Under the Radar

myCharge Amp 6000xt Charger

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Battery life is the weakest link in an always-connected world and that means there's a huge market for devices that offer to fix the problem. There are a lot of backup battery/charging station/power banks out there, but the myCharge Amp 6000xt offers a few features that make it a serious candidate for users who need charging options in extreme circumstances.

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The rugged case makes it a lot more likely to survive drops in extreme environments, but the rubberized case also makes it a lot less likely that you'll drop it in the first place. The battery comes with a flip-out power plug. Not only does plugging directly into the wall or a power strip allow for faster charging, you don't have to keep up with a separate charging cable. That may not sound like a huge thing, but having one less cord to keep track of in a bag full of gear turns out to be my favorite thing about the Amp 6000xt.

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The myCharge folks have gone with a platform-agnostic approach with their latest devices. Rather than try to figure out micro USB vs. Lightning vs. 30-pin connectors, they (rightfully) assume you've got cables for all your devices and this way the battery can handle whatever you choose to throw at it. The flaps keep dust and dirt out of the USB ports when you're not using them to charge your device.

Two of the ports are the standard 1.0A power that works with phones and the other 2.1A port can handle a tablet.  The light on the front of the device shows red/yellow/green to show both the charging level when it's plugged in and the remaining battery level when you're using it to charge your devices.

The myCharge website talks about the battery adding "27 hours talk time," which is a useful statistic if you're planning of having one of these as your emergency backup in a remote location. Here's what I found using it when traveling in cities with overtaxed cell networks (maybe the greatest threat to your phone's battery level): while the myCharge can handle an iPad recharge, it's more suited to handling multiple phones at once. It easily topped up 3 iPhones that each had power levels below 20%.

The 6000 mAh battery is a beast and will seem heavy to anyone who's used to carrying around a current generation phone, but that's to be expected for a reasonably priced option that offers this much juice. The 6000xt retails for $59.99. You can also pick up the smaller 3000xt for $39.99. That one offers two ports (a 1.0A and a 2.1A) and comes in yellow instead of red.

The design is a big part of the attraction here. It feels like a solid piece of gear in your hand and its all-in-one package makes it one of the simpler solutions out there.

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