Technology Tuesday: Need Juice? Jackery Is The Answer

We originally ran this piece back in March, but we figured the timing was right to re-run it as summer tour and festival season hits its stride. The Jackery works like a charm to give you plenty of additional mobile battery power. Also, this will be the final Technology Tuesday here on Hidden Track, so we just wanted to thank Parker Harrington for his incredible contributions over the past few years. Look for his new column on our new home.

Mobile batteries haven’t really been something to get excited about. A couple years ago they were novel but they are becoming as ubiquitous as smart phones themselves. All sorts of sizes & shapes have been floating around ranging from monster-sized bricks to form-fitting sleeves like Mophie’s Juice Pack. Yet, I’ve never quite found a portable charging solution that packed enough power, was portable enough, charged quick enough and was versatile enough to make it a great solution for portable charging needs.

Thankfully, Jackery has released three products that all offer ultra fast charging, huge capacity and fantastic form factors. The Mini (2,600 mAh), The Bar (5,600 mAh) and The Giant (10,400 mAh) all sport pretty stylish looks along with some cool features. Read on to learn why these Jackery products make for the best portable charging solutions available.

The Problem: When on the go, like traveling for business, hitting summer festivals or any other time you are away from AC sockets for an extended period, your gadgets crave power. Tablets, e-readers, smartphones, noise-canceling headphones, portable GPS units, gaming devices, portable music players – the list goes on and on. Some smartphone users, of course, have the luxury of removable batteries but having a spare battery only solves the recharging needs for that device. Many people, including iPhone users and Nexus 4 users, don’t have that ability. A portable, external battery can be a Godsend. However, many have charging rates of a slow trickle and don’t have much capacity even though they can be quite heavy. Also, many lose their power quite quickly, even when not charging. Jackery solves all these issues providing blazing fast charging, extremely lightweight, beefy capacity and can hold its power for six months.

The Mini: [$29.95] This is about the size of a lipstick tube and not much heavier, weighing just about 2.5 ounces and measuring 3.7″ x .9″ x .8″. Certainly easy enough to stash in a pocket or travel bag. Jackery claims that the mini is the world’s smallest external rechargeable battery. I love the size of this and perfect for a day of traveling when charging becomes a problem for your phone. Simply charge the mini by plugging into a USB port and four LED lights indicate power level. The sleek design and brushed metal feel absolutely great and extremely sturdy in your hand. The 1 Amp output is enough to quickly charge most devices. Packing 2,600 mAh you’ll get up to 50 hours of additional use out of your iPhone or similar devices.

[Jackery Mini. About the size of a lipstick tube]

The Bar: [$39.95] The Bar is mini’s big brother and about twice the size of The Mini. measuring 3.8″ x 1.8″ x .9″ and weighing a still light 5.4 ounces. I’ve been using The Bar for a couple weeks and couldn’t be happier with the results. Hands down the best portable battery I’ve ever used. Kicking out 2.1A of output, it is the world’s smallest portable battery with that much output. Your phone, tablet or other gadget will charge blazingly fast. With 5,600 mAh power capacity, you’ll be able to take your phone from empty to 100% charge several times. You can get well over 100 extra hours of use for most smartphones making at perfect for a multi-day trip when power will be a premium. In addition to charging, this one also sports an LED flashlight that illuminates brightly (can literally light up a dark room) for 450 hours. Wow! Just like the Mini, it feels sturdy, well made and looks great.

[Jackery Bar]

The Giant: [$59.95] If the Bar is the big brother, the Giant is the Grand-Daddy. This monster is still relatively light at 10 ounces and still portable at 4.3″ x 3.1″ x .8″. Packed into this device is 10,400 mAh with two output ports (one at 2.1A and one at 1A). There’s enough power in here to recharge an iPad from empty, several smartphones, and not even put a dent into the power. You can get up to 220 extra hours of operation from an iPhone which makes a perfect for a multi-day camping outing or hitting a multi-day music festival when charging could be an issue. The Giant also sports an LED flashlight.

[Jackery Giant]

All three devices have a few things in common:

  • You need to press a button to start charging after plugging your device in. This is part of their “power lock” technology which ensures that no power is lost when not actually charging. Several of the external batteries I’ve used in the past, trickle down a few percent every day when not in use. The quick button press may be inconvenient, especially if you forget to hit it when needing a quick charge, but I’ll trade that off any day knowing that they can hold their full charge in standby for up to six months.
  • They do come with a USB cord but it is relatively short – you may want to swap it out with a longer one to make charging more convenient.
  • There’s no AC plug built into the device so you have to charge via USB only. Charging is pretty quick for all of them but AC can sometimes be easier.
  • There’s advanced battery safety with four layers of protection ensuring safety for you and your devices.

