Smartphone out of juice? Check out the Electjet Apollo Traveller power bank

The Apollo Traveller by Elecject might be for you if you need a smartphone power bank to keep your device charged while on the go.

Image: Elecjet

There are so many variables that come at you throughout the day. One such X and/or Y is how long your mobile battery will last. That bit of gray area turns into even more of an unknown as you continue to push your device to its limits. When you're not busy the battery might last most of the day. On the contrary, when you find yourself deep in the trenches, having to rely on that Android or iOS device for the better part of your work day, that battery seemingly drains quickly.

I've had days that ended with my battery percentage solidly at 40% and 50%. I've also had days where single digits greeted me before my work was finished. When you have access to electricity, it's just a matter of plugging in a device. But when you're out in the field with clients, or on the go without the means to grab some much-needed juice, what do you do?

You use a power bank. But which one? Considering how many of these devices are on the market, making a selection can be daunting. Where do you turn if you're purchasing such tools for your entire staff?

One option is the Elecject Apollo Traveller. At the moment, the Apollo Traveller is still in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign, but I was sent a review unit to test. How did it fare? Let's find out.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy template download (Tech Pro Research)

The difference

What separates the Apollo Traveller from other power banks? According to the Elecject information:

Apollo Traveller uses a compact single battery. It reduces the possibility of being heated unevenly, increases longevity, lowers the cost, and increases the charging efficiency.

How does Elecject deliver a more efficient charging process? It all starts with the battery. The Apollo batter makes use of a graphene composite (provided by CellsX), which offers a much smaller internal resistance and better conductivity. This composite is added to both the positive and negative poles on the battery cell, as well as placed on the inside back of the charger to form a cooling layer, which promotes heat dissipation during fast charging.

The battery itself holds 5000 mAh and offers 60W input and 45W output. For any device that supports fast charge, the Apollo Traveller claims to do a full charge in 18 minutes. And with both USB A and C (USB A for input/output and USB A for output only), it can take care of most devices.

The performance

To most, it doesn't matter what special elements or compounds created a piece of technology. What matters is how the tech performs. In order to test the Apollo Traveller, I put it through the wringer. Here's what I discovered in the testing.

The first test I performed was to see how well the Apollo handled charging a MacBook Pro 13" 2016. I knew the device wasn't designed for this particular task (as the laptop has a significantly larger battery capacity than the Apollo Traveller). However, in the name of curiosity, I wanted to see how the Traveller fared.

With the MacBook down to 15% battery (which, any MacBook Pro user will know didn't take long to reach), I plugged in the fully-charged Apollo. After about 10 minutes the MacBook had reached 25% charge, but the Apollo was drained and overheated.

Lesson learned. Stick with the intended purpose of a device.

Okay, lesson not exactly learned (in the name of testing, of course).

After fully charging the power bank, the second test was on a Samsung tablet. This offered up somewhat similar results. Ten minutes into the charge and the Samsung went from a 5% charge to 45% charge, but the power bank was drained and hot.

Next test ... the actual purpose of the Apollo. I attached the fully-charged Traveller to an Essential PH-1 (Figure A), that reported a 12% battery charge.

Figure A

Figure A: The Apollo Traveler charging an Essential PH-1.

After twenty minutes of charging, the PH-1 registered 100% battery charge, and the Apollo still had 50% of its charging capacity remaining. That's some pretty easy math to do. So I ran the PH-1 down again and, without topping off the Apollo, plugged it back together to see if the power bank could refill the PH-1 to the max. After another twenty minutes, the Essential was full and the Apollo was empty.

The conclusion

This is simple: If you use the Apollo for the intended purpose, you will get at least two full recharges for your smartphone device (be it fast-charge-capable or not). In a desperate pinch, you could get a slight charge for your laptop or tablet device. I wouldn't recommend using the Traveller for that purpose, especially given that Elecject does offer a device specifically designed for laptops and tablets (the PowerPie, which offers 20,000 mAh). The company also offers the Apollo Pro, which has 9000 mAh. The PowerPie lists at 69.90 USD and the Apollo Pro for 139.00 USD.

Currently, the Apollo Traveller is still in pre-order, so you can purchase reserve a unit for 59.00 USD (which is 25% off the projected list price).

If you're constantly on the go and always finding yourself in need of a charge, the Apollo Traveller is an outstanding option. It's small, reliable, and packs plenty of charge to keep your smartphone topped off.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....