It always makes me a little suspicious when I get a product with a reviewer loyalty program and then check out their reviews on Amazon and there are hundreds of five star reviews and only two one-star reviews. This is how I started off my Power Castle 15,000mAh experience. Suspicious.
The product showed up in packaging that reminded me of some cologne someone gave me once. The packaging showed off nothing of the product, not even a crudely drawn representation of the product. This packaging was there to get the product to you and not waste your time with eye candy enticing you to purchase it, you already know you want it.
Opening the product it comes with a USB to MicroUSB charger, which you’ll need if you want to recharge the thing ever, and a brown sack. The type you keep your weed in. It also comes with a Super User Program card and an Amazon Reviewer Program card.
My problem with the reviews
Let me break down the cards – if you provide a “fair and unbiased” review you become a Super User. If you become a Super User you get a free product in the future. This is enticing a customer to review a product favorably in the hopes that they’ll get something free in the future. This bothers me. You know some of those reviews are now completely incentivised.
Incentives like this create false reviews. Specifically disallowed in the Amazon review guidelines are “Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product.” As this is for a review unit of something else, it appears anyone in this program is going against the Amazon customer review guidelines.
Onto the review
15,00mAh and 4.8 amps total output across two USB ports. What can you do with this? At 80% efficiency (I’m assuming because I can’t find any specs on that and that’s low end of average), you’re looking at the ability to charge 12,000mAh of batteries completely.
An example here is if the unit you’re charging is completely dead and has a 2000mAh battery you’re probably going to use 2400mAh juice charging it. Conversion loss.
So you could charge an iPhone 6 6.31 times from dead to fully charged, or charge an HTC One M9 a little over four times. Unfortunately with the latter, the 2.4amp charger is only going to give out 1.something as it’s not a Qualcomm Quick Charge spec. That’s HTC’s problem however, not the charger.
Should you have 4.8 amps worth of devices charging, it should do that with no problem. Unfortunately I’m at work at don’t have anything that reasonably will pull over 1.5amp without a QQC charger. I don’t doubt it’ll do this.
The unit itself charges at a max speed of two amps. If you devote a two amp charger to it and it’s dead you’re looking at somewhere around nine hours to fully charge it. 18 hours if you’re on a 1 amp. Etc.
The charger features a bluish backlight, which evidently is the perfect color to screw up any photos I attempt to take of it. Just trust me that it’s there and if it’s dark it works well.
On the display you can see other items listed if you tilt it at an angle, which are 5.0V 2.1A, and 5.0V 1.0A. This makes me wonder about the 2.4amp stated capabilities a bit, but I’m not doubting it. I’m assuming this is a leftover LCD screen from their previous model. It’s marked everywhere else that it’s 2.4amp output.
There’s an LED flashlight built in, but it’s pretty dim. Useful for looking for keys on the ground, but not worthy of having a 15,000mAh battery behind it.
Is it worth it?
With an MSRP of $130, no. We know MSRPs are bunk however, and the price you can get it at on Amazon is $39.99.
So with that the cost per 1000mAh is about $2.66, and the best we’ve seen is about $1.99 per amp. It’s a bit on the high side, but it’s more compact than what we’ve seen in the past. Hardware wise, I like it.
It’s a good charger from what I can tell, but I’m leaning a bit toward the meh side as I feel their reviews are bought with promises of toys later on, although to be fair to them if the chargers were bad I’m betting people would be coming back to update their reviews unfavorably.
The Intocircuit Power Castle 15000mAh charger is available from Amazon for $39.99.