Jan 20 AT 8:20 PM Brooks Barnard 16 Comments

Your phone doesn’t have to die: A TYLT Energi Battery Pack buyer’s guide

TYLT Energi Battery Pack buyer's guide

“What did we ever do before we had these around?” my wife asked.

Well, a while ago we used to be Samsung people. My wife and I were huge fans of the Samsung Galaxy series of phones and took full advantage of the replaceable batteries. We had spare batteries with external chargers, and it was great. You never really had to charge your phone: You could just grab the fully-charged battery and swap it with the spent one. You were never tied to the outlet on the wall. I think my wife got in a bad habit of not charging her phone, because when we eventually got tired of Samsung phones, we switched to phones without replaceable batteries and my wife often had a dead device.

I’ve gotten free battery pack swag and even gotten cheap battery packs for Christmas. What I’ve found with cheaper battery packs is they often have low battery capacity and low amp output. That means they won’t provide much of a charge for your phone, nor will they charge it very quickly.

The good people at TYLT recently sent me a whole lineup of their Energi Battery Packs. My goal is to help you find out which one might suit you the best. And if you’re in the market, I suggest you buy one. Battery packs are awesome: they’re convenient, and you can charge your phone anywhere.

Battery Pack 101

TYLT Nexus 5 charge ratesTo start off, you should know that the numbers for the different battery pack series describe the mAh capacity of the battery packs. If you’re not familiar with the term “mAh”, it stands for “milli-amp hours” and it describes the power capacity of the battery. A pack with a high mAh rating will be able to give your phone more charge or juice it up multiple times. Therefore, when buying a battery pack, mAh capacity should be an import factor to consider.

Ask yourself how long you will be away from an outlet. Also consider how large the battery in your phone is. Most phones these days have batteries well over 2000mAh, so the TYLT Energi 2K battery packs will not be able to provide a full charge for most current phones. That said, the 2K battery packs will likely keep your phone from dying for a considerable amount of time. So if you’re looking for a battery pack that won’t break the bank but could help your phone make it to the end of the day, the 2K series might be a great fit.

One other spec you need to be aware of with battery packs is Amp output and, more specifically, how many Amps a single charging port can provide. As you can see in the screenshot above, different Amp outputs result in different charge rates. You can think of Amps as the flow rate of charge from your battery pack to your phone. A 1 Amp output probably isn’t as much as your standard wall charger, so it likely won’t be charging your phone as quickly as when you’re plugged into the wall, but it is higher than many cheap external battery packs out there. The higher the number, the faster your phone can charge. Don’t worry if the number is higher than what’s on your phone’s wall charger; the phone will pull the Amps it needs.

2K Series

The TYLT Energi 2K Battery Pack chargers come in black with three different color strips in the middle: blue, gray, and red. They’re pretty small at 11mm x 58mm x 95mm and could easily fit in a pocket, even with a phone. They come with a micro-USB cable to charge the battery pack itself and one universal USB port so you can charge any type of device.

To show how much charge the battery pack has, there’s a button with an LED light that will show up on the button press. Different colors mean different levels of charge. You also use the button to tell the pack to start charging your device.

The 2K series only allows 1 Amp output, and so it will only charge one device at a time.  As you could probably guess, the 2K series chargers are the cheapest in TYLT’s lineup, priced at $39.99.

I also want to bring up two specific TYLT products in this section. First, the Energi Smart Travel Charger, which is also a 2K charger. Dima reviewed this item a few months ago, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s an AC wall adapter that’s also a battery pack, letting you charge your phone and a battery pack at the same time. No need to carry and extra wall adapter. You could charge any other battery pack and a phone at the same time, but you’ll need to carry your phone’s wall adapter and two micro-USB cables to get that job done. The smart travel charger just makes charging and using a battery pack much more convenient.

I will point out again that the Smart Travel Charger is just a 2K series charger, so it does not charge your device very quickly if it’s plugged into the wall or if you’re using it as a battery pack. But if you typically charge your phone overnight, you’ll wake up with a charged phone and a charged battery pack and be ready for a full day’s worth of use.

The Energi Smart Travel Charger is slightly bigger than the standard 2K series chargers, so it may not fit in your pocket as well as its siblings. It also has one USB port, so it will only charge one device at a time, and it costs the same $39.99. If I were picking between the standard and the Smart Travel 2K chargers, I would go with this one.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike most of the battery packs I’ll bring up in this post, the Energi Smart Travel Charger does not come with a micro-USB cable.

