When I go out on weekdays, the charge on my now 11-month-old iPhone 4S usually holds up just fine. I can Facebook, tweet, Foursquare, Evernote, Instagram, and play Zynga Poker to my heart’s content, and I usually come home at night with 25-50% of the battery left.
Weekends, however, can be a problem. Take today, for example. Saturday day shift has an all-star lineup behind the Downtown bars, with Panda Manda at Bardog, Ciara and Ranee at Max’s Sports Bar, and Christina at the Saucer. I plan on visiting all three between 11 and 5 today. Then I’ll go grab dinner somewhere and begin my evening rotation of Saucer/Bear/Saucer/Bear/Saucer/Bear. My phone battery will not hold up through all of that. On a typical Saturday, if I go out at 11, my phone is in the red zone (less than 20% left) by 6 PM. Not good, since I’m rarely done at 6. Sunday Fun Day, same thing. I start at the Majestic at 11 AM, and am usually out until 9 or 10 (or 12:30 AM, thanks to a certain bad influence last week). The phone will not make it without being charged.
So, I used to take a charger cord with me on the weekends. I’d plug it in next to the smoke eater at the Saucer; by the back rail at Max’s; in the plug next to Jezebel’s Couch at the Blind Bear. That worked, but it was far from ideal. For one thing, my phone was many feet away from me, so I couldn’t play with Facebook for the 20 minutes or so it took to charge 10%. Another issue was that, this being Memphis, I had to keep constant watch to make sure my phone wasn’t being stolen. If at any time my line of sight was blocked, I went over and unplugged it. And at the Saucer, you have to deal with kids. If kids got within 10 feet of my phone, I unplugged it.
A couple of months ago, I saw a solution. I was at Max’s when my friend Otto pulled out a PowerGen Juice Box, pictured at the top of this post. He plugged it in and had full access to his phone, while it charged – and it charged super quick. The next week my friend Mikey showed up with one. The following week my friend Katie Mac pulled one out at the Goose – and she got the deluxe version, which holds 4 iPhone charges instead of the one pictured here which holds 2. Two is more than enough, so I ordered the standard juice box a week after I saw Katie’s.
I love it. A few Saturdays ago, I hit all the day bars then decided to stop in the Majestic for dinner about 6:00. My phone was at 27% at the time. I hooked it up to the juice box. By the time I finished my roasted half-chicken with garlic mash 40 minutes later, the battery was up to 75%. That was enough to make it through the rest of the evening, and if it hadn’t been, three-fourths of the juice box’s power remained.
The one drawback to getting one of these is that you become “the guy who has a phone charger.” My popularity at the Saucer soared once the girls found out I had the PowerGen box with me. They all wanted to borrow it. Now I’m starting to see the servers with juice boxes of their own.
The juice box charges most Android devices, iPhones 4S and earlier, and iPads (although possibly not the new Mini rumored to debut this week). No idea if it charges CrapBerries. It will charge my Kindle Fire, and my Kindle Fire’s power cord will charge the juice box, so that works well. It comes with 8 different adapters to be able to handle most phones.
Easily $30 well spent. When I ordered it, it was estimated to ship in 4 days. It showed up in 2. That’s pretty typical Amazon. If you’re having trouble keeping your phone battery charged all day, this is a most worthwhile investment.