External USB battery packs for iPhones and other portable electronics have become so common that it’s pretty rare to see anything much different from the typical external pack that provides a battery of some capacity with a micro USB port for input and one or more USB ports for output. Sometimes we’ll see a built-in Lightning cable, or higher-end packs that also throw in an AC power port, but for the most part, battery packs have become pretty commoditized. Tablet2Cases has actually done something a little bit more original however, with Mangata Orbit, a solution that provides two lower-capacity battery packs and a charging dock, allowing you to always have one pack charged up while you use the other one on the go.
Mangata Orbit includes two 5,000 mAh battery packs, the charging base, and a USB to micro USB cable to connect the base to a USB power source that you will need to supply yourself. You’ll also need to supply your own USB to Lightning cable for your iPhone to use with the power packs, but for the price we can’t really complain about these omissions. The charging base simply has a single micro USB port on the side for supply power, and two recessed docking areas with power contacts and magnets to hold the power packs in place. Both the base and the two power packs are covered with a fairly nice matte graphite finish that also provides a good grip.
The two power packs are identical, featuring a standard USB-A power output port and a micro USB port should you need to power up one of the packs separately from the dock. With 5,000 mAh of power, each pack will give you a full recharge of any current iPhone with a fair bit left over, depending on which model you’re using; you’ll get at least two full recharges on an iPhone 8, however iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X users should only expect about 1.5 charges. There’s also obviously no faster charging support here, since only a USB-A port is provided, but it does put out 2.1 amps of power, so users can benefit from near-full-speed charging of all current iPhone models.
The included charging base is probably the biggest bonus with the Mangata Orbit, since it makes the process of keeping the batteries topped up ridiculously easy. Put the base on your bedside table, or near an entrance at home, and you can simply drop your packs in at the end of the day to ensure that they’re ready to grab and go on your way out the next day, saving you the trouble of fussing with cables to plug them in. LED indicators on the front of each pack show charging status as well, although they’re fairly bright, although you can drop the packs in facing forward or rearward if you’d rather not see the LEDs.
As battery packs go, we think Mangata Orbit is a pretty neat idea. Rather than simply giving you one 10,000 mAh pack, which is more capacity than most users probably need on a daily basis, Mangata Orbit provides two 5,000 mAh packs so that you can have enough power to give you an extra boost during the day, while always having one charged up and ready to go as a backup, or one to share with another family member. Weighing in at only 125 grams and around 3.5 inches by two inches, the power packs also have the advantage of being pretty portable and pocketable for batteries of their capacity, so you can even take both of them with you for longer days and leave one in your pocket and one in your bag. It’s not a solution for everybody — many users will still legitimately prefer to go with a single high-capacity pack, of course — but we think for the price it’s a very good solution that’s definitely worth a look if this kind of charging strategy fits your lifestyle.
Company and Price
Model: Mangata Orbit