The second product I want to bring up is the TYLT Syncable-Duo. This is a 2-in-1 micro-USB cable with an Apple Lightning adapter that is Apple MFI-certified. So if you’re one of the many people out there that has devices from multiple platforms, this is another handy buy that can decrease the clutter. It also comes in the same brilliant TYLT colors as the Smart Travel charger.

I want to emphasize that this the Syncable-Duo is a data cable and will connect your devices to your computer in addition to charging them. The Syncable-Duo cables come in three lengths that range between one and three feet and cost between $24.99 and $29.99, depending on the length you choose. That price is high for a data cable, but TYLT offers quality products that look great and come with a 1-year warranty. The cheap cables  that you’re buying off eBay don’t.

TYLT Syncable-Duo 4

TYLT charge Nexus 5 TYLT charging Nexus 5 TYLT Energi 2K Travel Charger TYLT Syncable-Duo 2 TYLT Syncable-Duo 3 TYLT Syncable-Duo

3K Series

Think of the 2K series but a little bigger. TYLT’s 3K series have a 3000mAh battery pack in a 14.3mm x 65mm x 103mm shell, so it should provide at least one full charge to the average phone. Additionally, the 3K series packs can now charge two devices simultaneously with 1 Amp output to each device.

With the 3K series you have two options: the standard 3K at $59.99 with a built in micro-USB cable, or the 3K+ with a built-in Lightning cable for $10 more. In addition to these built-in cables, you have a standard USB port for charing a second device. The TYLT 3K series won’t charge your devices very quickly, but they can easily fit in the pocket and go with you anywhere. These packs come in three center strip color options: red, blue, and gray.

TYLT Energi 3K+ Battery Pack 2

TYLT Energi 3K+ Battery PAck

5K Series

Think of the 3K series, but a little taller and with one other difference that makes this series charger my personal favorite.

The 5K series has a 5,200mAh capacity and the ability to charge two devices at once. Plus, the USB port on the battery pack has a 2 Amp output that will charge your device faster than the 1 Amp output and its built-in micro-USB port. I’m not sure if it’s twice as fast, but it’s significant. The 2 Amp output is also suitable for charging devices with large batteries, such as tablets.

The 5K Battery Pack will set you back $79.99, or you can pay $10 more for the 5K+ series that can charge up to three devices with a total of a 3 Amp output. That means that you won’t get a 2 Amp output when charging three devices at once.

It has built-in micro-USB and Lightning cables as well as a USB port, so it’s kind of the Swiss Army Knife of battery packs: it can do it all. Again, the 5K series is probably my favorite all-around Energi Battery Pack because to its size, the battery capacity, and the 2 Amp output.

TYLT Energi 5K Battery Pack in pocket

10K Series

The TYLT Energi 10K Battery Pack is quite a bit bump up in all specs, including size. It will no longer fit in a pants pocket; the 10K is more likely something you’ll carry in a day bag, carry on luggage, or leave in the car. It has a 10,400mAh capacity that can offer multiple charges to phones and possibly even your tablet.

Additionally, the Energi 10K has three USB ports — two with 1 Amp outputs and one with a 2 Amp output — and is capable of producing 4.2 amps for simultaneous charging. That means you can have three devices charging at the same time and they will all be getting their maximum charging rate. So if you’re someone who carries a lot of devices or you want to be the coolest kid in your study group, this Energi 10K pack might be the device for you.

Unlike the other TYLT chargers that use a single-colored LED light to display the amount of charge left on the battery pack, the 10K battery has a series of LED lights to indicate its charge level. The Energi 10K pack costs $99.99 and comes with a gray or blue strip in the middle.

TYLT Energi 10K Battery Pack

What kind of user are you?

Now before we talk about you, I have one more thing to say. I’m sure you can find cheaper battery packs out there. However, when you’re buying a TYLT battery pack, you know you’re getting a quality product. Not only do these packs come with a one year warranty, they’re all tested and certified to several battery standards. So no, they’re not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for. You can occasionally find these packs cheaper on Amazon than you can on the TYLT website, and you should also watch TYLT’s social media for promo codes.

