For Christmas, my wife got me a MimoPowerTube2 portable charger for my iPhone 6s. It’s a cute, cartoony version of Darth Vader from Star Wars, holding his red lightsaber. It easily fits in my pocket – along with my phone – so that I can carry it on me at all times and charge my cell phone while I’m walking and working.
The PowerTube 2 works with both iPhone and Android phones, and it can charge other devices too, like a compact digital camera or MP3 player. It can also power an iPad Mini, but don’t bother with a full-sized iPad – it just doesn’t have enough juice.
The packaging claims that this charger can give your phone up to 1.5 full charges. It probably depends on the type of phone you have, and I’m sure that some Androids can hit that 1.5 charges, but I have yet to get more than one full charge on my iPhone 6S. That seems okay to me, though, since I only need it for field work or day trips and can always charge up when I get home at night or in my car. If you’re routinely away from an outlet for more than 48 hours at a stretch, then you might want a charger that packs more punch than this one.
For me it works fine.
And of course…Darth Vader.
Okay, here are some stats. I am totally NOT a tech guy, so all these numbers are like a foreign language to me, but I’ll include all this info for those of you who know what it all means.
(Straight from the packaging…)
- Capacity: 2600mAh
- Input: MicroUSB 5V/1A
- Output: USB 5V/1A
- Dimensions: 95mm x 24.5mm x 24.5mm
- Weight: 73 grams
- Cell Type: Li-ion battery
- Cycle Life: 500 charges
- DC Charging Time: 2-3 hours
The PowerTube 2 also comes with a limited one year warranty from the manufacturer (separate from any policy from the retailer), so I suppose that’s good.
And it has, you know…Darth Vader.
Included in the package…
- Darth Vader MimoPowerTube2 charger
- white 18 inch USB cable (iPhone-type)
- black 6 inch USB cable (Android-type)
- soft carrying pouch with drawstring
You use the Android cable to charge the device, and then you use the iPhone one to charge your phone. Unless you have an Android phone, in which case I suppose you just use the Android cable for both.
Can you charge your phone while the PowerTube charger itself is charging?
I tried, and it just didn’t work. Or if it did, it was happening so slowly that I couldn’t notice it working. So basically…no. First, charge up the charger, then use it to charge your phone.
How To Charge Your Phone With Mimo Power Tube 2?
It’s pretty straightforward, but if you’re an old fart like me, you might somehow do it wrong the first time. What can you possibly do wrong? Well, if you’re an iPhone user like myself, then you can stupidly plug the black power cord into the USB port on the charger and think, “Ah crud, they gave me an Android cord instead of a power cable…how do I plug this into an outlet to charge it?”
Then you sit there for a couple seconds, think, pull the cord out, turn it around and plug it into the Android port, and then you’re all good to go. It does not include a 2-prong power cord that goes straight into a wall outlet. You have to use your USB charging block for your phone (or your computer USB port or your car charger).
It usually starts charging my iPhone automatically as soon as I plug it in, but there was one time when it didn’t, so I had to press the power button on the charger, and then it started going.
There are four green LED lights that will flash to indicate that it’s charging, and they’ll also serve as a guage for the level of charge that the PowerTube has left in it (4 lights = full charge, 1 light = weak charge).
Other Star Wars Chargers…
The Mimo Power Tube 2 also comes in several other Star Wars versions, and I have no doubt that others will be on the way now that Episode VII: The Force Awakens has finally released in theaters. There is an R2-D2 version, Boba Fett, StormTrooper, and a lightsaber version (Anakin’s/Vader’s Jedi lightsaber – the one that Obi-wan Kenobi gave to Luke Skywalker in Episode IV: A New Hope).
Being the Star Wars fan that I am, I have no doubt that I’ll soon be adding another Power Tube to my collection. It makes a great birthday gift for Star Wars fans of any age (hint-hint).
Chris Desatoff is a cartoonist and blogger in Las Vegas. You can find him on ChrisDesatoff.com.