging with the (minimum) 5W plug that comes with the phone.

But don’t let these minor sticking points deter you. Wireless portable batteries are still far more useful and interesting than non-wireless ones.

 

Posted on

5 Totally Unexpected Ways To Use A Portable Battery

Usually when people think of a portable battery (also called power bank) they think about charging phones. That’s great, but portable batteries are compatible with nearly any device that uses USB for power.

If you don’t own a portable battery yet, it essentially moves the wall outlet into your pocket or bag and enables more things not possible before.

Electrify your couch

Getting comfy on a couch typically requires being too far from an outlet to plug in and watch TV at the same time. Take a portable battery and stick it between your couch cushions to enable a completely charged Saturday of binge watching.

Pedal power

Have you ever noticed the bike icon on Google Maps while your getting driving directions? There’s more ways to get somewhere besides driving and walking. If you do spend a few hours riding a bike with GPS navigation on (and probably playing music too) you’ll want to be plugged in.

Strap a portable battery to your bike frame and make sure your phone is full when you reach your destination.

Gaming the gaming headphones

Wireless headphones let you sit comfortably on the couch while playing Xbox or PlayStation, but, unfortunately, most don’t have great battery life. Don’t wait for them to die before charging. Connect a portable battery and you can sit where you like, for as long as you want.

Separately (but still on video games), Nintendo’s Switch console uses USB Type-C for power, and hooking it up to a portable battery will keep it going for more than the few hours delivered by its internal battery.

Don’t let the music stop

When you go camping, hit the beach all day, or spend a weekend in your own backyard, you can easily extend the life of your Bluetooth speaker by adding a portable battery.

Sit anywhere at Starbucks

Did you know that if your laptop has a USB Type-C port you can most likely charge your laptop from a portable battery? There are a few requirements to consider, but carrying a portable battery for your laptop instead of needing to be parked in that one seat in Starbucks can be a lifesaver (or work-saver).

If your laptop doesn’t have USB Type-C, there are also a few portable batteries which will have an AC plug for more general use like this one from Jackery. Warning: these batteries with AC outlets aren’t cheap.

If you’re unsure of the different USB connectors and cable types, check out our super simple guide.