Many of us live a fast-paced, go, go, go, lifestyle. Whether you are a camper, hiker, high school or college student or heading to the office, our smartphones tend to remain by our sides. As our smartphones gained more function, they have replaced the need to carry other devices. Since we rely on them for more and more tasks, power management has become much more important and our batteries have not kept pace. I have grown accustomed to the need to charge my iPhone nightly. Even though the iPhone X battery is larger than my previous iPhone 7S Plus battery, I still have to semi-regularly grab a charge during the day as well. When away from a power outlet, I often circumvent this problem with a variety of portable batteries. Regarding the batteries, there are a plethora of options available. Do you choose a larger mAH battery and sacrifice weight or do you opt for a lighter less robust battery? Depending on the situation, this can be a relatively difficult decision. When you factor in a wall charger and cables with the weight, you may find a slightly heavier battery with built-in wall prongs would be better. Personally, I try to find devices that fulfill multiple needs/uses. When I read about the BRICKSPOWER Wireless Charger from LIBTECH, I was excited to find a device that combined a 7.5W wireless charger with a portable battery.
The LIBTECH BRICKSPOWER True Wireless Charger arrived in a 4 3/8 inches wide by 5 1/8 inches tall by 1 5/8 inches thick retail package. The layout of the packaging was interesting but not terribly eye-catching. The outer semi-translucent shell surrounded an inner white cardboard box, which housed the portable wall charger/battery device. Looking at the cover, you will immediately notice the dark blue wraparound sticker, detailing the company name, title and three logos: Ultra Small, Qi-Enabled Device, and Qi Standard. Gazing through the clear cover, you can see a bunch of shredded paper and an opaque plastic wrapped device. The back surface of the sticker was broken up into three sections. The upper section provided a three-sentence description of the device, detailing the combo desktop wireless charger/portable battery. The middle section detailed the LIB-3 model, 5V/2.1A input, 5v/1A output, 70% charging efficiency, 2400 mAh/3.7V/8.14Wh LiPo battery and a device size of 60mm x 60mm x 10mm. To access the charger, simply cut the tape on the top of the packaging and slide the inner box upward or downward. The packaging stated that the device would work with iPhone X/8/8plus, Samsung Galaxy Note8/s8/s8plus/S7, S7Edge/Note5/S6Edge Plus, Nexus 4/5/6/7, LG3 and any Qi-enabled wireless device.
I excitedly opened the packaging, set aside the shredded paper, and became a little disappointed that the BRICKSPOWER device arrived fully discharged. I removed the instruction manual and looked for the USB-A to USB-micro charging cable but found that there was no included charging cable. I removed the 3 7/8 inches long by 2 5/16 inches wide by 9/16 inches thick device from the opaque foam plastic bag, plugged a spare cable into my MacBook Pro 15″ USB-A port and then into the side of the black wireless charger. If you look at the top of the charger, you find a bank of four LEDs, which relayed the charging status of the BRICKSPOWER BATTERY. The orange 2 3/8 inches wide by 1 9/16 inches tall by 9/16 inches thick battery starkly contrasted the shiny black surface of the wireless charger. If desired, you can charge your phone while the battery is charging and enjoy 7.5W wireless charging. When your phone is fully charged, the battery will resume charging and will charge to full. The thicker end of the battery had “LIBTECH” marked onto the surface and the backside had “2400” in large print. The charging surface of the device was covered with a thin clear plastic film, which protected the nano-suction surface. The material was included to decrease the chances of a dropped phone or a dropped battery. It stuck incredibly well to the back of my Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone X, yet was easily removable.
The eight-panel instruction manual was a little busy, reminding me of a comic book. The manual detailed the magnetic connection between the battery/wireless charger, the ability to use the device as a desktop charger and the ability to attach the nano-suction surface to your phone, for on-the-go charging. From empty, it will take just about two hours to charge the 2400mAh battery to full. Assuming 70% efficiency, we have about 1680 mAh of available power (2400*70/100=1680mAh). Assuming that the iPhone 8 has an 1821 mAh battery, the iPhone 8 Plus has a 2675 battery, the iPhone X has a 2716 mAh battery, this device should provide only a partial charge for each device. I liked the idea of the magnetic attachment because you could theoretically swap out multiple batteries. The nano suction feature was strong and did not loosen when placed into my Nite-Ize Sideways Phone Holster XL. With the battery fully charged (4 LED), I placed my iPhone onto the charger with 30% at 11:38 PM and let my phone charge for 10 minutes. When I checked back, my phone had increased to 35%. The rate was not disappointing because 1% every 2 minutes was comparable to other wireless chargers. I did notice a few undesirable features of the device. When I picked up my phone, I noticed that the battery pack was hot to the touch. Using my infrared thermometer, the surface of the wireless pad registered at 109 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the heat, the device made a high pitched, rapid, clicking noise while charging. At thirty minutes the power had increased to 45%, a 15% increase in charge from the start of the test. The temperature of the surface of the wireless charger registered at 115.7 degrees. I tested this both on body temperature mode and surface mode. I repeated the test with the plastic cover over the nano-suction material and without the plastic cover (body and surface temperature) and I did not notice any difference. My phone charged to 60%, up from 30% and the max heat of the wireless charger was 120.8 degrees. I was only able to gain 52% charge from the battery, which was not adequate for a portable battery.
Even though I had numerous charging cables laying around, for this device to be truly portable, it needed to have some kind of attached/retractable cable. Imagine that you get to your hotel, you have your portable battery/wireless charger and then realize that you do not have a USB charging cable or a wall charging block. Many hotels now have USB ports in their lamps or outlets and a built-in cable to the wireless charger would have been convenient. Despite the versatility, the device got too hot to the touch. Without the battery, the wireless charger worked great. The size of the device fit perfectly onto the back of my phone and the wireless charger never heated up. The magnetic attachment with the battery worked well but the battery seemed to be the biggest issue for this product. The device seemed like an amazing idea but there are a few features that I feel need to be addressed. First, I wish that it had a larger battery near 5000–6000 mAh. Second, the heat dissipation of the battery/charger needs to be addressed because the heat generation was significant. As noted the wireless charger, sans battery, did not get that hot and it charged fine. The battery never warmed up but the wireless charger was nearly too hot to touch when charging my iPhone X from the battery.
I sent an email to customer service about five days ago and have not yet heard anything in response about the product. At this time, I do not support the product and worry about the heat damaging my iPhone X. The concept of the portable wireless charger/battery was exceptional. This product should have had an included USB-A to USB-micro cable, the battery size should be bigger and there needs to be some way to dissipate the heat. In summary, I am concerned for the safety of my phone due to the heat. I do not want to recommend this product at present, as the temperature of the surface was actually got too hot for my comfort zone. As noted, I reached out to the team. I will try again and discuss my issues with them. I personally hate to leave negative reviews but sometimes the product does not work. Sometimes, the device is broken and others it is by poor design. Until I hear back from the company, this device is a no-go.