Portable Chargers – RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A

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RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A Portable Charger External Battery Pack Review

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Is the RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A Portable Charger External Battery Pack REALLY a good deal compared to other brands?
Is 10400mAh a good size for an external battery pack?
Is this just another over-priced junky portable battery charger or a great gadget?
Are they easy to use?
What size external portable charger gives the most bang for the buck?
Is this a good battery charger to use for backpacking?
Can this portable charger be used to charge camera batteries?

Above all – are RAVPower External Battery Packs worth the money?

Those questions answered and more in this in-depth review of the RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A 3.5A Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power Bank with iSmart Technology.


I’ll also talk about the Anker Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger (2nd Generation, Classic External Battery Power Bank) Slim with PowerIQ Technology (Black)

In a hurry?
==>> Read all consumer reports on this RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A Portable Charger here

Why Use an External Battery Pack

I’ve looked into portable battery packs over the years, but my impression was they were pretty expensive and didn’t really provide much charge. A couple years’ ago I received a small solar-powered battery pack as a gift, but I found it didn’t have enough juice to charge my phone and it took days to recharge with sunlight. Early this year on a backpacking trip, I wanted to track my route with apps that use GPS on my Samsung Galaxy S5. But the power started dwindling fast. I could conserve power by putting it in Airplane mode, but then I couldn’t use the maps or receive texts or calls (we were hiking the Black Canyon Trail near Phoenix, AZ – not exactly a “wilderness” experience with all the ATV’s, motorcycles, and mountain bikes buzzing us all day). I noticed my brother-in-law had a small battery pack with enough juice to charge his phone once, which was good enough for the weekend. That intrigued me, so I started researching external battery chargers when I got home.


The first thing I had to figure out is what do you call these things? I thought it was called a “USB phone charger,” “battery phone charger,” “portable phone charger,” “spare power doohickey for your phone,” or something like that. Turns out amazon.com’s search was smart enough to figure out what I meant… :^) And the products go by names like USB Battery Backup, USB Backup Battery, Portable External Power Pack, etc.

What I found is that portable battery chargers come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, but the main thing I was interested is how much do they weigh (for backpacking) and how much capacity do they have (how many times can I charge my phone).

How Would I Use the RAVPower Power Bank?

Battery Bank Charging a Sony Alpha 7 II Camera

As I researched them, I wondered if I could use the portable battery pack to charge the batteries for my camera too? I’m planning on doing longer backpack trips in the future for the purpose of photographing hard-to-reach wilderness areas. My plan had been to buy a bunch of extra batteries for my Sony Alpha 7II, but the cost of a single Sony NP-FW50 battery is twice as expensive as an external battery pack that could recharge one battery several times. Even the equivalent, less-expensive Watson NP-FW50 battery is more expensive than many of the external battery packs I looked at. There are other advantages too, like not having to keep track of a dozen batteries, and the weight and bulk of all those batteries.

How do you charge camera batteries with the external battery pack? Many Sony models will charge their battery when power is supplied to the camera’s micro USB port. The Sony Alpha 7 II comes with an A/C adapter, which outputs 5V 1.5A through a micro USB cord. The RAVPower 10400mAh battery pack outputs the same through one of its ports, and it has a second port you can use to simultaneously charge your phone at 5V 2.0A!

What Comes with the RAVPower 10400mAh?

As can be seen in the image, the RAVPower 10400mAh comes with:

  • Two micro-USB cables, one 9.5-inch and one 25-inch
  • One foam-padded slip case (“travel pouch”) big enough to hold the battery pack and the cables
  • Easy Guide written instructions in six languages
  • A Thank-You card with free extended warranty information and product offers

My Tests of the RAVPower External Battery Charger

I wanted to see what this battery charger could do, so I put it to the test. With it fully charged, I used it the next couple days charging my phone, camera battery, selfie stick, and even my iPad. Here’s what it charged before running out of juice:

  • Charged my Samsung Galaxy S5 from 37% to 100% in 1hr 15 min.
  • Charged an NP-FW50 battery for a Sony Alpha 7II from 27% to 100% in 2 – 3 hr.
  • Still had 3 LED’s showing.
  • Charged the Galaxy S5 again from 44% to 100% in 1.5 hr.
  • Charged a Cheese Stick Bluetooth Selfie Stick in 45 min.
  • Used the last of the battery pack to charge an iPad 3rd gen from 57% to 75% in 3 hr.

In another test lasting a few days, I wanted to see how many times I could recharge the Galaxy S5:

  • Day 1 – charged from 15% to 100%, 2 hr.
  • Day 2 – charged from 20% to 100%, 2 hr.
  • Day 3 – charged from 18% to 100%, 2 hr.
  • Day 4 – charged from 10% to 30%, 45 min.

I was able to get almost 3 full charges for my Galaxy S5.

Rating of RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A
4.5
  • Phone Charging Speed
  • Ease of Use
  • Appearance
  • Weight
  • Recharge Time for Battery Pack
  • Cost

Summary

Overall, I’ve been pretty impressed by this external battery pack. It charges my Galaxy S5 just as fast as a wall charger, and still has plenty of juice left to charge my other devices or the phone a couple more times.

