The brief was simple enough: let’s buy a portable battery.
Siew has a freebie which has served us well for those critical moments but we mostly get like 10% up on our phones before it expires. So I wanted something that had a larger capacity. I got myself on Wirecutter and read a very long article. Most of the recommendations did not seem available in Singapore shops.
Sidetrack. Yes, I can easily click on the Wirecutter’s links, which were to Amazon.com. But I don’t think Wirecutter requires my custom and things have gotten to a stage where I would try to not buy something off Amazon if I could find it elsewhere. Besides, buying from local shops might be one of the ways I can ensure that things are available locally.
After much clicking and trawling, I see that maybe my search might take a while. I went to some shops here and there but realised that you could only get Sony and Innergie (which were overpriced and you are paying for the brand, not capacity). Also, those on sale had around 5,000 or 8,000 mAh capacity, making it less attractive for the price-energy capacity ratio (seriously, S$140 for 6,800 mAh?). Alternatively, you get colourful, cheap-looking products that make you wonder if you will regret even paying S$40. Let’s just say those two weeks, I was a nerd upset at the state of portable batteries in my country. Sad, I know.
(Image from ianker.com)
Then, I chanced upon the DG Lifestyle shop and decided to see what they have. Whew, portable battery packs! Among others, they had the Anker products, including the Astro3 Gen 2 12,000 mAh version. This has received okay reviews. Now they were selling it for S$89. By now, I think I had seen enough to think that anything more than 10,000 mAh below S$100 is a steal. But go onto Amazon and you will see that the price tag is a way lower (excluding shipping though). In the end, I decided that after shipping, the “padding” the shop added was not unreasonable and so I decided to buy it.
Since then I have been a happy owner of a powerful portable battery. Haha. The product has a good finish, the battery indicator has ten segments – making much more sense than those portables that have only four segments (or those that only alert you when it’s depleted), and I don’t have to remember to charge it every two days.
After the freebie breathed its last, the Anker now also powers the car camera. While discharging that duty, the battery has also powered up some dying iPhones.
The only downside to all this is that the battery does not come with its own wall charger. It will charge with the computer but it is finicky when it comes to wall chargers. I used the small black wall charger that came with one of the later-model BlackBerrys but that charged the battery by one segment (10%) overnight. With a wall charger from an older BlackBerry, I managed to charge the pack fully overnight. When I checked, this is apparently a known problem. You just have to switch wall chargers until you find one that works.
If you are in Singapore and need a battery pack, I would recommend considering this.