This impressively slim battery packs a powerful punch and even an emergency flashlight, but it’s let down by fiddly controls and a confusing carabiner
If you’re going to travel with a battery to recharge several devices, you might as well do it properly. TravGear advises that you travel with a 10,000mAh battery in your luggage, which is capable of recharging the average smartphone between four and five times. This largely impressive battery fulfils that brief, and adds a few extra features, but it’s slightly let down by some needlessly complex controls.
Weighing just 261g, the Xtorm Waterproof Power Bank is surprisingly slim and it easily slips into pocket. There is a flap on one end that reveals two USB outputs for attaching two devices simultaneously, plus a micro USB slot for charging the battery itself (that takes about four hours). Between those is an LED light, which acts as an emergency flashlight (complete with a flashing SOS feature if you do a short press). Better still, the flap that covers these features also acts as a prop stand for the battery itself. It raises the unit slightly, making it easy to illuminate something with the flashlight.
The four LED indicator buttons on the roof of this batteries that tell you how much charge is left within. If that’s simple enough, so are the controls, at least in theory. On one side is a flashlight button that switches on that LED light. On the other side, directly opposite, is the battery icon that starts charging process when a phone or tablet is attached via USB. However, it’s way, way too easy to press the wrong button, typically activating the flashlight when you meant to charge up the phone. So in practice, the battery only works instantly 50% of the time. It’s not helped by the fact that icons for flashlight and a battery indicator are almost invisible. It would have been far, far better if much more obvious, different coloured buttons were used, and one was on the top of the device, and the other on the side.
That fiddly on/off switch is annoying, because otherwise the Xtorm Waterproof Power Bank is the perfect battery that even has shockproof bunkers. There’s even a carabiner included so you can attach the battery to your belt, or bag. Since the battery is waterproof, this is a great idea when you’re out and about, but TravGear couldn’t work out how to attach the carabiner to the battery itself – there just isn’t a gap to slide in the strap without having to dissassemble the battery altogether. However, it’s the hit-and-miss on/off switch that makes this otherwise impressive rugged battery worth avoiding.