The age-old balancing act between a mobile device's size and its battery life has no foreseeable end. And for some folks, accepting the extra bulk of a battery case in exchange for increased endurance is simply out of the question. Patriot hopes to alleviate the conundrum with the Fuel+ 6000, a mobile battery with the ability to charge two mobile devices at once. At $59.99 ($50.87 via Amazon), this could be the alternative to cumbersome battery cases that you've been looking for.
Click to EnlargeThe Fuel+ 6000 comes in a diminutive package draped in white, glossy plastic on its top and sides, with its bottom half in a matte, red plastic. About the size of one energy bar and the weight of two, this battery measures 3.7 x 1.75 x 1 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces. The Fuel+ fits easily into a front jeans pocket, but could more sensibly live inside of a travel bag, given the cords required for charging.
On one side of the Fuel+, users will find a power button with four bright, blue charge-indicator LEDs. The battery houses one micro USB input on one of its smaller sides, while the other side is home to two USB outputs. One of these outputs charges at a faster rate of 2.5 amps, while the other charges at a standard 1 amp; each is clearly labeled.
Click to EnlargeThe "6000" in this Fuel+ model's name references its 6,000 mAh capacity. To test the battery's ability to charge two devices at once, we connected the Google Nexus 5 (AT&T LTE) and LG G Pad 8.3 (Wi-Fi) simultaneously.
Since the combined capacity of the Nexus 5 (2,300 mAh) and G Pad 8.3 (4,600 mAh) exceeds that of the Fuel+, the battery couldn't charge either device completely. In about three hours, the Fuel+ charged the Nexus 5 up to 86 percent through the battery's 1A port and the G Pad 8.3 to 56 percent through the 2.5A port.
After draining the remaining battery life on each device using the same test, we found that the Nexus 5 lasted 10 hours and 7 minutes in total, while the G Pad 8.3 lasted 11:06. In our original battery tests, the Nexus 5 lasted 6:11, while the G Pad 8.3 hung on for 7:06. That the Fuel+ could extend each device's endurance by about four hours is impressive.
The battery can charge connected devices while simultaneously charging itself through a power pass-through feature. However, charging the Fuel+ alone took about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Configurations and Warranty
Patriot has a number of Fuel+ mobile batteries with various capacities, namely a 7,800-mAh model for $69.99 and a 9,000-mAh model for $79.99. All Fuel+ batteries come with a two-year limited warranty.
Click to EnlargeGiven its portability and ability to charge two devices at once, the Patriot Fuel+ 6000 is a great alternative to the often-bulky (and pricier) smartphone and tablet battery cases. We just wish the Fuel+ came with its own wall adapter; only a microUSB cord is included. If you want to keep your gadgets running all day long and you prefer to travel without too many extra batteries, the Patriot Fuel+ 6000 will serve you well.