Have you ever considered your cell phone an emergency tool beyond calling 911 or a tow truck? Forget for a minute that a phone is used to make calls, with smart phones you have a small computer in your hand. We often lose power out here in the country with the smallest of storms. With a reliable way to keep my phone charged I have access to the internet for news in the event of a blizzard, hurricane, flooding, or even a nuclear power plant problem (I live in the shadow of one). Cell towers have back-up batteries and typically generators for when those get depleted and will stay up and running for weeks. I also keep password protected files on my phone that include my medical files, insurance papers, and financial documents.
Cell phones have become so commonplace, indeed almost considered an essential item these days. We carry them around everywhere we go so we can always be available and plugged in to services. How often have you found yourself looking for a place to just get a smidge of charge for your phone?
For the last year I have been using a back-up battery on steroids. The battery I have been using is the Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000mAh capacity with my Samsung S5 cell phone. When I first went to test this battery’s capacity I fully charged my phone as well as the Anker battery. The phone was left on 24/7 and I averaged 2 hours of streaming video, 1 hour of internet web viewing, and 30 minutes of talking per day. Nothing was recharged, I only used the capacity of the battery and it lasted for 10 days. Your mileage may vary a bit as my phone was only 1 month old having a good condition battery and not too overloaded with apps.
Now some of you might think this capacity is over the top for just a phone, however the popularity of cell phones being charged by 5volt usb chargers has caused a great number of products to be made that make use of them. USB powered flashlights, wi-fi hot spots, external speakers, fans, cameras, Bluetooth devices, and chargers to recharge all those AA and AAA batteries it seems we need for everything. There are always losses when charging a battery to charge something else, but having that ability when power is otherwise unavailable is priceless. I will be writing an article in the near future that will go into detail as to how to use your phone as an invaluable resource in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
On to the battery, it is an Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000mAh capacity measuring 5.9” X 2.5” X 0.9” and weighing 10.88 ounces. Now all that capacity does take a bit of time to charge, but with a 2amp car or home charger it will be accomplished in 8 hours from dead flat while you sleep. Anker has what they call PowerIQ Technology that detects your devices fastest safe charge rate. What this means for me is that my phone charges faster with this battery than it does off my car or wall charger. It has 1 micro USB input charging port and 2 full size usb out ports capable of 3 amps output between the 2 ports. There are 4 LEDs that indicate the charge remaining on the battery as well as charge progress when charging. As a nice little bonus there is a white LED flashlight build into the unit. It is not super bright, but it is enough to find your keys in the grass if you drop them or find your way down a path without tripping.
All in all I think this unit is great bang for the buck typically selling for under $30 http://www.ianker.com/product/B1208012 with an 18 month warranty. I have several friends that have bought and used this based on my recommendation and they all love it.
In the near future I will be writing articles to further make use of your phone including…
Solar charging of 5v systems
Your phone as a data storage tool
Preparedness apps and tools for your Smartphone
As always, I hope you found some value in this article. I look forward to your comments here or join the conversation on the forum here Forum Topic: Cell Phone USB 5V Battery Back-Up Power