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Tylt Energi 1800mAh Travel Charger + Battery
By Nick Guy | 07.23.13

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The low capacity doesn’t mean that Energi is a bad option. It uses a compact plastic housing that measures around 3” tall, 2.5” wide, and a little less than 1” deep—easy to slip into a pocket or a bag, without the need to carry a separate power charger, because integrated wall blades fold out from the back. There’s no Micro-USB input, though, so you’re not able to refuel the battery using a computer, and the width of the unit may present issues if you’re connecting Energi to a power strip.

Users have two options for charging devices from Energi, although with this model, only one is iOS device-compatible. A micro-USB cable tucks into the side of the unit when not in use; a Lightning connector-equipped version of the battery is listed as coming soon. As the battery only puts out 1 Amp, it’s better suited to iPhones and iPods than most iPads. To charge them, you must plug in a self-provided Lightning or Dock Connector cable. A separate USB to micro-USB cable is included, enabling you to charge two micro-USB accessories at once.

Based on our previous tests of batteries and battery cases with the iPhone 5, we expected Energi to be able to provide a charge of 80% or so. The result was a little lower than that: a fully-drained, Wi-Fi/LTE-connected iPhone recharged to only 74% before the battery ran dry. Relatively few standalone battery packs fall short of a full device recharge, but then, very few double as wall chargers.

Viewed as a wall charger with a battery packed-in, Energi is actually a pretty smart product. You can charge as normally at home or in the office, and then have extra juice when you’re on the road. Executed properly, it could be a really good choice. Unfortunately, the battery size is a bit below ideal for current iPhones, the 1-Amp recharging speeds are similarly iPhone- and iPod-limited, and there’s no direct connection for iOS devices. Though pricing will determine its value, the Lightning-specific version may be a better buy, so we’ll add our thoughts to this piece once it’s available. For the time being, this version of Energi earns our B rating. We recommend it, but would love to see it refined.

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