Phone battery capacities are finally on the rise again. Gone are the days of the “thinnest phone in the world”, manufacturers are finally listening to buyers who want to be able to use their phones un-tethered from a plug! Regardless of this, “all day battery” still seems to be just out of reach (dependent on your usage). That’s where power banks come in handy. Large capacity, portable batteries capable of charging your phone multiple times, keeping you on-the-go. Finally, I’ve managed to get my hands on a power bank that doesn’t require me to carry around an extra cable, just to keep it charged up. The AUKEY PB-N36 is a portable battery pack, containing 20,000mAh of battery inside it, can be charged by either a Micro-USB or a Lightning cable!
- Large 20,000mAh (74Wh) battery capacity
- 5V 3.4A maximum charge speed (1 x 2.4A + 1 x 1A)
- Two USB Type-A 2.4A (max) output ports
- Two 5V 2A input ports – 1 x Micro-USB, 1 x Lightning
- Both output ports utilise AiPower, AUKEY’s adaptive charging technology
- LED battery level indicator between the USB ports, indicating 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% charge
- Travel case included in the box
- Product dimensions: 5.9″ x 3.3″ x 0.8″ (150mm x 83mm x 21mm)
- Product weight: 385g (13.6oz)
- 24 month warranty
Battery capacity and charging speed
AUKEY claims that this power bank (from here on out referred to as the “PB-N36”) has 20,000mAh of battery capacity, which is theoretically enough to FULLY charge an:
- iPhone 8 – 7.3 times
- iPhone 8 Plus – 4.9 times
- iPhone X – 4.9 times
- 9.7″ iPad Pro – 1.5 times
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – 4 times
- Samsung Galaxy S6 – 5 times
- Samsung Galaxy S7 – 4 times
- Samsung Galaxy S8 – 4 times
- LG G6 – 3.5 times
- OnePlus 5T – 3.5 times
Making use of AUKEY’s AIPower technology, you’ll find that this power bank can be used with almost every single device that charges via a USB Type-A cable. AIPower will handle the rate at which your device gets charged, based on the speed at which your device can be charged. AIPower will even push 2.4A through to those devices that can handle it. There are also safeguards built in, to prevent overcharging, overheating or excessive current. Unfortunately, this particular model doesn’t have QuickCharge capabilities, however there is another model that includes a QuickCharge 3.0 USB port if you have devices that support it.
Charging the PB-N36 itself is a somewhat lengthy task. The relatively large battery capacity means that charge times take much longer than that of your standard smartphone and as there’s also no QuickCharge in support, you’re stuck charging the power bank via a standard 5V 2A charger – A.K.A a bog standard wall charger. THAT BEING SAID, there is one little feature that I am absolutely pleased with on this product, and that’s the inclusion of a Lightning port to charge the actual power bank itself! If you’re an iDevice only user, you no longer have to keep that random Micro-USB cable in your pocket/bag or worry whether you’ve remembered to take it with you on your travels – just pickup your iPhone charger and off you go.
In terms of actual charge times for this product, you have to think of it like this: If it takes you 2 hours to fully charge your iPhone 8 Plus/Samsung Galaxy S8 on your standard, non-fast charge wall charger – and those phones only have a 2691/3000 mAh battery (respectively), then think about how long it’s going to take to charge this 20,000 mAh device from flat. You’re looking at around 8 – 10 hours of dedicated charging time to get the PB-N36 from 0% to 100% a 5V 2A plug.
With regards to how quickly the PB-N36 can charge your devices, I’ve found the power bank performs pretty much as advertised. I had my company issued S7 Edge charging at the same time as my iPhone 7 Plus and found the S7 Edge to charge at about twice the speed (2% every 2 mins) of the iPhone (1% every 2 mins). During this time, the PB-N36 wasn’t even warm to the touch.
There’s no denying it, a power bank of this size isn’t really pocketable (unless you wear cargo pants with hefty pockets). The weight of the battery is at least double that of any modern mid-to-high end smartphone and is just too chunky to carry on you at all times. That being said, if you’re a frequent traveller or always have a backpack then there’s no harm in lugging the extra ~400g along with you in your bag. You’re looking at anywhere up to 7x more battery life for your device whilst away from an outlet.
I’ve used the PB-N36 for a few weeks solid now and have charged both my work phone and my personal phone fully, multiple times (twice each). I’ve had no issues and have only had to charge the power bank once. Full charge time for the power bank itself was around the 9 hour mark, using my iPhone 7 Plus standard wall charger and I simply charged the unit whilst sat at my desk at work one day when I knew I wasn’t going to need to use it.
Charging speeds are more than adequate for my use-case. My work phone is used primarily for emails and phone calls and not much else. My personal phone, on the other hand, I use for WhatsApp, FaceTime, phone calls, web-browsing, emails, social media, YouTube, so on and so forth. My work phone has never had the chance to run out of battery and my personal phone has remained constantly charged for the period of time I’ve owned the PB-N36. Granted, charging speed definitely takes a hit whilst I’m using my iPhone + charging at the same time (it still charges my device, it doesn’t just hold the charge level), however I expect that from my wall charger so it’s not a big surprise
I’ve reviewed a very similar product before, but from AUKEY’s competitor ANKER that made its way into my every day carry. ANKER’s device had the same battery capacity, but made use of QuickCharge 3.0, however was 1.5x the price of AUKEY’s offering here. As I noted above, if you’re a frequent traveller, or constantly have a bag (handbag, backpack, tool bag) with you then personally I think it makes sense to drop this into a pocket and have a massive backup battery available if and when you need some extra juice whilst out and about. You also get an incredibly useful carry case along with the unit, that has a nifty storage pocket built in, that can be used to neatly tuck away all of your required cables/adaptors – my bag is MUCH tidier now.
At £25/$25, the PB-N36 won’t break the bank (too much!). If you’re looking for a large, backup battery to keep all of your devices constantly topped up but still in use (i.e. you want fast charging for all of your attached devices), then this probably isn’t the best option for you – I’d suggest you look at AUKEY’s QuickCharge 3.0 (UK/US) offering instead.
Simply put: the build quality of this product is great, it does exactly what it says on the tin, you get some useful accessories and all for a fairly low price point. I’ve no problem recommending this product!
AUKEY’s website: https://www.aukey.com/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0183K0GZC/
Please note: AUKEY sent me a PB-N36 in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This review is 100% honest and the fact that the product was sent to me free of charge has not influenced or swayed any of my opinions or findings.
I have worked with many companies previously (both large and small) and the first thing I mention to any company requesting a review is that anything I find will be noted in my review, whether it be positive and negative.