Jackery Bar Power Pack

It was way back in Bulgaria last summer that it became clear that my phone’s battery was on the fritz. Kevin and Ruth recommended an external power pack that could possibly solve my power issues, but that brand wasn’t available in Bulgaria. Shopping for another alternative brand with the language barrier was daunting and I didn’t  have much access to to electronics stores anyway. I was also loathe to spend what is to me a lot of money on something for which I wouldn’t be able to use the warranty if it broke. Plus, I’ll admit that I have a short memory and it’s only on the rare days that I go out for many hours that I’m reminded of just how unreliable my phone is.

The phone has gotten exponentially worse and the battery issues seem to make it unresponsive as well. Since the phone was originally free, I thought that replacing the battery wouldn’t be an unreasonable cost, but it was about 125CAD to do that and I’d rather put that money towards a new phone. So an external power pack really seemed like a better investment since it could also provide charging power to my iPad and be used with whatever phone I get to replace my iPhone 5C.

When I got to the UK, I had a look at the product again, the Jackery Bar, since it is available through Amazon.co.uk. But the cost was twice what would pay for the device in Canada! It’s Amazon.ca for 25CAD with the taxes, but it was £30 on the UK site, so about 50CAD.

I came into some unexpected money my first night here in Shrewsbury and decided that that was the sign I was looking for to just buy the damn thing. So I logged into my Amazon.co.uk account to place an order and… found that the price had dropped to £10, or about 16CAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s even less than buying the Jackery Bar at Amazon.com. I signed up for a free Prime membership trial to get free delivery and next business day delivery. So that was Saturday night and now it’s Monday and this thing of beauty is currently charging:

It’s quite heavy and more bulky than I expected, but I think I picked the right model. There are smaller ones that I didn’t feel would give me enough power (since the phone really isn’t holding a charge) and that wouldn’t charge my iPad at all (this one promises me up to half a charge for my Mini). The bigger one sounded way too humongous to drag around. The Bar appears to be the compromise between power and portability. I had a choice of the full range of colours and thought the orange was pretty although the muted gold was a close second choice.

Now, to see it is the help I hope it will be. Note to self, don’t forget to pack it and the phone charging cable when I go out!

Of course, this is a stop gap measure as I still need to replace the phone eventually. I’ve finally admitted that I’m going to have to make the same sacrifice I do with my computer, accepting hardware compromises to get superior software. In other words, there’s no way I’m moving to Android and I’m just going to have to hope that my next iPhone isn’t a lemon too. I have to remind myself that of all the Apple products I’ve owned in the last 14 years, only two have been duds, so the odds are I’ll be thrilled with my next phone. If anyone has an unlocked iPhone 6 (preferably the big one) for sale, let me know as I’ll be in active shopping mode when I get back to Canada next month. 🙂

18 thoughts on “Jackery Bar Power Pack

  1. My Jackery also has a flashlight. The iPhone has one, too, but it’s a pain to get to. I think I’ll use the one on the Jackery more.

    I’d rather buy an unlocked used phone because this way I can test it right away with my SIM card to make sure it works correctly and to avoid what you had to go through. I got my current phone in February of 2014 and unlocked it in October ahead of going to Mexico. I just had to call my provider (SaskTel) and ask them to do it, so it was super simple. It cost me about 70CAD.

  2. Rae if you feel you could repair the iPhone yourself you can get all the parts you need from iFixit. They have all the tools at inexpensive prices and many videos showing you how to do it on YouTube

    • Soon as I crack it open, the phone’s worthless. I’d rather get the $50 for it with a bad battery than nothing.

      • I understand, my iPhone 5 while being charged overnight popped the screen off when the battery expanded. The alarm went off and when I went to turn it off it stopped working. When the batteries get to that point beware!
        Another gizmo you might be interested in is a RavPower file hub. I got one of these a few years ago before going to Mexico. You download the app to your phone or tablet. I have to admit the software is a bit stiff but it does work. I take a fair amount of photos with my Fuji camera so when I’m travelling I like travelling light these days and the iPad is very handy etc but transferring photos is nigh impossible as it doesn’t have an SD slot or USB, I know that there are cables for that but that’s where the RavPower shines is that you can use it for both and you can also move photos from the SD card to the USB if you want to although it can be a little slow. It can also be used as a travel router and the extra bonus is that it’s on board battery can be used to boost your phone or iPad while on the run.
        This is the one I use, but there are others

        • I was warned about the battery expansion issue. I should be able to replace the phone before that happens.

