Give Your Mobile Devices Heroic Power


Companies have been marketing everyday items to fans by slapping a picture of their favorite hero on things for pretty much as long as super-heroes have been around.  Superman and Batman have been around since the beginnings of super-heroes, so they’ve had their image and logos splashed across more stuff than pretty much any other heroes.  So it should be no surprise that with the recent Batman v. Superman movie we started seeing a new crop of items with these iconic heroes displayed on them.  Say what you will about the movie, which has its fans and detractors, the enduring power of the Batman and Superman images cannot be denied for fans around the globe.

And I personally think the combined Batman v. Superman logo is really cool…

But the important things to me are whether the thing that has my favorite hero on it is:
(a) useful
(b) looks good

When I was asked if I’d like a couple of these devices, manufactured by Emtec, sent to me for review, I jumped at the chance.  First because they met criteria “b”, they LOOKED cool to me.  The second question was going to take a little use to determine…how did they perform compared to other similar items without the cool super-hero imagery?

I’m pleased to report that they held up quite nicely against other similar devices I own. Let’s look at them one at a time.


16 Gb USB 2.0 Flash Drive
This is available with both the classic combined logo, as well as a images of both Superman and Batman, either individually available or in a 2-pack.  I chose the logo, like I said above, I think the combo Batman/Superman logo just looks cool.

As far as performance, I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks while traveling around and it is performing similarly to any other USB 2.0 flash drive I’ve ever owned (and I’ve had a LOT of these things).  16Gb is a decent amount of space and the USB 2.0, while slower than the newer USB 3.0, is OK for transferring files around from one place to another.

Thumbs Up! This one is pretty much a “buy it if you think it looks cool” item.  It work indistinguishably from any other flash drive I’ve ever owned.

Power Bank - 3-4 Top

5000 mAh Power Bank
This one took a little more evaluation, but I’ve put it through its paces over the last few weeks, using it both around town and on a couple of business trips I’ve taken.

For comparison sake, I own power banks similar to this from Jockery and Anker, so I had some direct points of comparison when evaluating this device.  Before I get into details, my quick summary is as follows:

Emtec: Good charging speed for mobile devices, but did not perform well in charging an iPad.  I really like the slim design and 2 ports for charging 2 devices at the same time.  This is about the same size and thickness as my Samsung Galaxy S5 and fit right in my pocket with the phone while I was charging it.  it comes with a short flat cable that worked great and was compact for those “charges on the go”.  The one thing I couldn’t evaluate (yet) is how this is going to perform over the long haul.
But, the fact that this is light, 1/4″ thick, and has a compact cable has made it my new “go to” device for charging my phone.  Based on my experience, I would not recommend it if you need something to charge your iPad.

Jockery: Good charging speed for mobile devices and able to charge an iPad.  Heavier and thicker (about 7/8″) than the Emtec, the Jockery power bank always felt like a tiny brick in my pocket.  I’ve had this one for over a year and it still works like the day I got it, so it definitely has staying power.

Anker: Similar in size and weight to the Jockery, the main drawback to this one is that it stopped holding a good charge after about 6 months of use.  The a couple of the charge indicator LEDs also stopped working around the same time it stopped holding a solid charge.  This is a device I’ll be trowing out now.  I had kept it as a backup to the Jockery, but now that I have the Emtec, it will be my “go to” charger, the Jockery is my backup, and this one is not needed.

Emtec Power Bank Charging Details
Here are some details of the charge tests I ran on the Emtec power bank, I would run my Samsung Galaxy S5 down to 15% power before charging:

The phone charged up to 100% in 2 hours 20 minutes, while I continued to use it heavily during charging.  This brought the power bank from 4 full bars of strength down to 1.

The phone charged to 100% in 2 hours while  not being used, this brought the power bank from 4 full bars down to 2.  I ran the phone power down again and performed a 2nd charge, again not using the phone during charging and it charged up to 93% before the power bank ran out of juice…so I almost got 2 full charges out of it.

I repeated these tests a number of times over the past few weeks with roughly similar results.  I can get almost, but not quite, 2 phone charges out of a fully charged power bank.  Less if I’m using the phone during charging, but that is to be expected.

The Emtec power bank performed very poorly charging my 4th Generation iPad w/Retina display.  This is a WiFi model with no 4G.  When the iPad was down to a 10% charge I plugged it into a fully charged power bank.  after 4 hours it had made it up to 33%.  After 6 it made it to 46% and the power bank ran out of juice.  I tried this a 2nd time with similar results, before giving up and concluding that if I want a solution to charge my iPad, this Emtec power bank is not the right choice.

Thumbs Up! (for phones) If you’re looking to charge a phone and want a slim, light, power bank that looks pretty cool, the Emtec is a great choice.

Thumbs Down (for iPad) I’m not sure if it was just the device I was trying this out on, but it worked very poorly for me with an iPad.

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