myCharge battery sports built-in Lightning and USB-C cables [Review]

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myCharge HubMax Universal with iPhone and iPad Pro
iPhone, iPad Pro, and myCharge HubMax Universal: you’re ready to go.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Hands up if this ever happens to you: you remembered your iPhone or iPad and an external battery but forgot the charging cable. That frustration isn’t possible with the myCharge HubMax Universal as it has both a Lightning and a USB-C cable built in. Even better, this 10050 mAh battery has a pair of wall prongs so it can plug straight into a socket.

Go on the road with me as I put the HubMax Universal through its paces.

myCharge HubMax Universal review

It’s clear myCharge put quite a bit of effort into designing the HubMax Universal. It has an impressive collection of cables, prongs, connectors and ports, but handles all of them gracefully. Much of the exterior is aluminum and this entire product looks quite professional.

On one long edge are the most important parts: two cables, one ending in a Lightning connector and the other with a USB-C connector. Using these, you can recharge an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, nothing else needed.

These cables are 3.5 inches long including the connector so this battery will need to be quite close to whatever it is sending power to. I can stand it up to charge my iPad Pro and keyboard while I’m typing, or hold it under my iPhone while using that device. But most of time the best solution is to stack the handset and tablet on each other, plug their appropriate charging cables in, and come back in a few hours.

If you need to charge a third device, there’s a USB-A port on one end of the HubMax Universal. You’ll need your own cable for this one, obviously.

The pair of wall prongs are on the other end of this battery. They fold down when not in use, but flip out to make recharging this accessory a breeze. The device fits on one side of a wall socket but might really crowd a power strip. Plan accordingly.

myCharge HubMax Universal
The HubMax Universal has two charging cables, wall prongs, and more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Press the power button to start current flowing to all the ports. Next to it are four white LEDs used to indicate remaining charge.

The HubMax Universal is 4.6 inches by 2.8 inches by 0.8 inches The charging cables fit into slots so they don’t add to the width. This accessory weighs 0.6 pounds, and is about as portable as you could hope for.

One of the long edges is curved, making it comfortable to carry. It’s bulky to go into a pocket, but won’t fill up a purse or gear bag.

Build quality is quite good. This feels like a solid, well-built product.

myCharge HubMax Universal performance

My tests showed the 10050mAh/37.2Wh battery at the heart of the HubMax Universal is capable of keeping an iPhone going for a couple of days, or give a significant boost to an iPad. It can even reduce the time between charges for a MacBook.

To put that to the test, I had it recharge an iPhone XS Max multiple times. Over several days, it was able to give the device 168% charge. Considering this handset has a 3,174 mAh battery, myCharge’s offering is about 53% efficient, which is just a bit low. The average is about 60%.

By that calculation, the myCharge should be able to increase the battery level on an 11-inch iPad Pro by 68%. A 15-inch MacBook Pro should get a 72% charge.

Using the Lightning port, the HubMax Universal was able to increase the battery level of the XS Max slightly more than 20% in 20 minutes of charging. That’s a typical charging speed.

myCharge HubMax Universal review
myCharge universal battery is surprisingly portable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

myCharge HubMax Universal final thoughts

Convenience is the real strength of the HubMax Universal. As long as you have it with you, you have everything you need to charge an iPhone, iPad or MacBook. No more worrying about forgetting cables.

That said, all the built-in cables and plugs take up room and could be devoted to the battery. Consider the Mophie Powerstation XXL: it’s just a bit bigger than myCharge’s device but has a 20,000mAh capacity because it lacks all the extras.

Pricing

The official price for the HubMax Universal is $99.99. That’s pricey, but this option could save you a lot on buying cables and chargers. Besides, it’s already going for less than that on Amazon at the time of this writing.

Buy from: Amazon — $89.99

And use discount code 20OFFPOWER to save yourself 20% off the regular price when buying from Amazon. This code is good from ‪July 8 to July 26, 2019.‬

An alternative is the Uniq HydeAir, which packs about the same power storage plus wireless charging. It goes for $49.95. That Powerstation XXL mentioned earlier sells for $69.95.

mcCharge provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.