Smartphone batteries seem to get bigger every year but the drain that larger high-resolution screens, more RAM, and additional sensors add increases, too. Samsung famously needled iPhone users with their 2014 Wall Huggers commercials but it’s probably true that most of our devices have run out of juice at some point. Enter Amazon and a plethora of portable charger battery pack re-sellers. The choices can be overwhelming with little to differentiate the offerings. One standout is the 8,000 mAh Eachine X8 Portable Charger. Its combination of features and value make it easy to recommend. Read on to find out why.
At first blush the Eachine X8 looks like many of its competitors – a black plastic rectangle with ports and buttons. The plastic is soft-touch that feels very nice when held. The power button is located on one of the corners and is raised just enough to be easy to find but not so much that it juts out or is likely to snag. There are two USB type-A receptacles along the bottom face. The front face has four small LEDs that light up to indicate how much power the portable charger has remaining. The lights are bright enough to read clearly but aren’t blinding. The X8 fits easily in most pockets; crucial for a portable charger.
The bright blue stripes of cable running down either side are the first clue that there’s a little more to the X8. The blue cables peel away to reveal a USB type-A connector for charging the X8 and a Micro-B connector for device charging. The cables fit snugly into recessed channels so that they are flush with the outer edges of the unit. They snap into place and there’s little danger of them coming loose in your pocket or bag. The integrated cables mean you won’t always worry about packing spares to charge the battery pack or your device.
The final design touch is a flip-open slot along the bottom of the device. The slot is designed to hold Apple’s Lightning to Micro USB Adapter (other adapters may not fit). Pop the adapter out of the slot and attach it to the integrated Micro USB cable to easily charge your favorite iOS devices. This is an innovation I haven’t seen in other portable chargers and I think it’s brilliant.
This little battery pack performs admirably. It has the ability to charge three devices simultaneously. This can be a life saver when heading out and about with the family. With a daughter and wife that depend on being constantly connected it’s important to keep their iPhones topped off. The usefulness of charging multiple devices can’t be overstated.
I’m able to get almost two charges on my DROID Turbo and easily two+ charges on my iPhone 6. That’s as much as I reasonably expect from a device this pocketable. There’s no Quick Charge 2.0 which is a let-down but not one that impacted the charger’s usefulness (mainly because iOS devices don’t support it).
The Eachine X8 Portable Charger is an excellent investment at $10 US. It holds enough energy to charge multiple devices simultaneously in a slim package. Added features like the integrated cables and adapter socket put it over the top. Are there any other reasonably priced battery packs that you’d recommend?
|Dimensions||4.9 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches|
|Output 1||USB 5V2A|
|Output 2||USB 5V1A|
|Output 3||USB 5V2.4A|