Entertainment, Hardware, Reviews

Review: No Outlet No Problem – Expedition

Ever since I was introduced to the website Kickstater.com, which is a crowd sourcing website, I go through the new projects every week or so to see what catches my eye. A few months back a project call ?Ultra-high capacity battery for mobile devices,? caught my eye because ever since I have had a smartphone, battery life has always been a problem. This meant I had been looking for an external battery that would suit my needs and from the descriptions it seemed like I had found just what I needed in the Expedition from No Outlet No Problem.

During their Kickstarter campaign No Outlet No Problem offered three different models the Adventurer, the Destination, and the Expedition. The Adventurer is the smallest of the three with a 6600 mAh capacity lithium-polymer battery. The body is made of a high impact polymer and has one 1.0 Amp output along with an L.E.D. light and a micro USB charging input. Next the Destination is the second biggest in terms of capacity with a 10,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery but is the biggest in overall size due to its aluminum body. It has two different outputs, one is 1.0 Amp and the other is 2.1 Amp, also with a L.E.D. light and a micro USB charging input. Lastly, the unit which we will be reviewing is the Expedition which has the largest capacity of the three with an 11,200 mAh lithium-ion battery which is encased in a high impact polymer. It also, like the Destination has two outputs, with one being 1.0 Amp and one 2.1 Amp and a L.E.D. light along with a micro USB charging input.

What distinguishes the Expedition from the other two units beside the capacity is the choice of battery which is lithium ion. The lithium ion battery allowed it to completely charge the battery in a much quicker time than a lithium polymer battery with the same massive 11,200 mAh capacity. But even with the large capacity the size is still smaller than an external hard drive and only weighs 8.4 ounces. A feature that sets the Expedition apart from any mobile batteries is pass through charging. What this means is if you are charging the Expedition and have your phone plugged into it, it will charge both at the same time. This feature is very useful because it allows you to use one outlet or USB port to charge your battery plus one other device of your choice, but testing has shown that certain devices mainly Apple device?s will not charge using pass through charging.

As said before the Expedition has two outputs for charging devices and one input for charging the battery itself. It also has a L.E.D light which will last a very long time given the minimal energy it uses. On the top of the Expedition is button that you push to either see how much battery is left via the four blue L.E.D?s the signify 25% 50% 75% or 100%. The button is also used to start the charging because the battery automatically turns off when it is not in use in order to not waste the charge. The Expedition also has a small compartment which can be used for storage.

Now moving on to the most important point the charging capacity of the battery, during testing I found that it took about five hours to completely charge the battery from empty. After charging it to full capacity I plugged my Samsung Galaxy SIII with its 2100 mAh battery which had less than 5% battery left in the 2.1A output and my iPod Touch 4th Generation with its 930 mAh battery which was complete dead into the 1.0A output. After completely charging both I still had at least 75% of the battery according to the L.E.D lights. Then later I again charged my Galaxy SIII from less than 5% to full and still had at least 75% left. The reason that the battery stayed at 75% is due to the fact that No Outlet No Problem rates the capacity of the battery not on what the manufacture says but based on tests using a Computer Battery Analyzer and taking the average result. Based on their tests with this battery you should be able to charge your iPad one and half times and your iPhone two times before the Expedition will be empty.

With all three batteries you get one universal USB cable with eight different tips. The different tips are for the PSP, Nokia devices, micro 5 pin, mini USB, Samsung devices, LG devices, Sony devices, and lastly an Apple 30 pin. For the Kickstarter campaign, the products came in a blue cardboard box that has a velvet like liner inside to house the battery and tips snuggly. The prices for the batteries are according to No Outlet No Problem?s store are the Adventurer $39.95, the Destination $79.95 and the Expedition $59.95. They are only available from their store for now but through Kickstarter have said they will be available through a retailer this holiday season with a completely different box that is currently being designed.

Overall I would say the Expedition is well worth the $59.95 price due to its overall quality and use of numerous features such as pass through charging and lithium ion battery which allow for quicker charging.