Portable powerbanks are big business in the current technological climate, the only thing lagging behind the on-going development of smartphones is their battery life it seems. The draining of power from constant searching for Wi-Fi, the need for GPS and heavy duty apps has created a demand to charge devices on the go, wherever you may be.
The convergence of the camera, portable music player and mobile phone into the creation of the smartphone is strong evidence that people don’t want additional devices weighing them down. With that in mind it is important then for companies manufacturing powerbanks to prioritise not only the power of the unit, but also the weight and size.
The ChargeCube is a thick unit that just about overflows the palm of your hand, weighing 8.5 ounces. This feels quite weighty – in comparison to say a new smartphone – but powerbanks are usually bought in the knowledge that the user will be carrying the unit in a rucksack or handbag, where the weight becomes hardly noticeable.
The unit has 10400mAh (mAh representing the amount of electrical charge the battery can hold) and is the mid-range offering from Askborg, who also offer a smaller 5200mAh unit and a larger 20800mAh unit.
The powerbank was able to fully charge a Samsung Galaxy 7 – one of the newest and most powerful phones on the market – in an impressive 1 hour 45 minutes. Roughly attaining 10% charge every 10 minutes.
One of the key features highlighted by Askborg is the SpeedID port, which detects the charging requirements of the connected device and delivers the highest possible output to match a specific product. As it stands the port is able to detect and adapt to four unique categories; Apple products, Android phones, Android tablets and Samsung Galaxy tablets.
Aesthetically the ChargeCube is one of the most stylish portable chargers I have seen on the market. Generally the looks of such devices are cheap and plasticky, but the bicast split leather surface and sleek curvature of the unit makes for a welcome change. This external battery could easily be mistaken for an expensive external hard drive with similarities in both size and design.
The unit has an integrated LED flashlight that can be switched on by pressing the power button twice, a feature that can only be described as an add-on and one I don’t believe will serve any real purpose. Maybe due to the single purpose nature of a powerbank there is a desire to add features that aren’t necessarily worth the trouble.
In comparison to similar products, the ChargeCube is good value for money. It doesn’t largely undercut products of similar power but based on the build quality, £15.99 seems like a good and fair price.
Overall, the unit provides a visually sleek alternative to the generic powerbank and it does it’s job efficiently, providing users carrying an array of devices with the extra power they may need when out and about!