CHOETECH has released a 5200mAh power bank, flashlight, seatbelt cutter, and window smasher, and I think this may be very close to the perfect car accessory.
I say close because it doesn’t incentivise someone to leave it in the car (eg being a pass-through charger,) and I’m not terribly thrilled with the grip or razor blade protector. I also wish the flashlight portion flipped open rather than screwed off just because it wants to roll underneath my seat.
The unit is recharged by screwing off the flashlight head and plugging a micro USB power source into it. If you want to charge a phone with it, you plug a USB cable into a different plug which is also underneath the screw off flashlight head.
The 5200mAh battery, if you remember to keep it charged, should provide enough juice for two cell phones or a day or two of flashlight time. It’s got 2amp output, but sadly no Quick Charge spec listed.
The flashlight claims 250 lumen on the Amazon product page, but it has multiple brightness settings which are, I’m assuming, lower. 250 lumens is reasonably bright, but it’s not going to make a flashlight snob drool. It will also blink if you want it to. Car emergency blinking, not cool strobe light blinking.
The seatbelt cutter is sort of out in the open. It’s not where you can get a finger in, but if you needed to chuck this in a pocket chances are you’d end up with a cut pocket. Maybe this is the incentive you need to keep this in the car for emergencies.
The window breaker on this is covered by a rubber protective cover. I kind of wish they’d have skipped protecting the breaker and just put a cap over the razor, but I’m picky. The issues I have with the grip come into play with the window breaker. The unit is not long enough that you’ve got a good distance of your hands from the contact area when you’re hitting.
I think you’re going to end up pounding on a window with your fist if your hand slips on this, which I think it will due to the plastic non-rubberized exterior. It’s significantly better than nothing if you have to beat your way out of a wrecked car window, but ten cents worth of rubber would go a long way.
The unit comes with a carrying strap, which I wish it didn’t have, because that incentivises you to take the thing out of the car. This is an emergency device that should remain in the front seat somewhere, not be ported around. Well, that’s my feeling.
To make this perfect in my mind, it needs to plug into a car power port to always be charged correctly, be a pass-through device so that something behind it on the chain can charge (IE there’s no reason to remove it from the front seat area,) be slightly longer with a better grip to enable whacking a window better, and have a quick-release protector for the seat belt cutter just to make sure nothing gets accidentally cut. Also I’d love the light to flip as opposed to screw off, and maybe store the handle elsewhere.
That said, it’s a phone charger that can help get you out of a car, and the flashlight isn’t as abysmal as most I’ve run across. It’s got an IPX6 rating so it should be able to handle the rain that caused you to skid your car into a ditch, lock the seatbelts tight, and disabled the windows and door locks.
It’s a little pricy in my opinion as a charger, but still pretty cool all around as a safety device.
Alternately if you’re just wanting safety you can get a good flashlight, window breaker/seat belt cutter, and a 10,000mah power bank, and save about six bucks. The three are not at neat as this device though.
One note on this review. I will be cutting up a seat belt later with it and posting the results, but unless someone wants to donate a car window for me to smash that’s probably not going to happen. Really though, if you’re in Nashville, I’ve had a really bad night with an angry toddler and a newborn, I could use a window to smash.
On a side note, this ends my CHOETECH stuff, if anyone sees anything they want to see a review of from that manufacturer I’ve got a rep for at least another week.
The CHOETECH 5200mAh Power Bank, Flashlight, Seatbelt Cutter, and Window Breaker is available from Amazon for $29.99