Tuesday, May 28, 2024

REVIEWED: Intocircuit PowerBank 11,200mAh Power Castle Series

Good for five recharges of an iPhone and doubling as a basic LED torch, this meaty battery is an off-grid Godsend

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Portable battery packs designed to recharge a smartphone and/or tablet while travelling are ten-a-penny, but most are expensive and offers only an extra charge or two. Intocircuit has instead come up with an extraordinarily good value option for off-roaders, campers and hikers; a battery that pumps a full five recharges into a smartphone and acts as a basic torch, too.

Seriously huge

The PowerBank is big, but hardly a problem to carry. Weighing about twice as much as a smartphone (about 250g), it measures 11x7x2cm, so it’s easily palm-sized. Its battery measures 11,200 mAh capacity, which is seriously huge; few wraparound smartphone battery cases and handbag-sized portable chargers fo beyond 2,800mAh. Four times higher capacity and only about twice as big, the PowerBank is a bit of a no-brainer.

Phones & tablets

The PowerBank has the standard ins and outs for a battery, but its adds a LCD screen. On one end is a microUSB slot (there’s a cable in the box) for fuelling the PowerBank, though considering its size it will need a USB wall socket rather than a PC, unless you want to wait all day. Either side are two 5V USB outputs, one rated 1-amp for smartphones, and the other rated 2.1-amps for tablets. Both are clearly labelled; we’d advise using the 2.1-amp output to charge-up a smartphone in double-quick time. Dual charging is possible, too. There’s also a nice grey pouch to store the aluminium-clad PowerBank in.

Disappointing torch

Unusually for a portable battery charger, the PowerBank boasts an LCD display. Measuring 21x12mm, this blue-lit display shows how much charge is in inside, and tracks its progress in percentage terms while it’s recharging. It’s a nice upgrade on the standards four LEDs. However, the PowerBank does have one, large LED that acts as a torch. Nice idea, but it’s only a few Lumens and not good enough for campers and hikers to leave a decent torch at home. Handy round a tent at night, but it’s an extra feature that’s not high-grade enough.

Great weight-to-power ratio

If you depend on mobile devices a lot when you travel and, crucially, often end-up in off-grid areas, this meaty PowerBank battery is for you. Solidly built, easy to understand and versatile enough to handle smartphones and tablets simultaneously, its weight-to-power ratio is impressive enough for it to live in the side pocket of any traveller’s daysack. However, its torch is far too basic to add any serious value.

Price as reviewed: £22.99

Buy the Intocircuit 11200mAh Power Castle Series external battery charger