Bottom Line: Again, there’s not much to say about portable batteries. Flimsy cases (my Mophie was RMA’ed three times when I had an iPhone), slow charging (.5A) and meager capacities are the norm for many alternatives. The Jackery products simply work. They are ruggedly made and look great. On top of that, for each size, they pack impressive output power and capacity. These are great batteries and you’d be well served to keep one in your travel kit.

Note: I just recently (like today) discovered a similar product to the Jackery Mini on one of my favorite websites: Monoprice. A very similar form factor and equal capacity and output. Only slightly longer but I haven’t evaluated this in person. For the frugal shoppers wanting to save an additional $10, the Battery Backup #9752 is worth consideration. I’ll check it out and update in a coming column.

Jackery Mini $29.95 on Amazon

Jackery Bar $39.95

Jackery Giant $59.95


Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

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61 Responses

  1. as a million-miler thanks to years of business travel, I’m always looking for gadgets that help me survive long flights. To have a battery like this is insurance against having no tunes or reading materials on the plane. Love it!

  2. I love know that I can travel without carrying all my cords in my carry-on. I also hit a lot of festivals where power is at a premium or I’m forced to leave my phone by itself waiting to be charged and hoping no one walks off with it.

  3. Cool beans! I’ve used an energizer one that takes AA batteries in a pinch but charges slowly and can’t even get my phone to 100%. (And batteries themselves aren’t cheap!) This looks great.

    yeah, pretty much tailgating & concerts. Never figured out why my battery gets taxed so quickly when at large events even though not using it much.

    I do a bit of travel too.


  4. Could really use one of these for long weekends with lots of live music, I can never seem to be around AC long enough to get a full charge

  5. Would certainly love a Mini! I have an old energizer backup battery that not only never really worked well, but is also on its last leg. This type of gadget is an excellent addition while touring and traveling. If I don’t win one I am sure I will be picking one up anyway. As always, thanks for the info. Tech Tuesdays rock!

  6. Phish concerts… many, many Phish concerts. Waiting in line all day can take its toll on your iPhone battery and your neighbor’s Samsung (hehe). A friend shared a similar product with me and I’ve been looking for the best one. I may have found it here. I’ll be buying a Giant regardless but it would be awesome to win a free Mini taboot (taboot… if you also like Phish, you smiled reading that, haha). Thanks either way for turning me onto these gadgets.

  7. Not every airport bar has an outlet, and I can’t survive an airport without a bar. This leads to quite conundrum when my phone is love on battery. So keep my battery’s life from going down while I keep my BAC going up.

  8. I am “that friend” who always takes tons of pictures of the group/everything else at shows so my battery runs out real quickly. I would love to have one of these so I wouldn’t have to worry about having my battery die in the middle of the show!

  9. First off, I listen and follow all of your TechTuesdays. bought the sate chi repeater/router last week. and a few months earlier the boost ifrogz speakers. like you, I too am an insane music junky, who attempts to get to as many live events as humanly possible. music is in my veins, in my blood, and my mind. it’s my lifeline. My family knows it, and it makes us all happier beaming tunes throughout our house most if not all of the time. Would love (grovel time) to check out one of these Jackery’s. Jacker-oo my friend.

  10. Love technology tuesday. I’ve probably bought over 10 different items that ive discovered through technology tuesday. For anyone who owns the iphone 5, you know the battery is sub-par… at its best. For a busy college kid like me, i rarely have time in the day to go home and charge my phone. From skiing to school to concerts to my internship and much more, i could seriously use the Jackery Mini. Thanks Parker!

  11. my battery never seems to last a whole day when i am traveling and relying on it for getting around. could be a great help and is a great idea. keep up the tech tuesday column, tons of great things every week

  12. Wow, this seems like a great product. I’m moving down to Richmond, VA and going to have more opportunities to go out camping for a weekend. I’ll definitely be getting one of the bars for those trips. Technology Tuesday droppin’ the word on more wonderful toys!

  13. These look great… one of these would come in handy for concerts, festivals, and traveling to places where charging isn’t convenient.

