It’s been a few years since I first discovered the glory and wonder that is the travel battery - and maybe that’s giving them a little too much credit, because there’s not much wonder to it, really. But I do remember finding out what this solution for short battery life existed, quickly followed by a “Why didn’t I know about this before?” moment. Back then, just a few short years ago, my first travel battery purchase was one of the best purchases I could have made at the time.
I was carrying an EVO 4G, and I had just started working for Sprint. I loved my EVO as a phone, but I hated its awful battery life. Being the first "4G" phone (WiMax, not LTE) there were bound to be one or two aspects of the phone that would have hiccups, and abysmal battery life was one of the major ones. One day as I was stocking accessories and I came across a 5200 mAh TYLT PowerPlant travel charger, I just knew I had to have one. It was pricey at about $50, but I figured that the security of having a travel battery with me at all times was worth the purchase. At the time, it most definitely was. That old TYLT charger got me through more than one pickle.
The need for a travel battery these days, at least for me, isn’t as great as it once was. However, I still consider it a rather important accessory, especially on those days where your battery seems to drain so quickly out of nowhere. Maybe you forgot to turn off your Location Services or your Bluetooth, or you’ve been out of service for a while and your phone has had it up to here with searching for your signal - you can say sayonara to your battery life. It’s days like these where I’m thankful that I still carry around a travel battery with me.
Fortunately, travel chargers cost a lot less these days, and can often times do a lot more than simply charge your phone. Recently I’ve been carrying around a HooToo TripMate Elite that was sent to me, and although I primarily use it as a travel charger, the device itself can do a lot more than that. Mostly, I’ve found that I really enjoy the fact that it is a wall charger as well as a travel battery. My TYLT didn’t have a wall plug-in, so I’ve noticed how much more convenient the TripMate is because of it. The TripMate is also a 6000 mAh battery, so it’s got a little more juice than the TYLT had - probably necessary for phones today, though. The TripMate has two USB ports, as well as a micro USB (for recharging the battery from another source, if needed). The device also serves as a personal cloud and travel router, neither of which I’ve formally tested out. As a travel charger, though, I feel like the TripMate Elite does the job a lot better than my TYLT did, and despite the fact that it has more power and more features it’s about $13 cheaper as well at $37.99 on Amazon.
But even if that price range doesn’t suit you, OnePlus just announced today that they have a 10,000 mAh powerbank they will eventually sell for just $15, which is an insane price for an huge amount of extra battery.
Travel batteries are one of those timeless accessories that can pretty much always benefit you to have on hand. Even if years from now smartphones finally have the capacity to last for weeks, you never know when you’ll really need a standalone power source to recharge your phone - even if just for a few minutes. Even if I don’t use them as much these days, every day before I leave the house I always throw mine in my purse for those “just in case” moments. Even if you don’t carry a purse, a backpack, laptop case or briefcase, there are plenty of travel batteries out there that are pocket-sized and good for emergencies. Aside from cases and screen protectors, a travel battery is another one of those accessories that could benefit anybody that purchases one.