Tuesday, July 16, 2024

REVIEWED: Powermonkey Discovery portable battery

Refuelling a phone and topping-up a tablet, Powertraveller’s latest is a great all-rounder but lacks raw power

Buy the Powermonkey Discovery

Price at time of review: £45

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Portable power is getting more popular, especially with travellers, but few batteries of this small size get involved with tablets. Happily, despite being relatively svelte at 46x13x114mm, the shiny aluminium Powermonkey Discovery features a 2.1-amp rated USB slot that means it can recharge a tablet.

Three-hours to charge

Weighing just 107g and shipping with a grey felt-feel travel pouch (which is handy for storing the micro USB cable), the Powermonkey Discovery houses a 3,500mAh lithium polymer battery, which charges-up via that micro USB in about three hours.

Revives an iPhone

In our tests the Powermonkey Discovery pumped a flat iPhone 5S to full, but had little left in the tank. Our second test saw it take a flat iPad Mini 2 Retina to a third full, something that took about two hours.

A flash of lights

It works simply, too; six LED lights on the front flash in turn, then go solid as the Powermonkey Discovery picks-up a charge. The process then works in reverse as it discharges into a phone or tablet. It sounds finicky, but with most such batteries it’s very tricky to tell what’s going on, and whether there’s any charge in the thing. A red LED flashes when it’s time for the Powermonkey Discovery to itself be recharged.

Top-spec device

There’s a misunderstanding about portable batteries that often results in travellers being disappointed that their tiny portable battery only works with a smartphone. The Powermonkey Discovery dispenses with any confusion by offering a top-spec device that can cover all the bases. What it lacks in raw power it makes up for in Apple device-matching good looks and a tough design that makes it a pleasure to travel with if you only want a tablet top-up.