Saturday, September 06, 2014

Aqua Trek USB Waterproof Charger Review

 Aqua Trek USB Waterproof Charger
from Mobile Solar Chargers

Hiya all you gadget-a-holics today I have one of the best chargers I have ever tried to show you all.

By now dear readers I guess you realize, my love for rugged gadgets knows no bounds; as I tend to spend alot of time outdoors as a photographer and need my gadgets to withstand all types of weathers and conditions; this includes my charger as Im always in need of more power !
With the gorgeous Summer we've been having I have had my phone, tablet and Kindle as well as mini speakers outside; all needing a top up every now 'N' again.
So what better time to try out this toughy-wuffy charger from Mobile Solar chargers. Its waterproof, shock proof, dust proof, sand-proof....everything proof as well as being compact to be able to take with you anywhere.

Mobile Solar Chargers are a Specialist UK retailer and "One stop shop" for all your charging needs, you seriously do not need to look anywhere else; take it from me. They have a charger to suit not only your device but suit you personally too; from busy everyday commuting lifestyles to traveling in the Himalayas. All of their portable power banks and travel chargers recharge from USB or mains and the solar ones have the extra addition of trickle charge in direct sunlight.


Ive recently reviewed The Traveller also from Mobile Solar Solutions and I didn't think much could top this.

So checkout my photo-loaded review of the Aqua Trek below to see just what this amazing charger can do in every condition.



We all spend alot of money on our gadgets like smartphones, tablets etc; and with the constant upgrade of technology, battery power has yet to catchup and our poor phones tend to suffer through a day. We all need a good charger no matter whether its just as an emergency power bank when and if we need it. Or if you are constantly on your ipad etc and always run out of battery by midday.
Well look no further, especially if you work outdoors, party at festivals or camp alot. Maybe your an outdoor sports or water sports enthusiast; trekking, kayaking, canoeing, boating, cycling etc; you need your charger to keep up with you!

Drum roll and let me introduce the sexy looking 

Top and open box.

Packaging
Your Aqua Trek arrives in a lovely modern looking environmentally friendly cardboard box. It shows a nice line drawing on the front with enough information to let you know more about your new toy.

The Aqua Trek sits in a transparent poly bag to keep it clean and its own USB charging cable that doubles up as the device cable. USB one end and micro USB the other.



Description
This gorgeous charger is everything proof, waterproof to 1m depth, shock proof, dust and sand proof, compact and rechargeable. Its rechargeable from mains USB, PC or car USB.
When you buy yours you have the choice of a 7800 mAh or for an extra fiver grab yourself 9000 mAh! I have the 7800mAh and its been amazing.
This charger is completely surrounded in a rigid plastic outer casing; inside it has genuine Samsung grade 'A' batteries and premium electronics.
These hold a full charge for up to a year and have very little loss on DC transfer, giving you the maximum amount of charges for the given capacity.
7800 mAh = 4+ phone charges or 9000 mAh version = 5+ phone charges
 (depending on your phones mAh) Is that it...No!
As a complete bonus it also comes with a powerful torch, that also has a continuous SOS setting; what more could you need for outdoor life.

When you first see the Aqua Trek it reminded me of a workman's measuring tape in the black and yellow accent design; I really love this added touch.
Its has a good substantial weight with an indestructible feel. The excellent quality outercase is super grippy  and everything is sealed inside, it really is completely waterproof....as called...The Aqua Trek!

 The AT only has 2 buttons to worry about; both of which are sealed to keep everything waterproof including the 4 blue LED's next to them.
Both the on/off button and the torch button are nice and chunky they are quite hard to press but as Ive just said they are waterproof.

 The AT has 4 really bright blue LED's to show you its charging and also how much charge is left corresponding to how many LED's light up.
Once charged they maintain a solid 4 LED's.

On the end you have a rubber flip lid that opens to reveal your two charging ports. One input micro USB and an output USB, this remains waterproof when closed.

Talking about the torch....it has a torch...did I mention that....!
I love a product which has extra clever bits and a torch combined with a power bank is the perfect combination.
Set on the end the 1.2cm x 0.7cm torch lens sits right on the top, its protected by a thick plastic lens to maintaining its waterproofness...is this a word?

The torch has 3 settings; press once for a dim light, twice for bright and just hold down for a second for a continuous SOS should you ever need it...hopefully not!
Mobile Solar Chargers placed an AT in water successfully for over a month with the SOS still flashing...amazing see my video clip further down!

The corner even has a completely solid hole to slip a karabina or lariat through so you can tie/clip it to your back pack.

Measurements
12cm x 8.8cm.

Who can use the Aqua Trek?
Its suitable for all USB charged 5V devices including most smartphones, tablets, GoPros, GPS units, Garmin and hand held VHF.



Use
Oh my goodness I'm in love with this charger; I adore the rugged chunkiness and it has a fab excellent quality weight to it, plus I really love the black and yellow colour combo it screams working tough product; like alot of workman's gear. It could however easily be mistaken for a tape measure so careful your mates don't try and "borrow" it!
When you first see the AT you would expect it to feel like a soft rubbery texture but infact its a rigid plastic. Its the added textures that give it its grippyness.

These textured anti-slip panels are on the back and front.

It also has ridged corners for even extra grippiness and bounce if dropped.

Charging
Its so easy to use this little powerbank.

 The rubberized flap, flips back to show the ports; the clever bright yellow coloration enables you to see where to plug your device in day or night.

