LAS VEGAS — The simplest solution is always the best. Take external battery packs for your iPhone, which are sometimes hard to use when you’re actually talking on the phone. Either you have to remove your case to snap in a battery case, or you have a long cord dangling to an external pack in your pocket.
MyCharge’s clever Talk & Charge ($100) is a slim external battery pack that works with any and every iPhone case on the market because it doesn’t physically attach to your iPhone; you just hold it against the back of your iPhone while talking, like an electronics sandwich. Simple.
It’s almost the same size and shape as an iPhone 5s or 5c. It boasts a 3000mAh battery (good for more than two full iPhone 5 charges) and a Lightning cable built right in, so you’ll never forget your charging cable again. It’s a nice touch.
In fact, I think all of MyCharge’s wares are thoughtfully designed. The tech is pretty good too. According to the company, they are the fastest chargers on the market. Check out their well-designed charging bricks:
I was impressed with the Hub series of external battery packs (3000-9000mAh, $80-$120), which offer 13 to 40 hours of extra talk time. Each brick has built-in cables for Lightning and micro USB, which tuck away nicely into a slot on the side when not in use. Likewise, AC outlet prongs in the bottom can be pulled out when the brick needs recharging. Altogether, there’s no need for all the extra wires and chargers you need with other other external battery packs. It makes for a neat, compact, all-in-one solution that’s one of the best I’ve seen.
MyCharge claims its products are the fastest-charging battery packs on the market. Not only do they charge your devices faster, they are themselves recharged in less time than competing devices, according to the company.
It’s a combination of using the best components available and having good, smart firmware, said Jim Dara, president of MyCharge. For example, while competing batteries output the same voltage to every device plugged into them, MyCharge’s packs maximize the voltage for each device. So iPads get the maximum 2 amps and charge faster, Dara said.
I couldn’t independently test this, but Dara said the company is very careful to test its claims and tries very hard not to overstate them. I believed him.