In a perfect world our mobile devices would always be charged and we wouldn’t have to worry about running out of power at the least opportune moment possible. It’s not a perfect world. Although smartphone and tablet makers have made significant strides with battery life, the need to recharge remains a fact of life. We took a look at one portable charger you can use to stay powered up on the go—the Foxnovo Power Bank portable charger.
The size and shape of the Foxnovo Power Bank are fairly standard at this point. There are a variety of sizes and shapes for portable charging devices, but the slim rectangle roughly the size of a smartphone is a very common approach.
The Foxnovo Power Bank is 10400mAh battery housed in a 4.72 by 2.55 inch rectangle about seven tenths of an inch thick. It weighs in at just over half a pound—8.48 ounces to be precise.
As you can see in the image above it has a polished aluminum case. On one end there is a micro USB port used to recharge the Power Bank itself, and a power button used to turn it on or to check the current charge status of the internal battery. There are also two USB ports that can be used to recharge mobile devices. One is 5v and 2.1amp and the other is 5v and 1.0amp.
There isn’t a lot to say about the function of such a device. It is essentially just a spare battery you carry around that enables you to charge other devices. According to the “user manual”—a small tri-fold sheet of paper that comes in the box—it takes 8 to 10 hours to fully charge the Foxnovo Power Bank itself.
There are four LEDs above the power button to indicate the amount of power stored in the device. You can tap the power button and see how many light up. Four LEDs indicates 75 to 100 percent capacity, three equals 50 to 75 percent, two means 25 to 50 percent, and one LED means less than 25 percent capacity.
The device comes with a 4-in-1 charging cable. One end plugs into the USB port on the Power Bank and the other end has connections for Apple Lighting, Apple 30-pin, micro USB, and micro USB 3—the faster charging micro USB used in newer Samsung mobile devices.
10400mAh is a very large capacity for such a small device. Similar portable chargers I’ve used typically have 3000mAh or 6000mAh batteries. It takes longer to fully charge the Foxnovo Power Bank but once it is charged it should have enough juice to recharge a number of devices, or repeatedly recharge a smartphone or tablet over the course of a day or days.
This unit is both thicker and heavier than other portable battery packs I’ve used. That is a tradeoff that is a direct reflection of the larger battery capacity. Basically, I can carry a thinner, lighter portable battery pack and have less recharging capacity or I can sacrifice a little weight and size to carry the larger battery.
One thing I noticed when using the Foxnovo Power Bank to recharge my devices is that it’s fast. I plugged in an iPhone 5s that was drained to 82 percent and it was fully charged back to 100 percent in about 10 minutes.
This unit is definitely worth the price—at least the actual price you pay on Amazon.com. It is listed at $60 retail, which is sort of high, but the actual price on Amazon is only $29, which is a bargain. It’s a bit thick to carry in the back pocket of your jeans, but you can carry it comfortably in the inside pocket of a sport coat. If you’re going on a trip the extra half-pound in your bag will be worth it when your smartphone or tablet begins to die right when you need it most.
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