  14. Hook me up!
    This is the real deal, sleek design and small. No more cigarette lighter adapters for the car or worrying about frying your devices over seas with the 220V adapters.
    I’ll be the new juice dealer on every road trip.

  15. First of all, Technology Tuesday is not helping me save for tour. Second, this just looks awesome. I am always updating twitter, facebook, and now I have a website to update. Extra Juice? Yes please! I see a ton of live music and try to video tape a lot of stuff which kills my battery.

    Regardless, thanks so much for the awesome work Parker. Much love.

  16. Echo what everyone else has said. Seems like a perfect product for concerts / travel.

    Thanks for all the great product recs! If I don’t win, will probably still grab the bar.

  17. My phone’s battery isn’t holding its charge as well as it should and I’m not due for an upgrade for another year, so this would be a HUGE help.

  18. I need a Jackery Mini because how else would the twittersphere learn the setlists were I not able to tweet from the show?

  19. I’m going to need one of these. I purchased a spare battery for my phone, and even with having a charger that can charge my spare while it’s not in use I regularly am battery-less 18 months into smartphone ownership. The juice just keeps getting sucked faster and faster, and I’m going to need it when I make my first Gorge trip this summer!

  20. Great read, Parker. I could certainly use this because when i go to shows, i like to spend the entire time reading Twitter, Facebook and browsing instagram. That really puts a strain on my mobile cellular telephone device

  21. awesome column. thanks.
    glad this was tweeted again as I missed when this was put up.
    probably gonna order one from amazon…as soon as this afternoon as I’ve got a run of shows coming up…deciding between the mini and the bar.
    I’m always forgetting to charge my phone before heading out for a long evening of music in-between staring at twitter.
    This will be perfect for those long days of McLFest

  22. Thanks for the review, Parker!

    I had two of “those” business travel days in a row this week. Multiple flight delays had my iPhone battery running low, leaving me frantically searching for an outlet so that I’d have enough juice for the flight. I’ll definitely look into grabbing one of these as a power insurance policy for he road.

    I can also see the Giant making someone the hero of their camp site at Festival X or other camping situations.

  23. Great article. Love this device. I will be buying one for High Sierra and Newport Folk Festival. It’s nice to have a backup power source, so you can feel more feel to share your amazing experiences at these festival with the world.

  24. Looks cool. I do a ton of travel and always looking for more ways to charge. Probably get one regardless.

  25. Perfect for festivals, camping, phish tour, and traveling in general. would be nice to be able to charge my ipad/ipod/iphone without an outlet around.

  26. We go to a lot of festivals and this device would enable us to use our phone freely without fear of running out of juice.

  27. I need this thing so my ridiculous in-show tweeting doesn’t have to ever end, no matter how many gigs I hit in an evening.

  28. Great for (hoodies) for sure and great for festivals – just ordered mine – thanks Parker your tech ideas are always fantastic – god speed

  29. Jackery would really help me out on my grave yard shift.
    I’m constantly on the move doing my security rounds, helping guests solve a myriad of problems, etc. Having a Jackery would free me from worrying about having enough power throughout the night when I just can’t leave my devices plugged into a wall socket. Also, especially useful is the flashlight needed to find “lost” guest items dropped in their cars.
    Thanks so much,

  30. Tested it since March – Great Device but after use off about 20-30 times – the battery only charges my iPhone5 2 1/2 times not the 5 it suggests – this shouldn’t affect you purchasing it – it’s by far the best battery I’ve ever owned – it’ll take you through a whole weekend at the gorge or dicks – highly highly recommend this – I use it daily – like when you battery’s about dead but you suddenly have to run out to fight the dark side and need to tweet along the way! Lol Don’t hesitate – I already have another bar and mini which I ordered last month – ***** star

  31. Tested it since March – Great Device but after use off about 20-30 times – the battery only charges my iPhone5 2 1/2 times not the 5 it suggests – this shouldn’t affect you purchasing it – it’s by far the best battery I’ve ever owned – it’ll take you through a whole weekend at the gorge or d1cks – highly highly recommend this – I use it daily – like when you battery’s about dead but you suddenly have to run out to fight the dark side and need to tweet along the way! Lol Don’t hesitate – I already have another bar and mini which I ordered last month – ***** star

  32. We espect to put the introduction of our product in your website for the advertisement. How to proceed it? Looking forwards for your confirmation. Thank you !

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