When Hisgadget got in contact with me, and asked if I would like a sample of the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank to review, I of course said yes. I love testing out new bits of gear, and seeing how useful they might be for bicycle touring, camping or just every day use. It arrived about 2 weeks ago, and during that time, I have been able to assess its performance and usefulness. The following review of the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank is my own opinion, and not influenced by the fact I was given a freebie by HisGadget to try (which was very nice of them by the way!)
Unpacking The IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank
The IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank arrived via Amazon, and the product was well packaged in a plastic case surrounded by a cardboard shell. Inside the box, the Power Bank was accompanied by a Micro USB cable, a small drawstring bag, a users guide and warranty card. I thought the bag was a nice touch, as it keeps the power bank and the lead together neatly, meaning it could be slipped into a bag or pocket easily.
The IntoCircuit Powermini 3000 power bank is the type that is often described as a lipstick sized charger, with its actual dimensions measuring 3.77 inches by 0.86 inches, by 0.86 inches. In fact, it is about the same size as my middle finger, although I will refrain from showing you a picture of that!
As the name might suggest, it is a 3000 mAh storage device, which should theoretically mean that it could contain enough energy to charge a smartphone from empty to full. I tested it on my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which has a 2800 mAh RAV battery in it. I will include all my test results a little later on in this review.
Features of the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank
Power banks are hardly complex, and this one is no exception. There are two ports, one of which is the micro USB input port to charge the device up, and the other which is a standard USB output port to charge other devices from the power bank. The power button not only switches the power bank on in order for it to start charging connected units, but also operates the flashlight. This is done by pressing the button twice. Again, I found the light to be a nice touch. It's powerful enough to see by in order to get keys into a lock at night (be it a bike lock or front door), and could also be useful when camping. When bicycle touring, its a good idea to have bits of kit that either back each other up, or perform more than one function, and the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power bank does just that.
The only other things that remain to be mentioned are the three LED lights which indicate how much charge is left in the device, and the overall construction, which is solid and has no protruding parts. Some sort of end cap for the open ports would have been a nice addition, but as it comes with the bag to keep it in, is not really needed. The charger is encased in aluminium which gives it a nice solid feel.
A short YouTube video i made of the PowerMini
Using the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank
I charged the device up twice for the purposes of this review. The first time, I charged the power bank up via the USB port of my laptop, and from empty to full took just over 2 hours. The LED lights blinked sequentially as it charged, and then stayed on without blinking to indicate that it was full. Pretty standard stuff, and when switched on, 3 full lights indicates there is 66%-100% power available, 2 full lights 33%-66% and 1 light 1%-33%. The second time, I charged the device up from a wall socket via an adapter. This time, I charged it overnight so didn't make a note of how long it took, although I can't imagine it was much different.
As I mentioned earlier, I decided to use my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone as the test device to charge up from empty. It's battery capacity is 2800 mAh, so in theory, the power bank should have been able to charge it from empty to full and perhaps have a bit left over. Did it though?
With the phone at empty and the power bank at full, I connected them together for the first time and started the stopwatch. It took 1.5 hours to recharge the phone to 81%, at which point the power bank was empty. I have to say i was expecting a bit more out of this, and so gave it another go. The second time around, it took a few minutes longer to empty the power bank, and once more, it got the phone to 81%. With the result being the same twice in a row, I left it at that.
The IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank Conclusion
Smartphones may have increased in power and capability, but we all know that their battery life sucks! It's a rare day when you don't have to recharge the phone at least once when out of the house, and being able to plug into a wall or in-car charger is not always possible. This is where the IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 power bank comes into its own. Small, unobtrusive and lightweight, it easily slips into a pocket or bag, and the accompanying pouch keeps the supplied lead and power bank neatly together. Although it wouldn't charge my phone up from 0 to 100%, it would be a rare day I would let my phone drain out completely. In fact, I would normally let it get down to 20% before looking to charge it. With this in mind, the PowerMini would then top it back up to full.
That's what it can do, but how much does it cost? As I write this, it costs just £10.99 on Amazon, which I think represents really good value for money. The hassle it will save after using it even just once when a phone might otherwise have died will make it a great investment. Buy one for yourself, a family member, or give one away as a Christmas present. I will certainly be keeping one in the handlebar bag on my bike as a backup should my GPS or smartphone run out of juice whilst I am cycling! The IntoCircuit PowerMini 3000 Power Bank earns 4.5 out of 5 in my eyes, and if you are interested, you can purchase one through the links on this page.
If you have a product you would like me to review, please drop me a line – dave(at)davestravelpages.com.