Overview:

Ok, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR didn’t literally save my life. It did, however recharge my phone (OnePlus One) five times a day when I was in Germany without access to a plug point.  It kept me going through the heavy tweeting, texting, GPS and camera usage I was putting my phone through and that was invaluable. In the modern world, that’s just as important as protection from bears. It’s possible the Limefuel L150XR is rugged enough to fight a bear with, but I never had to attempt that.

IMG_20140710_143253 Front of the box Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_143312 Back of the box Ajay Kumar

Pros:

-15,000mAh charge is ample for travel, camping, plane rides and long journeys without access to a plug point.

-Rugged build protects from drops, spills, water, dust and heavy damage, great for outdoors type or international travelers.

-Two USB ports allow for charging two devices at once, includes 2-in-1 micro USB cable with lighting adapter.

-Simple LED indicator and auto-on, auto-off and anti-overcharge protection makes the battery easy to use.

Cons:

-Weight and bulky build makes charging on the go difficult.

-Requires bag to carry, even with carrying strap with clip.

-Definitely not intended for day-to-day usage by regular people, there are slimmer, more portable batteries out there for that.

Build Quality:

IMG_20140710_142916 Battery attached to carry cord Ajay Kumar

I’m not an outdoorsy person, so when I unboxed the Limefuel Rugged L150XR and hefted it up, I had my doubts about how much usage I would get out of it as someone living in the Greater New York area. Limefuel isn’t kidding when they say that the L150XR is rugged. This monster weights 375g, and has dimensions of 5.55 x 3.27 x 1.06 making it as tall as my OnePlus One and much thicker. Inside is a 15,000mAh lithium-ion battery, capable of charging the OnePlus One or Nexus 7 (2013) almost 5 times over. If you had the iPhone 6, it could charge it nearly 7 times.

IMG_20140710_143220 Battery charging Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_143609 The 2-in-1 USB cord Ajay Kumar

Limefuel says it takes 9 to 15 hours to charge the battery, but using a Blackberry Folding Blade Charger with 1.80A maximum output current I was able to charge it much faster, I estimate 6 to 7 hours. That makes sense because the L150XR is capable of a maximum 2A input.

IMG_20140710_143235 Limefuel charging Ajay Kumar

The exterior of the Limefuel Rugged L150XR has an IP66 certification. Its dust tight, waterproof, shock proof, crush proof and vibration proof and it looks it. Outside there is a hard gray shell that covers the sides of the battery with a grippy rubber finish. Its smudge proof and it feels solid enough that you could probably drop it out of your second floor window. I don’t recommend that, but I did accidentally drop it on my wooden floor, the sidewalk and the floor of the subway. Forget internal damage, there wasn’t even any visible physical damage to the battery.

IMG_20140710_142923 Front Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_142928 Grippy rubber side Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_143002 Waterproof flap to cover charging ports Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_143007 LED indicator dimple Ajay Kumar

There are plenty of other features to the battery that make it an attractive device. There is a watertight cover to protect the dual output USB outlets and the charging port. I can personally attest to the fact that the cover is waterproof, I knocked a glass of water over on my desk. It dampened my mouse and the battery that was sitting on the table next to it. My mouse stopped working. The battery didn’t.

IMG_20140710_143518 Battery next to Nexus 5 battery pack Ajay Kumar IMG_20140710_143540 Limefuel charging next to Nexus 5 battery pack Ajay Kumar

Additionally, it has anti-overcharge protection and auto-on and auto-off to save battery charge with a simplified LED indicator making it dummy proof. You couldn’t fry this thing if you tried. Overall, the build quality is excellent, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR is durable, hardy and easy to use.

Usage:

I don’t go camping, fishing or hiking, the deepest into the wilderness I’ve gone is New Jersey. I didn’t get much usage out of the Limefuel Rugged L150XR battery until IFA Berlin 2014 came around and it was time for me to fly across the Atlantic on a budget airline that didn’t have charging ports (sadly tech reporters don’t travel in first class or ultra-first class that often).  

Screenshot_2014-08-30-00-53-49 TSA twitter response Ajay Kumar Screenshot_2014-08-30-00-54-01 TSA tweet Ajay Kumar

I was able to take the battery from New York to Berlin, through TSA security, without being probed or questioned for why I had such a large battery. That was a pleasant surprise since I was sure that due to being brown I would get an odd look at best, a full body cavity search at worst, when the battery got scanned despite assurance Ross Feinstein’s Twitter. It went well and no one raised so much as an eyebrow at my giant rugged battery, aside from this one woman on the Berlin S-Bahn who seemed to be alarmed by me holding the battery with the bright red OnePlus One USB cable connected to my phone. Sorry random Berliner, my phone was dying.

I used the Limefuel Rugged L150XR constantly at IFA. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to a big tech conference or trade show, but literally every outlet is being camped on. The pressroom is crowded from opening till close. Every corner and wall outlet is clustered with swarms of desperate techies holding out their plugs like offerings to a sadistic god. Normally I would be among them, struggling and fighting for the sweet electricity to power my devices. This time I didn’t have to. When my phone ran dry, I would just plug it in while I worked on my laptop.

 At one point I had an elaborate daisy chain set up with my laptop plugged into an elusive wall outlet, the battery taking power from my laptop and distributing it to my phone and tablet. Somehow, each day of IFA Berlin I used the full 15,000mAh of power with my live tweeting, my texting, my pictures, my emails and my GPS. I fully drained the battery three times, effectively using 45,000mAh of power. I doubt most normal people will ever go through the entire battery like I did. Overall, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR was my savior at IFA Berlin, without it I would have never made it past noon, leaving the launch of new phones, tablets and smartwatches woefully un-tweeted about.

Final Word:

At $84.99 the Limefuel Rugged L150XR is more expensive than some external batteries you can get. You could pick up smaller ones for around $20 to $30, or you could pick up a similar size for $40 to $50. However, what sets the Limefuel Rugged L150XR apart is its high-quality build that is neigh indestructible, its ease of use and its overcharge protection, which probably saved me from the weird voltage that Germany uses. As someone who travels internationally fairly often, the battery is now my regular travel companion. If you are an outdoor person who camps, hunts, fishes, hikes and needs a battery pack to see you through your trip, or a international traveler then you can’t go wrong with the Limefuel Rugged L150XR.