UPDATE 24th June 2014: Yet another power bank fails and vents.
UPDATE 30th April 2014: A photo of the said product can be seen on DK’s blog post about it. and it seems that there might be a stricter control on importing batteries in the future, given the recent spate of battery explosions, due to the proliferation of power banks.
UPDATE 29th April 2014: Valore is issuing a recall of two models of their own power banks, as seen in today’s Straits Times’ “Home” section.
One thing that bothers me recently is the mass proliferation of Valore stores in shopping malls here (most likely with the financial and logistical clout of Challenger), and I’m amazed at what people accept as “good” in their books with regard to design and use of a power bank (I’m not even sure where this term comes from, when I vaguely remember it was called a portable battery in the distant past). So in order to put a dent in everyone’s (and especially Valore’s) universe, here’s my review of my MiPow 5200 Power Cube.
A power bank should be simple and easy to use, and this is no exception – the 4 charging LEDs light up while charging and discharging to indicate battery level, a quick press on the power button shows the charge remaining, and a USB port for your USB charging cable to charge whatever you need to charge.
What’s interesting about this power bank’s design is that it incorporates a built-in microUSB (or Lightning for the 5200L model) connector cable, and its charging connector is also located next to it. This design also works for pass-through charging – i.e. you can charge your battery and daisy chain your USB device through the USB port on the power bank at the same time.
Output is claimed to be at 2.1A, but from my experience, accessories tend not to follow specifications. The nominal and minimal capacity listed is nice, but a little bit unnecessary, in my opinion.
The only issue I have is the design of the power bank – the volume can’t be changed due to technological limitations, but I would like a longer built-in connector and a flatter design – maybe reshape it into the size of a slim portable hard disk, and it is most likely to sell like hotcakes.