A compact charger with a lot of heat.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to be a connoisseur of portable batteries. I’ve had the opportunity to review a lot of different styles of power banks. Even though I like the charging stations that give you the option of charging many different devices at one time, the smallest power banks are still my favorites. They are the easiest ones to carry around no matter what type of day-pack you carry and most of the time, you can even store them in your pocket. It’s been a while since I’ve had a high-capacity, small form power bank and that’s why I was ecstatic to be able to test out the 5000mAh Portable Battery from RAVPower.
The 5000mAh Portable Battery is a small power bank shaped like a cylinder. It’s all black, stylish and lightweight. The battery is compact and is the perfect combination of size and a high-capacity charging power bank. As its name suggests, it has a capacity of 5000mAh, which is enough to charge an iPhone XS almost two full times (standard capacity of the iPhone XS is 2658mAh). There are two ports on the portable battery — one is for output charging (USB-A) and the other is for input charging (Micro USB). The power bank features iSmart Technology and delivers optimal charging current for any connected device. The battery provides up to 2.4A of power delivery from its output port.
- Battery Voltage: 3.7V
- Battery Capacity: 5000mAh
- Battery Cells: Premium Grade A Cells
- Charger Input: Micro-USB 5V / 2.0A max
- Charger Output: 5V / 2.4A
What’s in the Box:
- 1 x RAVpower Charger
- 1 x Micro Cable
- 1 x Storage Bag
- 1 x User Guide
- 1 x Thank You Card
The power bank comes in a small green box with “RAVPower” stamped on the top of it. It’s a very nondescript box and very few details are listed on it. I was really glad to find that there was a model number listed on the box because the name of the product — “5000mAh Portable Charger” is a pretty generic name. The model number helps to distinguish this charger from other power banks. Once I opened up the box, I found that the instructions were also very nonspecific. They read:
- Check the battery level
- Charge your phone or tablet
- Recharge your portable charger
There are some illustrations, which are helpful and a chart that shows what the different battery level indicator lights are (4 = 100%, 3 = 75%, 2 = 50%, 1 = 25%). One of the things that sort of irked me a little was that there was a note at the bottom of the instructions that read, “To obtain the fastest, safest recharge, use a RAVPower USB charger.” The reason this is a bit annoying is that one isn’t included with the battery. I actually ran the battery down to 0% and recharged it using a charging station (USB connection = up to 2.4A output). After about 70 minutes, the battery had reached 50% and was working on charging the next 25%.
Many of the power banks I have used in the past few years support pass-thru charging — meaning you can be charging the battery and your device at the same time. The connection to a power source will charge your connected device first and then the battery will charge. While the instructions don’t say whether or not it will support pass-thru charging, I was able to find an answer from RAVPower Customer Care on Amazon that answered the question.
Question: “Can this device charge itself while powering another device?”
Answer: “Yes, it can be work, but we do not recommend this method.The best way to use the power bank by full charge the portable charger first and then charging your phone.” (RAVPower Customer Care)
I found this surprising because it seems to be a fairly normal function of many portable batteries these days.
When it came to testing how well the portable battery would charge my iPhone XS, I was actually in for another surprise. My phone’s battery was at 31% when I plugged it into the battery. I was using a third party charging cable, but it’s been reliable for me and I’ve never had any issues with it. After 27 minutes, my phone had gained 30% battery power from the power bank. That translates to a 1.1% gain per minute, which is pretty fast by power bank standards. While I was very happy with how well the battery seemed to charge my phone, I was not happy with how hot the battery got at its charging port. I picked up the battery and was almost burned because I closed my hand around the power bank tightly not thinking it would be warm at all. I used an infrared thermometer to take a temperature reading and found that around that end of the battery, the temperature varied from 99º all the way up to 133ºF. Most manufacturers of will state that 140º is the maximum safe temperature you should expect to see from an electronic device like this. And to me, 133 is just a bit too close to 140 for my comfort.
That said, the battery did cool down rather quickly and I didn’t have the same experience when I charged the battery from the power station using the provided Micro USB cord. I still feel it’s good to be cautious when charging a device from this power bank. I would not recommend stowing it away while an iPhone is connected.
Ever since the Samsung battery faults in 2016, I’ve been very cautious about what portable batteries I use — especially when they are being manufactured overseas. I’ve been very happy with RAVPower’s products and feel that they are reliable and efficient when it comes to charging my mobile devices. That said, I was a little alarmed at how warm the battery got when charging my phone. Even though it was still within ‘safe’ limits, it was hot to the touch and fairly concerning considering the heat occurred after only charging for 27 minutes. This isn’t enough of a reason for me to stop using RAVPower batteries or even stopping the use of this power bank, but it will cause me to be more cautious when I am using it.