As a transhumanist, techie, and gadget-lover living in a wireless world, battery power is something I never seem to have enough of. As an Ingresser and Glass Explorer, battery power is seriously something I never seem to have enough of.
Since getting Glass a little over a year ago, and my Nexus 5 last November, I’ve found myself needing to recharge both devices multiple times per day. Many folks could get through a full day of use on the N5 without charging, but running Ingress (which requires constant screen-on and GPS while it’s running), that’s just not gonna happen. And with Glass’ tiny 570 mAh battery, there’s just no chance with moderate to high use.
For whatever reason, I went all this time without picking up an external battery. Due to this, whenever I would leave the house for more than a few hours, I would invariably need to stop what I was doing at some point and seek out a power source (which anyone who has ever been in the same predicament can tell you, is not always easy). Even when an outlet can be easily located, you still have to sit there tethered to the wall until your device finishes charging. Not fun, and generally extremely inconvenient.
So then, you could imagine my excitement when the fine folks at RAVPower offered to send me a RAVPower Luster RP-PB17 6000mAh external battery to review. Of all the products I have been sent for review, this would be the one that would really change my life! Deliverance from all my charging woes! Hurrah! But, is that how the story turned out?
I was a little concerned initially that 6000mAh wouldn’t be enough to fulfill my daily charging needs. I normally need to recharge my Nexus 5 once within a day’s use (twice if it’s a heavy Ingress day), and Glass one to three times, depending on my usage level for the day. I can definitely see a day coming with both high Ingress and Glass use where 6000 mAh just isn’t going to cut it, and I’ll need to find an outlet to recharge the RAVPower Luster one time, but in the course of my testing the unit, this has yet to occur.
I’ve made it though every day so far without the need to stop what I’m doing and seek out an outlet. Serenity, at last. And even when that day does come where I do need to recharge the RAVPower Luster within the course of the day, that’s still only one time stopping to charge versus several. A huge improvement by any metric.
At 6000 mAh, you would expect to be able to recharge the Nexus 5’s 2300 mAh battery about 2.6 times under the most ideal conditions. In my testing, I was able to get approximately 2.3 charges off the RAVPower Luster. This was while the N5 was turned on, however, where obviously some power is being used to run the OS while it is charging, so this sounds just about right.
With Glass, I didn’t test the exact number of charges possible, but based on the data from the N5, you should be able to recharge Glass somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 times off a single charge of the RAVPower Luster. This makes Glass infinitely more useful, especially for those who take a lot of video with the device.
The RAVPower Luster looks nice, feels solid and well-built, and is a good size to easily fit in your pocket. It has a bit of heft, as would be expected from any 6000 mAh battery, but not so much that it is uncomfortable to carry on you.
The power in port is 1.5A, so the RAVPower Luster itself charges decently fast. The 2.1A out port is also a huge plus. You will have no problem charging a tablet with this thing. Rounding out the package are a series of four LEDs which give you an approximate idea of how much power you have left, as well as a handy LED flashlight, which can remain lit for up to 250 hours off a single charge, according to the manual.
So, is the RAVPower Luster the life-changing product I was hoping it would be? For me, yeah, so far it really has been. And if you find yourself having to stop what you’re doing on a daily basis to seek out a power outlet, it likely will be for you as well. Being rid of the need to do so is worth far more than the $29.99 you can find the RAVPower Luster for online. Indeed, it offers something many would consider priceless: peace of mind.