10000 MAh Amber10 Portable Power Bank. Amber power bank

What Happened To Amber After Shark Tank?

In today’s world, where smartphones have become a crucial part of our daily lives, it’s no surprise that mobile phone charging stations have become a popular sight in public places.

However, the safety and security of personal devices have always been a major concern for many people. This is where Amber charging stations offer a unique and secure way to charge your phone while you’re out and about.

Amber is a prototype mobile phone charging station designed to provide a safe and convenient way to charge your phone in public places. The device is simple to use: you drop your phone into an empty compartment, lock it using a fingerprint scan, and your phone will start charging automatically.

The entrepreneurs behind the Amber charging stations envisioned leasing their product to various public places, including bars, malls, airports, movie theaters, arenas, and other venues, to offer customers a reliable and secure way to charge their phones.

This innovative idea was met with skepticism from the Sharks on the popular TV show Shark Tank, who didn’t believe in the product’s security or the potential of the business plan.

What Is Amber?

Amber was a charging station intended to be used by the public. You put your phone in the compartment, scan your fingerprint to secure it, and your phone will charge automatically.

It is a common problem for most people to have a 20% battery remaining when they don’t have a charging source. Amber was a public-access, secure multiple-cellphone charging station.

However, the Amber Phone Charging concept was built before the portable power bank, a fingerprint-secured multiple-cell phone charging station for public use in malls, airports, large events, restaurants, and other areas with heavy foot traffic.

One of the biggest advantages of Amber charging stations is the level of security they provide. With the rise in cybercrime and identity theft, many people are hesitant to use public charging stations due to the risk of data theft or malware.

Amber charging stations address these concerns by offering a secure and tamper-proof system that prevents unauthorized access to your device.

Another advantage of Amber charging stations is their versatility. They can be placed in various public locations, providing an added convenience to customers who need to charge their phones on the go.

These charging stations can also be customized to include branding and advertising, providing a unique marketing opportunity for businesses that lease them.

Company Name Amber
Entrepreneur Bill Shuey and Kyle Byrd
Product Charging stations for public phones
Investment Asking For 200,000 For 20% equity in Amber
Final Deal No Deal
Shark No Shark
Episode Season 6 Episode 1
Business Status Out Of Business
Website Visit Website

Who Is The Founder Of Amber?

Kyle Byrd and Bill Shuey co-founded Amber Phone Charging in 2014. Their company’s concept was developed at James Madison University in Virginia, where they studied.

Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. The former engineer has since worked for various firms and is currently a Senior Product Manager at a company providing tools for start-ups.

Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He works as a home improvement sales representative in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The bromance between the college friends deepened when they discovered they had a passion for start-ups.

The company saw a need for free public cell phone chargers. The company envisioned a business model where the gadgets could be sold or rented to commercial business owners to enhance client satisfaction.

The company spent 11,000 of its own money on it, and it began building a prototype of what it imagined it would look like. It would be ideal if the user could access the safe compartment with their biometric fingerprint, leave their phone to charge, and retrieve it later.

They began looking for investors to assist them in launching the firm. The company was not yet in revenue but did have a business concept, partner agreements, and sales plan.

Amber Before Shark Tank

Bill Shuey met Kyle Bird, an industrial design student at James Madison University in Virginia, when he studied political science there. They started a business together.

When they discovered they shared a passion for start-up businesses, they thought they had found a market gap for phone charging stations. There were plans to sell or rent charging systems to stadiums and theaters.

Amber is the first material to carry a charge, so they called their product Amber because it was its prototype. They were delighted to receive an email from the producers of Shark Tank.

The pair thought someone was playing a joke on them at first. Someone from the show spotted Amber’s online portfolio, which surprised them.

Bill came up with it during the early stages of the idea. The producers wanted to see it pitched to sharks when they pitched their product. The producers arranged for them to appear on the show in September 2014.

How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Amber?

Bill and Kyle appeared on Shark Tank requesting an investment of 250,000 in exchange for a 25% stake in Amber.

Amber has covered you with their innovative product if you want to charge your smartphone. You have two options to acquire it: purchase it outright for 2,000, or lease it for a lower price of 150 per month.

Due to the badly presented proposal, Amber did not endure long due to “continuing trust concerns” with potential clients. Amber went out of business in 2015 and ceased all its operations.

Is Amber Still In Business?

Despite failing to secure a deal on the show, Bill and Kyle didn’t let that dampen their entrepreneurial spirit. After their segment aired, they received a flurry of interest from various distributors and manufacturers, but direct buyers remained scarce.

However, rather than giving up, they heeded the Sharks’ advice and lowered the price of their innovative self-locking smartphone charging station to 75 per month while introducing a new consumer payment option.

Unfortunately, even with these changes, the company struggled to stay afloat, and within a few months, Kyle parted ways.

After leaving the company, Kyle shared his experience on his blog, revealing that the Sharks had actually given positive feedback about the product, but unfortunately, this was edited out of the final segment.

He also disagreed with Robert’s skepticism regarding the biometric scanner technology and emphasized that the Amber had been fully tested and functional before filming.

