Never in the history of everything have we been more reliant, more dependent on electronic devices. Separation anxiety caused by being without your mobile phone is now a recognised stress condition! So, you left the house this morning, but you forgot to charge your phone – how will you ever know what your Instagram friends had for lunch or what the latest viral cat video is?
You need a mobile power pack!
Thankfully there are roughly a bazillion models available in every imaginable shape, size and capacity. But what happens if you run up mountains for fun, or a much more likely situation; you find yourself miles from home during the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Then you need the Griffin “Survivor” Power Bank. The secrets in the name folks!
Griffin touts this as the Chuck Norris of battery packs due to its super rugged features. It’s drop proof from a height of 2m (we’ll see about that), as well as being water, dust and zombie blood resistant thanks to being fully encased in a textured rubber exterior and port cover. The corners have a good bit of give in them to cushion impacts, so it’ll be useless as a bludgeon, but at least you’ll always be able to upload those skillful headshot videos for “Zombie kill of the week” contention.
On closer inspection, I noticed that the rubber isn’t actually bonded to the unit, but more like a form fitting case. Where the opening is for the ports, the rubber can easily be pulled away from the unit, so water could get in and get trapped in there. The port cover does fit snugly, but as pointed out in the unboxing video, the lifting tab does make it easily removable and I imagine it could be easily snagged, although, after a fortnight of bouncing around in the bottom of my bag, this only happened once. Mercifully I was not wading through a swamp or anything at the time and my office has only the usual type of pre-coffee zombies. I did try the drop test 3 times from around the 6-foot mark and the Survivor did indeed survive with only minor scuffing to the rubber housing. Really the only area of potential wear and tear vulnerability I see is the port cover and its little rubber retention piece.
The 10,050mAh Griffin is obviously larger than its peers because of the additional layers of protection, but it is still easily portable at 265g and the ability to just throw it into a bag and forget about it is a big bonus. Griffin makes several claims on the packaging – 2 hour charge time, 5 phone charges etc. In my (zombie-free) testing, I found that when using standard USB ports on my work PC or an iPhone plug, the charging took a lot longer. You’ll need to up the power supply if you want to get anywhere close to the 2-hour claim. Charging a two-year-old 1,810mAh iPhone 6 with a bog standard apple cable took around 90mins to get it from 15% to full, which was a little underwhelming. This is definitely a workhorse rather than a thoroughbred. I managed to get 4 full charges and it ran out of juice at 60% on the 5th. Depending on the size of your phone, your mileage may vary. It has the, now obligatory, tiny LED light for illuminating the 2 feet directly in front of you. These lights have become standard on battery packs now and are handy for when you are digging through a bag at night trying to find something, but really, little else.
Compared to its rivals, the performance is distinctly average. The equivalent capacity Anker will charge your device noticeably quicker and cost a heck of a lot less at £15. The Survivor is priced at £56 although it can be found for £47.50 on Amazon (mainland delivery only – sorry Northern Ireland) but it’s somewhat hard to justify such a massive price difference just for the additional ruggedisation. But, and it’s a big but – the Griffin comes with a lifetime warranty! A modern electronic device, one that is designed to take some abuse and it comes with a lifetime warranty!! Unheard of!!! From their site, Griffin state that if you can provide proof of purchase and are the original purchaser, they “will repair or replace the product if due to defective parts or workmanship; it does not perform as specified.” It does not cover “misuse” however. But rubber can perish and batteries will die, so it’s a bold, yet confidence inducing guarantee by Griffin and I suppose this has to be factored into the price. Unless of course, Griffin means the lifetime of the owner and they know something we don’t………which brings us back to zombies…….