The rise of the smartphone has, in turn, created a new market for power banks – external batteries with USB ports for charging up your smartphone when the battery inevitably runs out. Whilst most smartphones can last at least a day during normal use, if you’re also filming video, or making heavy use of GPS, then your battery can be dead within hours. So small, rechargeable power banks have become very popular. Indeed, barely a week goes by when I don’t get an email from a Chinese manufacturer telling me about their range.
The latest to contact me was Eachine, who have offered me their Mini Y5 power bank to review. It has a 6000 mAh capacity, which is enough to fully charge an iPhone twice over, and outputs at 2 amps, meaning that it can charge higher current devices like iPads.
What sets it apart from other power banks is that it has a small LCD screen which displays the percentage of charge remaining – up to a maximum of 99% as it’s only two digits. That way you know exactly how much charge is remaining, and whether the power bank needs recharging. Other power banks that I’ve used often just have one LED, that glows red when it has almost run out.
It’s also very compact – it’s quite a bit smaller than other power banks that I’ve seen, and yet still manages quite a high capacity. There’s also a small LED torch, as a bonus.
Included with the battery is one USB-microUSB cable, which can be used for charging devices with microUSB ports and for charging the power bank itself. There are no other included cables, so iPhone users will need to plug in a Lightning cable into its USB port to charge their phones.
As power banks go, the Eachine Mini Y5 is pretty good, and gets my recommendation. It’s currently $20 from the Amazon US store; I don’t think it’s yet available in the UK.