Packing in the power.
Whether you're all set for a weekend festival, a two week trip away, or just planning on spending the whole day (and most of the night) out with friends enjoying the sunshine, you really need to be mad at your phone manufacturer. While smartphones continue to get smarter, the batteries inside of them are pretty much the same as the ones we've been using for years now. So to make sure your phone doesn't go pancake-flat half way through a really interesting experience, you'll need some portable juice. We check out the Varta Powerpack 2600.
Less than 10cm in length, and weighing only 61g, the Varta Powerpack 2600 is a rugged and ultra portable external battery pack for your phone, tablet, and mobile gadgets. The '2600' in the name refers to the internal power pack's capacity of 2600 mAh, which - depending in the type of phone you have - will give you an entire extra charge.
Varta say that their tests to ascertain that were carried out on an iPhone 5, so if you have that, or a similar sized and performing phone, you can expect to get a full charge out of this little thing. We tried it on a much larger, far more juice-sapping device (a Samsung Galaxy Note 3), and found that, from empty, it charged it up to about 80%. That is still very good, and considering that the size and weight makes it perfect for stashing in your bag for emergencies, you'll be able to get several hours of use out of it.
The Varta Powerpack 2600 itself comes pre-charged (so if you're in an airport with a flat phone and need some juice for the flight, you can just grab it off the shelf and you're set), and also includes a half metre USB to Micro USB cable, so you won't even need your own charging wire. The unit features an LED light which will blink during charging, and it even has a little hook to make storing it easier.
Sure, this thing won't be keeping you going for your whole trip, but that one-shot charge is often all you really need to get you somewhere where you can actually plug in your phone. For size, weight, capacity, and - crucially - price, we think this is a winner.