Charge and Play on the Go with the MyCharge PowerGame.
Despite our amazing advances in technology, battery capabilities have sadly lagged behind. When you think about our on-the-go technology, does your mind jump to our iPhones/iPads, Android Phones/Tablets or portable gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch or 3DS XL? I have enjoyed portable gaming since I got my first Gameboy in early 1990. Advancing through the Gameboy Color, Sega GameGear, Gameboy Advance, Sony PSP, and ultimately up to my New Nintendo 3DSXL, I have enjoyed on the go gaming. Until the release of the Nintendo Switch in March of 2017, my iPhone/iPad killed most of my free time. Typically with average use, our 1960mAh battery iPhone 7, 1821mAh iPhone 8, 2675mAh iPhone 8 Plus and 2716mAh iPhone X can last an entire day. With heavier use and with gaming specifically, we can expect to charge even our heftier iPads after several hours. With the processing power of the Nintendo Switch, the 4310 mAh battery can last anywhere from 2.5-3.5 hours, depending on the game. Most of us have tested the system on Breath of the wild, and we can expect just at two and a half hours of game time, or roughly 36-40% power use per hour of play. Luckily MyCharge has a device to keep you gaming.
The MyCharge PowerGame Battery Expansion Pack arrived in a 5 inches wide by 5 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches thick retail packaging. Along the middle of the cover, MyCharge included an attractive image of their black charger surrounded by a red pixelated “look-at-me” design. I appreciated the attention to the design, and I felt like it successfully drew my attention back to the main image of the power pack. Listed along the bottom, in white font, we can learn about the pre-charged 7000mAh battery, the fold-out kickstand and about the ability to simultaneously charge the PowerGame and Switch. If you rotate the package ninety degrees clockwise, the right-sided black panel detailed the “Battery Expansion Pack for Ninento Switch.” The opposing red face stated “POWERING YOUR GAME.” If you examine the back, my personal favorite, you will enjoy a red ink outline reminiscent of the Virtual Boy design. The 7000 mAh battery can extend your gaming session by numerous hours (up to 10), it will serve as a dock for your Nintendo Switch, will allow you to play while charging, locks onto your switch, uses LED battery indicators and has a built-in integrated fold-out kickstand. If you look closely along the bottom, you will also notice the USB-C 5V 1.5 A input and the USB-C 5v/2A output.
Opening the packaging, you will find the 196 gram (6.94 ounces) 4 9/16 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall by 1 1/8 inches thick charger resting on a thin plastic tray. Beneath the tray, MyCharge included a 20 3/4 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable and a dual-panel, well-written, instruction manual. I liked that the instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow. The first page focused on the LED indicators and charging the PowerGame and the Switch. If needed, you can charge the device via a wall outlet, car charger or computer and you can charge the Switch/PowerGame simultaneously. The front face of the PowerGame has MyCharge “BACKUP POWER BANK” listed in bold white letters. Additionally, you can see the input DC5V/1.5A, the DC5V/2A output, and the 7000mAh capacity. Beneath the tech specifications, MyCharge included a list of typical product labels. Personally, I wish that these would have been placed under the kickstand as they clutter up the surface of the battery. Along the top of the charger, you will find a C shaped clamp that hooks over the Nintendo Switch. Along the bottom, you have a resting tray and a lower USB-C plug. The right side of the battery is devoid of markings, and the left has an upper USB-C Port, and a bank of 4 LED indicators just beneath the input port. 4 LEDs represent 100% power, 3 LEDs represent 75% power, 2 LEDs represent 50% power, and 1 LED represents <25% power. Along the lower back, you will find the 1 3/16 inches wide by 2 7/8 inches long kickstand and just above this a slider lock that was designed to keep the Switch in place.
Installation of the Nintendo Switch was incredibly easy. To add the device, slide the lock to the “off” position and then lift upward on the top C shaped clamp. Slide your Nintendo Switch into the base of the charger and then close the clamp along the top. Remember to press the lock button and extend the kickstand. The kickstand was more secure than the native kickstand. It supported the Switch very well and when done, retracted nicely. I did find it difficult at times to slide a nail into the latch to lift the kickstand, but it remained secure even after a dozen openings/closings. Out of the box, the charger had 75% power. After 45 minutes of charging, the battery was ready to test. Assuming 80% battery efficiency, the MyCharge battery had roughly 5600mAh available to charge the Switch. After fully depleting the battery of my Nintendo Switch, I plugged it into the MyCharge and let it charge. Starting at 12:30 am, the switch was fully charged by 4:45 am, and the MyCharge PowerGame was down to 1 LED. I played the switch with the MyCharge attached and found that the battery on the Switch drained much less quickly. After another thirty minutes of playing the PowerGame was depleted and then another three hours later, the Switch was depleted again. Plugging the USB-A to USB-C cable into the charger, I found that the Switch and the battery pack charged fully from 7 am to 12:30 pm. If you own a Nintendo Switch and want to add a second portable charge, definitely consider using the MyCharge PowerGame.