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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Zendure A8 26800 mAh Power Bank Review

I received this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions states are my own and may differ from yours.
I've been doing powerbank reviews for some time now. One of the earliest ones I reviewed included a rechargeable battery that you charged outside the device and then put inside the powerbank to recharge your phone / USB device. I recently had the chance to review yet another one, this time a unit from Zendure. Their A8 model is a beast of a portable charger, offering 26,800 mAh of power. Throw in a Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) 3.0 port, and your phone should nearly never run out of power.

First off, this unit is huge, weighing in at just over a pound. If you're carrying it around all day, that is on top of the weight of your phone. More importantly though is the depth of the unit. This unit is thick. I seem to have a preference for flatter units as they're easier to carry around. With all that size, you have plenty of power to recharge multiple units through its four ports. For just charging a single unit, the A8 seems definite overkill, unless you're planning on being away from a power source for a long period of time (like camping for the weekend) or are using some power intensive apps / devices.

The four ports on the powerbank include three ZEN+ ports and one QC 3.0 port for rapidly charging your device. The ZEN+ ports have a 4.2A 21W max output, where most powerbanks top off at half that power. The 4.2A max is a little misleading though. You can't have all three of the ports outputing that much power at once. The combination of all four ports is "just" 6.1A / 33.5W of power. Most devices need just over 1 or 2 amps of power so you'll typically be okay when filling up the four ports at once. If the devices have a thirst for "more" power, they'll just charge more slowly if all the ports are full. If you happen to have a device that supports QC 3.0, you can take advantage of the QC port. Charging your QC 3.0 compatible phone in that port will give you roughly 80% power in a half hour of charge time. Great way for that quick partial fill up.

Two other features on the charger are a power button and an LED display. Unlike other powerbanks, I never needed to press the power button. As soon as the device detects a large enough power draw, the powerbank turns itself on so your device will start charging immediately. I can't count on one hand how many times I've forgotten to turn on the power bank after plugging in my phone for recharge. The LED on the front by the ports shows the remaining capacity as a percentage. Just a reminder on when to recharge the powerbank itself. I'm not really sure which I like better, a handful of dots to give you a rough percentage or the LED. The LED is brighter but definitely more accurate than the dots. You can also charge the charger at the same time the charger is charging your phone. Many powerbanks require you to pick one direction for the power to go.

The powerbank only comes with one USB cable for charging the device itself. If you require something other than a micro-USB cable, like an Apple Lightning cable or USB-C, you'll need to carry a second cable with you. And, if you want to charge more devices at once... you'll need extra cables, too.

Overall, I love the available capacity in the powerbank. I use several apps while on the train into work in the morning and many times my phone is nearly fully drained when I get into the office. Thanks to the QC support, I can be back up to nearly full in no time. It is heavy though. Unless I'm planning on needing the unit for multiple charges, I'd be more inclined to carry around something a bit smaller for when I need extra power. Of course the QC support does make things swing in the Zendure's direction sometimes, too.

Lots of power for just $90.

*Read my Disclosure


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