Lately, getting a DJI Mavic portable charging station seems to be all the rage. So we decided to check some of them out and see if it is worth getting one.
We chose 2 of the more popular models on the market (although saying “popular” is overstating things a bit as portable chargers for the DJI Mavic are not very common yet) to see how we feel about them and whether or not they are worth getting.
And the short answer is: “It depends”.
Obviously it depends on your needs (not everybody needs a portable charging station) but it also depends on which one you choose. Because one thing quickly became clear to us, not all portable charging stations are created equally.
2 Portable charging stations that have been designed specifically for the DJI Mavic batteries. And the last one seems to be especially popular as it has gotten quite a lot of reviews lately.
Given that it has gotten so many reviews we tried the Energen Dronemax M10 first to see if it lives up to the hype.
DroneMax M10 Portable Drone Battery Charging Station
The DroneMax M10 Portable Drone Battery Charging Station (as it is officially known) is a rugged looking, external battery that allows you to charge 2 DJI Mavic batteries simultaneously.
Aside from that, it has a build in flashlight and a USB charging port. 2 Features did not really care about burn perhaps you will put them to good use.
But it does have a feature that immediately got our attention, it is fast!
The manufacturer claims that it is 10% faster than the standard DJI charger, which is a nice improvement. But people are reporting that they’ve found it to actually be between 20 and 30% faster than the original DJI charger.
And indeed, our M10 was a also about 20% faster than the standard charger. So it looks like manufacturer decided to err on the site of caution when they put out their numbers and we get to be pleasantly surprised.
And fast charging is definitely an advantage when you are out in the field. After all, you will most likely get a portable charger so you can carry less batteries. And in that case it does not help if you have to wait forever for your batteries to recharge, before you can go and fly again.
So can we recommend this portable charging station for your DJI Mavic?
We are going to go contrary to what the popular opinion seems to be at the moment and say: “No, not really.”
Although (we think) it looks cool and it does a good job quickly recharging your batteries, it has a downside. It can only charge 2 batteries before it runs out of power. And as it is bigger, bulkier and heavier than 2 batteries, that is a big downside.
It really makes no sense to lose more space, have to carry more weight and have to wait for your batteries to recharge when you can just get 2 extra batteries and bring those.
Not only that, the Energen Dronemax M10 is more expensive than 2 extra batteries. So unless you need a heavy flashlight we don’t think it is worth investing in this charger unless/until the price drops significantly.
Smatree Portable Battery Charger
Next we looked at the Smatree Portable Battery Charger.
To us, it does not look as good as the Dronemax charger.
But then, how important are looks in a portable charger?
After all, it will most likely spend the majority of its time stowed away somewhere.
Not only that but taste is very personal. Although we don’t much care for it, you may well think it looks amazing. So in reality we can probably ignore that.
Like the M10, the Smatree Portable Battery Charger also charges 2 batteries at the same time. Unfortunately, it takes more time to do this than the Dronemax M10.
In fact, it took us pretty much the same time as it takes to recharge batteries with the DJI charger. Which means the Smatree charger definitely cannot compete on speed.
But, the Smatree Portable Battery Charger has something else going for it. It has a much larger capacity. And that means it can also charge more batteries than the M10 before you have to recharge it.
When you are done charging the first 2 batteries just put on the next 2 and it will happily go on and charge those as well. According to the manufacturer you can even charge 5 DJI Mavic batteries from one full charge.
Unfortunately we did not quite get there. Maybe there was a problem with our model (or maybe we didn’t charge it properly) but we were “only” able to get a little over 4 battery charges out of it.
There is a downside though, at over 4 pounds (about 2kg) you will notice you are carrying more weight when you are walking around with it.
Although the Energen Dronemax M10 is lighter and has some extra functionality it just falls short. Being bigger, heavier and more expensive than 2 extra batteries we just do not see the point in getting one.
The Smatree Portable Battery Charger on the other hand, we can see us using that one regularly.
Yes, it is heavier than getting some more batteries. But because of its price and its ability to easily charge 4 batteries, we don’t really mind.
Having the ability to charge 4 batteries makes the Smatree charger the perfect companion for camping and other trips that take us away from outlets.
And although it is heavier than some extra batteries we can still comfortably carry it around, even on extended hikes.
So if you are planning to go places where you do not have power outlets, this portable charging station is just the thing you need to make sure you get all the shots you want. And we definitely recommend you get one.
Do you agree or disagree, or do you have another portable charging station that you think is better? Feel free to let us know in our Facebook group.
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