Tip of the Day #13: Power Up


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During the 4+ days at Comic-Con, you will find that there is nothing more important than your phone. Whether it’s making calls, texting, taking selfies, videoing panels, recording audio, looking up the schedule, tweeting, or Googling Gaslamp locations, never before has technology been so important to the Comic-Con experience. Because of this, nothing drains your battery faster than being at Comic-Con and unless you can call thunder from the skies, you might be in trouble. With the overly congested network and longer than average spool times, your phone will run down on power two or three times faster than normal- especially if you are trying to upload pics to social media. So your number one resource during the show is power. Since there are few electrical outlets available at the convention center, you will need to be able to stay charged up all day (and all night if you are camping) on your own. Like a oasis in the desert, you might be fortunate enough to stumble upon a vendor equipped with a charging station- but don’t count on it. So your real only option is to have sort of external battery supply.

iphone-4s-low-batteryIn past years, I have used the Mophie Juice Case to recharge my iPhone. Not only did it serve as extra protection for my phone but an extra battery as well. But the case battery has died and it’s time to make a new choice. Since I am only months away from an phone upgrade, I don’t want to invest in a specific case- so I am now hunting for an external battery to help keep me posting my ‘duck face’ selfies at the show. So naturally, the first place I went to was Twitter. After sharing some of my needs, ya’ll were awesome to suggest some options. In fact, I got so many tweets that I got inspired to write this post in order to share my findings with you all. This is what kind of battery I am looking for- and chances are, you are too:

  • Being slim is my most important criteria
  • Enough juice to fully charge my phone at least 2-3+ times (list 1000s mAh)
  • A model that light but durable
  • Not larger than my iPhone
  • Reasonably priced
  • Has a good reputation for lasting

glbattery2Like last night on Twitter, leave your comments below with your specific battery experience, store links, photos, cost, etc. Tech nerds, this is your time to shine! I am guessing, many of us are open to upgrade if the quality and price is right so share your knowledge. If this is your first time to Comic-Con, make sure you heed this warning and pick up a good extra battery. NOTHING is worst than having 5% left on your phone when it’s 2p at SDCC- and I see it happen to new attendees every year. Even the Green Lanterns knows their limits. Thanks all and I am looking forward to your suggestions.

20 thoughts on “Tip of the Day #13: Power Up

  1. Look at the Anker 10000mah batter pack. Its about the size and weight of a standard phone and has 2 usb ports. I have been using it for several years now. I am able to get at least 6 full charges on my galaxy s5. It doesnt get hot and easily fits in a backpack. Purchase a long usb cord and attach it to your backpack strap then you can easily access your phone from your pocket and have it charge all at the same time. Only downside is it does take a while to recharge, but one full charge before con is more than enough to last through all of con, even with heavy use. I highly recommend it. Amazon lists it at $79.99 but its always on sale for $23. Good pack, lots of charge, and great price. Here is a link to it on amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Anker-10000mAh-Portable-External-Technology/dp/B009USAJCC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1431704406&sr=8-3&keywords=anker

    • Yep, this is the same one I’ve had for almost 3 years now. It’s fantastic, although it is really big – about the same size as my Galaxy S3, and thicker – and if you completely deplete the battery, it will take a solid 8+ hours to recharge (I believe the newer version recharges faster). I’ve never had it run out of a charge in a single day, and I carry two phones and a Kindle around SDCC. (I don’t think I could make a whole SDCC weekend without recharging it, though.) Also useful to have at home for power outages.

      Can’t really go wrong with any Anker.

  2. The best thing for battery is picking up a FuelRod. They are located all throughout the San Diego Convention Center (the airport and other city buildings as well). They are sold for $20 full charged and come with cables to charge your phone. Then every time you run out of power on the FuelRod you can go to a kiosk and swap the FuelRod for another one that has been charging. It was most convenient thing I picked up last year.

    http://www.amazon.com/Aukey-10000mAh-Portable-External-Supported/dp/B00UBDI7EC This is the first affordable QC 2.0 battery pack. This doesn’t help iPhone users as much as it does Android users who have phones that support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 but from the reviews Apple users to get a faster charge with QC. QC 2.0 is not just a “rapid charging” method, if your phone supports it it will actually tell you it’s being quick charged and it reduces charging time greatly we’re talking 0% to 60% in 30min.

  3. So this will be my 13th time at SDCC and my 4th covering the event for Bleeding Cool, so having a working phone and tablet is vital each day if I want to get a breaking story out. If thin is what you want that’s doable, but your not going to get light. I will have two primary back ups with me each day. Both have two USB outputs so I can charge my phone and tablet at the same time if I need to. One is a Jackery 12000mah, less than an inch thick but 4×3 inches wide and high. You can get at least 4 full charges off a fully charged battery for your iPhone. I also carry the Anker 13000mah, about the same thickness but longer and not as wide.
    Both are available at Amazon, and you can often find them or those brands with different mah levels, power capacity, as daily lightning deals for extra savings. You never want to have your phone die on you just before you have one shot to take a picture with Nathan Fillion, so be prepared.

    • Yea, sounds like the Anker is getting a lot of love. Your specs help a lot as well as your usage experience. I’ll check it out. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I purchased the 16000 Anker external battery before sdcc last year. It’s a little heavier than other options on the market (but since I carry it in my backpack or bag pretty much all the time, this matters less) but it has a much bigger bang for your buck in terms of charging ability. It provides a full charge about 6 times – and since last year, they’ve come out with ones with larger charging capability.

