A couple of months ago, Patriot released the Fuel+, a complete line of mobile rechargeable batteries. There are six models to choose from ranging from 1,500 mAh all the way up to 9,000 mAh. Although I had a chance to play with the Fuel+ 3000 and Fuel+ 6000, I am going to concentrate this review on the Fuel+ 9000. It’s the flagship of the bunch, but based on it’s price, it’s the best bang for the buck. Hit the break to get started.
Patriot isn’t the kind of company to cut corners, and the Fuel+ line is no exception. All seven models are dressed in white/red or white/blue, depending on the model. They all feel very solid and light, even the 9000 isn’t all that heavy. Each model varies in dimensions, based on the size of the battery. For example, the 3000 is only 3.9” x 0.9” x 0.9” and weighs 0.16 pounds, while the 9000 is 3.7” x 4.5” x 1” and weighs 0.42 pounds. All models feature a power button to the side along with a battery charge indicator that shows in 25% increments (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%). One end will have a microUSB port for charging the Fuel+ and the other end will have either one or two USB 2.0 ports for charging your phone or tablet. The one port models feature 1.0-amps, but the two port models feature both 1.0-amps and a 2.5-amps. I was thoroughly impressed with the build quality on all models.
Patriot Fuel+ 3000 and Fuel+ 6000
When it comes to mobile rechargeable batteries, the performance is pretty standard. What really matters is how long it takes to charge your phone or tablet, but you also need to take into account the size of the battery in your device. There is also the factor on whether you charge your device with the 1.0-amp or 2.5-amp port (if available). The 2200 and 3000 offer only the 1.0-amp port, while the 5200, 6000, 7800, and 9000 offer both 1.0 and 2.5-amp ports. The 2.5-amp port is meant for tablets, but you can also use it to charge your phone faster. To give you a point of reference, the 2.5-amp port charged the Galaxy S 4 (2600 mAh), in about 1 hour and 50 minutes. On the contrary, it took just under 3 hours to charge it via the 1.0-amp port. I also tested the Moto X, which has a 2200 mAh battery. The 2.5-amp port charged it in 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the 1.0-amp port took 2 hours 30 minutes. In all cases, the batteries on the phones were completely discharged before charging.
Now depending on the model of the Fuel+, you will be able to get more than one charge out of it. It’s a matter of looking at how many milliamps (mAh) your phone battery has vs. how many mAh the Fuel+ has. When using the 1.0-amp port, a fully charged 9000 should charge the Moto X 4 times and the Galaxy S 4 approximately 3.5 times. However, when utilizing the 2.5-amp port, you sacrifice the number of charges for speed. When I charged the Moto X using the 1.0-amp port, I had about 75% left on the Fuel+, but when I charged it on the 2.5-amp port, I only had about 50% left. So you can expect to get about 2 charges on your phone using the 2.5-amp port. Tablets are another ballgame since they sport much larger batteries and you will need to use the 2.5-amp port. If you’re looking to charge a Nexus 7 from 0% to 100%, you probably will be able to charge it 1.5 times.
You can also charge two devices at the same time (on the models that have two ports). You can utilize the 1.0-amp port for your phone and the 2.5-amp port for your tablet. Or you can charge two phones (one would charge faster than the other). The other very cool thing about all the Fuel+ models is that you can charge the Fuel+ and your devices at the same time. This makes it convenient when you’re back at your hotel room for the night. You don’t have to worry about bringing extra cords to charge everything separately. Last but no least, the Fuel+ safeguards against under-discharge, over-charge, and short-circuit, with built-in protection to ensure efficient and safe charging cycles.
The only downside is that Patriot only includes a short (10.5-inch) USB cable in the box for charging a device. You won’t find another USB cord with a wall power adapter for charging the Fuel+. I guess the theory is that you can use your phone or tablet’s wall charger since you will be able to charge the Fuel+ at the same time. Since that is the case, it would have been nice if they at least included a second short USB cable on the models that feature two ports. Of course, this is all very minor when you consider the prices Patriot is offering each model at.
There are a number of mobile rechargeable batteries available today, but I really like what Patriot is offering in terms of design and the ability to charge the Fuel+ battery and up to two devices at the same time. As I mentioned, there are six models to choose from (one extra for iPhone users), so which one? When it comes to battery life, I don’t like to fool around. I would highly recommend you grab the Fuel+ 9000. Priced at $70.67 on Amazon, it’s the best bang for the buck. You can certainly grab the Fuel+ 5200 for $49.99, but the 9000 gives you nearly double the amount of power for only $20 more. The only advantage the smaller models give you (other than price) is size and weight, but the 9000 isn’t much larger or heavier than the others. It gives you more charges, more flexibility, and is priced right. Take it on your next trip and thank me when you get back.