I can’t help myself. External battery banks to me is like crack to Tyrone Biggums. I gotta have it. I’m constantly moving about and am never really tethered to one spot, let alone a spot near an outlet. With the amount of work, photos, and gaming I do with my devices, I pretty much need it.
While a device’s stock battery may be sufficient for a casual user, average- and power-users can empty it out before lunch starts. So that’s why I always have extra batteries on me, and I love collecting and trying out new ones.
My latest acquisition, the RAVPower 14000mAh External Battery Pack, strikes a great balance for capacity versus price versus size. The choice of white gives it a nice pop among my other gadgets.
You can find external batteries in all shapes and sizes. While they can be interesting, they’re not always convenient to use. The RAVPower 14000mAh External Battery Pack has an excellent size ratio that still fits in your palm.
The sleek and simple battery is made of lightweight material, which is durable enough to withstand being shoved off the table and sent crashing to the floor (numerous times).
The white color does well to hide minor scuffs as well as fingerprints. Thankfully, they avoided using fingerprint-magnet chrome and went with a grey belt around the middle instead.
Even though all the edges are tapered and rounded, the top, bottom, and sides are all flat. You can stand it up on any of its sides (except the front, since the ‘flashlight’ bulb protrudes) or set other devices on top without rocking or tipping over. It’s nice that the RAVPower 14000mAh battery is neither a boring brick nor unfriendly for stacking.
I like how the input port is on the same side as the two output ports. It’s easier and makes more sense to have everything located all on the front, instead of having to flip the battery to find the rebel USB port.
Like most of the external battery packs out there, the RAVPower 14000mAh External Battery Pack sports four blue LED lights to indicate the remaining charge. You only get a guesstimate, since each LED represents a bracket up to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% (naturally).
The built-in ‘flashlight’ is a neat idea, though impractical for actual use. The illumination range is good only up to six inches. Flashlight apps on Android or iOS are far more effective, since they harness the power of a smartphone’s flash bulb.
My smartphone is also almost always right at hand as well, and I can’t imagine digging around in a bag to fish a battery pack out for the light.
The RAVPower 14000mAh battery comes with a soft pouch, adapter tips, and two curly USB cables. The tip barrels fit firmly into the USB cords with no wiggle. Overall, they’re constructed well and I haven’t had any charge or data issues.
When it comes to external battery packs, the standard efficiency rating is 70%. This means that 30% of the battery capacity is used up while delivering energy. So a 10000mAh battery pack would really only have 7000mAh to charge up devices.
Note: Most external battery packs I’ve ever purchased and used came only partially charged, so I’ve always made it a habit to fully charge them before use. I tend to fully charge and discharge a new battery a few times, just so I can level out the charge states of the individual cells. It helps to maximize the battery’s manufacturer-listed potential.
I tested out the RAVPower 14000mAh battery with my Samsung Galaxy S2, which has the stock 1800mAh battery. After all of the charge tests, the RAVPower battery averaged out a 75% efficiency rating with 10692mAh useable energy per full charge. That’s almost 6 full charges to my Galaxy S2. Not too bad.
The time it took to charge up the Galaxy S2 battery were very consistent and on par with what I get from a Samsung AC plug and USB cord. This is always a good sign of quality.
The LED lights on the RAVPower battery shut off while charging out, so you never get to know when your gadget is done until you check. There are some battery packs out that that stop glowing when charging is finished, letting you know with a quick glance.
I especially like that the USB ports deliver a charge that doesn’t fiddle with Android or Apple devices. 1A and 2A. That’s it. No 1.5A for this but 1A for that or any other kind of nonsense.
If both ports are being used, the RAVPower 14000mAh battery provides its max 3A output. This is also a plus, since some battery packs have a reduced total output when multiple ports are being used concurrently.
The power button is slightly depressed, which makes it difficult for accidental bumps to turn it on. However, the battery pack automatically shuts off if it hasn’t been charging anything for 5 seconds.
The performance of the RAVPower 14000mAh battery is solid, and the efficiency rating puts it slightly above the most of them. If you’re also looking to get the most energy for your buck, the RavPower 14k mAh battery pack is towards the top for price versus capacity versus physical size.
The only real weakness of this particular external battery is the the 1A input for refilling it back up with energy. Many other battery packs feature a 1.5A input, which makes a big difference in terms of the time it takes. This is especially critical due to the massive capacity of the RAVPower battery.
But it all depends on how you might use it. It can absolutely be a dealbreaker for some. Myself? I shrug this aspect off, since I tend to plug in external battery devices at night so they’re ready by morning.
The RAVPower 14000mAh battery pack is a no-frill straight-shooter choice for anyone with power-hungry gadgets. If you don’t care for it in white, you’ll love that it also comes in black.