If you don’t have a portable battery charger in your tech tool chest, I honestly don’t know how you survive. I have a variety of batteries for smart devices in our home, ranging from what I call “lipstick” chargers (small, easily carried batteries that my kids use to quickly charge their iPhone), to solar power batteries for emergencies, to larger battery packs that can charge up iPhones and iPads a few times. You can’t be overly prepared, right? And my kids actually get lazy and use these portable batteries even though they are near plugs…they just like the convenience. Well, I now have a high-capacity portable battery, the Naztech VOLT Power Station, which tops out my battery collection thanks to the folks at Naztech. And it’s pretty darn nice. (*Disclosure below.)
A battery is a battery is a battery, right? Well, not exactly. When shopping for a portable charging solution, I have found that there are several things you should think about, specifically
- Do you want something light and portable? If so, it’s probably a lower capacity battery.
- Does size and weight not matter? Well, you might want to consider a larger capacity battery.
- How many devices are you looking to charge? That could determine the capacity requirements as well.
- How many simultaneous devices do you want to charge? In this case, you need to consider how many ports and the types of ports.
- Do you want to charge devices other than USB-connected ones? You may need to go to a larger sized and larger capacity battery and one that has an AC plug.
Bottom line here, think about what you are trying to solve before just grabbing any old portable charging solution. Larger capacity batteries with more features will push the price up a bit. But in the long run, having one (or more) high-capacity batteries is a good safety practice (or it may just help those lazy kids avoid from having to find a wall plug).
Let’s take a look at the Naztech VOLT Power Station. At 27,000 mAh, it is what I would consider to be a larger capacity yet still portable battery. A quick scan through Amazon shows that 27,000 mAh is probably the top end of portable batteries that don’t have a really large form factor. So for me, that is fairly significant. Here are some high-level features and capabilities of the Naztech VOLT:
- Did I already mention 27,000 mAh capacity?
- Universal AC “Wall” outlet – at 110V/85W, you can power many types of wall plug devices
- 3 different USB ports: USB-C, Quick Charge 3.0/2.0, and regular 5V/2.4A USB
- Rapidly charge up the battery in about 4 hours (20V/40W)
- Built-in LED flashlight
There are some pretty advanced safety features as well which I will go into shortly.
Unpacking & Using the Naztech VOLT
The Naztech VOLT Power Station comes with just a few important things. Obviously, the VOLT itself. And a wall charging cable. But what is really nice, and something that travelers will appreciate is the fact that it comes with international plug adapters as well. So what that means is that you can take this battery overseas and charge and use it wherever you go. While the weight might be a bit more than you want (it’s actually only about 1.6 lbs.), you have to “weigh” that (sorry) against NOT having emergency power when you are on the go.
Out of the box, I was impressed by the sleek design. On one of the short sides, you have all of the ports that matter: the AC plug, the three USB ports, and the LED light. On each of the longer sides, there are some heat vents (I believe) which made me think that the VOLT would heat up charging or discharging. In fact, the Naztech VOLT does not seem to produce a ton of heat when doing either action. It’s warm but not hot. And near one of the vents is the port where you plug in to charge the VOLT. It is recommended that you use the appropriate charging plug.
The VOLT itself measures 7.5″ x 4.75″ x 1.125″ and as I said, weighs 1.6 lbs. The majority of the body seems to be wrapped in a sort of a fuzzy, felt-like material. This feels good to the hand and prevents it from sliding on slick surfaces, but I did notice it tends to like to attract dust. (There could be some electromagnetic action going on here as well, I’m not sure.) But, that’s not a big deal. This is a utilitarian device.
The included plug adaptors simply attach to the standard US plug. Again, it’s nice to have that convenience if you are a traveler. And since I’m talking about the plug, I have to talk about the initial charge. My Naztech VOLT came fully discharged. This allowed me to actually time the initial charge. The product documentation says that the VOLT can be fully charged in about 4 hours. So I put that to the test. First charges may differ than subsequent ones. I found that from empty, it actually took almost exactly 5 hours to fully charge up the VOLT.
On the top of the VOLT, there is a button that does a few things. If you tap on it, there are 8 blue LED lights that indicate the charge state of the battery. If you double-click the button, you can turn on the LED flashlight. And if you press and hold the power button, the VOLT powers down. So, when I tapped on the button initially, none of the blue LEDs lit up (as expected). I plugged it in and over time, I could watch the VOLT charging up with the current battery level blinking blue.
So, after about 5 hours for the initial charge, I was ready to do some other testing. Since I have an iPhone, I wasn’t able to fully test the Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities. However, I have read (and will be testing) that if you have a USB-C to Lightning cable, you can actually achieve “quick charge” capabilities on the iPhone 8/8 Plus and X. I have ordered a cable in order to test this out in the future.
