As the owner of an HTC Evo 4G, I'm quite familiar with the need to recharge my mobile device at least twice a day. But when I'm not commuting to and from CNET's New York offices, locating an accessible outlet can sometimes be a problem.
I tried using third-party extended batteries that made my phone bulkier than it already is, but on top of the additional size I found that after a few months they could never hold the maximum charge they were once capable of.
It seemed like a fitting coincidence that I recently was sent two i.Sound Portable Power Max batteries for review. The mobile chargers come in two sizes, 8,000 mAh and 16,000 mAh, retailing at $90 and $120 respectively.
Each portable charger offers five USB charging ports, an onboard LED battery meter, and a built-in LED flashlight. Also in the box are a protective cloth carrying case and a USB-to-Micro-/Mini-USB cable.
Both Power Max batteries are surprisingly small, with the 8,000 mAh version measuring just 1x3.25x3.5 inches (HWD). The 16,000 mAh Power Max has a wider, 5.75-inch body. They're both lightweight and small enough to fit in any bag and their slick gray and black design is inoffensive.
Obviously the most important detail in our review is whether or not the Power Max works. The short answer is yes, but the long answer is that we can't judge definitively. As a way to assess the Power Max's ability to repower and hold a full charge, we used an iPad 2 as a subject device.
Of course it's tough to make such tests truly accurate without special battery-testing equipment, but we felt a real-world test would suffice.