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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Jackery Powerbank Review for Back to School

It is back to school time and people are packing for the trip back to college or whatever level of school they're at. Most people think of the typical things to bring back to school, like a computer, clothes, sheets, and a mini-fridge of course. One thing that is helpful that you might not think of is an external powerbank to recharge your phone (or tablet). It can be a lifesaver for those times when you're out and about and the phone battery suddenly dies. It happens all too frequently where you either forget to recharge or literally use up all the battery juice.
I recently had the chance to review three of the six powerbanks available from Jackery, their Fit, Bar, and Giant+ models. Any of these or their three other models could help immensely in this situation. First, here's a rundown of their six models. Then we'll look at the three individual models I got to review, how they can help, and when each is appropriate.
As you can see from their available powerbank list, Jackery tries to have something for everyone. Looking from a pure pricing perspective, these are all priced very competitively. The Giant+ is so closely priced to the others that, if you're looking for the most mAh, just grab that one, but the others have their reasons to get, too. You'll notice they seem to like the orange color, too.
Going from smallest to largest, I tried out the Jackery Bar first. It comes in black, gold, silver, and orange. I received the gold one. The important numbers are its 6,000 mAh of power it can store for you, a 5V / 2.1A output port for charging your phone/tablet, and a 5V / 1A input port for recharging itself. Weight is 5½ ounces with a size just under 4" x 2" x 1".

The Bar is your typical charger for recharging your phone multiple times (over two for an iPhone 6, not quite two with a Galaxy S6), or your tablet not quite once. The 2.1A output means your device will recharge quickly. The 1A input means the powerbank will recharge itself slowly, taking about 6 hours to get a full charge. You do have three lights to show how much power it currently has itself. And, there is a little flashlight, too, that points out the cable end. It does come with an 18 month warranty where many others I've seen only comes with 12. Oh, and it can charge itself and the device at the same time, something all of these can do.

The Jackery Fit is the next one i looked at, offered in silver and orange. I'm double checking the actual capacity of this one. I received a 7,800 mAh unit. However, the description at Amazon and the company store shows 10,200 mAh. Like the Bar, the Fit has a single output port. In addition to the mAh difference, the nice thing about the Fit is it has a 2.1A input port. That means when you recharge the powerbank, it will recharge itself faster. Even though the mAh is larger for this unit, it will recharge itself in the same time as the Bar. It is a little heavier at 7.3 ounces and size-wise is a little bigger at roughly 4" x 2½" x 1".

I like the higher capacity of the Fit over the Bar, but I'd like it more if it were truly 10,200 mAh. I'm waiting to hear back from company on size. While it can certainly recharge your phone more, I view this powerbank more for recharging your tablet. The Bar didn't quite have enough for one half of a recharge for most tablets. This one is closer to giving that full recharge if the full 10,200 mAh size. The LED flashlight is a little brighter here over the Bar, but both give light for over 450 hours. The Bar light actually can go for 490 hours on the smaller charge.

The Jackery Giant+ is my favorite of the bunch, in all four colors again. I say that not because it has the most power at 12,000 mAh, allowing me to recharge my phone the most, but I like the dual output ports where I can charge multiple devices at once. You get both a 2.1A port for recharging a tablet and a 1A port for recharging a phone. A slight disappointment is the 1.5A port for recharging itself. This will take approximately 10 hours. I don't know why this couldn't have been 2A like in the Fit. The Giant+ is obviously a little heaver, at 10.4 ounces. Size-wise, we're approximately 4¼" by 3" x 1". If you don't mind carrying around the extra bulk, well worth it, as the 12,000 mAh will give you over 4 recharges on the iPhone 6 and over 3 on a Galaxy S6. For the iPad 2 tablet, you'll get that full recharge with this.


Overall, if you're in the market for a powerbank, Jackery should have something to satisfy your needs. Their smaller powerbanks do have their purpose if you're looking for compact size, and the iPhone 5 case one works well if you have an iPhone 5 (I don't). Of the Bar, Fit, and Giant+, which one is right for you or for that kid going off to college really depends on capacity desires and how much weight you want to carry around. Pricewise, they're all pretty close and competitive, so that alone really shouldn't be the deciding factor.

*Read my Disclosure

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