I love portable power banks. Actually, let me rephrase that; I love compact, powerful, beautifully-designed portable power banks. If I can toss something in my pocket which gives me some extra juice -- and not be constantly reminded of its existence when it bounces against my thigh as I walk -- I'm on board. I love the myCharge Amp Plus for all these reasons.
- Capacity: 3000 mAh
- Output: 1.0A (via USB)
- Price: US$39.99
There's not a whole lot you can say about a tiny charging gadget like this, but the Amp Plus has several nice design touches worth mentioning. First off, the materials used in its construction are of the highest quality. No cheap plastic here. It has what myCharge calls a "Soft Touch" finish, which provides a very pleasant in-hand feel, and the rubberized grips on the ends are great when you're yanking it out of your pocket or bag.
There's a discrete power gauge on the side that is activated by pressing a small button, a USB port to power whatever gadgets are in need of some life, and a microUSB port that is used to recharge the pack itself. As an added bonus, there's a built-in LED flashlight on one end of the pack which produces a surprisingly bright beam. It's a small added feature that really has nothing to do with its charging abilities, but if you're ever in need of some added light it really is a life saver.
Size wise, it's just about perfect. I can toss it in my pocket and forget it's there or leave it in my vehicle's console without it taking up much room at all. It essentially disappears until it's needed, which is exactly what a device like this should do.
You plug in your device's charging cord to the USB port on the Amp Plus and it begins transferring power immediately. With devices like this, it either works or it doesn't, and that's not usually a difficult thing to get right. I can say that it's not needlessly complicated like some charging devices I've used -- which sometimes require you to press or hold buttons in order for charging to commence -- so it scores points for simplicity.
The Amp Plus boasts 3000 mAh of charge, which should be enough to charge your iPhone 5s from zero to full once while leaving about a half a charge left over as additional backup. That's a pretty remarkable feat for such a tiny little thing.
The myCharge Amp Plus is ideal as a backup battery and the added bonus of it being a pleasure to hold, along with the flashlight help set it apart from similar devices. It's easy to use and there's really nothing I could think to improve on it. At US$39.99, it's a very small, but very important investment.
Rating: 4 out of a possible 4 stars