There are some days during the week that I am constantly on the go and nowhere near an outlet to charge up my devices which makes portable external batteries invaluable. I am excited to see that backup batteries are starting to include built-in micro USB and Lightning cables thus no longer requiring you to bring extra charging cables (happy dance time – it’s often the little things that give me such joy). The RAVPower Savior 9000 mAh External Battery Pack is one of those types of batteries, but you must choose which type of built-in cable you prefer. I chose to review the battery with the built-in micro USB cable when it was offered to the Gadgeteer, since I use mainly Android devices. How well does it work? Let’s take a look.
RAVPower Savior 9000 mAh External Battery Pack with built-in micro USB cable (model RP-PB23)
USB to Micro USB charging cable
Micro USB to Samsung 30-pin connector
Micro USB to mini USB connector
Design & Build Quality
The RAVPower Savior has a nice velvety feel to it due to a rubberized outer coating which also helps to resist fingerprints. The battery is rugged and also comfortable to carry in your hand; not being overly large or heavy. It measures 4.5″ x 2.6″ x 1.1″ and weighs 8.63 ounces. The built-in micro USB cable is short measuring about three inches long and has an output of 2.4A. In addition, this battery has an AC adapter integrated into it, freeing you from having to have an additional charging cord and adapter for the battery. However, this means that you need an exposed outlet (as opposed to one located behind furniture) with enough space to accommodate the charging of the battery.
In the above photo you’ll also notice that the battery has a power button which when pressed, illuminates 1-4 LED lights indicating how much battery life is left (4 LEDs = 76-100%, 3 = 51-75%, 2 = 26-50%, 1 = 1-25%). When only one LED flashes, the battery has been depleted and needs to be charged.
There is a recessed area on the battery that allows the built-in micro USB cable to snap neatly into the side of the battery so that it is flush with the edge.
The other side of the battery displays the battery’s specifications and also shows how the prongs of the AC adapter fold into another recessed area so that it too is flush with the edge of the battery.
In addition to the built-in micro USB cable, there is a USB port (covered by a rubber flap) that allows you to charge another device thus enabling the battery to charge a maximum of two devices simultaneously. However, this USB port has an output of only 1A.
I tested the battery using the following devices: two HTC One X phones (1800 mAh), two Nexus 7 tablets (2012, 4325 mAh), two iPad minis (1st generation, 4440 mAh), one iPod Touch 5G (1030 mAh), and a Nexus 6 phone (3220 mAh). Each device was drained to 4% or less and then charged using the RAVPower Savior 9000 mAh battery. The tablets were tested at least once and all other devices were tested at least twice. I was able to determine precise charging times for all of my Android devices using the awesome Battery Monitory Widget app, which is unfortunately not available for iOS devices so I used the BatteryNowFree app to collect charging time data for those devices. Most of the time, when I connected a device to the battery, the battery automatically detected it and started charging. However, one or two times it did not, which required me to press the power button to start the charging process.
I found that the RAVPower Savior 9000 mAh External Battery Pack, in general, charged our Android devices and iPod Touch faster than their OEM adapters while our iPad minis charged at a slower rate than their OEM adapters. This makes sense since the Android devices were able to use the built-in micro USB cable which has an output of 2.4A versus the iOS devices using the USB port that has an output of 1A. The battery shaved off about 40-50 minutes of charging time with one of our HTC One X phones when using the attached cable and shaved off about 15 minutes for the other. Our Nexus 7 (2012) tablets normally charge in about 4-5 hours using their OEM power adapters, but the RAVPower Savior was able to charge them in two hours and 15 minutes – whoa! Our iPad minis charged at a somewhat slower rate than their OEM adapters and my iPod Touch charged at about the same rate as its OEM adapter (with OEM cables) using the 5V/1A USB port. The only device that charged at a notably slower rate using the RAVPower Savior versus its OEM adapter was my new Nexus 6 phone. I expected this outcome since this phone comes with Motorola’s turbo charging adapter which allows the phone to fully charge it’s 3220 mAh battery in about one hour and 50 minutes. The battery still did well and was able to charge my phone in two hours and 45 minutes using the built-in cable.
How many devices can be charged on one charge of the battery? Well, in one test I was able to completely charge an HTC One X phone, a Nexus 7 tablet, and my iPod Touch. In another test, I was able to fully charge an iPad mini and charge an HTC One X phone to 25%. And in yet another test, I was able to fully charge my Nexus 6 phone and then charge an iPad mini to 52%.
One thing to note from the above photo is that the built-in micro USB cable required me to either flip my Android devices face down or the battery face down making it difficult to determine simultaneously if the device was fully charged and how much charge was left in the battery – just a minor annoyance.
This battery can also be used as a pass through charger which means that it can be plugged into an outlet and will charge the devices connected to it first before charging itself. When I tested the battery in this capacity using an HTC One X phone and a Nexus 7 tablet, the charging time seemed just a little slower than when using the built-in cable, but still faster than their OEM adapters.
The documentation for this battery states that it takes between seven to eight hours of time to fully charge it. However, three tests showed that after it was completely depleted, I was able to fully charge it in five hours – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
I am very pleased with the RAVPower Savior 9000 mAh External Battery Pack. It charged many of my devices faster than their OEM adapters when using the built-in micro USB cable. It has a nice nylon mesh travel pouch and I also found the built-in AC adapter to be a wonderful feature – no additional charging cable or power adapter – yay! The only thing that this battery needs, in my opinion, to be the perfect battery is to have a built-in Lightning cable in addition to the built-in micro USB cable (only because I have Android and iOS devices). I have another portable battery, the Tylt Energi 5K+ 5200 mAh Battery Pack, which has both, but this battery can take from 9-11 hours to fully charge. If I combined the best of these batteries together, I would have the perfect battery!
Source: The sample used in this review was provided by RAVPower, Inc. Please visit www.ravpower.com for more information and Amazon if you wish to purchase it for $39.99 (with built-in micro USB cable).
$39.99 for built-in micro USB cable ($49.99 for built-in Lightning cable)