But the one thing we noticed while testing it is that the battery life is not as good as we would like it to be. So we started looking at solutions to this problem.
What I found was that many other people have this same problem, and the solution is to buy an external smartphone battery pack. But there are a lot of different sizes and manufacturers out there to choose from!
The first thing you have to decide is how much extra battery power do you need.
Smartphones come with installed batteries that are rated between 1,400 and 2,900 mAh (milliamp hours depending on your model of phone. Our iPhone 4s battery is rated at 1,900 mAh. So I would assume that external battery pack of the same size will approximately recharge the battery once.
Available external battery packs have power ratings that range from 600 mAh, to 30,000 mAh. Of course the size of the battery pack is directly related to it's power rating. The higher the power rating, the bigger the battery pack.
So you have to decide how much extra power you want versus the portability of the power pack.
Another factor is the rate of charge. In other words, how fast will this power pack recharge your smartphone? Again, the battery packs are rated. A slow charging pack would be rated at perhaps 0.8 amps output, while a reasonably fast pack would be rated at 2.1 amps output.
I've been watching them for a couple of months now, and last week the one I wanted came on sale at Amazon.ca.
Here's the one I bought...
Jackery 6000mAh External Battery Pack on Amazon.ca - Canada
Jackery 6000mAh External Battery Pack on Amazon.com - USA
At the time, it had come on sale for $26.99 CAD (with free shipping and no tax!). And I received it yesterday.
I decided on one rated 6,000 mAh, with 2.1 amp output. It's probably a little heavier than I thought it would be, but it will recharge our iPhone between 2-3 times. But, I'm impressed with the design and the product itself. Its seems very heavy duty and well made.
Slightly smaller than the iPhone itself.
It comes with a USB cable so that you can charge the battery pack itself. From empty, it says that the battery pack itself will recharge in 5-6 hours. I plugged it in last night, and it was charged this morning.
If you search Amazon, you'll find that Jackery also makes a mini charger that is rated 3,200 Ah, and a giant charger that is rated 12,000 mAh. The mini one is on sale now!
I'm sure that as we use our iPhone over time we will find other uses for it that are suitable to our needs. In fact, yesterday I deposited our paycheques using an iPhone app. How cool is that?! No more trips to the bank!