review

Stuffcool 20000mAh Power Bank Review: Quality at a Cost

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and with the gradual shift to having wireless gadgets and wearables on all the time, comes the extra responsibility of keeping them juiced up so that they don’t die on you when you need them the most. While most gadgets might get you through a day, just enough to plug in before you go to bed and wake up with a full charge, you might just have one of those days when you have to be on your phone for longer than usual, or let’s say you’re travelling and you might end up with a flat battery, and if you’re on the go, you don’t have a wall outlet. This is where portable battery packs or more commonly known as power banks come into play. With smartphone processes getting heavier and the kind of work that one can get done on a smartphone getting better by the day, it can get hard at times to get through a day’s usage unless your phone has a large battery. If it doesn’t, the mammoth 20000mAh power bank from Stuffcool has got your back.

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If you have been in the market for a quality smartphone accessory, you must have come across this brand called Stuffcool. They are known to make quality cables, cases and other smartphone accessories. Their latest offering is the Stuffcool Power Bank. Right of the bat when you pick up the power bank, there’s a feeling of assurance, and some heft, indicating towards the use of quality materials in its construction. The power bank is completely built out of metal with a plastic buffer running all around housing the ports. The metal itself has a smooth matte finish to it and while it might not be the most ergonomic design, it feels great and is pretty compact too, and can fit into your pocket without much of a struggle, except for the bulge it’ll cause due to its thickness. The overall construction seems to be solid while still keeping the footprint pretty handy. The build quality seems spot on. There are four LEDs to denote battery percentage on one side while a physical button to trigger the LEDs resides on another.

Talking about ports, the Stuffcool 20000mAh Lithium-Polymer power bank comes with two full-size USB-A ports with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, a standard micro-USB port (input only), as well as a USB Type-C port which seems to be a great addition. There are very few power banks in the market which offer Type-C compatibility, and it’s great to see it here. USB Type-C offers faster power delivery as well as reversibility, and in this case, can be used to top up the power bank as well charge your phone, which is a huge plus. It also supports pass-through charging, meaning you can charge the power bank as well as your phone at the same time. This only works when you are charging the powerbank via the Type-C port (and not via microUSB).

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Coming to what’s most important, the charging speeds and efficiency. Talking about the power bank itself, it can be charged either through micro-USB or USB Type-C. In our testing, we noticed that the power bank charged much faster while charging through Type-C as it supports Quick Charge 3.0 and hence accepts inputs at 5V/3A, 9V/2A and 12V/1.5A as opposed to 5V/2A through micro-USB. A complete charge from an almost-dead state until all four LEDs stayed lit indicating that the power bank has been charged to 100%, took somewhere around 8 hours when charged using a QC 3.0 enabled adapter through USB Type-C, which, given the huge capacity, is acceptable.

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In terms of output, the Stuffcool power bank offers two full-sized USB-A ports with support for QC 3.0 and the USB Type-C port can be used for output as well. The output through all the three ports is rated at 5V/3A, 9V/2A and 12V/1.5A which is according to QC 3.0 standards, and it does translate to real-world usage as well. We tried charging a Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro simultaneously and while the S8’s 3000mAh battery took just over 1.5 hours to charge from 0-100%, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s giant 4000mAh took just about 2 hours which is pretty impressive. While we do not have official numbers regarding the efficiency of the power bank, it was able to charge the Redmi Note 5 Pro three times from 10-100% and the fourth time, it gave up on 24% while also charging a smartwatch alongside, to 100%, on all four times. If we bluntly go by these numbers, a total of about 14000mAh of battery capacity was charged using the power bank, which isn’t too bad, given that portable charges don’t really have a good conversion rate due to heat dissipation and other various factors. One thing which could have been better is the placement of ports as they are quite close to each other.

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While we’re impressed with the compact and sturdy build and features of the Stuffcool 20000mAh power bank, the price can be deemed to be a bit on the steeper side at Rs. 3,699. No, it’s still cheaper when compared to quality ones from the likes of Sony and Anker (which are mostly plastic build and no QC 3.0 support). But when compared to Xiaomi’s Mi Power Bank 2i, which also comes with 20000mAh capacity, a single Quick Charge 3.0 port, and also supports pass-through charging, while being priced at Rs. 1,599, Stuffcool looks pricier. But, for the extra premium that you pay, you get an all-metal construction, an extra QC 3.0 port, an additional USB Type-C port, which basically allows you to charge up to three devices at once compared to two on the Mi power bank 2i, and one year of warranty. There is also a 10,000mAh model with similar ports retailing for Rs 2,499. Are you willing to pay the extra few bucks for the above-mentioned perks? Let us know in the comments section below.