Sometimes all you want is for a battery backup to be small enough to be out of the way but with enough power to do its job. Oh, it should look good too — no reason for that classy smartphone that cost so much to be stuck being charged with an ugly duckling. Skross’ Reload 5 takes care of all of the above — it’s from Switzerland after all — and doesn’t try to make more of what it does than is required.
What is required is that a battery backup, or power pack should you prefer the term, handle abuse while being able to do what is needed. The Reload is big enough and tough enough to take the stress and k-nocks from rolling around inside a knapsack, being pushed up against in a back pocket or being rattled around from having been tossed in the glove compartment (don’t do this when it’s going to be hot).
Using the Reload 5 is simple — just make sure it has a charge first by checking out the power status LED and if necessary, plug in a USB cable and hit it with power from a laptop or computer or USB AC adapter. To get power from the Reload 5 you — no surprise here — plug in a USB cable to the USB output. Obviously if you’re going to an iPhone, the USB cable has to be a lightning connector and if Android, a micro-USB (a Windows phone — well that would be unusual but works with it too of course). A micro-USB cable is included in the package, but doubtful you don’t already have a few lying around.
Now for the specifications that deal with power, because that does give you an idea about the usability of the Reload 5. It’s a 5V/1000 mA (max) output which means suitable for use with phones and yes, tablets too. The battery’s capacity is 5000 mAH and that means about 4 hours to take it from being full drained to fully charged.
Now what all this power spec tech means is that an iPhone could be charged from scratch twice, while a tablet would get a single charging. Since the usual use is to give the phone a boost because it’s getting low, this means a relatively fast charge sequence. But what it really means is that you’re not suddenly hit with the discovery that you’re losing power on the phone too fast and that, instead of listening to tunes using your Bluetooth headphones on the bus, now you have to conserve power and spend the trip listening to the couple in front screaming junk at each other.
The Reload 5 retails for $49.99, comes in an unassuming white, is the size of the iPhone 6 (so big but not too big) and is precharged for using immediately. That’s not something that every power pack does and considering how great the need might be, it’s a sensible thing for the company to do.