By Robert Sanborn
Back in October last year, I wrote about a portable power pack that quickly ended up in my travel bag, see the review here. It was the Cheero and they have just sent me the newest Power Plus 3. Outwardly, it has a similar but smaller shape as the prior one I wrote about but internally, the differences are terrific. If you are doing any traveling at all, you will find having something like this indispensable as my last trip to China, while staying powered up in the hotels is pretty simple these days, it is while traveling around, it gets truly difficult and having something to keep the phones, tablets, and cameras going is truly needed.
As you can see from the images below, the new Cheero is about a third the size and shape to the prior model with just one obvious difference in how the two USB ports are set on the top of the unit. This model is actually less power than the other at 10,300 mAh but enough to power several devices for a day out touring. Another thing that sets it apart is the USB ports are autosensing so that if you need to plug in something that can handle the higher voltage like an iPad or fast charging phone, it will handle it no matter which port you use. It comes with a USB to Micro USB cable for charging the device but as you can see in the image, I am using my really cool and fast Xcyte cable to charge it but if you want to cut down on cable clutter, any Android charging cable will work.
The LED lights are also quite informative. If all four lights are on, you have at least 76% of the battery capacity available; three lights 51% or more; two lights 26% or more; and one light lit is 6% or more. If the one light is blinking, there is less than 5% capacity left. When charging the Cheero, the lights will stay on in reverse order till it is fully charged and the lights flash to indicate the amount of charging done and how much is left. All four solid on indicate fully charged. The power button on the unit is for two purposes. One is to tell you what the level of charge is left in the device and the second is to start the charging of your phone when you plug it in. When the charging of your phone or device is complete, the Cheero powers itself off and it has several protective features like the auto shutoff, short circuit protection, and overheating detection.
It is a perfect size for traveling being smaller than its sister unit. If you are worried about carrying it on a plan, not to worry, it has a rating of 36.2 Watt-hours; well under the limit of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). see thier battery page. The packaging from my sample came from Japan and it was in a pretty cool all plastic case with insert. If you have a choice, I would prefer the white unit as it will be much easier to spot in the bottom of the gadget bag. The original Cheero 13400mAh unit is still listed on Amazon but is currently unavailable. This new model, the Cheero Power Plus 3 is model CHE-072 and should be available soon. Highly recommended.