Festival season is upon us and as I speak I’m currently missing out on being at Download Festival because I have to work #FeelSorryForJosh. With this special time of year there come many opportunities to make money through the likes of selling camping equipment, owning a food van or portable bar and with more and more people reliant on their mobile devices you have those who set up charge stations. Now to save spending money at a charge station a lot of people will have taken power banks with them this year but realistically you probably just grabbed one of the low power ones that EE gave away for free in one of their latest promotions. The problem with these though is that they will likely run out after a day or so of solid use, and if you’re on a five day camping ticket at these festivals it’s just not going to cut the mustard is it. But what if there was a way you could charge your charger up while not in use during the day?
WHAT IS IT?
Well Sandberg have released what could be one of the best devices to grab yourself for festivals this summer or just something to get if you’re an avid camper, the Sandberg PowerPal 5000. Oh yes this little beauty truly is wonderful, a portable battery which can be charged both by USB or by the built-in solar panel on top of the charger. So as you’re off watching our favourite bands you can leave this on the side of your tent (if you trust people that much) or you can carry it around with you gathering light to charge itself up. Obviously depending on how sunny the day is the speed the device charges up at will vary, and even in direct sunlight it can take up to 24 hours to reach a full charge. But rather than paying £5 an hour to some random guy with a locker that has some chargers plugged into it, this ends up a much cheaper option in the long run as it’s not like you’ve got to put any effort or money into charging it.
LOOKS AND FEATURES
Unlike some power banks though which aren’t that nice looking the PowerPal 5000 is aesthetically pleasing with its somewhat bulky and robust design, all black in colour. On one side you have some small red LEDs that indicate power levels and whether the PowerPal is charging, then you have the input and output charging ports which are nothing to rave on about as they’re pretty standard. The aspect of its design which makes it that little bit more special as well, and which is the reason why I’d say this is a great buy for camping enthusiasts, is the fact there is a foldable hook attached and an in-built torch. This means you can hook it somewhere to charge up whilst you go about doing your business in the day, then hook it up in your tent or camper at night and use it as a light so you can carry on partying.
THE TECHNICAL (BORING) STUFF
- Capacity: 5000 mAh
- Input voltage: 5 V
- Output voltage: 5 V
- Input current: 1000 mA
- Output current: 2100 mA
- Connectors: 1 x Micro USB female, 1 USB A female
- MonoSolar panel: 5.5 V / 250 mA
- Charging time: 7 hours by USB AC charger / 22-24 hours by solar cells (in direct sunlight)
- 4 LEDs flashlight
- LED power: 1w
So what does the above mean? Well a 5000mAh battery means you’ll probably get to charge your mobile (dependant on manufacturer or model) between 1.5 and 2.5 times which is pretty good anyway but remember the PowerPal actually charges itself up in the day so you’ll get more out of it whilst you’re away. The input/output voltages are pretty standard as well and if your phone has a lower voltage such as 3.7V then it’ll just convert the output power to your phone so it doesn’t blow the battery. The charging time via cable is a little longer than usual with power banks but this is likely to be due to the fact it is also wired up to solar panels and so Sandberg restrict the input power to help protect the internal components rather than risk damaging them.
Well this is the ideal gadget for festival goers and camping aficionados; it’s beautifully designed, small and compact yet still robust, and in the summer months it will prove to be a valuable asset to anyone who needs a portable power source. It’s a shame the main selling point is possibly its biggest weakness though because really it’s unsuitable in the winter due to lack of sun and although it can be charged by USB it takes longer than other power banks, but that’s just an excuse to go out and buy another gadget. I really like the hook and torch on this as well, it’s not something that you’d think would be that important to include but like I say it actually is damn handy and will only benefit anyone who buys it. So yeah, if you are heading out to Glastonbury, 2000 Trees, Leeds/Reading or many of the other festivals around this summer then make this PowerPal your best pal and grab one so you don’t get caught short on power.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.