As you may know I am a fan of the EagleTec products. Sure, they are made in China, but like Apple they design their products in the US and keep quality high on the list of important bits. When I got my hand on the EagleTec ONTOP Ultra-Slim External Battery Pack with Lightning Connector for iPhone 5, 5C, 6, 6 Plus, iPod, and iPad with Brainy Technology (phew that was a mouthful) I was a tad skeptical. I have had too many external batteries and power banks that didn’t impress. Read on for the full review of the EagleTec ONTOP External Battery with Lightning Connector.
So what makes this external battery any different from the many other options in this crowded space? There are four things that really stood out for me.
- Quality. The battery casing is strong and doesn’t bend or flex. The built-in cable and Lightning connector are also well designed and sturdy. On the side of the case there is a 4-bar battery meter which you access by pushing the button once, and an LED flashlight on the corner you access by pushing the button twice. They also have added what they call Brainy Technology which is essentially smart charging. No more over/under charging your Apple gadgets as this battery recognizes what is plugged-in to it.
- Built-in MFI Certified Lightning Cable/Connector. This is my favorite part of the EagleTech ONTOP battery pack. I don’t care how slim or portable the battery is if I have to haul my charging cable around as well. Once that happens I don’t consider the battery to be portable. Well, EagleTec managed to build-in a flat cable and an MFI certified Lightning connector so you don’t have to carry anything else with you for chargin. The MFI certified part is also a big deal that often gets overlooked. This basically means that Apple has blessed this connector and won’t render it useless with the next iOS update. If you have ever bought an inexpensive (aka – fake) lightning cable you know what I mean. They typically only work for a month before an iOS update kills them.
- Size. Again there are tons of options available when it comes to external batteries. Some are downright huge and can jumpstart a car. Not interested. Some appear to be portable until you actually try toting them around. For example, the Anker 2nd Gen Astro Mini. I liked the at first but I when I carried it in my pocket the lipstick tube shape felt large. I literally walked around with a bulge in my pocket. Not cool. Add that to the fact that I had to carry my cable with me. I retired this charger to my laptop bag. (Additionally, I question the 3,200mAh claim. Long story but I could barely get 2,000mAh out of this battery) Back to the EagleTec External Battery with Lightning Cable, it is shaped like a credit card and is just 0.3-inches thin. I barely notice it in my pocket. Ahhh, that is better.
- Stack ‘n’ Charge. At first I didn’t fully understand what this feature was about until I had two of the batteries. This feature is awesome. If you have two or more of these external batteries you can charge them with just one microUSB cable. There are two tiny gold pips on both sides of the battery and they have built-in magnets for alignment. This allows you to plug-in one battery and stack the others on top for charging. Difficult to explain, easier to show, I will upload a video shortly.