Gadgets are getting amazingly fancier by the day. No longer confined to Bond flicks of old, these high tech devices, jam packed with a crazy amount of ultra-cool sensors are a commonplace today. These infact, are as real, as our unfortunate lives amidst them. Be it the display, the processor or the camera, technology has made leaps and bounds in all sectors. All, except the battery, for this is one scenario that has proven itself to be inversely proportional to any, and infact all advancements to technology. The one scenario which finally sours it all for the average Joe, and rightly so. For without enough juice, our new found life companions are nothing but fancy paper weights. Today, almost everyone knows what Power Banks are, the fame owing to the dire need, and how a good one may spare our eyeballs a constant lookout for wall sockets.
Glory of the bygone days keeps us hoping for more, always nostalgic courtesy the iconic Nokia’s of old and their out of the world battery endurance. Although such an expectation in today’s age is bizarre and would undeniably equal to stupidity, want for a workaround can never go wrong. One such workaround is a portable power bank. In today’s age, carrying a power bank, even for the casual smartphone user is inching closer and closer to being a necessity. And thankfully it spares us of an introduction that was required a couple of years back.
Today we are all set to review one such power bank, Portronics Velocity 10400mAh unit. Sporting a gorgeous chassis and a good enough affordable price point, this power bank from Portronics skyrockets our expectations on the outset itself. Does it perform and is it a bang for the buck? Let’s find out, Best Five Magazine has a handy review of power banks for mobile phones available here.
The Portronics Velocity 10400mAh power bank is a high capacity fast charger rated for a high 2.1A output from one port and 1A from the other. With over 2 Amperes of current, it packs in a wallop under the hood which is just perfect for those carrying two devices at max.
DESIGN: ‘Beauty is Joy’
The actual batteries are wrapped around a gorgeous unibody sheet. To ensure a long lasting appeal, the metal has been anodized for protection against early fading, corrosion or similar wear. Portronics opted for a minimalistic design for their power bank. The smooth edges, a three piece design and the colors are testimony of the sophistication that has been aimed for. The resultant is a design language that puts its competition to shame.
Available in a couple of colors, the power bank wastes no space with its externals whatsoever, for more than 90% of its physical self are the actual batteries themselves. It feels substantial in the hand, thanks to the above mentioned density. Furthermore, all of the buttons, cut outs and indicators are placed on a single side, keeping things simple and tidy. We were particularly impressed by the huge power button. It has been meticulously camouflaged with the overall design, easier to hit yet difficult to spot.
PERFORMANCE: Something which eventually matters
The underwhelming capabilities of similarly priced, cheap knockoffs led to widespread speculations about the actual performance of this charger. Owing to the low price point, we ourselves admit to have long doubted the same. But after about a week of regular testing, our apprehensions were safely put to rest, for the charger performs like a champ, just as papers suggest, complete with all the bells and whistles Portronics claims for it. Furthermore the unit never heated up or depicted any sign of an unusual battery drain. It performs consistently and maintains a cool profile even when charged with 2A wall unit.
CHARGE UP TIME: The 2 Amp input is welcomed especially for a charger of this high a capacity. It took us pretty long to get it fully charged for the first time, i.e. over 12 hours using a 1.5 Amp wall charger. But post that first charge cycle, its batteries warmed up and now charge up way faster, i.e. within 7 hours using a 2 Amp charger, just shy of 9 hours with a 1.5 Amp unit and over 12 hours using a 1 Amp charger. Why is this so? In laymen terms, with subsequent charging and discharging, batteries inch closer to their optimum endurance levels, but only if due care is taken. Our unit reached its optimum sooner than usual, your’s may take up-to 2 weeks for the same. Thus patience is prescribed for all the agitated souls.
CHARGING SPEED: Portable chargers aren’t targeted as speed devils. They aren’t meant to compete with wall chargers and are simply designed for emergency purposes only. Yet we’r confident that none would oppose the idea of a charger being portable and fast, both at once. The above table suggests a lower output rate, i.e. around 1.35 Amperes than the advertised max of 2A. But this is more than acceptable for it’s a characteristic of every single power bank in business. Owing to the portability, there is a significant loss in conversion as well as a significant distortion in current transfer. Consequently, the charger takes longer than what a wall charger would typically take to charge up a smartphone. This is more apparently felt in devices having huge batteries such as the Asus or our Apple unit here. Although the Mi charger is no Ultra pack by Unu, it stands equal with almost every other charger we’ve ever tested. And for the price you’re paying, this is the best you may ever find.