If you’re a regular reader of this column, you already know that I’m a battery geek.
Being prepared with my own power supply makes me much less likely to be caught with a dead phone battery when I’m away from a plug.
When I travel, I carry a small wall charger, but lately I’ve been trying to make it through a whole weekend with just a nice-sized external battery.
A battery that can power a laptop, a phone (or two) and an Apple watch is heavier to take with me than a charger and a few cables, but I like having my own power source.
This week, I’m reviewing a new external battery that has more power output than any portable battery I’ve used before, the Chargeasap Flash Pro ($299.99 at chargeasap.com), which can provide up to 190 watts of power.
This wattage number refers to how much total power is delivered through all of the charging ports. A large laptop might need 65W, while your phone might use 30W to 45W, and AirPods might use 10W. The Charge Pro lets you charge multiple gadgets as long as their combined power draw is less than 190W.
The Flash Pro provides power through USB ports. This is a battery you’d toss in your computer bag to charge up your stuff when you are away from convenient places to charge.
Which model is for you?
The Flash Pro comes in two models — one for Android users and and one for Apple users.
The batteries inside are exactly the same, but the Android model has one wireless charging spot on the front of the case while the Apple version has an Apple-compatible MagSafe charging spot and an Apple watch charger as well.
The Apple model costs $319.99, but the extra $20 is well worth it for the addition of the watch charger. I was sent the Android model for this review, so I didn’t get to test the MagSafe or the watch charging, but the battery capacity for both models is the same — 25,000 milliamp hours.
The batteries inside
The Flash Pro is powered by five 21700 Panasonic lithium polymer graphene batteries.
Graphene has been called the battery of the future, and Tesla and Panasonic collaborated to create these graphene batteries.
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y battery packs are made up of thousands of these same graphene battery cells.
According to Chargeasap’s website, graphene batteries have some big advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries.
Regular lithium-ion batteries have a life cycle of about 500 charges. Graphene batteries have a life cycle of up to 2,000 charges.
Graphene batteries run a lot cooler than the older lithium-ion batteries, which helps with safety and battery longevity. And graphene is approximately 100 times stronger than steel, so it can withstand damage better.
Graphene also charges faster because it can handle higher wattages during the charging process.
The five batteries in the Chargeasap Flash Pro have a combined capacity of 25,000 milliamp hours, which is just under the TSA limit for the largest battery you can take on an airplane.
What can it charge?
Both models can wirelessly charge one phone, and you can charge any wireless phone (iPhone or Android) on either model Flash Pro. The Android model I tested had no problem wirelessly charging my iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Both models also have four USB ports on top for charging any USB-powered device you might have.
There are three USB-C ports and one USB-A port. Each port has a different maximum output, and the ports are clearly labeled with a number and output capacity.
USB-A1 can provide 50W of power and is designed to be compatible with Oppo phones (50W), OnePlus phones (50W), Vivo phones (50W) and Huawei phones (22.5W) as well as any phone that can handle Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
USB-C1 provides 100W of power delivery, and it is also the power input, so you recharge the Charge Pro with a USB-C charger through the C1 port. Note that the Flash Pro does not ship with a charger. You must provide your own, and Chargeasap recommends a 100W charger for fastest recharging.
With a 100W charger, you can charge the Flash Pro from zero to 100% in 70 minutes.
The USB-C2 port provides 20W of power delivery and USB-C3 provides 60W of power delivery.
The Android model of the Flash Pro can charge five devices at once (four USB and one wireless) and the combined output of all five devices can be up to 190W.
The Apple model can charge six devices at once (four USB, one wireless and one Apple watch) with the same 190W limit.
The Flash Pro batteries also do pass-through charging, which means you can charge the internal batteries and the power passes through to any attached devices at the same time.
Charge status display
One of the best features of the Flash Pro is the small but very informative OLED display that shows each port and how much power is being used. The display shows the power used by each USB port in watts, volts and amps. There is also an internal temperature reading and a readout for total output of all the ports.
How does it hold up?
Flash Pro batteries have aluminum cases that are quite tough. And the battery couldn’t be easier to use. Connect your device with the right cable and press the power button to start charging.
You can use all the ports and wireless charging spots at the same time, but you’ll drain the battery in a hurry if you do.
I was amazed at how fast all my devices charged from the Flash Pro, as well as how fast the battery recharged when it was exhausted.
I was also amazed at how cool the unit was during charging, even with all four USB ports in use.
The Flash Pro should be able to keep two phones and a laptop going for a weekend, depending on the size of your device batteries. A really large laptop will need a lot of power and may not last as long.
If you are just charging phones, the Flash Pro will give you four to five full charges.
Flash Pro batteries are not cheap, but graphene cells are so advanced that you could use it every day for more than five years and it will still be going strong.
Pros: The absolute latest battery technology with long life, high output, fast charging and low temperature.
Cons: Expensive but worth it.
Bottom line: Flash Pro batteries are beasts, and they’re worth the price.