You can charge 3 USB devices at the same time with the Naztech VOLT (assuming one of them has a USB-C connection). This is extremely convenient for parents who want to charge up their kids devices. (Just don’t forget those multiple charging cables!)
But the true “power” (again sorry) of the Naztech VOLT comes in the form of the AC plug. I haven’t seen that many high-capacity portable batteries that have this option. With this plug, you can charge up and/or power other devices like laptops. One important thing to note, when you use the AC plug, you have to physically flip a switch next to the plug to turn on power to the AC plug. And, I believe, you cannot charge USB devices while you are using the AC plug.
The next step in my testing was to see how the AC plug power might work with my MacBook Pro. Most of my tests are less scientific and more driven by real-world scenarios. So, in this case, I wanted to see what happened if I was just powering my MacBook Pro (MBP) with the Naztech VOLT. But there is an inherent problem with my testing. My MBP has a battery too, one that I can’t remove. So I would have had to either fully drain my MBP until it shut down, or just figure out a different way to test it.
So, I just decided to see how long it would take the VOLT to drain when plugged into my MBP. When I started, my MPB’s battery was at 85%. That meant that once I plugged it into the VOLT, the power that was drawn would be used to re-charge the MBP battery. And, my assumption was that once the MBP battery was full, it would just pull a trickle charge to keep it topped off. (Of course, my assumptions could be wrong.) So, I just continued using my MBP with it plugged directly into the VOLT. And after a little over 2 hours, I had fully drained the VOLT. Note: my MBP had its own screen on as well as two monitors connected to it. And I was fully using the MPB (it wasn’t sitting idle).
Therefore, from just one, non-scientific test, I can conclude that I gained about 2 hours of battery on my Mac. But again, your mileage may differ and it depends on the power draw from your computer.
The last test that I decided to do was one completely not related to charging tech. And I wanted to see if the Naztech VOLT could even handle it. I decided to plug in a hair dryer and run it. One, I wanted to see if it would work at all. Two, I wanted to see how long the hair dryer would work if it indeed did power on. And three, I wanted to see if any of the built-in safety features would kick in.
The result? The hair dryer powered on…for about 1/2 a second and then it shut off. The Naztech VOLT’s internal protection prevented too much power flowing through it. Hair dryers draw a lot of energy. However, the Naztech website does say that you can power a flat iron…but I haven’t tested that.
Since I briefly mentioned the safety features of the Naztech VOLT, I think it is important to give a little more detail on them. First, I talked earlier about the heat vents and how the VOLT didn’t really get hot, only warm. The VOLT has built-in temperature controls that prevent overheating. There is also an Over-Voltage circuit that stops inbound surges (e.g., when you are charging the VOLT) from damaging it. In my hair dryer test above, I was curious to see if the overcurrent protection would kick in. It did. If too much current is flowing through, the VOLT is designed to shut off the power. There is short-circuit and power-overload protection design to product the VOLT as well, and if one of these protection safeguards is tripped, you can reset it after the VOLT cools down.
Lastly, due to built-in circuitry, the Naztech VOLT knows what type of power the attached devices require and will stabilize and regulate the charge current going to those devices. If too much charge heads toward your device, it will shut itself off, protecting the VOLT and the attached device(s). If your devices can handle fast charging, it will send the proper amount of power for those devices.
Overall, I feel the Naztech VOLT is an important portable battery to have in your tech and gadget collection. It offers a good blend of charging options from various types of USB ports to the all-important AC plug (something not really found in many batteries). While you obviously couldn’t power a refrigerator or a TV, having the ability to juice up a variety of smart devices and even a laptop is truly nice. And the extra high-capacity battery means you can charge quite a few gadgets when you are on the go!
Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.
HTD says: There is nothing worse than a dead or dying battery on your device, especially when you need to use it. The 27,000 mAh Naztech VOLT Power Station gives you the ability to charge multiple USB devices and even plug in a laptop to give you additional gadget time on the go!
- Price Point
There is nothing worse than a dead or dying battery on your device, especially when you need to use it. The 27,000 mAh Naztech VOLT Power Station gives you the ability to charge multiple USB devices and even plug in a laptop to give you additional gadget time on the go! With this balance of power and plug-in options, what’s not to like? The VOLT is easy enough to use, fully charges in about 4 hours, and let’s you take advantage of quick charging capabilities. You can even plug in non-technology electric devices. At $200 it is a bit hard on the wallet, but you are also paying for a very large capacity, lots of electrical protections, and the peace-of-mind knowing you have that extra power when you truly need it.