HOW TO BE A POWER RANGER

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - TRAVEL WISDOM TECHNOLOGY - JENNIFER DUDLEYNICHOLSON

Gad­gets are never more use­ful than when you’re trav­el­ling. Whether you need to find an in­ter­est­ing place, work out how to get there, or tell the world you’ve been there, smart­phones and tablet com­put­ers can be in­valu­able. But they come with one ma­jor de­sign flaw: an ever-de­plet­ing bat­tery that of­ten only sees out the day.

While this might be OK for Euro­pean trav­ellers, it’s more of a chal­lenge in the An­tipodes where some pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions are more than a day away. To help your de­vices last your en­tire jour­ney, we’ve gath­ered the best tips, tricks, and ac­ces­sories to keep them pow­ered.

CHARG­ING ON THE GO

If you have ac­cess to an air­port lounge, find a seat with power so you can board the plane fully charged.

This is just the first in­stance in which trav­el­ling with a power board or charg­ing hub is use­ful. De­vices such as the Aus­tralian-made Cygnett Su­per­Charger UFO ($60) will let you power up to five de­vices at once, en­sur­ing your en­tire tech cache is ready to fly. If you’re lucky, you could also find a power out­let by your plane seat. Qan­tas of­fers in-flight power out­lets in its first- and busi­ness-class seats on most air­craft, and they’re more com­mon on lo­cal air­lines in some coun­tries, such as the United States. How­ever, be aware that these power out­lets only of­fer 110 volts and will take longer to recharge your Aus­tralian de­vices. You can check whether your plane seat has power by en­ter­ing its de­tails at SeatGuru.com.

CHOOSE POR­TA­BLE POWER

There’s noth­ing quite like the smug­ness of hav­ing your own power source dur­ing an un­ex­pected travel de­lay. These gad­get life­savers now come in a mul­ti­tude of forms.

If your pri­or­ity is keep­ing your phone charged, Mo­phie makes bat­tery cases for smart­phones from Ap­ple, Sam­sung, and Google, and they pro­tect its form and sig­nif­i­cantly ex­tend time be­tween charges.

If your Ap­ple Watch is im­por­tant too, No­mad has an $US80 de­vice called the Pod Pro that will charge it and your iPhone si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

But if you pre­fer to keep your charg­ing op­tions open, com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Belkin, Cygnett, Sony, Mo­phie, and 3SixT of­fer uni­ver­sal power bricks to charge any de­vice.

Some come with charg­ing ca­bles at­tached, like the $200 Mo­phie Pow­erS­ta­tion Plus Pre­mium Kit, while oth­ers will charge more than one de­vice at a time in­clud­ing pow­er­hun­gry tablets, such as the $70 3SIXT JetPak. Tablets typ­i­cally re­quire a 2.1amp power sup­ply to charge.

MAKE SURE IT’S SAFE

Aus­tralia’s Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity main­tains a host of rules around car­ry­ing bat­ter­ies on a plane as car­ry­ing them in­cor­rectly can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences. A Mel­bourne flight en­dured a fire in the cargo hold in 2014, for ex­am­ple, when a lithium ion bat­tery mal­func­tioned.

For this rea­son, spare bat­ter­ies must be con­fined to your carry-on lug­gage where they can be eas­ily ac­cessed if any­thing goes wrong.

Bat­ter­ies should be un­der 100 watthours, which cov­ers the ma­jor­ity of por­ta­ble bat­ter­ies, such as Belkin’s gen­er­ous MIXIT Power Rock­star 10000 ($90) that can recharge a phone four times. If in doubt about your bat­tery, check its air­wor­thi­ness at dan­ger­ous­good­sapp.casa.gov.au.

ONLY USE WHAT YOU NEED

This is the last re­sort for sav­ing bat­tery life but it works. If you want to keep your phone on dur­ing tran­sit, turn on flight mode to limit its wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions, turn down the screen bright­ness and close de­mand­ing apps such as Face­book and In­sta­gram. En­gage your phone’s power-sav­ing mode. If you have an Ap­ple iPhone, Low Power Mode stops the phone au­to­mat­i­cally fetch­ing mail, lis­ten­ing for Siri com­mands, and re­fresh­ing apps. For Sam­sung phone users, Power Sav­ing Mode re­duces screen bright­ness, turns off hap­tic feed­back, and lim­its per­for­mance, and Ul­tra Power Sav­ing Mode turns off apps, and turns the screen black and white. With a 10 per cent charge, and this mode en­gaged, you could get calls and texts for a day.

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