One of the biggest problems plaguing the first world is dead cellphone batteries. Nothing is worse than being out for a night on the town and seeing that low battery warning. Now you’ve gotta hunt down an outlet, and that’s assuming you even have your charger with you. Otherwise you’re stuck with a useless phone and nobody wants that.
Thankfully, external battery packs are a thing that exists. I even reviewed one for my iPhone a few years ago. They’re pretty useful for getting yourself out of a jam, but what if… you got run over by a car? Wouldn’t you want a battery that could stand up to those kind of rigors?
Alright, so maybe now we’re talking nonsense, but the Zendure A-series of batteries really does deliver in the face of rampant abuse. Zendure is a company that recently debuted on Kickstarter, showing off their line of extremely durable battery packs. They sent me a demo unit to try out for a week, and I was thoroughly impressed.
The folks at Zendure sent me an A3, their smallest battery with a capacity of 9,000 mAh. In layman’s terms, that’s enough to fully charge an iPhone 5 about 4 or 5 times. That’s more than enough to get you through a couple of days of even heavy usage.
As an experiment, I tried to see how long I could go without plugging my phone into anything besides the Zendure pack. I started with a completely drained iPhone 5 on Wednesday night, and left it charging with the A3 overnight. Over the next few days I would plug it in periodically to top off. The A3 finally petered out yesterday afternoon, some six and a half days later. And keep in mind, this is with their lowest capacity model. Zendure also offers the A4 and A5, with 12,000 and 15,000 mAh respectively.
So that’s pretty great, but any external battery can do that really. Zendure does boast that their batteries feature a conversion rate higher than similar products on the market, that’s not the prime selling point. While it’s a definite plus, the real reason you want a Zendure battery is because they’re built like a freaking tank.
The A3 is small, but don’t let that fool you, the thing is one hefty little mofo. I was actually pretty surprised when I first opened it up because it was smaller than the pictures on the site had led me to believe. The A3 is 3.8 x 2.5 x 1 inches, which makes it just a little bit bigger than a pack of cigarettes. the A4 and A5 are taller and just a tiny bit wider, but keep the same one inch thickness. The A-series is very easily portable and you’ll never have to worry about having enough space to carry it around.
I’ve used other battery packs before and they always felt sort of cheap. They’re encased in flimsy plastic and get uncomfortably warm when in use. Not so with the A-series. They’re absolutely solid and can withstand whatever kind of everyday abuse you throw at them. I don’t usually like to leave electronics in my back pocket because I’m afraid my fat ass will break them, but that was never an issue during my time with the A3. You could probably break a window with it if you really wanted to, but we don’t condone that kind of senseless vandalism.
The A-series ships with a nice little carrying pouch, not to protect the battery, but everything else you might be carrying. I was actually more worried about my laptop getting scratched up in my bag by the Zendure than the other way around.
Another nice feature of the A-series is that it has two USB ports, so you can charge two devices at the same time. One outputs at up to 1 amp, while the other offers 2.1 amps, enough to charge more power hungry devices like an iPad. So if it charges via USB, Zendure has got you covered.
Pre-orders for the A-series are available right now on Kickstarter. The A3, A4, and A5 will retail at $59, $79, and $99, but there are still a few early bird discounted models available if you act quickly. They’ve already reached their funding goal, so you’re guaranteed to receive any product that you put money down for. But don’t let that stop you from spreading the word, because they’ve got some nice stretch goals in mind if there are enough backers. The funding stage has just under two weeks to go (12 days at time of writing), and final units are expected to ship in November.