myCharge UnPlugged 10K Wireless Qi portable charger review

myCharge UnPlugged 10K power bankThe specs of the myCharge UnPlugged 10K Wireless QI portable charger look impressive – 10,000mAh battery, dual USB A 2.4amp charging, and a wireless Qi charging pad that can output at 5v 2amps. This seemed like the perfect companion to my unannounced July trip to Oregon. Here’s what happened when I relied on it.

I charged up the UnPlugged 10K portable charger and hopped on a plane bound for Portland… well, actually bound for San Francisco but that’s entirely due to there being no direct flights to Portland ever. Someone in the seat next to me needed a charge as they were entering SF with 6% battery and no ability to contact their ride.

Couple of hours charging his phone on the plane, thing still shows three out of four lights indicating about 75% full. This jived with expectations. Got into Oregon after a planned three hour layover that ended up being five (because I had kids with me and airlines just know when to break down). I’m topped off when I step foot in PDX, UnPlugged 10K is showing I have half a battery left, give it to the wife to charge her HTC 10 from nearly dead and roll to the inlaws.

The 10K charger was dead by this point, Kim’s phone at about 40%. I did the math and that was not a particularly good episode, however I had three phones of varying sizes and charging so I didn’t think too much about it.

On the trip I discovered that although you’ve got dual USB A ports, you’re limited to 2.4amps across the backplane. I believe this is limited across the device because if I’m wireless charging anything on the A ports is slow charging as well. OK, use this as a charger for one.

The Qi charging doesn’t wow with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but it’s not terrible. Meh, Qi is pretty much treated as a gimmick still so there’s that to contend with.

I recharged the UnPlugged with a 2.1 amp charger and placed two phones on it overnight expecting I was going to awake to find two fully charged phones and a charged portable battery. This was not the case. I had a 50% charge on the UnPlugged, an 87% charge on the Samsung, and a 100% charge on my wife’s HTC 10.

Something was not working for passthrough charging with two phones hooked up. Unfortunately at this point we lost the backup charger (it’ll turn up when I unpack two weeks from now) so I dropped the test and just charged the charger and one phone and used another wall charger to charge another phone.

This worked well for the next couple of days, then we went to Smith Rock and burned out two batteries taking pictures and video as we hauled our asses up a trail appropriately named the Misery Ridge trail. By the end of a very long day that involved a night in Bend Oregon and hitting as many brewpubs as possible we’d gone through the 10K battery again.

Again, this felt like I was getting a pretty low return on charging investment especially at our phones were lasting well into the day – in the 80% range as opposed to the 90+ I generally expect from myCharge. I slapped it on a charger and found a spare charger at the AirBNB we were staying at and got everything charged to 100%.

We hit Crater Lake, took a lot of photos, burned through batteries doing silly things like navigation (rental car, no USB ports for some reason) and photos and calls. We realized pretty quickly coming back that if Kim was doing anything with her phone while my phone was working on navigation we were not positively charging. 2.4amps didn’t seem to be delivering +1200 either.

I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much, but this felt a little underpowered. The Note 8 has a 3300 mAh battery, the HTC 10 a 3000, would hope to positively charge any combo three times but it was seeming more in the 2.5 times range.

Driving back with the UnPlugged 10K hooked to a car charger and feeding both of our phones for some reason it simply stopped charging my phone. This has been the case a couple of times where even though it’s plugged in nope. Did it to Kim’s phone as well once on this trip.

I’m not sure if I’ve got defective, but this seems to be the latest in a series of 10K chargers that I’m a little underwhelmed with. With myCharge, this is an aberration in performance I’ve come to expect.

I’m a little unimpressed with how much I’m getting out of the battery, seeing issues where phones simply stop charging, occasionally hearing a phone make a disconnect/connect noise, and not particularly being impressed by the wireless charging.

The myCharge UnPlugged 10K Qi portable charger is available at Amazon for about $59

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