If you’re like me, your phone is your lifeblood while traveling. More than anything, it’s for the GPS and Google Maps. I know there’s certain charm by winging it and just getting lost to discover new places by chance, but I have certain places that I want to visit.
With that it mind, GPS drains a lot battery. I have the Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge and it’s the best battery life of any phone I’ve had, but it still can get the dreaded red battery meter after 7-8 hours of heavy use.
The New York Times and The Wirecutter did some investigating in extending battery life by testing out closing apps, dimming the screen brightness, not streaming media and turning off wi-fi searching. Do research on your phone on the companies website and message boards to see what works best.
Luckily, the battery and charging companies have come up with devices that can easily fit in your bag, pocket and even your wallet. With these, you can forgot the hoop jumping in preserving battery life and having to bring your phone’s wall charger everywhere you go. One of the embarrassing things I hate doing is looking around for outlets or asking bartenders to hook up my phone and charger. Then if you’re abroad, you have to bring the voltage converter as well.
There are two ways you can go with travel chargers — a portable charger that you charge up beforehand or a battery extender that attaches to your phone. I have both. Both have pros and cons.
The portable charger like the one pictured from Anker is perfect for my needs — small, fast, compact, convenient and reasonably priced. I bought the 15600 version on Ebay for $20 and it works like a charm. The newer, high capacity versions are still reasonable at $40-$60 and are highly rated. I like it because it just makes charging on the go simpler and hassle free.
The drawback is that you have to remember to bring it with you. I am a tad forgetful. It takes two or three times to leave my hotel. “Oh snap, forgot my wallet … on snap, forgot my phone … on snap, forgot to wear deodorant.”
Thus, the solution to not having to bring an extra item is the extended battery route. If your phone has a replaceable battery, you can buy a larger battery extender that can double your battery life. My old Galaxy 3 had a removable battery, so I bought a ZeroLemon where I didn’t have to charge it for two days.
The newer models are forgoing the removable battery to keep the phones thinner. In return, the battery companies have come up with more of a case-like wraparound shell that you charge. Not only will it double your capacity but it will safeguard against drops and bangs.
The downside is that your slim phone is now thicker and a bit heavier. That can also be an upside because now you’ll know if you forgot your phone by not having that weight in your jacket pocket.
No matter what you choose, these devices will help out in emergency situations where power is not available due to power outage, alien invasion or falling down a cave where you have to cut your arm off to escape.