A compact battery for emergencies.

This morning I woke up and realized that I neglected to place my Apple Watch on its charging dock for the night. It’s a Series 1 Apple Watch and fans around the globe know that means my faithful time piece was dead. I’m grateful that this only happened with my watch and not my iPhone. While I depend on my Apple Watch, I can survive without it for an hour or two while it charges on my desk at work. My iPhone, on the other hand, is my lifeline to the world. This little vignette demonstrates quite well how power drives us and how we need it to go throughout daily lives. For this reason, I try to keep a power bank available so that I never have to go without. Much like a camera, the best battery available is the one you have on you. So, how do you keep a strong power bank on you without it being too cumbersome to carry? You can try a slim battery like the Life Card from PlusUs.

PlusUs Life Card Portable Battery REVIEW

Life Card is a compact power bank that you can carry with you in your wallet. It has a stainless steel finish to it and provides a fast 1 AMP charge. There is a 4-LED light power indicator and a Micro USB cable is included for recharging. The Life Card comes with a cable pre-installed for output charging. You have a choice between a Lightning cable for Apple products or a Micro USB cable for Android devices. The battery itself is 1500 mAh, which is not quite enough for 1 whole charge of an iPhone 7’s battery. Here’s the breakdown of the current iPhone battery capacities. The second row will show how much battery Life Card will provide for each model.

iPhone 7iPhone 7 PlusiPhone 8iPhone 8 PlusiPhone X
 1960 mAh 2900 mAh 1821 mAh 2675 mAh 2716 mAh
 77% 52% 82%56% 55%

PlusUs Life Card Portable Battery REVIEW

For some, anything less than a full charge is not of value to them. For me, I would personally rather have 77% of my battery than 0% especially in a situation where you really need to communicate with others. Let’s say you are driving down a long stretch of highway and your tire blows out. You don’t have a spare available so you reach for your phone to make that important call to the auto club. Unfortunately, your screen is black and your phone won’t turn on. You could plug it into your car, which still has power, but you don’t have the right charging cable with you. Now what? This type of scenario is exactly what the Life Card is designed for — emergency power. This tiny card is packed with a high-quality battery to give you that charge you need.

When I started writing this review, I plugged the Life Card into a power source so that it would recharge. Forty-five minutes later and it’s nearly 75% charged. When I plugged the Micro USB cable into the charging port of the Life Card, I had quite a bit of trouble getting it plugged in. Because the battery is only 3.95mm thick, I assume that it’s just a ‘tight fit’, but I would suggest using caution when plugging the cable in so that you don’t break the port.

PlusUs Life Card Portable Battery REVIEW

Just a moment ago, I just picked up the battery to unplug the charging cable and found that the battery was extraordinarily warm at the charging port. I have an infrared thermometer gun that I used to see how warm the surface was. I got a temperature reading of 92.3º, which isn’t horrible, but it was warmer than the rest of the battery. I noticed this heat exchange both when I was recharging the battery and when it was charging devices. The battery did cool down rather quickly though once it was turned off.

The LEDs light up when you remove the built-in cable from its cable and they turn off when you replace it. I found this a unique feature of a built-in cable as it immediately shows you how much charge is available on the battery. I quickly found out that this feature had a dual purpose — it actually turns the battery on for charging. The battery will go into a sleep mode if you leave it idle for too long and then you can’t charge with it. For my main field test, I charged my iPhone 7, which was at 48% battery life when I plugged it in. After 10 minutes, it had gained 7% (was showing 55% on its display). To be fair, I was playing Pandora and running the stopwatch on the iPhone while it was charging.

PlusUs Life Card Portable Battery REVIEW

Life Card is designed to be thin enough to fit in your wallet. So, my final test of this device was to see if it would fit in my wallet. I have a larger style wallet that accommodates cards, IDs, cash, receipts, and even a checkbook. I tried sliding it into a slot with two other cards in front of it. I discovered that this was not enough space for it. So, I removed the cards and tried to slide it into a slot then. The Life Card ‘fit’, but not well. It took a lot of jockeying around to get the card to be in the slot and I didn’t really like how it stretched out my card slots.

I found the Life Card to be a useful emergency battery. It’s not the type of battery that I would use every day, but on an emergency basis, I think it’s very functional. I do like it’s compact nature even if it didn’t fit in my wallet. It’s a little pricey for the size of battery it is (Stainless Steel – $45-50 depending on the seller, or $99 for Rose Gold or Gold).
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