It has been sometime since I have taken time out to really review something in-depth. Now, HisGadget actually gave me this opportunity to review their IntoCircuit series of compact portable battery banks. Today, we have with us here the Power Mini 3000mAh variant battery bank to share!
The 3000mAh series from IntoCircuit design is similar to most other battery banks so similar capacity: coming in a lipstick form. In the accessories pack that comes in the retail box, it has a charge-only microUSB cable, warranty card as well as a pouch, that is soft to touch, which means it sure can protect your battery bank well!
The bottom of the battery bank holds the details with regards to the battery bank whilst the top has the microUSB input, usb output and a LED bulb. With a rated output of 1000mAh and a capacity of 3000mAh, we expect the battery to last or at least discharge for close to 3 hours but will it last?
What does the LED bulb do then? Well, it acts as a torch light, which can also be useful at night.
Comparing this to the BlackBerry issued 2800mAh portable battery stick, the IntoCircuit variant stands out a little taller, albeit rounder and with additional features. In contrast with the BlackBerry version, the IntoCircuit version comes with 3 LEDs to indicate the capacity left whilst BlackBerry has 5 – 1 for letting us know if it is on, 4 for the capacity. Another point to note is that upon plugging the IntoCircuit with a device, charging starts immediately whereas BlackBerry requires you to turn it on first.
So now, upon performance, how does this stack up?
First of all, this battery bank is pitted onto my ol’ trust-worth BlackBerry Bold 9900. The BlackBerry Bold comes with a J-M1 battery with a rated capacity of 1230mAh. So will this tiny battery pack be able to juice it up?
As you guys might have remembered, the legacy devices have been very fussy on the kind of connection used to charge it, however, in this case, with the supplied cable, the BlackBerry Bold accepted it happily and started charging.
In the first test, with 2% left in the battery, it does not charge it up all the way, but only up to 89%. The device, however, was turned on with both wifi and 3G connected.
In the second test, the battery was fully charged from 11% in similar conditions.
I have to note that the battery heats up pretty quickly whilst charging the BlackBerry Bold, which means that there was quite abit of energy going to heat lost during the discharge.
In the next test, the battery bank was used to charge the BlackBerry Z10 external charger with a battery, L-S1, that was completely depleted. In this case, the battery again charged up to 87% before it ran out of juice. Unlike the BlackBerry Bold test, the battery pack seemed pretty luke warm in this case instead.
Rerunning the similar test on a BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9982 which is using the same L-S1 battery, I am able to get about 86% from a completely drained battery. The device again, was running on 3G and Wi-Fi and surprisingly, the battery pack was luke warm.
According to IntoCircuit, the battery packs manufactured by them utilizes premium battery cells from Samsung, however, we were not able to confirm this as the battery pack is totally sealed tight. Typically, battery packs uses a 18650 Li-ion battery cell, which can be seen above as the orange battery (that is a raw Sanyo 2800mAh 18650-size battery cell). Comparatively, the green battery represents a Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloop NiMH AA-size battery cell.
In light of the tight portable battery bank market, there are many brands and companies offering a lipstick size battery bank of similar capacities and is this worth the price at all? Before I jump to conclusion, let us take a look at some of the bigger competition.
- Anker Astro Mini 3200mAh
Price: $11.99 at Amazon
Higher rated capacity, Anker is a much more well-known company, selling at a lower price point than IntoCircuit. However, does not have a torchlight function. Seems slightly larger than IntoCircuit
- AmazonBasics Portable External Battery Charger – 3,000 mAh
Price: $14.99 at Amazon
Same capacity rating as IntoCircuit. Does not have torchlight function either and is largest physical size. More expensive.
With the prices similar throughout, what makes this stand out is the presence of the LED light and its compact profile. Getting this to complement your daily life is not a bad choice, however, should budget (that extra dollar) be a real issue, the Anker battery bank might be a nice alternative.
Note: A review sample was provided for the purpose of this review.