GadgetsLab: MiLi Power Rover

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Specifications:

  • Battery capacity: 3.7V/8000mAh
  • microUSB input: 5V/1A (max)
  • USB 1 output: 5V/1A
  • USB 2 output: 5V/2.1A (max)

What’s Hot:

  •  Huge battery capacity
  •  Ability to charge two devices at once
  •  Portable for its battery size

What’s Not:

  •  Extremely long charge time
  •  Plain design

Bottomline:

  • You’ll need to charge it overnight if you want a fresh charge each day—but the Power Rover does its job well.

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Everyone hates running out of battery. In fact, we have a habit of using our phones strategically when our battery dips into the red. It would seem natural to assume that the power bank would increase in importance as consumers begin to buy more mobile devices. Current devices need to be charged at least once daily, and for those who are always on the go, you can’t just rush to a power outlet to recharge your phone every time your devices run low on juice. To fill the need for charging your devices on the go, the power bank was invented to make sure that you always have those precious minutes no matter where you are—whether you’re at a meeting in the office, a car trip, or even on a mountain hike—the MiLi Power Rover serves as a power source for many occasions.

Upon unboxing the product, it looked quite plain, but like routers, this isn’t meant to be the star of the show design-wise. It is meant to be behind the scenes to keep your star of the show products, generally smartphones and tablets, humming along happily through the day. It has no distinctive markings on it, except the MiLi logo along the right side of the device, which is a bit hard to see. The power button is on the lower left, with the USB ports on the bottom of the device. The microUSB port that is used to charge the device is between the two USB ports. The indicator that the device is charging are LED  lights above the power button. Each light represents 25 percent of power, so four lights means a full charge.

The MiLi Power Rover is a bit bigger and thicker than a smartphone, but it is still portable enough to fit in a backpack or a laptop case. It weighs 211g, which is also a little heavier than a smartphone, but it packs 8000mAh of power that you can use to charge your devices. It has two USB ports and comes with an array of wires and adapters you can use to attach your devices, which encompass both Apple and Android products. There are special wires for Apple products and the Samsung GALAXY  Tab. Since this is meant for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, I charged two of my most important mobile gadgets, my iPod Classic and my iPhone 3GS, and I also tested out the Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL (which is also reviewed in this issue) to see how Android products compared to their Apple counterparts. These were my test subjects for the review.

One issue I have with the device is that it takes a very long time to charge the MiLi Power Rover itself—somewhat understandable since it is a device with a capacity of 8000mAh. It seemed like forever every time I recharged the device for use. If you’re not a patient person and don’t want to wait around for a full charge, you’re better off leaving it plugged into a wall socket overnight if you need a fresh charge for each day. A fully powered Power Rover is one of the best gadgets to have around, especially if you have multiple devices that need charging on the go. I got a full charge on both my iPhone and iPod Classic within a couple of hours, with the Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL taking a bit longer to charge at because it had a bigger battery than either of my Apple devices. How long it will take your device to charge is largely dependent on its battery capacity and how much juice the Power Rover has. Since smartphones have way less battery capacity than the Power Rover, you can charge your smartphones multiple times if the Power Rover is fully charged or even charge two smartphones at once.

The device advertises that it can power up to 52 hours of data, 68 hours of talk, and 180 hours of media (music and videos usually), but again, those figures will largely depend on your usage and the settings on your devices that allow for more or less usage of the devices that are being charged. The USB 1 port is generally for smartphones, while the USB 2 port, with greater amperage, is for tablets. Those who enjoy gaming on the go will also enjoy this device as gaming tends to take a lot of power out of devices.

If you’re always on the go, consider getting the MiLi Power Rover. 8000mAh is a lot of power waiting for your devices to consume, and as consumers become increasingly mobile with their devices, power banks in general will become more and more necessary.

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First Published in Gadgets Magazine, April 2013

Words by Jose Alvarez