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User Review
5 (1 vote)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Features of the RAVPower 10400mAh

  • iSmart Fast Charging Technology
    Automatically determines the best rate to use to charge your devices
  • Two USB output ports: 5V, 2A max / 1.5A max
    Total output can be up to 3.5A max, with one port running up to 2A and the other up to 1.5A. Devices such as an iPad or Samsung Galaxy smartphone charge faster at 2A.
  • Multiple Safety Protection
    This portable charger will automatically shut down if a short circuit or overload output occurred while unit is charging.
  • Simple to Use
    Simply use one of the included micro USB cords to plug into your device and the battery pack. Or use the USB cord that came with your device. Charging the battery pack is easy too, just use any micro USB cord and a 2A charger such as the one that came with your phone.
  • Good for 500 or more Charge Cycles
  • 18-month warranty, with a free extra 12 months when you register the product
  • Comes in Matte Black or Matte White finish

Specifications

Model: Rp-PB07
Capacity: 10400 mAh / 38.4Wh
Input: DC 5V / 2A max
Output1: DC 5V / 2A (iSmart)
Output2: DC 5V / 2A (iSmart)
Dimensions: 5.47 x 2.24 x 0.87 inches
Weight: 255g / 8.99 oz.

Is the RAVPower 10400mAh Worth the Money?

I’ll say it is! The unit is compact, fits in the palm of your hand, and doesn’t weigh a lot. It charges my devices just as fast as a power adapter. And prices have come down quite a lot since the last time I priced these out! This unit is cheaper than buying a spare battery for my phone or my camera! It can charge two devices at a time. And it’s fast!

Is the RAVPower 10400mAh Easy to Use?

Simply use one of the supplied micro-USB cables or any USB charging cable to connect your device to the power bank. Charging will start automatically. The iSmart technology will determine the best rate to use for charging, and will stop when the device is fully charge.

How Does the RAVPower RP-PB07 Compare to Other Models

RAVPower 10400mAh External Battery PackRAVPower 3350mAh External Battery PackRAVPower 6700mAh External Battery PackRAVPower 16750mAh External Battery PackRAVPower 26800mAh External Battery Pack
Element 10400mAhLuster 3350mAhLuster 6700mAh3rd Gen Deluxe 16750mAhXtreme 26800mAh
Color
Black,WhiteBlack, Blue, Pink, GoldBlack, Blue, Pink, SilverBlack,WhiteBlack
FeaturesiSmart dual USB output iSmart USB output iSmart USB outputiSmart dual usb output LED flashlightiSmart Three USB output & 5.5A Highest Output
iPhone 6 charges3.812.36.210
iPad Air charges0.80.250.481.12
USB Ports 21123
iSmart
Max Charging Amps3.5 Amps1 Amp2.4 Amps4.5 Amps5.5 Amps
Size 5.47 x 0.87 x 2.24 inch 4.02 x 0.91 x 0.91 inch 3.5 x 0.91 x 1.69 inch5.00 x 0.88 x 3.20 inch6.81 x 0.87 x 3.19 inch
Weight8.5oz 2.6oz4.8oz11.3oz16.1oz

How Does the RAVPower 10400mAh Compare to Other Brands?

There is a lot of competition, with many Brands that have similar models. Some have features like built-in LED light, or a solar charging panel, or being waterproof. Don’t be fooled by the list price, many of these products are discounted heavily.

How to Charge the RAVPower 10400mAh

Use the included charging cable to connect the power bank to any active USB port or USB charging adapter. Charging will start automatically and stop when the power bank is fully charged. The battery level indicator will light all four LED’s for 10 seconds when charging is complete.

Not all USB charging adapters are the same! Many don’t put out much power, like those for old cell phones that output less than 2.0 A. They usually say somewhere on the body of the charger what the Output level is – 5V 2.0A is best. For the fastest charge, be sure to use a 2.0A charging adapter. An adapter that outputs 1.0A will take twice as long to charge the battery pack.

Care of the RAVPower 10400mAh

The manufacturer recommends charging the power bank when the charge gets down to two indicator LED’s.
Charge the power bank at least once every 6 months.

Precautions

It’s normal for the power bank to get slightly warm during charging and discharging.
Keep away from fire or extreme heat sources.
The unit is not waterproof so keep it away from liquid or water.
The unit can be charged at the same time it is charging other devices, but this is not good for the device and might hurt its lifespan.
Do not dismantle the device. There are no user-serviceable parts.

Common Complaints About the RAVPower RP-PB07

It takes a long time to recharge the RAVPower 10400mAh. Using a 2A wall charger, it takes nearly 8 hours to fully charge it, much longer if you use a 1A or 1.5A charger. Since it charges at 2A, the long charge time is reasonable, but I’d be willing to pay extra for a 5A or 10A fast charger if the battery pack was designed to be charged like that.

High Quality or Overpriced?

My experience is that it is a quality product that is up to the job.

My Bottom Line Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been pretty impressed by this external battery pack. It charges my Galaxy S5 just as fast as a wall charger, and still has plenty of juice left to charge my other devices or the phone a couple times more. I was able to charge my Sony NP-FW50 batteries for my Sony camera, my  Selfie Stick, and the keyboard for my iPad. Anything that takes a charge via USB cord at less than 2.0A should work with this portable battery pack.

The thing that I would like to see improved would be the recharging time. It would nice if came with a 5 or 10 amp charger and the circuitry to let it charge faster.

At the time of this review, this unit is several dollars cheaper than the similar capacity and comparable Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger.

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