Review: PowerBot Wireless Charging Pad and Backup Battery Pack

Review: PowerBot Wireless Charging Pad and Backup Battery Pack

You might have caught my review where I acquired, tested and reviewed the PowerBot PB1020. I won't go back into the details here (you can read the full review HERE), but suffice to say, for around $15 U.S. it's a valuable addition to your gadget stable and works great for providing charging for your Qi-enabled smartphones and tablets. There are caveats, of course, but I included those in my review.

During my testing and review of the PB1020, I noticed that, for an additional $10 or so, Soundbot also offers the PowerBot PB1082, which is also wireless charger for Qi-enabled devices, but additionally includes 7000mAh external battery pack functions.

When I travel, I always carry an external battery pack with me. The one I've been using is a Microsoft-branded block that was given to me from a friend. It's been a great solution, providing continuous power for my devices across long trips. During flights, I connect my Windows smartphone and let it charge for the duration so that I'm full charged when I arrive at my destination. So, the PowerBot PB1082 was extra interesting to me since it provided wireless charging AND connected charging.

After receiving and using the PowerBot PB1082 a bit, here's what I've found.

In the Box

The photo below shows exactly what is included in the box, and just like the other PowerBot wireless charger I reviewed, it does not include a power adapter. As I noted in the first review, it's pretty much assumed that everyone has at least 10 unused USB-type power plugs sitting around (I do) primarily due to upgrading smartphones every 1-2 years for the last 10 years, so one is not included. And, this probably lends a bit to the overall pricing structure of the PowerBot. Add an actual USB power plug and you can probably expect a $10 increase in the total product price. It's easy enough to find cheap USB power plugs. My goto USB power plug of choice is the $8 OEM Motorola SPN5689A Dual Port Universal Wall Charger.  I buy these things like they're candy.

Alternatively, you can also charge the PowerBot using any powered USB port, meaning your laptop, Microsoft Surface, TV, or any other desktop computer.

So, in the box:

  • PowerBot Wireless Charging Power Bank
  • 0.3mm Micro USB cable
  • 1.5m Micro USB cable
  • User Manual

 

Chassis Features

The PowerBot power bank is about the same size (width and height) of a Lumia 1020 or similar model, but it's a bit thicker. But, the overall device is light and great for travel. The PowerBot is actually lighter and thinner than the one I have been traveling with, so I'm super excited to swap for the next trip. For travelers, any amount of load lightening, no matter how seemingly insignificant, makes a heap of difference.

On one end of the power bank, there's a power button and a power indicator. The power button, of course, is for powering the unit on. The power indicator (looks like a battery) shows how much power is left to charge devices using a quick-glance LED system. I find this extremely useful, particularly when trying to see how much juice is left in a dark room, or when the power bank is shoved into my carry-on bag in a darkened airplane cabin.

The other end of the power bank houses the "power in" port where you charge the device or run directly off of AC from the wall. The other port is the usual 5V 1Amp USB charging port for connecting your wired devices.

The top and bottom of the PowerBot have rubber, non-slip surfaces so the power bank won't slip off a desk, and your smartphone won't easily slip off when charging.

Wireless Charging

Obviously, the power bank is meant to be a wireless charging device first. Wireless charging works great, like it does with the first PowerBot I reviewed. The company that makes these, Soundbot, knows how to do it. My only peeve in the original review was that that one seemed too small, forcing you to have to adjust the smartphone to just the right spot to locate the internal Qi chip. So, the size of this version of the PowerBot actually makes it a much better charging unit because there's a lot less guesswork. Just set it on the power bank and charging starts.

But, the fantastic wireless charging feature of the PowerBot PB1082 is that it will wirelessly charge your smartphone (or other Qi-enabled device) completely wire-free. Due to the battery pack power storage, just turn it on, set your device on top, and it will start charging your device – anywhere - all without the need to plug the base into the wall. That's pretty cool.

Wired Charging

As I noted earlier, while the wireless charging features of the PowerBot are cool all on their own, this unit includes wired charging. For those devices you carry that aren't Qi-enabled, you can use the PowerBot to charge them, too. Of course, it will drain power storage more quickly, but you can use the wireless and wired functions together at the same time. Charge your smartphone and your tablet simultaneously.

Having both wireless and wired device charging capability means I can eliminate one more gadget from my travel bag – and that's a good thing.

Wrap Up

I'm extremely pleased with the PowerBot PB1082. It allows me to keep my smartphone constantly charged while working in the office, and then helps me to keep my devices charged when traveling. I had not heard of the PowerBot charging devices prior to my first review, so I was a bit tentative. You just don't know what you're going to get sometimes. But, I've been pleasantly surprised with the quality and function of both units, and because of that will definitely look into the other products that Soundbot produces.

Bottom line: This thing is wonderful, and the price is right. It's available from Amazon for only $29 right now.

You can check it out on Amazon.com here: PowerBot PB1082 Qi Enabled Wireless Charging Pad with Built-In 7000mAh External Battery Pack

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