Incipio OffGrid Smart Portable USB Battery Charger Review

Sure, we live in the future, but portable battery chargers are still an essential accessory for any techie. Incipio’s latest 6,000 mAh portable battery charger is the first to put itself in the smart category. The OffGrid Smart packs a lot of battery and can charge two devices at once. Its smart status comes from Bluetooth integration. Read on to hear what it can do.

Visually, the Incipio OffGrid Smart looks fairly typical for a charger. It’s flat and phone-sized, which makes it ideal for stacking with your phone in a bag or pocket. It feels like plastic, but actually rocks a brushed metal aluminum body. There’s a simplistic design: two flush buttons on top with four LED battery indicators in between them. On the front is two regular USB ports with a micro USB port in between for charging. Battery chargers are generally as heavy as the battery inside. For a 6,000 mAh battery, it’s actually a bit lighter than expected. It’s a bit more stout, but it’s just like walking around with another phone.

6,000 mAh will get most people three extra charges for their phone. It’s a lot of battery for one person. Its weight and size make it super convenient to throw in your pocket. One of the USB ports will charge up to 2.4 amps (tablet speeds) and the other charges at 1 amp. This means it will charge just as fast as a wall charger.

Okay, so what makes the OffGrid so smart? It has Bluetooth connectivity, has an app, and can connect to your phone…but does that make it smart? And what’s the point? It’s smart because it can read your phone’s battery via Bluetooth and stop charging when it hits 100 percent. Basically, it’s supposed to be a little more efficient with charging. The Bluetooth connection allows you to control both ports (turn them on and off), find the charger (if it’s misplaced), and also get a more specific read on remaining battery. The app looks really nice, it’s just not especially useful.

The smart features are a bit silly, but nevertheless, it’s a great charger. It’s physically a convenient size and weight, it has plenty of battery, it can charge two devices (and fast), plus it’s supposed to be smart about charging efficiency. The Incipio OffGrid Smart is currently available for $89.99 from Incipio.com. If the Bluetooth feature doesn’t sound so appealing to you, then definitely save yourself some money and buy the non-smart version from Amazon for $42.17.

Buy it!

The Good: Nice form factor, Two ports, Charges fast, Bluetooth connectivity, Smart charging

The Bad: Not really that “Smart”, On the pricey side of portable batteries