Surprising absolutely no one who knows even the slightest bit about me, the truth remains that I am something of a techie nerd. Most of the time when I’m out of the house I’m usually packing a cellphone, tablet, various Bluetooth devices, iPod, and who knows what else. All of that portable hardware requires juice, naturally, and when you’re in the office, at home, near an outlet or eveb driving in a car, you generally have access to a consistent power supply.
It’s those wholly other moments which become problematic: long hours of travel, outdoor recreation, working remotely or telecommuting away from a power source (LOTS of power deals have been brokered on a hammock somewhere), hanging out in the great outdoors, or even in stuck a lower/no-coverage zone in which your phone is constantly working overtime trying to catch a signal. There are too many ways you can find yourself jonesing for power, and fast.
Power banks, external battery packs, or even extra batteries usually do the trick. Still, those ever-popular Apple devices simply aren’t engineered for battery swapping, and external battery packs can sometimes get a little hot and bulky (and are generally designed for a single type/model of device). Power banks — basically a battery-powered portable charging unit into which you plug your device — provide for a popular, all-purpose solution. They’re small, portable, and anything that can be charged via USB is welcome.
Our review subject for today is the Wusic Power Bank, a mid-range power bank solution that is light, portable, and carries up to 7800 mAh of charging capacity. How does it hold up? Let’s take a look:
Packaging: The Wusic Power Bank arrived in easy-to-open yet sturdy plastic packaging, providing a clear and complete view of the product. Interior plastic packaging allowed for quick and easy removal of the contents. Getting straight to the power bank with minimal fuss and zero frustration made for one happy blogger.
Contents of the packaging include the power bank, a micro USB cable, and user manual:
Appearance: I’ve worked with a few chargers in the past that came in a host of different shapes and dimensions. Some looked like dowdy yet functional batteries in hard plastic shells; nothing more, nothing less. Others were shaped like mini-flashlights, housed in tougher aluminum casings, which looked and felt great but felt lacking in the capacity department. The Wusic Power Bank seems to be a good compromise between visual appeal and tactile sturdiness. It comes in your choice of four colors (blue, green, pink, and white), and I went with white to go match my existing Galaxy S5.
The units dimensions are 96.3mm x 63mm x 24mm, which for us plebeians in the USA translates to about 3.8 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 0.95 inches high. It weighs 181g, or 6.4 ounces. In other words, the power bank is fairly compact, easy enough to slip in a pocket, purse, murse, gym bag, papoose, WHATEVER. I like the look of the unit. It feels ergonomic in the hand, with some gentle curves on the shell and rounded ends. It might not be winning any major design awards, but it’s apparent some care and thought was given to the look and feel of the power bank.
Documentation: The very brief User Manual gives you a general overview of the unit; given the very limited functionality of power banks as a whole, there’s really not a whole to go over. These devices are strongly intuitive; you really can’t get that much more plug-n-play. That said, it does a reasonable job of detailing the features, specs, directions, instructions, maintenance tips, and other basic unit details.
Functionality: Therein lies the rub, huh?
The Wusic Power Bank comes with two 5V charging ports, providing outputs at both 2.1A and 1.0A. The power bank has a side Micro USB input port used for charging the unit. With a capacity of 7500 mAh, which holds a good amount of charge. Whether you want to top-off your existing charge and completely recharge most portable electronics, the unit provides ample capacity.
As the power bank came with a USB charger, I elected to test charging the unit via my desktop PC rather than connecting it to a DC wall charger. USB charging is naturally slower but you’ll get a full charge when left overnight. Again, this is a mid-range capacity battery so it requires a longer charging period; I would recommend using a USB wall charger for faster results with charging the power bank (you can pretty much find these anywhere).
I appreciated the LED indicator lights on the top of unit. By pressing the switch button, you can get a general indication of how much charge your power bank has left (or, conversely, how much to go while you are charging the unit). Pressing the switch twice will turn on the LED flashlight, located at the front of the unit between the USB output ports. It’s a nice little bonus feature, especially when you’re frantically searching for your car keys at 3 in the morning and really don’t want to wake up your wife…
I tested the Wusic Power Bank on two devices: my Galaxy S5 phone and a pair of Jaybird Freedom JF3 Bluetooth Earbuds. These are my go-to devices for training and exercise, so I like to keep them highly juiced before heading to the gym or out for a long run. The JF3s contain a 250 mAh internal battery, while the Galaxy S5’s removable battery has a capacity of 2800 mAh. As such, the JF3s charged relatively quickly. I started charging them, with a completely drained battery, an hour before leaving for a run. When I came back to check on them less than 25 minutes later, they were fully charged. Nifty!
When it came to charging the Galaxy S5, I was reasonably pleased with the results. With the phone powered on in my preferred ‘standby’ mode (screen off with Juice Defender Ultimate on ‘Aggressive’), I was able to charge at a rate of 31.8%/hour using the 2.1A output. Again one can’t expect the “blazing” speeds of your trusted wall charger, but the Power Bank definitely provides much needed juice when your supplies are dwindling. In an hour I was able to take my Galaxy S5 battery from 20% to 52% charged, and that was with the phone on.
The twin USB output ports allow you to charge up to two devices at once. I did not do any benchmarks as part of this review, but I can confirm a successfu charging of both my phone and Bluetooth headphones at the same time. Charging two devices at once will obviously take longer, but it’s good to know you have that option available if you need it.
Either way, I was pleased. A fully charged power bank was able to charge my Galaxy S5 cellphone twice, with enough juice left over to charge my Bluetooth headphones a few times.
Final Thoughts: If you’re in the market for a portable power bank to pack along with the rest of your electronic devices on a long day of travel, hiking, training, theme park-ing, or anything that will keep you away from a power outlet for extended periods of time, the Wusic Power Bank makes for a fine option. The size and sturdy feel of the device is appealing, and it packs a good amount of capacity into its smaller build. Charging times were reasonable (if not especially speedy), and the ability to charge two devices at once will come in handy if you’re worried about multiple devices (or, perhaps more likely, multiple people in dire need of a charging station). The Wusic Power Bank can be purchased for $29.99 at your favorite online retailer, which is reasonably priced for a power bank of this capacity, sturdiness, and feature set.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.