Best power banks
May 28, 2014
Solar Technology Freeloader iSIS
By the time you read this, the Freeloader iSIS by Solar Technology will have been released. Although it has a modest 4,000mAh battery capacity, it triumphs in terms of features. Like the other power banks on test here, the battery can be replenished using a Micro-USB charger, but it can also be recharged using its own in-built high-density solar cell so it’s great for travelling photographers.
Along the side of the iSIS are two connector arms that tuck away into the metal body. One is a Micro-USB cable and the other is an Apple Lightning connector. In addition, users can also charge a second device from the USB port at the bottom of the iSIS.
The iSIS measures 123x62x17mm and weighs 124g. A slip-on rubber shock case is included, which allows it to withstand a drop of 1m and makes it weather resistant.
Recommended by Amateur Photographer
With a high-density solar cell, this iSIS is great for travelling photographers
STK 3 in 1 (Soap) Power Bank
Price: Around £24.99
Like the Solar Technology Freeloader iSIS (above), the battery capacity of the STK 3 in 1 (Soap) Power Bank is 4,000mAh, which is quite low compared to the other models on test here. However, the STK still has enough power to charge many camera batteries once or a smartphone twice. When packed away, the STK fits into the palm of your hand. Under the rubber top are Micro-USB, Apple Lightning and Apple 30-pin connectors. Unfortunately, there is no USB socket. On the plus, though, having these connectors built in means you will never forget the cables. The STK 3 in 1 Power Bank measures 26x90x58mm and weighs 103.5g.
Proporta USB TurboCharger 7000
Proporta specialises in cases and accessories for mobile devices. Like the Bitmore e-Fuel 9,000mAh Smart Powerbank, the Proporta USB TurboCharger 7000 has an LED arrangement that shows how much power is left in the device. The power remaining can be checked by tapping the on/off button in the middle of the power bank. There are two ports on the Proporta – a 1.1 Amp USB and a 2.1 Amp USB, with the latter for quick-charging compatible devices.
The body of the Proporta has a glossy plastic edging and a rubber front/back with a matte finish. On the underside, there are rubber feel to prevent the device from slipping. With a 7,000mAh battery capacity, the Proporta is a middle-range power bank that measures 119x73x12mm and weighs 175g.
Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo
The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo’s 6,000mAh battery is powerful enough to charge a compact camera battery up to three times via one of the two (hence the ‘Duo’ part of the name) USB ports. These two outputs are what make the Powerstation Duo such a useful and versatile power bank, as you can charge a phone or a tablet at the same time as your camera.
Like all the power banks on test here, the Powerstation Duo charges via Micro-USB, and comes with a USB-to-Micro-USB lead to facilitate this. Four LED lights indicate the current charge status, and the relatively light weight (200g) and small dimensions of the Powerstation Duo (19.5×57.9×109.2mm) make it easy to transport.
Price: From around £29.99
PNY’s three PowerPacks have the same brushed-aluminium design but vary in size, weight, battery capacity and price. The PowerPack 7800 (around £59.99) has a 7,800mAh battery capacity with both 1 Amp and 2.4 Amp USB output, the PowerPack 5200 (around £39.99) has a 5,200mAh battery capacity also featuring both 1 Amp and 2.4 Amp USB output, while the much smaller PowerPack 2600 (around £29.99) has a 2,600mAh battery capacity and a single 1 Amp USB. The 2.4 Amp USB is capable of charging compatible devices, such as tablets and cameras, quickly. The PowerPack 7800 measures 103x65x23mm and weighs 222g, the 5200 is 103x44x23mm and weighs 156g, while the 2600 is 103x23x23mm and weighs 85g. A
ll three power banks feature a digital display that shows how much power is left in the device, which is a much more accurate way of working out the charge remaining than the others on test here.
Bitmore e-Fuel 9000mAh Smart Powerbank
Bitmore offers a variety of power banks. Although there are some fantastic small, inexpensive models available, our favourite is the e-Fuel 9000mAh Smart Powerbank. It features a 1.1 Amp USB output as well as a 2.1 Amp USB port for quick charging. The body is made mostly of metal and features a black plastic front, which is semi-translucent, so users can see the five LEDs embedded under the body. The red power on/off LED is also touch sensitive. This turns the device on and is used to indicate how much power is left in the device using four blue LEDs for reference.
At 9,000mAh capacity, the Bitmore is the highest capacity of any on test here and is capable of charging large-capacity devices, such as tablets, as well as smartphones and cameras. It measures 81.8×130.6×13.8mm and weighs 454g boxed.
Recommended by Amateur Photographer
With 9,000mAh, the Bitmore is perfect for larger devices or multiple charges