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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Product review: Lepow - Moonstone 6000mAh Power Bank Backup Portable External Battery Charger

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LEPOW - MOONSTONE 6000 Power Bank Pack is compact. It is similar in size to hockey pack 3.25" x 3.25" x 0.75".  I got the white one and even its light indicators are white in color, which makes it look very nice.

It weight 5.5oz that makes it small and light enough to carry around without feeling like you have a brick in your purse or pocket.

Charging starts and stops automatically.  If needed the back of the unit has on/off button.

The package contains a lot of extras:
➺ Felt pouch with two pockets to carry the battery in one and cables in another (4.5" x 4.5" when folded)
➺ A canvas draw bag for storing cables or whatever (7" x 4.5")
➺ 24" flat micro USB cable
➺ Double sided suction bad that lets you position your external battery anywhere you need it, useful for travel when space is at a premium (1.5" x 2.75")
➺ A 1.75" stylus
➺ Gold plated bow sticker (it is labeled as a electro magnetic waves filter, but given its tiny size I am not sure how it was intended to be used)
➺ 6 Apple home button stickers
➺ A fish cord wrapper, I like to use these to keep my earphones cords organized
➺ A key cord keeper
➺ A micro SD to USB 2.0 adapter

All in all this is a very nice package!

Of course, the key question is how did this battery perform. I tested this battery pack with iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy 7.7.  Its performance was average, not outstanding but not bad.  If you are interested in the details of the tests I am including the numbers below.

➨ How I tested this battery pack:
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To test this battery pack I used a current monitor. In addition to the current monitor I also used a 10 minute charging test which is less abstract than the measurements of current and voltage.

I have been testing chargers and batteries for a long time and people often ask me why results on different ports of the same unit or similar units are different. The results are different because they are affected by a number of factors. To help with a numerical explanation of a differences I began using a USB current monitor which shows the voltage and the current flowing between the battery and the device.

Most of the batteries are 5V devices and most devices show the voltage very close to 5V. If the voltage is higher it can damage a device and I will report higher than expected voltage if I see it. The interesting number is the current as it varies from port to port and from unit to unit. The amount of energy transferred from the charger to the device is calculated by multiplying voltage and current.

The current varies based on what the device requires and what battery provides. This communication happens using different protocols depending on OS. Newer Android OS versions have adapted their protocols to get better performance from ports aimed at Apple devices. An addition variable that effects performance is whether a data cable or charging cable is used to charge the device. The charging cables short the two data connections together (rendering them useless for data transfer), but this fools devices to see the cable as an AC power connection, and thus accept the higher current of the charging source.

The 10 minutes test consists of charging each mobile device on each port of the battery pack for 10 minutes and measure how much each unit was charge in that 10 minute period. Since the charging speed is non-linear I start charging each device from approximately the same charge level. I use Battery App by Elvison to determine how each device recognized the charging source. 'AC' status means the charging is at full charging rate. 'USB' status indicates charging at a lower charging rate. 'Discharging' status means that the charging rate is below the power that the device is consuming so it slows down the discharge rate but does not re-charge.

➨ Test Results:
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✔ Samsung Galaxy 7.7 tablet
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Charge at AC rate ~~~~~~ 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Current monitor: ~~~ 1.22A, 4.88V

✔ iPad Mini
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Charge at AC rate ~~~~~~ 3% change in charge in 10 minutes
Current monitor: ~~~ 0.94A, 4.99V

I received this power pack from the manufacturer for an honest review be it positive or negative. I found this external pack had respectable performance, I liked its compact size and sleek look.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


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