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I went looking for a power bank because of a poor experience on a recent backpacking trip. On that, I carried my old power brick, only to discover it would only partially recharge my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Yes, I realize that camping should be for relaxing and enjoying nature. For me, part of my peace of mind is in being able to make sure there are no major fires raging at work while I am away. What I hadn’t appreciated is that my old power bank only had 1,000 mAh capacity, while my modern day phone requires close to 8,000 mAh to charge.

Replacement Pros

The replacement I found has really proven to be useful for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s 30,000 mAh capacity can fully recharge my phone 4 times. It could also power a laptop in a power emergency. It has two wireless charging coils, so most phones can be charged in portrait or landscape orientation.

One surprising plus is the LED lighting. I have been using the brighter of the two settings to provide additional lighting for video calls. It really helps avoid the otherwise “dungeon” appearance of my office.

If you work in a region that is prone to power outages, this power bank could be invaluable. It might make the difference between waiting in the dark for power to be restored vs. working productively via your phone or notebook using a mobile hotspot. I have been very happy with my less than $50 investment.

Cons

There are a few negatives, however. Its weight of a little over a pound makes it a significant addition to a backpack on a long excursion. The solar charger is a nice idea, but in practice you could be waiting days for it to recharge completely. It is far more practical to charge it with a cord, then use the power bank to keep other devices going. The solar feature does seem to work well to keep the power bank “topped off” once fully charged.

One other disappointment is that the “max” size of my iPhone means the charging coil alignment doesn’t match in portrait mode. That would be nifty for using the phone with the angled stand while charging. My phone does work well with the wireless charging in landscape orientation, and of course with one of the four wired charging ports.