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