Phones with big screens and sharp displays tend to conk off before day’s end. Although it’s prudent to juice them up using “fast” or “rapid” chargers, you’ll probably need a backpack to carry all the plugs and cables if you actually do lug around a bunch. And then there’s the hassle of finding a charging point when you need it.
This is where travel-friendly powerbanks come into play. Like phones, these devices, too, are getting smarter with every update. The one I am using these days is a 10,000 mAh battery pack from Ubon. It meets the basic expectations but also has a few things that are special.
First, it’s thin, light, rectangular and fits neatly in a pocket. Second, a backup of 10,000 mAh is good enough to give a phone like the iPhone XR two full charges with a bit of power left in the bank. And third, it can charge multiple devices, such as an Android phone, an iPad and a pair of truly wireless earphones — all at the same time.
Now for the unique features. It has three cables that are permanently attached to it: a USB Type-C (for new Android devices), a micro-USB or a V8 cable (for old ones) and a lightning cable (for iOS devices). The length of the cables is just about enough to attach to a device and not dangle. And when not in use, the cables neatly fit into the powerbank without protruding out of the piece, which makes it easy to carry the device in a pocket.
While all of this holds true in practice, the only concerning bit is about the device supporting different kinds of fast charging technologies. The iPhone XR takes about the same three hours to fully charge with this powerbank as it does with the 5W charger that comes with the phone. Realme X50 Pro comes bundled with a 65W SuperDart charger, which charges its 4,200 mAh battery in 35 minutes. It’s probably the fastest charging technology in smartphones. The Ubon powerbank takes a little more than an hour to do the job, which is not bad at all. However, the Samsung Note 10 Lite’s 4,500 mAh battery takes about thrice the time to charge as it does with its charger.
The pouch that comes with the powerbank is tacky and the design of the device is not the best either. But if that doesn’t bother you, the Ubon PB-X12 with a 10,000 mAh battery power is very convenient and its 2A output is also faster than conventional 1A powerbanks. It’s a reliable value buy for a price of Rs 2,149.