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In this video I review 13 USB power banks (including two wild cards). I compare them across about 28 criteria, including real world capacity, voltage drops, energy density, price and fast charging capability.

Thanks to Franky for the USB Power monitor that was a huge value during testing:

USB Power Banks Tested:

* EasyAcc 2nd Gen. Classic 15600mAh –
* EasyAcc Classic 10000mAh –
* Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 –
* Poweradd™ Mini 5000mAh –
* Scud USA / Fremo P100 –
* Anker® Astro E5 16000mAh –
* Maxboost® Electron 10000mAh –
* Bolt Power® G06C Portable 600 AMP Peak With Air Compressor Car Battery Jump Starter –
* Goal Zero 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator –
* Anker® 2nd Gen Astro Mini 3200mAh –
* Intocircuit Power Castle 11200mAh –
* Poweradd™ 10400mAh Dual USB External Battery Pack with Multi-Angle Portable Stand –

Link to the spreadsheet:

Link to other review:

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33 thoughts on “USB Power Bank Review and Tests”

  1. Hi Martin. Nice video as always but i miss a bit hmm if it is possible it would be nice to see what is really inside..because quality you can’t tell just from outside and maybe there is reason why you pay more for product. Soo if possible some some teardown video would be nice also 🙂

    1. +SylwerDragon Good point. I started the video saying that…but I had not hit the bloody record button so lost a bit of filming!!! Silly me…
      So let me say it here…this video does not cover the the cables, accessories or (importantly) the inside build quality. I would also like to test the claims of 500+ and 1000+ cycles of the cells. That will take a whole lot more testing and time…but it’s on my „to do“ list.
      Thanks for the post.

    2. Yeah, I would have liked to have seen more information regarding how these units differ in design, usb charging specs/pin outs, different charging cables‘ resistance, information on the IC Anker is using for its „Power IQ chargers, and how this can all impact charge rate as opposed to simply a test of each unit’s performance.

  2. Thanks Martin, I currently own an Anker 13000mAh and it works well for phones etc.  It doesn’t like my Asus tablet though, so I’m looking for a model with a greater voltage range.

  3. Your real capacity calculations are oddly near 60%. I think manufacturers are using Ah in reference to 3.7V, because mobile devices have batteries rated in mAh at this voltage, and so do the power bank batteries. You are calculating this at 5V, hence the low results. 3.7V is 74% of 5V. I.e. many power banks claim capacities with oddly recurring numbers, especially 10400 mAh. This is due to 4×3.7V@2.6Ah batteries internally. At 5V it’s 7700 mAh.

    1. +TheMatgaw also because they voltage is boosted by a dc converter it also isnt 100 percent efficient, and neither is charging another battery all that efficient, in reality a 12000 mah bank will just about charge an ipad mini which has a 5000ma battery, due to all the conversion losses

    2. +jusb1066 You guys are totally right. I JUST did a video about this, and commented on this video to let Martin know about it, but youtube’s spam filtering keeps killing my comments 🙁

    3. You are correct, also how is Martin on this video getting a lower mAh rating but then saying it was more Watt Hours? How does that make sense?
      For example on the EasyAcc one he has 10Ah at 3.7v which is 37Wh and that is their claim.
      But then he is testing from the 5V port and he got 7.2Ah from that port which would be 36Wh and not 37.6Wh which he has written down on there.

      As you said you will never get the same Ah out of the 5V port as it has to step up the voltage and in doing so the Ah is lowered, but it’s still the same amount of power in Wh (with 1-5% losses usually from the step up conversion).

  4. Every single one of those things are pure overpriced garbage. More crap to tote around and have to worry about plugging in later to charge up, finding space in a travel bag, getting through airport security, and making sure it doesn’t get stolen…..
    Because traditionally when you go camping you want to take 3 smartphones, 2 tablets, a laptop, a 4g hotspot biscuit.. Why not just check into a hotel. Maybe in the UK is perfectly normal to bring all the electronics from home camping with you but here in the States we try to get away from all that bullshit when were camping, Yes we will have a cell phone in case of an emergency but it remains in the car and turned OFF.
    The last thing I want to hear while I am camping is a god damn cell phone bleeping and chirping all damn night..

  5. can you recommend a 4 cell USB charger that has ability to interchange Engergizer rechargeable cells?? i really hate ideal of re-buying the whole thing after 3 months…i prefer jut changing the 4 cells replace with none rechargeable alkaline cells or rechargeable cells.

