In the second on this small series looking at ways to extend your battery life with hardware solutions its time to look at portable external chargers, in this case Proporta’s USB TurboCharger 5000. Could this be the solution for you? Read on to find out…
Readers who caught the first part in the series will by now have some idea what the possible pros and cons of an extended battery are, and a number of you may have found the aesthetic cost too high to contemplate. If you found yourself nodding in agreement to that statement, then a solution like the Proporta could be just what the doctor ordered. Firstly I’ll take a look at the Proporta itself, and then take a closer look at the pros and cons of portable chargers.
The Proporta itself is quite straightfoward. It comes with the capacious 5000mAh external battery, good for around 3 charges of most current smartphones, a retractable charging cable with a number of different charging connections to attach to it, and a nice felt drawstring bag to tote it around with. Unfortunately if your device has a mini or micro USB port for both charging and data connections, the Proporta cable cannot serve double duty – it is a charging input only. There may be a very good reason for that, but it seems like a curious oversight to me. The battery unit itself has a very easy to read LED system to show you how much charge remains, a mini USB port to charge itself, and two ports offering different levels of charging output. Everything is exceptionally well made, and in particular I like the finger-print resistant and grippy soft-touch plastic they’ve used in the battery unit. Bottom line: its a superb external battery solution.
So far so good, but like everything else in life the Proporta has pros and cons.
The obvious downside here is that you’re carrying a second device around, and that the second device isn’t exactly pocketable. With that in mind the question becomes why would I do that, when I could just carry a much more pocketable spare battery? Furthermore, if you’re committed to carrying around a second item, the question of why you wouldn’t simply carry a wall charger, or even a USB cable for charging from a computer, becomes relevant also.
The latter question is easier to pick off, since the Proporta is clearly ideally suited to use at any time where a charging ports are scarce or frankly unavailable.
The question of why not just carry around a spare battery is a little less easy to relegate, but there are a number of things in favour of a Proporta-type solution.
It comes with an array of different connection types, giving you the ability to charge different devices – your iPod/mp3 player/PMP/PS3 controller/friends phone /whatever. It will also work with your next handset, and the one after that, and likely every handset for the near future up until such time as the standard charging connection changes from micro USB. Extended batteries and spare batteries in comparison tend to be very specifically tied to a particular handset. So while you may be giving up some of the convenient pocketability of the other solutions, you are making an investment that is likely to be of more use over time. That becomes increasingly relevant the more portable devices you have, and the more frequently you change them. It’s not that unusual for me to own as many as six different handsets in a year, and obviously the cost buying spare batteries or extended batteries for all of them would add up quite quickly, so the Proporta becomes that much more attractive.
Another point for the Proporta in comparison to a spare battery is that you don’t have to restart the phone to give it some juice with the Proporta. For some that may be completely irrelevant, but for others this can actually be quite important (I’m mostly thinking of people who download ROMs from within the phone itself to flash in recovery without needing a PC on hand).
Finally, if your phone has a back cover that doesn’t do well with being taken off regularly, then it may not be well suited to frequent battery swapping (example handsets that spring to mind being the Galaxy S which develops a stress crack near the power button, or the Sensation with its rather poorly executed sleeve design).
So there it is, a brief review of the superb Proporta USB TurboCharger 5000, and a run down on the relative merits of this kind of solution versus some of the other options out there. Hopefully people looking toward some ways to extend their battery life are starting to get a feel for which options might suit them, for people not sold on either option in the series so far stay tuned – one final piece coming complete the picture!
Oh, and if you’re already sold on the Proporta Clove has it for sale at an excellent price right here (they also have Proporta’s slightly smaller 3400mAh option if your manbag/handbag space is at a premium).