- USB Type-C ports are becoming increasingly popular
- Yet, it was surprisingly difficult to find power banks with Type-C output
- Stuffcool’s power bank stood out due to the fast charging speeds
USB Type-C has been around for a while now, and most, if not all, Android flagship smartphones these days sport the modern USB port. However, most of them come with chargers that still have the Type-A (or as you probably know it, the “regular”/ “big” USB port). That means you use a Type-A to Type-C cable, so you won’t need any extra cables if you are in the market for a power bank.
On the other hand, if you have a phone — like the Google Pixel series — that ships with a Type-C charger and a cable that’s Type-C at both ends, or if you are someone who is trying to go all-in with the Type-C lifestyle, your choices in terms of accessories — and especially power banks — can be pretty limited.
Most power banks out there have regular Type-A USB ports for output and a Micro-USB port to charge the power bank itself, which means you will need to carry around two extra cables just to make the power bank work for you. Then there are others — such as the Mi Power Bank Pro — that feature a Type-C port, but it is only to charge the power bank itself, and it cannot be used for output.
Finding a power bank with Type-C output in India was a surprisingly difficult task, but we managed to find three different models. We then proceeded to use these in the real world over a few weeks as well as run them through a standard set of tests in our labs.
How we tested USB Type-C power banks
We wanted to test the power banks on two factors — if they live up to their rated capacities, and the speed at which they charge. The first test involved charging a series of fully drained smartphones (all with batteries that were at full health, meaning at or near their own rated capacities), and then seeing whether or not each power bank was able to charge as many smartphones as the rated capacity would indicate. The phones that we used all have relatively large batteries — the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (3400mAh), iPhone XS Max (3174mAh), Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (3300mAh), and Google Pixel 2 XL (3520mAh).
The second set of tests was designed to measure the amount of time it took to charge each smartphone. We first observed how much a phone could be topped up in thirty minutes, and then checked the time each power bank took to fully charge each smartphone.
1. Stuffcool 720PD 10000mAh Power Bank
The most versatile power bank that we tested, this one comes from Stuffcool, an Indian company that’s made its name selling phone accessories over the years. You get two full-sized Quick Charge 3.0 Type-A USB ports, one Type-C port (with fast charging and 18W USB-PD) that can be used for both input and output, and one Micro-USB port, which can obviously only be used for charging the power bank itself.
Battery capacity: 10000mAh/3.7V (37Wh)
Rated output: 6800mAh/5V (34Wh)
Type-A (Quick Charge 3.0) x 2: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
Type-C (including 18W Power Delivery): 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
Micro-USB: 5V/2A, 9V/2A
Type-C: 5V/3A, 9V/2A
2. Lcare PN-983 S 10000mAh Power Bank
While Stuffcool is an established name in the accessories space, Lcare is a relatively new Indian brand that’s trying to make a mark in this segment. We were really impressed by this compact power bank, which is only a little bit larger than Stuffcool’s offering, though it makes up for that by offering a slightly higher output capacity as well.
Battery capacity: 10000mAh/3.7V (37Wh)
Rated output: 7000mAh/5V (35Wh)
Type-A (Quick Charge 3.0): 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
Micro-USB (Quick Charge 2.0): 5V/2A, 9V/2A
3. iVoomi PBP15K2 15000mAh Power Bank
iVoomi is a Chinese OEM/ ODM that entered India in March 2017 and has launched a host of budget smartphones in the market since then. The company sent us a 15000mAh Type-C power bank for testing, which makes it the highest capacity offering that we tested. Obviously, that makes it the bulkiest power bank of the three, but, sadly, it also feels the cheapest in terms of build quality.
Battery capacity: 15000mAh
Rated output: NA
Type-A x 2: 5V/1A, 5V/2.1A