One of the most frustrating parts of modern smart phones is the constant drain of the battery. Whether you use a precious battery on Bluetooth connections, searching for WiFi or to search the internet/play games, you will likely have more day than a device. Luckily, I have a bedside table with a multi-charging HUB, to charge my iPad Air 2, Apple Watch Sport Series 1, and my iPhone 7 Plus. This works great for nightly charging, but if I am traveling, camping, etc., I rely upon portable batteries. I have typically carried two 10,000 mAh batteries, due to weight to power ratio. You can assume approximately 80% efficiency from the batteries. With the available ~8000 mAh battery, you charge the 7340 mAh iPad Air 2 battery at least once. If you want to charge your iPhone 7 plus (2900 mAh) battery, you can expect roughly 2.5 days. With light use, you can get an entire weekend out of a single battery. Imagine my excitement when I heard about a 26,800 mAh battery, weighing the same as 483 paper clips (grams) or just at 1 pound. With just over 21,000 mAh available, you can expect the ability to charge all of your devices at least once.
The Zendure A8 QC external battery arrives in an industry standard retail packaging. On the cover, you will find a centralized image of the silver 26,800 mAh battery and along the bottom, you will find some of the device features: extremely durable composite material, super efficient power management, Premium internal battery cells. The back of the packaging is rather busy with a lot of space dedicated to text. Along the top, you will see a generic list of compatible devices: phones, tablets, MacBooks with Type C, Cameras, E-Readers, Music players. Just below this, you will see a list of device features: Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (QC 3.0) technology, Zen + Technology, Charge Through, Auto Power-On, Long-Term Standby, Quad USB output. To continue the trend, the rear face of the packaging details the device specifications, charging instructions for both the a8 device and how to charge your tech, an accessory list, and QR code.
Once you remove the outer packaging, you will see the 4.7 inch tall by 2.8-inch wide by 1.6-inch thick (119mm x 73mm x 40mm) silver ribbed battery, inside of fitted dark gray foam. There is a small thumb hole along the left of the battery, which is designed to allow for easier removal. Truthfully, the packaging needs another one of these on the other side of the battery. I personally found that turning the box over into my hand proved easier for removal. Below the battery, you will find a 24.5-inch silver/gray braided USB A to USB micro cable. I actually love the coloration of the cable, as this will stand out from standard white and black cables. Additionally, if dropped into a grassy/woody environment, you can find the cable easier. At the bottom of the box, Zendure provides a charming gray-cloth, drawstring bag, 4 colorful stickers, an 18-month warranty card and a 24-panel multi-lingual instruction manual.
Along the front of the battery is a small button. When this button is pressed, the LED power indicator will display the remaining percentage (if off charge) or the charging level by percent (if charging). There are a total of 5 ports surrounding the power indicator. Beneath the indicator is the USB-micro input port. You can utilize any USB micro cable, but the company did provide you with one. There are 4 USB A type outputs located in a 2×2 grid. The top left port (colored green) is capable of Quick Charge 5–6V/3A, 6–9V/2.0A, 9–12V/1.5A and the other 3 ports (blue colored) are capable of 3.1A Max Zen+ ports. Each of the ports is designed to automatically detect the optimal charging rate for your device. The maximum output is 3.1A per port or in combination of all 4 ports. The single QC 3.0 port will charge QC compatible devices at up to 400% faster than standard wall chargers. It is compatible with QC 1.0 and 2.0. Even though I am an Apple fan, this time I actually benefited from QC charging. The device is able to accept QC 3.0 input, for faster charging. Using a QC 3.0 charger, the instruction manual states that I can expect a full charge in 10 hours. Using a conventional charger, I can expect a full charge in 14 hours. Over the past 2 weeks, I have tested this with and without a QC 3.0 charger. I did find ~10.5 hours charge with the QC and just over 14 hours for a standard Apple power brick.
It is important to note that this device does not come shipped with a method to charge the battery. If you are interested in utilizing the device, to its fullest, you need to purchase a QC 3.0 USB Adaptor (Zendure does sell one). The carry pouch is convenient to store the battery, the included USB A to USB micro cable and additional charging cables. I wish that the company would have included a bag with a belt holster or bag holster. At just over 1 pound, this device is quite heavy and would benefit from the ability to attach to the outside of your bag/strap. I love that you can charge up to 4 items at once, even though this drops to about 1 Amp per port. Using my DROK USB tester, I was able to see that my iPad Air 2 was pulling 1.8 Amps while my iPhone 7 plus was pulling 1.4 Amps. As soon as you plug in the USB cable, you will notice the indicator light will turn on. The USB ports are very secure and tight and will hold the USB cables very snugly. Lastly, the battery does allow for pass-through charging, which is convenient.
I ran multiple tests of this battery and found that it charged at roughly 1% per 60–90 seconds. For example, one night my iPhone 7 plus started at 43% at 11:27 pm. By 11:55 pm, my iPhone was at 68% and the battery showed 94% on the LED indicator. By 12:38 am, my iPhone 7 plus was at 92% and the battery displayed 89%. By 12:50 am my phone was at 100% and the battery was at 87%. This test, repeated over multiple nights, proved that I could keep my iPhone charged for 5 nights, with just this battery. As an additional test, I allowed my iPad Air 2 to drop to 50% and then put it onto charge. I was able to generate about 1% power per 60–90 seconds, yet again. As an additional test, I typed a review, using the iPad Air 2, Pages App and a Bluetooth keyboard. This led to about a 1% every 3-minute increase in power. The power consumption on the battery drastically increased. After two hours of typing, the power on my iPad Air 2 only increased about 20%. The power available on the battery dropped from 90% to 66%. I really like the quality of this battery, but it is hefty. If backpacking/biking, this may be a bit too heavy for your needs. As I go on my Cub Scout outings, this device will replace my 10,000 mAh Anker power supply. I rate the Zendure A8 at 4/5 stars.
Originally published at macsources.com on August 28, 2017.