Review by Andrew Kameka on Friday May 03, 2013.
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Battery life stinks on many phones and is only good enough on most others. To rectify that problem, an external battery charger like the Jackery Mini might be a good idea.
The Jackery Mini is not the traditional bulky external battery pack. It's a sleek piece of metal that's slightly bigger than a roll of quarters or a lipstick container. That small size is its greatest asset because it provides flexibility as well as 2,600 mAh of additional power. Jackery designed the Mini to be ultraportable, and the company nailed it. The charger has a slim frame that is 3.7 x 0.9 x 0.8 inches (93.98 x 22.86 x 20.32mm) that tucks away comfortably in a purse, briefcase, or backpack. The light 2.7 oz (75.54g) body even makes it small enough to fit in a pocket, though I wouldn't recommend making that a regular occurrence. Even at that slimness and the short cable included, it's not ideal to walking around with yet another device in your pocket.
Recharging a phone is quick and easy with the included micro USB charging cable. The 2,600 mAh battery can fully recharge a BlackBerry Z10, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S 4, or Nokia Lumia 920. Apple iPhone products are also compatible, but users will have to carry around the standard charging cable for those devices.
I was pleased with the Mini's fast turnaround time when charging but disappointed by its ineffective LED indicators that are supposed to show power levels. On two occasions, the battery said that it was fully charged (four LED lights) but later had only two or three lights when I attempted to use it. The Jackery Mini has been reliable during my month of testing, but a back-up battery source needs to be as fail-proof as possible, so the indication error could lead to disappointment.
The Jackery Mini has gotten me out of a bind on multiple occasions, and the speed, reliability, and flexibility it offers has been a welcome means of keeping my phones running. The external battery isn't perfect; it's really just a way to make the best of an imperfect situation. The charger is necessary only because of the failings of another product; however, of all the solutions to this annoying problem, the $29.95 Mini is the least intrusive and the most sensible.
Jackery Mini size comparison with a roll of quarters (40) and an iPhone 5
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.