    1. +RizHail in that case I would recommend getting a DIY type charger such as… http://r.ebay.com/wnRUnt

      They’re pretty cheap and you can get some cheapo 18650 batteries for them at around $1-$2 each, although I would suggest against Ultrafire (or anything fire branded) batteries, so doesn’t matter if they’re crap just toss em and get some more, remember they only cost about $1 to replace.

    2. +RizHail This is a good to great product for its design
      capacity. It is a power pack only! Only AC charging in this option
      (other option sold separately). Solar Generator is a misnomer if you
      have solar panels for this, it will recharge. get it here http://amzn.to/1SZWGjN

  6. Very good in depth video on USB portable batteries. I only wish I knew this before I started buying them.

    P.S. He’s *right on the money* about that first Gen Anker button issue!

  7. customers always highlight the capacity of the power bank, actually there is another feature of power bank matters, ever matters more 
    that is conversion efficiency, how efficiency the power bank converse the power to your mobile phone battery 
    this feature is very very important

  8. Heya, which one would you guys recommend? 
    *- EasyAcc 2nd Gen 10000mAh*
    *- AmazonBasics Portable 10000mAh*
    *- Anker 2nd Gen E4 Astro 13000mAh*

    Thank you and cheers!

  9. When I heard you say the „Xiaomi“ power bank had sharp edges – I knew it was fake. If you scroll down on the page for their 16000mAh unit – http://www.mi.com/en/pb16000/ – you can see a close-up of the chamfered edges on an authentic one. And here’s a guide as to how the BBC suggests you pronounce the name: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30848303 – in short, „SHOW-mee“, with the „show“ as in „shower“.

  10. Hi, thanks for putting this great review together.

    Just had a couple of questions from your spreadsheet. You seem to have skipped off the Anker 16,000 mAh device, do you have the results elsewhere for this?

    Also I see the Goal Zero listed as having a tested capacity of 22.71 AH when it’s only rated for 14,000 mAh, I’m guessing this was a typo but can you confirm?

    I’m trying to find the highest true capacity power bank for some Traveling I’ll be doing soon, so interested to work out which was the most capacious among your tests.

    Thanks again for the great videos!

  11. I had a question…with all of these, but specifically with the Anker, how long will these hold a charge after being charged if left idle? And is there a breakdown as to how much they lose over time? Great review as always.

  12. Excellent stuff, thank you Martin. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this. I have a suggestion, if you are ever looking for new ideas. I see the market has been flooded with Power Banks of the type that purport to jump start cars. You had one of these in your testing here. No one has done intensive testing of several of these type of units side-by-side, showing what their true capacities are, their true high amp jump starting capabilities, and feature comparisons. The „PowerAll“ is one of the better known versions, as they seem to have done a fair bit of marketing, but there are lots of cheap eBay/Amazon alternatives too, and one doesn’t know what one is going to get if buying online… Well, just an idea for you. Keep up the good work, and have a good 2016!

    1. +Samgab Thanks Sam. Good point and it’s something I’ve already bookmarked as a future test. The other issue that’s come to my mind with these devices is how long they can sit around in a car before their own self discharge makes them useless in an emergency. I think I have a solution for that issue but one I need to test. All the best for 2016.

    2. Cheers. Yes I agree about the self-discharge potential issue. Li-Ion chemistry isn’t that bad for self discharge, but if it is kept in a vehicle you have potentially great temperature variances, and also Li-Ion chemistry doesn’t like being kept at 100% charge, which is exactly what you’d want to do with an emergency power source. I think my simple solution when I buy one is to top-up charge it every 3-6 months, and don’t expect it to last more than about 3 years for emergency dependence. Then it can be relegated to non-emergency USB power bank functionality and replaced with a newer device.

  13. I do believe manufacturers and especially Chinese sellers will overstate capacity on power banks.
    BUT, I also believe that those stated capacities are the LiIon/LiPo battery’s capacities. Now, due to stepping up to 5V the current on the high side will be roughly 74% of the current on the low side – which pretty much matches the capacity difference for the EasyAcc bank (10 Ah @ 3.7 V vs. 7.2 Ah @ 5 V).
    This would also explain why the measured stored energy (Wh) matches the stated value, since that’d only get notably affected by the efficiency of the boost circuit.
    I’m not saying it’s the best to declare the battery’s capacity, I do agree that Wh should be used. But then phone manufacturers etc. should adopt Wh ratings over mAh ratings. Also on a side note, given that most portable devices do have a single lithium cell in them, the capacity rating might actually be almost met, after stepping back down to 3.7 V by the device (as in, a 10 Ah power bank will actually charge a device with 10 Ah battery) (minus losses in boost and buck converters of course).

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