Need to charge via Apple Lightning AND micro USB? Built-in connectors make this portable battery a cable-killer
Even if you’re an organised traveller and have started going on trips with a portable battery to charge-up your smartphone and/or tablet while on the road, it’s likely that you also carry around a couple of cables; a microUSB cable to recharge the battery, and – if you’re an iPhone owner – an Apple Lightning cable to link it to your phone or tablet. The EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 6 instantly cuts your cable carrying by offering a built-in Apple Lightning connector and built-in microUSB connector. But is it really that simple? (Hint: no, it’s not).
Charging it up
This two-tone grey and orange battery, which measures 117x68x18mm and weighs 180g, must be charged up by a totally separate micro USB cable, which you’re going to have to pack separately. That is a shame – shouldn’t it have one of those built-in, too? (Hint: yes, it should).
Still, the EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 6 is the only such battery around that has built-in cables of any kind. As it charges through your own microUSB cable, LEDs on end light-up to indicate how far it’s been charged. The total battery capacity is 6,200mAh, which isn’t to be sniffed at; in our tests and iPhone 5S recharged from empty twice over, with a little left in the tank of the EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 6, and it completely replenished an iPad Mini Retina. But there’s a catch.
Those built-in cables only offer a 1-amp charge, which is pretty much at the rate of 1% of a phone per minute. It also means that those built-in cables cannot recharge any tablet – we had to find a separate USB-Apple Lightning cable to recharge an iPad since tablets only work with 2.1-amp USB outputs, one of which is found – without a fold-out cable connector – on one end of the EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 6. So if you are travelling with a smartphone and tablet of any flavour (Android for iOS), you will need to pack an extra cable anyway. Also, this battery is designed to stack-up on other Enerplex batteries for simultaneous re-charging, which might be useful if you’re travelling in a group and are all strangely brand-loyal. That seems unlikely.
A lack of flexibility where it counts makes the inclusion of Apple lightning and microUSB cables really not much more than a novelty – and an expensive one, at that. Since no Android phone owner is going to buy this product (it has an Apple Lightning cable on it!), TravGear thinks that the 2.1-amp USB output should also have a fold-out Apple Lightning connector attached to it. Great for cable-free day trips with a phone, perhaps, but for tablet users and anyone on long trips, there’s no difference to any other (and likely, cheaper) portable battery. If you are considering buying the EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 6, TravGear recommends going for the larger capacity EnerPlex Jumpr Stack 9, which has a third more battery power … but think carefully before you leave the house or hotel without a handful of cables.