IntroductionThe Limeade line of products come in many different sizes to suit your needs. They have a few packs, ranging in size from the $25 5000 MAH battery pack to the $99 18000 MAH battery pack. You can look at all the different models to compare for yourself by searching Amazon for Limeade. This specific review only covers the 18 MAH version. The higher the number, the more it costs, but also the larger the device and more juice you get to power your devices.
DescriptionThe 18000 MAH version of this pack measures 4.9 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches and weighs 13 ounces. TO give an idea of how that compares to other devices, it's about as long as my iPhone 5, is slightly wider than the iPhone 5, and is about 2 times as thick. There is only 1 button on the device, which can be found on the side of the battery pack. It is located closest to the micro USB port. When you orient the button so that it is on the left side and is closest to you, all other functions are on the front of the pack. The button you never need to use, as the device auto turns on and off when something is connected and disconnected from it. Pressing the power button once will cause the LED to briefly flash to indicate the amount of power the pack has remaining. Pressing it twice rather quickly will turn on the flashlight. Pressing it again twice will turn this off. . As indicated previously, the micro USB port is located on the left front of the unit. next to that, you'll find the LED light, which doubles as a flashlight and battery power indicator. To the right of that, you will find 2 USB ports which, yes, will allow you to charge 2 devices at the same time. The USB port closest to the Micro USB port is a 1 amp port. This is good for charging accessories such as your iPhone or other things that have lower battery capacity. To the right of this port is the 2.1 amp USB port. This is what you would use to charge a tablet such as the iPad. You can also use this second port to charge a smaller device if you wish, though it didn't seem to make much of a difference in terms of charging my phone.
What's in the box.In the box is the battery pack itself, along with a USB cable which has a standard USB connector to plug in to the pack, and then the other end doubles as a micro USB connector or 30-pin Apple connector, which Apple used up until last year for all of its devices. You simply move the 30-pin connector out of the way when you wish to use the Micro USB cord.
Operation and impressionsOne of the biggest concerns I had with this pack was the flashlight feature. The button seems hard to bump, and would take 2 fairly quick bumps to activate, so this doesn't really bother me as I thought it would. The lack of an accessible way for me to check the power available kind of stinks, but it pretty much comes with the territory, unless you want to shell out the same amount of money for a battery pack which talks, but only has 1/3 of the capacity. I have charged my iPhone with this device 4 times, this includes the case with the additional battery, and the Limeade has still not gone dead. From reading reviews, it appears as though the battery pack takes about 12-14 hours to charge completely, so I'll do that once the pack goes dead, which will probably be soon. One of the nice things about this pack is that I don't have to worry about fiddling with the button on the side. It has an auto turn on and turn off feature which works whenever you connect or disconnect a device being charged. I've carried this device in my pocket, but it was a bit hefty to carry around, as there was no room for anything else in that pocket, so I usually kept it at home or in my office in my bag. One of the draw-back to the Limeade line of products is that they do not come with a wall charger, but you can use the included cable to charge from your computer, or use a wall power supply of your own to charge the device. I wish a wall charger had been included, but I have several laying around, so it wasn't a big deal. It also did not come with a lightning connector, also not a big deal, as I can simply use the USB cable that came with my phone, but it's something the user should be aware of when purchasing the product.
Concluding remarksThis device seems to work very well. There are a couple of draw-backs, which I mainly can address given the other equipment that I have. The biggest draw-back, particularly with a large capacity battery such as this, is that there is no way to really know how much battery power I have left. If I use it with devices that I know the MAH capacity of like my iPhone 5, or a certainly braille display, I can do the quick math in my head and keep a tally, but not all users would want to do this. The company claims this battery pack can last for 500 cycles, which means that I could plug it in for 500 days in a row before I notice a dramatic decrease in the capacity of the battery. of course, unless I'm charging higher end devices like tablets, this won't be needed. I predict I'll get 1 or 2 more charges out of my combination iPhone/battery pack case, but will run the battery completely down to see how much that actually happens. Even if I just use it for 5 charges, that's a lot of battery power which will last a long time. I wish I had this battery during Hurricane Sandy, but will be glad I have it around for when I have the unfortunate experience of having another situation where I go without power for several days. It will also be great for long flights, as there is no charging stations on airplanes. I'm happy with my purchase, but would probably recommend a lower capacity version of this battery to others so that they can save money and will allow for a greater degree of portability. The higher end pack is certainly for the power user, or the user who wishes to charge a tablet such as an iPad a couple of times without having to connect to AC power.
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