iPhone users rejoice. The best feature on the AUKEY Portable Power Bank ($10) is so dumb I feel stupid saying it. Unlike every other charger where you need to bring a mini USB cable and your charger, this one powers up with your iPhone’s lightning cable.
The whole cable situation at this stage in technology is insane. If you’re holding a USB plug in your hand, it’s probably upside down. So at least the lightning system is facing the right way. Plus, the Micro-USB that powers so many Samsung Galaxies and their necessary charging stations only lasts about 1,000 insertions—that’s only three plugs/unplugs a day for a year.
Meanwhile, if your battery charges with a Micro-USB and your Android phone uses a Mini-USB, you’re going to have to bring a dongle… or two cables.
Don’t tell me how many times your external battery can charge your phone or how many phones it can charge at once. I have one phone. It has one battery. When it dies, I have dozens of problems.
I avoided getting an external battery as long as possible, but this one works so smoothly that I started looking for a bigger one. And here’s the weird part: I can’t find a single other portable battery that works this way. I looked for a bigger one to take on road trips—nothing.
It also became a safety godsend when the USB light on my bike died on a night ride. This thing is so precious that when I got my drone stuck in a display in Colombia last month, I gave the battery away to the guy who helped me get it down as a tip.
Fine details: At 3600mAh, it’s basically holding another iPhone 6 battery in there and has a 5v 1.5Amp output, meaning it’s somewhere between a car charger and a high-speed wall charger. It’s perfect for going into a meeting with a dead battery and coming out of it with a phone you don’t have to charge again even if you go out all night.
Function-wise, this thing has no on/off switch. A red light comes on when you charge it and a green light comes on when it’s done. It’s rugged AF with that gunmetal finish. It’s smaller and lighter than your phone, fits in your bag and you can charge it up at your desk or in your car. It comes with an 8″-certified MFi lightning cable, which is a handier length than you think. And, realistically, since AUKEY’s 8″-lightning cable alone even on sale retails for $9, how about you just get yourself the best battery to go with it for an extra dollar?
Also, it really, really pays for itself the first time you don’t need it but can come to the aid of a woman who does.