I’ve have stated many times publicaly that single biggest limitation to mobile technology is battery power. It seems every time that we make an advancement in battery technology, we shove more stuff onto the phone to consume that advantage. It is, as they say, what it is.
That means carrying extra batteries or an ability to charge the built-in battery on your device is a must. Portable, battery powered chargers have been around a long time but the team at Hisgadget recently sent me their Introcircuit Power Castle to review. It is nothing short of awesome. It packs a 15,000mAh battery with dual USB charging ports, each able to put out 5 volts and 2.4A of power to charge your smartphone or tablet. It also uses a SmartID technology to identify the type of device you are charging to give maximum charging efficiency. Even better, the Power Castle has built-in LCD display to tell you exactly how much power is left in it. While the Introcircuit Power Castle is not the smallest external battery you can buy, it is certainly one of the most powerful and priced at only $39.99, its a great value.
The Introcircuit Power Castle is roughly the size of an external hard disk. It measures 5 x 0.9 x 2.8 inches and weighs in at 14.1 ounces. As you would expect, the bulk of the size and weight is tied up in the massive 15,000mAh batter that’s in the device. The case is a brushed aluminum so it looks quite stylish but also means that it can stand up to a bit of wear and tear. The construction of the Power Castle is solid with tight fittings of the rubberized ends to the outside of the case.
On the top of the Power Castle is where you will find the small, blue backlit LCD display with a small power button next to it. The LCD indicates how much power in percentages is left in your Power Castle. Likewise, when you are charging the bank itself, it will increment up to let you know how much power has been restored.
On the end of the device near the LCD panel is where you will find the two USB connections to charge your devices along with a Micro-USB connection to charge your Power Castle. Each of the
USB connections are able to output up to 5 volts and 2.4 amps of power and each has SmartID technology built into them. This SmartID allows the Power Castle to determine what type of device you have connected to it and it adjusts the voltage and amperage to make sure that it is giving that device the maximum charge efficiency. For example, most tablets demand more power to charge them than smartphones. The Power Castle can sort that out and make sure your tablet is charged in the least amount of time.
There is an important point to make here that this battery pack has over many of the other solutions out there. Often times on dual-connection battery packs, if you connect two devices, the output of the charging is greatly diminished. That is not the case with the Power Castle. If you have two devices connected to charge, both ports can put out a maximum of 2.4 amps to charge both devices efficiently.
I’ve been using the Introcircuit Power Castle over the past couple of weeks as my primary backup battery for my OnePlus One and my Galaxy Tab 4 tablet and during that time I’ve put it through a wide range of tests to see how well it performs. Overall I’ve found that I can get nearly 6 complete charges of my OnePlus One with the Power Castle when I let my phone’s battery drop to less than 10% of remaining power. Likewise, I can get just over 3 charges of my Galaxy Tab 4 8″ tablet. This is when I’m charging these devices by
themselves. If I charge both of them at the same time, I can generally get just over 2 full charges on both of them before I drain the Power Castle.
I have been using the Power Castle over the course of the past few weeks which has taken me on 4 different business trips. Each time I found the unit to perform outstanding, especially in airports. Most airports are woefully short on power sockets to charge our devices. While others clamored for these few precious outlets, I was able to sit comfortably with both my phone and tablet continually charged. That, by-the-way, also counts for aircraft where you don’t have a power socket near your seat.
While there is no question that the Power Castle adds some weight to your laptop bag, it’s worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that you have a charging source at hand no matter where you happen to be in the world.
The Introcircuit Power Castle is available through Amazon for $39.99, is Amazon Prime eligible and comes with free shipping.