 Its hinge recesses slightly to give a really flush closure to maintain its waterproof seal.

On the box it states you need a full 7-9 hour charging time; which seems a long time and it is when compared to many cheaper versions that do not hold the charge for long.


The supplied cable is 32cm, plenty long enough to comfortably reach any device but you can use your own device's cable if you wish too.

You can see everything working here. My S4 has 0% left and the plug icon on my phone screen shows its charging. The 4 blue LED's on the AT shows its fully charged and happily charging my phone.


Charge your devices anywhere anytime, this is most certainly your perfect outdoor powerbank.

It charged my phone quite happily too while in my camera bag.

So down to the nitty gritty how fast did it charge my phone and how many times?
On average the AT charged my phone twice from 0% to 100% in approximately 8 hours and 10 minutes and the third and last charge it managed 40% in 3 hours; before needing recharging. But of course in an emergency you would not wait for a full charge....duh!
Fascinating fact; Something quite impressive was it had charged my phone upto 20% within only 15 minutes so plenty enough for several calls or emails. It then slows down to get the full charge to 100%; this is far better for your phone and its battery than a fast charge.

You have to remember my S4 battery is a large 2600mAh and the AT has a 7800mAh battery. If you have an iphone 5 it should charge it approx 4-5 times as it has a smaller battery of only 1440mAh battery. I am only guessing as I do not have an iphone 5 so cannot prove this.

All this of course is subject to what your phone/tablet is doing at the time. I tested different times during which my phone was turned completely off or just on screen saver,  updating etc so I could get a good idea of timings. Some were slightly faster charges some much slower. If you want the fastest charging time you need to turn off all updates and turn off your device completely.

  My Kindle Paperwhite 2 was charged from 0% to full within 30 minutes as its battery is only 1420mAh. 
The gorgeous Kitsound Cadet Speaker (review coming soon) was topped up in only 10 mins for an extra hour of sound...that's really cool!


 One of the many things I really love about the AT is the fact, I can now go out with my rugged gadgets and have a charger that's just as tough and perfect for the outdoorsy life. The AT can charge both Kitsound speaker and my phone; plus I have a handy torch when it gets dark.

 Talking of torches!

 You have 2 settings on the torch button, press once for a smaller tunneled; more focussed light. Press again for the brightest wider range and spread. The clever bit is the fact the torch lens is square not round giving you a more uniform light spread.

 I love how the yellow accent glows yellow-orange when the torch is on, reminds me of a Star Trek tele-communicator; Im showing my geeky side now ;-)

 I have reviewed a few torches now and even though Im not sure what percentage lumens this torch is; if you see the image above you will see the AT thats on the left is on its brightest setting. My 20 lumen mini torch is on the right.
So Im guesstimating its approximately 60-70 lumen torch. You can immediately see how dull the mini torch is compared to the AT's wide spread and focused brightness.




Checkout my Mini Clip of the SOS setting on this clever charger.
You can see just how bright the torch is.

CAT Active Urban Phone case doesn't it look amazing with the AT they could have been made for each other.



 Opinion
To summarize the Aqua Trek is tough, rugged, compact, shockproof, dustproof and sandproof.

Ideal to take on a picnic or just in the garden to top up those essential devices. (see above) Here are just a few of my devices I use on a daily basis.

The AT has been invaluable to us living in the middle of nowhere and we have had a couple of power-cuts since receiving the AT for review and have been able to give it a complete workout, trying it on most of my devices you see above.
Kitsound Cadet speaker, Kindle Paperwhite 2, Nexus 10 and my S4.
It was just brilliant to be able to use it on my Kindle Paperwhite 2 as a topup enabling me to read for longer outside.

This has to be THE camping or backpacking essential for your devices; because its waterproof its perfect for watersports, sailing and of course the beach being sandproof too.The AT is perfect for those working anywhere that's dusty, dirty and dangerous and would make the ideal gift for anyone thats more outdoorsy and enjoys active sports.
It has a good battery size to give you a few 100% charges or to top up a tablet etc. Plus the fact it will top up anything that's 5Volt USB charged and its a must have for anyone who has alot of gadgety devices like Gopro's, GPS, Garmins, most compact cameras, tablets etc.

Plus as an extra bonus you even have an excellent quality torch and SOS light too. All in all I love its unique excellent quality roughy toughy design its my number one power bank and highly recommend this to anyone whether you just need something for commuting or you are traveling away. Plan for Christmas now and grab a few for friends and family.


Pro's
  • Waterproof to 1m depth.
  • Dustproof, shockproof, sand proof.
  • Rechargeable from mains USB, PC or car USB.
  • Rugged exterior.
  • Excellent quality case and design.
  • Torch with SOS facility.
  • Grade A Samsung batteries hold charge for up to a year.
  • 1 Years warranty.
Con's
  • The waterproof buttons are quite hard to press.

Buy yours directly from
Mobile Solar Chargers
for
£44.95 for 7800mAh
£49.95 for 9000mAh (amazing value)

TIP: When buying the AT I would definitely recommend paying the extra fiver and grab the 9000mAh as all our devices are needing higher battery power and drinking it like water. However I managed quite easily with my 7800mAh powerbank, by juggling it between all my main devices you see in the images. So grab yourself an amazing bargain of a 9000mAh powerbank for under £50.


All my thanks goes to Mobile Solar Chargers for sending me this brilliant powerbank for you all for this review.
All my views and opinions are my own.







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