So now you need to think about your needs. How many devices do you carry? How long are you away from a power oulet? How big are your pockets? Will your friends want to bum a charge off of you? Do you like your friends? How fast do you want your phone to charge? Will you be charging tablets? What’s your budget? If you ask yourself these questions, you should be able to read about these different battery packs and be able to pick the right one for you.

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of these products. I’ve been using them in my home for several weeks and have had zero complaints. The definitely have gotten the “What did we do before we had these?” stamp of approval.

Are you planning on getting a battery pack? What are your needs? If you have any of these pack let us know what you’re using and your thoughts on them. Please let us know your thoughts and questions by commenting below.

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • BlazeHN

    I don’t get this, there is many 10,000 mah battery options from like $13 on Amazon, most of them with very good to excellent reviews. Why pay $99 for TYLT?

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=10000+mah+portable+charger&sprefix=10000%2Caps%2Caps

    For example the Anker brand 10,000 mah battery for $23 and have 4.6/5 score review for 6227 reviews! (something with such overwhelmingly excellent feedback must be a no-brainer choose).

    http://www.amazon.com/Compact-10000mAh-Portable-External-Technology/dp/B009USAJCC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421808539&sr=8-2&keywords=10000+mah+portable+charger

    • Bart
      • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

        Thanks for sharing what you’re using, Bart. Always good to get recos from the Android and Me community.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I had the same thought when I first started reviewing these.

      https://twitter.com/Brooks_Barnard/status/545934602993278976

      BUT, what I tried to point out is that when you buy TYLT I really think you’re buying quality. You’re probably buying a name too, but these batteries come with a 1 year warranty and are CTIA certified meaning they go through standardized testing to ensure quality and safety. The $13 Chinese ones do not.

      • Josh

        Anker batteries are of the highest quality, and are offered at larger capacities for a much cheaper price. It really seems like you’re only reviewing this because you were paid to do so.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

          We were not paid to review these battery packs. We were given these battery packs to review. I’m sorry the TYLT battery packs are expensive? If you don’t like the price buy something else?

          I am in no way reccomending a bad product. I think these battery packs are high quality products I can stand behind. I have used all of these battery packs and they have worked as advertized. But I do realize that they’re expensive.

          If Anker wants to send me some battery packs I would be more than willing to review those and do a comparison.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Also, for the record, I’ve never bought a TYLT product full price. The last couple of years they’ve done a 50% off Cyber Monday deal if you can hold off for that.

      But I’ve really never had a complaint about my TYLT products I use. They’re all been great.

  • Ben Smith

    This a blatant advert, and should be labelled as such

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I apologize that you feel misled. I feel like the title is pretty descriptive of this *review* categorized post.

      • Ben Smith

        Yes I known it is marked as a review which makes it worse, you are misleading people with this disguised advertorial, you don’t even criticise the price “what out for promo codes on social media” you are not a journalist, you are a paid corporate shill . I hope you enjoy your free products, don’t criticise them or you won’t get anymore!

  • Odie

    Great review. I personally have been using Anker Astro 10,000maH for the past two years and have had no issues. It has two charging ports and it roughly the size of two Nexus 5′s stacked on top of each other so it’s easy to pocket.

    Here’s the newer version of what I have, but with Charge IQ: http://www.amazon.com/Compact-10000mAh-Portable-External-Technology/dp/B009USAJCC

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Thanks. And thanks for sharing what you’re using!

  • Gekko

    i have the Tylt ENERGI Travel Charger w/ Built-in Battery / Micro-USB with the BUILT-IN Prongs and microUSB cable. yes, it’s only 1,800 mah but i can leave it plugged in 24/7 and it has all the built in stuff i need Prongs and microUSB cord – Nothing to forget! and it’s small enough for the beach bag and always ready to go! Also great for a power outage.

    http://www.tylt.com/energi-micro-usb/

  • Lox

    That sponsored post is nice but Limefuel have an awesome technology which provides pass-through charging: it charges the phone and the battery at the same time

    http://www.limefuel.com

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I think all of these TYLT chargers do pass-through charging.

  • Paul

    Got these 9000mAh ones with built-in lightning cable and AC pin. It comes with one-year warranty. And I registered for an extra 6 months of warranty.
    http://www.amazon.com/Certified-RAVPower®-Multi-functional-Lightning-Compatibility/dp/B00Q2B5KY2