    It’s about the size of an iPhone and you can plug any usb cable into it. I typically leave it in my backpack or bag and have my phone in my hand with it plugged in, attached via a cord. It’s really nice that it doesn’t change the weight of the phone in my hand.

    I had a bum battery in my phone last year (I could maybe get 3 hrs of use out of my phone before it died) so I used it pretty much non stop and always had juice, just charging the battery over night in the hotel (I think it’s 6 hours for a full charge?), including one Hall H day where I didn’t charge it Friday night at all. You can also purchase a charger from Anker that halves the time it takes to fully charge the battery.

    As for durability, that battery has gone with my on pretty much every trip since – including day trip to Disneyland and hikes and it’s never had a problem.

    I’m probably gonna splurge and get the bigger one for myself for sdcc 2015 🙂

  5. I bring 2-3 external batteries with me. Last year, I didn’t have to to charge any of them until after the convention was over (score!). I’ve used the New Trent iTorch (http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-Smartphones-built–flashlight/dp/B0013G8PTS/ref=sr_1_3?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1431712032&sr=1-3&keywords=new+trent) and Motorola P4000 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CF4Z6UI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=37GRA26PVI7Y5&coliid=I1M6W9KCJWMXUV) in the past with great results. I’m on the lookout for adding a new battery. Everyone’s suggestions on this post so far are great. I recently upgraded my phone last year, so the battery power is pretty good, but you never know with SDCC. I’m currently adding this one to my wishlist (http://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-RP-PB07-10400mAh-Portable-Technology/dp/B009V5X1CE/ref=pd_sim_107_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=188EEWEQT15TW9PTDW9F). I tried another battery from that brand in the past (no longer available though) and it’s been one of the faster charging batteries I’ve come across. Good luck with your search!

  6. Great post! I love these tips you’re posting.

    Last year I bought this for SDCC: http://www.amazon.com/Anker-Astro-Lipstick-Sized-Portable-Technology/dp/B005X1Y7I2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431713959&sr=8-2&keywords=anker+external+battery
    It’s a 3200mAh lipstick-sized portable battery by Anker. It charges fast, takes up very little room in my pack, and comes with a little pouch to carry it with its cord (I love this since I’m always losing cords). I use an old iPhone 3G and get two full phone charges out of this little battery.

    This worked really well for me, because it’s so portable and I could recharge it every night – but I probably wouldn’t recommend it for anyone camping out overnight. Right now the basic black one is only $12.99 on Amazon, but for the other colors you can get something more powerful in a similar price point ($19.99).

  7. I have two battery packs, one is the Lepow ADD basically a 2-in-1 battery; the main battery has 4,500 MAH and the additional pack snaps right on magnetically for 2x the power, bringing it up to 9,000 MAH; added feature are lights indicating the amount of battery left
    http://www.amazon.com/Lepow-Magnetic-External-Battery-Packaging/dp/B00I67TZ3C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431716881&sr=8-1&keywords=lepow+add

    then the MyCharge amp max, has 6,000 MAH, but added features are a flashlight and lights to indicate the amount of battery left
    http://www.amazon.com/myCharge-Rechargeable-6000-Battery-AM60K-/dp/B00JIJUC0M/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1431716887&sr=8-3&keywords=mycharge

    I love both of these chargers, this is the first year I have battery packs and each is great! Personally I enjoy the MyCharge more, but both are great to have and watch out for sales! I got these off sale prices and they are so worth it

  8. I too have the Anker that Rick suggested. I got it because the price was so darn cheap and the number of stars on Amazon. There’s no need to put my phone on Airplane mode or downloading some battery saving app. Bwahahaha… I just plug in and press the button to start charging. It’s the same size as an iPhone 6 only thicker. Since it has a round button at the bottom, there’s a chance you might mistake it as your iPhone if you had a little too much at an SDCC party. Anyway, it’s amazing. I’ll take fully charging my phone 5-6 times over a battery case that will only let you fully charge once.

  9. Ive been using a 30,000 mAh powerbank battery from eBay. bought it a few years ago for $25, price has dropped since. 30,000 mAh!!!! . It will charge your phone over 12 times.. that’s over a week worth of power. Its small, about the size of a 3DS. slightly heavier. Cant go wrong. go on ebay and search “30,000 mAh powerbank” you can even search 20,000 and 50,000. You’ll find plenty of options.

  10. I think there are 2 major types of batteries to bring to SDCC for two different uses. If i am going to be in the convention center in line for panels I will have my backpack so carrying a powerbank is helpful and easy to carry in my backpack since those are bigger and heavier. If I am walking around the exhibit hall or outside the convention center I try to just carry my camera and a small bag if necessary, so a small slim battery that I can carry in my pocket or a case for my phone works a lot better. I like the LithiumCard Pro and I also have a Sakra battery case for my iPhone 6 that I bought for $20 for Wonder-Con and it works great. Whatever battery you choose to go with just make sure you buy a reliable one from a reputable seller since you don’t want it to fail at SDCC!!! Or damage one of your expensive electronics!!!

  11. Pingback: Prep and Packing. What’s in your SDCC Bag of Tricks? – Comic-Con Dad

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