Power Practical Pronto 12 Fast Charge Battery provides plenty of power for when you need it.
It never fails that my iPhone 6s Plus has just enough power to get me through the day. I charge it every night, next to my Apple Watch Sport 42″ Space Grey and iPad Air 2. Power is a premium, with all of our smart/connected devices. It is convenient to have my bedside charging hub on my nightstand, which can charge all of my devices at once. However, my family and I like to camp, both in tents and in our 30″ Class C Diesel Motorhome. We like to go to the park and we like places like the zoo. It is during these moments, or while traversing a theme park, or perhaps CES 2016, when my phone is tested to the limit. I have tested numerous power banks/portable chargers, and it seems portable power is a blossoming field of technology. So far, there are not too many differences separating devices from the pack. Some have higher mAh ratings or allow for >1 charging options. So far, I have not had the luxury to test a device of the caliber of the Pronto 12, from Power Practical. I was introduced to this company initially through Shark Tank in 2014, with their Power Pot line. From that moment on, I knew that this was a company to watch. I had the pleasure of talking with their team at CES and the opportunity to test and review their Luminoodle. This company really does make great gear. I was excited to be given the opportunity to try their Pronto 12. Let me tell you, this is an exciting portable battery, filled with perks and potential.
The Pronto 12 comes nestled inside of a white and yellow cardboard box. The front has a flattering image of the Pronto 12 device, the company logo and a promise of Charging 12x faster. It is listed as a 13500 mAh capacity battery, with dual 2.4A outputs. Open the front cover and you are immediately made aware of a clear plastic window displaying the charger. This is a single diecast anodized aluminum case, and it is heavy, weighing in at just over 1 lb (17.3 ounces, 490 grams). This device feels substantial and has a made-to-last look and feel about it. The inside left flip cover shows the strength of this device. The packaging states that 5 minutes of charge time should allow sufficient charge on the Pronto 12 to recharge your phone once, action camera (GoPro) 1 1/4 times and iPad roughly 1/4 times. Charging the pronto 12 for a full 60 minutes should yield approximately 7 recharges of the average smartphone, 9 for the action camera and 2 for a tablet and 1 full laptop charge. A quick estimate can be made using the following calculation. Assuming roughly 80% efficiency of the battery (industry standard), you can assume 13500*0.8=10,800. The iPhone 6s Plus has a 2750 mAh battery and the iPad Air 2 has a 7340 mah battery. Based on these devices, you can expect about 4 charges on the iPhone 6s Plus, 1.5 changes on an iPad Air 2. Thus, to be fair, the total number of charges available depends on the battery capacity of the device being charged. Either way, I find the sweet spot for chargers is to be about 13-15000, as this allows for a full charge of my iPad Air 2, iPhone 6s Plus and Apple Watch. This device does fall right into the sweet spot.
The packaging promises a great deal from this device. It has #2 2.4 Amp USB output, a 12 V (96W, 8 A) output and a fast charge input 60W (12V5A). The included 12 V output is a major boost to this device, as you can charge devices via cigarette lighter and get similar charging speed to your automobile. This is a feature that I have not seen on the devices I have tested until now. The question I have about this is, are there many devices that charge via 12V? It seems everything charges via USB. I do like the idea that you may not have your USB and only have a cigarette lighter charger. There is benefit.
The Pronto 12 comes pre-charged, which is appreciated. To prove this, simply press the power button located under the cap. The instruction manual (very well written) illustrates the meaning of the two indicators. The right indicator shows the battery level. Here, you can have 1-6 orange LED illuminated. This shows 0-16%, 32%, 50%, 66%, 82%, 100% charge respectively. The left indicator is only illuminated when charging and details the charging rate/amperage. Less than 1A, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 4.5+A (All six indicators illuminated). The battery pack does not start to charge immediately, upon plugging a device into either the USB output or the 12V output. Once the cords are plugged into the Pronto 12, simply press the power button and the power will begin to flow (also illuminates the right battery capacity indicator). I actually liked this feature, as I could tell the Pronto 12 when to start charging my devices. The 4.8A combined output of the 2 USB A ports work quite well. I was able to charge my iPhone and iPad at about 1% per minute, simultaneously. My iPad Air 2 was at 35% and my phone was at 50%. I had 3 bars left on the charger after this test.
Let me state that I really like this device. There are a few things that I would like to comment on, that could be improved upon. The cap and the strap are awesome, I appreciate the company thinking about the input slots and keeping out debris. However, there is no attachment to the device and it gets easily misplaced or dropped. I have set this aside a few times and cannot find it. I foresee it getting lost. The same statement holds true for the power adaptor and the 12 V adaptor. It would be nice if they nested, had some bag/case, or had a velcro strap that could hold all the pieces together. Next, the input and output sockets are the same size. There is no obvious difference in the slots, and it is easy to forget which plug is for input and output. The warnings in the instruction manual clearly state to not plug them in reverse. This makes it difficult to use this device in lower light settings. I wish that there was a small LED to illuminate the input charging port or something to differentiate the input from output sockets. The USB A output ports are not a problem. You need to remember to keep the LED indicators facing up, and remember the input port is the lower port. Again, for campers and for anyone who may use this in the field, or in darker situations, this could be a nuisance. I do not want there to be an LED flashlight, as they often feel cheap and I have commented on this previously. I find this to be power wasteful and tend to not be good enough for a flashlight. One solution could be different sized plugs or some kind of tactile indicator/raised lip that you could feel, to know which socket corresponds to the input for your device. When all else fails, a flashlight will do.
The last comment is about the weight of the device. Every camper/hiker/backpacker knows that every ounce makes a difference. 17 ounces is quite heavy, especially for a device that only charges from the wall. This makes me question the niche for the device. There are other (albeit less quality than the Pronto 12) 10,000 mAh batteries that weigh less than this device, at anywhere from 7-15 ounces. Amazon has a 16,100 mAh battery at 12.2 ounces. Here however you are getting more options to charge other gear and the knowledge that this thing is built like a tank! The quick charge is convenient for the on-the-go person, person in an airport who may have just about 5 minutes to charge at a limited number of locations. For the hiker/backpacker/outdoorsman, I am not sure a quick charge feature is that helpful. With no power available, there is no benefit to a quick charge. What if there was a solar adaptor you could buy? Can this be charged via the Powerpot system? What if it could be charged via 12V as well? These suggestions are not meant to tear down the device, it is great. I have been happy with this battery, using it to charge my iPhone for the past 4 nights. I still have 2 indicators left and can probably squeeze out another night of charge. Even more impressive, most battery packs do not supply enough amperage to charge your phone/iPad while using them. The Pronto 12 has enough output to allow you to use the device and to still see an increase in the battery, albeit a slower increase than if charging in standby. I would highly encouraged you to look into this device. It really does charge quickly, is well built and allows you to have power when you need it. The device is ideal for anyone needing power on the go. 5/5 stars.
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