          I’ll have to look at that gadget more closely to see if it’s something I need. I move photos between my devices using Airdrop and off my camera using an SD card, so I’m not sure this is something that would be handy for me.

  3. It works for me in that the unit is wireless and can be done anywhere as the app allows you to connect with the unit within its own wifi zone. Another advantage is that up to five people can connect to it wirelessly and watch a video on the USB as you play with your photos on the SD card. Not that I use that aspect but I can move photos over to my iPad easier for editing or saving as I see fit. The main advantage is that it expands the memory of my iPad without being physically attached to it.

    • I’m definitely intrigued. Three questions:

      1) Do you need a wifi connection to move the files around or does it create its own network?

      2) If it creates its own network, is it pretty quick at moving the files around?

      3) How much storage do you get? I currently travel with 1x1TB drive for backups and 1x3TB drive for media. Sounds like this device might be able to replace one of the drives.

      • Seeing as you are on the run for long periods of time I would continue with your storage the FileHub does not take up much room, it’s less than the size of a pack of cigarettes and uses a micro USB to charge. I should point out that it doesn’t have storage but facilitates it.

        Joanna has been writing for many years and her blog is quite lovely. I’ve never met her but I have commented on her blog from time to time.

        • I checked out Joanna’s blog and realised that I had encountered her at one point. Sounds like she has a lot of good advice!

          • Yes, and perhaps open a few doors for you. She has been there for many many years..
            I used to follow her but some how I have to search for her postings and have not recently. Just too busy at the mo

  4. You download the free app to your phone or tablet. With the RavPower file hub turned on you go to settings turn on wifi, wait until the hub appears and click on it and tap in the password. Plug your SD card into the slot! open the app, in a few moments the list tree with appear such as photos files or documents and then tap to access. The app is a bit wooden but the hub can be used with android as well as Apple products and at the same time. My iPad Air has only 16 gigs of memory of which the software takes up 4 leaving only about 12 g but with the file hub I can upload to edit and then save to a USB stick. It won’t be as fast as your air play but for me and my wife it works because we can both access it at the same time. The unit can be in my pocket or camera bag and we can both play with the media. The unit has its own rechargeable battery which as I said you can use to boost your phone or tablet and you can also use it while transfering your photos.

    • Okay, so it sounds like it might work a bit like Airdrop. I’m definitely intrigued because Airdrop is clunky. Thanks for all that info!

      • I think that is just down to Apple’s security issues, just one thing to remember and this is for anyone of your subscribers eavesdropping or looking over our shoulders as we converse.

        RavPower have several products called “RavPower” it should be noted that the file hub is the product you would need and they have several and one of the other advantages of it is being able to use it incognito as a travel router.

        Due to the recent popularity of the Pokemon Go game, battery boosters have been very popular as the game is a power hog or more accurately use of the phone non stop runs it down fast. There are several battery packs available now from around $10 and up in various shapes and sizes and capacities.

        It is curious though, that when you travel between countries certain aspects of electronic use and storage come apparent. When we were in Merida we had to send some info to Canada that was on my wife’s iPad and transferred it to a USB stick but finding a printer who could print from a USB was another problem. There seemed to be a dearth of USB sticks at the time and they wanted us to use a new stick free of viruses to add our stuff to and not use of our own. As you know USB drives are a dime a dozen or the availability in Canada is that they can be found everywhere even in dollar stores. In Ireland and England WiFi was very poor even in hotels who advertised as having WiFi we found it very slow however in Mexico and Canada WiFi is very strong. So everywhere you go there are anomalies and it all comes down to what you need and what you perceive to be important to you in your quest for storage

        • Since I left home, the only thing I’ve been struggling with, electronically speaking, has been the battery on the phone. Oh, and I had that one time in Amsterdam where access to a printer would have been nice. Otherwise, I’ve managed nicely with what I brought with me.

          I find it funny that you found internet better in Canada than in the UK. If there’s no wifi here or it’s bad, mobile internet is super cheap and connectivity is generally excellent, not something that can be said for Canada. Except for when the internet went down in Bulgaria and I still didn’t have a SIM card for my phone, internet has been a non-issue since I left home while it has been a struggle in Canada my whole life.

          • WiFi connectivity in my neck of the woods is in Victoria so pretty good but when I go over to Salt Spring Island it’s not the best or should I say it’s spotty!
            I’m moving to Duncan soon so hopefully it won’t be a pain as I really enjoy reliable internet. Maybe I’ll see you in Merida next year if you are there. Do you follow Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado? Her blog is Writing from Merida on WordPress.com. She is from Vancouver and has written a few books..

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