Despite their best efforts, the company went out of business in 2015 without selling any units. The poorly portrayed pitch on the show likely contributed to this outcome, leaving many potential customers with doubts about the product.

Today, the Amber brand seems to have vanished completely from the internet, with its website. and pages deleted. However, Bill and Kyle have both moved on to other ventures.

Bill currently works in sales at Long Home Products in Maryland, while Kyle is a Limited Partner at Adventure Fund and previously worked as a Senior Product Manager at Atlassian.

While we may not see them on the show again soon, Bill and Kyle’s resilience and determination inspire entrepreneurs everywhere.

The concept of Ambernever gained traction, and the company ceased operations in 2015. Byrd worked as a user experience designer for a startup based in Reston, Virginia, before leaving Amber in December 2014.

What Is the Net Worth Of Amber?

The valuation of Amber was 1 million when it appeared on Shark Tank. The net worth of Amber is unknown as of 2023 since the company went out of business in 2015.

00 mAh Amber10 Portable Power Bank

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Amber Electric Review: My First Six Months

Six months ago, I retrofitted a SolarEdge Energy Bank battery to my 6.6kW solar system.

Finn encouraged me to join a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to add depth to my battery ownership experience. I chose Amber Electric’s ‘Amber for Batteries’.

This post is a review of using Amber with a battery. I do not recommend using Amber Electric without a home battery.

A four-point summary of my review:

  • Year-over-year, there was virtually no difference in my bills overall being with Amber Electric compared to being with Origin Energy.
  • I expect Amber to come out ahead over the autumn/winter period.
  • Negative electricity can hurt savings if you have an inverter that can’t export-limit.
  • The tech that coordinates my SolarEdge solar power and battery system is fragile, reducing my savings.

If you want to learn how I reached those conclusions, read on…

What’s A VPP, Again?

As a refresher – joining a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) means relinquishing control of your battery to the VPP operator.

They will charge and discharge your battery as and when they like, to support the electricity grid when it’s stressed. In return, you’ll usually get a monthly credit as a line item on your bill.

“Would eight kilowatt-hours make you feel better?”

A handful of VPPs will offer a revenue split if they discharge your battery during a ‘grid event’. That’s when the price of electricity spikes (for example, due to storms or heatwaves), and the stored energy in your battery becomes much more valuable.

With my SolarEdge battery, I was only eligible for two VPPs – one run by Powershop (Powershop VPP) and the other by Amber Electric (Amber for Batteries).

Technically, Amber for Batteries isn’t a VPP, as you don’t have to give up control of your battery to them if you don’t want to. And they’ll only charge or discharge your battery for your financial benefit, not theirs.

Powershop offered 10/month off my bill in return for permission to hammer my battery whenever they like.

Amber promised me full control of my battery and access to wholesale energy – meaning on rare occasions, 10kWh of electricity in my battery could be worth up to 150.

How Amber benefits users, in a nutshell. FiT = Feed in Tariff (what you’re paid for exported solar energy). Image credit: Amber Electric

10000, amber10, portable, power, bank, amber

In exchange, by signing up, you pay a higher daily supply charge (approx. 1/day for me in South Australia) and a monthly membership fee (15 per month). So, naturally, I joined Amber, as the potential upside for me was far higher than with Powershop.

The payoff was near-instant – within the first month of being with Amber, a wholesale price spike meant I netted ~100 from a single day of exporting my energy:

If only this could have been a regular occurrence – the reality of being on Amber over the last six months wasn’t quite as lucrative.

Amber Is For Enthusiasts

If you spend 5 minutes browsing the Amber Electric Users Group on. you’ll notice day-to-day posts involve the minutiae of individual homeowners squeezing every possible cent by micro-managing their usage:

As wholesale electricity sometimes go a bit nutty, this inspires some equally nutty behaviour from Amber users.

On more than one occasion when my house was already at a comfortable temperature, I still cranked both of my aircons to their max settings to get paid to heat/cool my house when electricity were negative.

If you’re an average person who doesn’t want to worry about their energy use habits, spending 15 minutes reading these posts may (rightfully) scare you away from Amber. This isn’t a criticism of Amber – the reality is the most hands-on users will get the most out of it.

What Batteries Does Amber Electric Support?

At the time of writing, Amber-supported battery brands are:

Amber has told me they’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes to expand this list – so if you are interested in joining but don’t have a compatible battery, don’t give up hope!

Negative Electricity Means Export Limitation Is Important, Depending On Your State

Sometimes electricity can go negative. Usually this is great, as Amber will automatically charge your battery for you – giving you a full battery and earning you money.

But negative have a downside – it means your solar feed-in tariff can also go negative. It’s not a good feeling when Amber charges you money to export your clean solar energy to the grid:

At the time of writing, SolarEdge, AlphaESS, and Sungrow inverters can be export-limited by Amber. If you have a Fronius, SMA or Huawei inverter, you can get a free curtailment device through Amber’s partner Village Energy.

After speaking to Amber about their internal data, it seems that negative pricing events are far more common in South Australia compared to Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

So while they’re working hard on making every major inverter capable of export limiting, if you’re not in South Australia the financial downside of not having it is much smaller.

My Zero-Export Broke

For the first few months on Amber, my SolarEdge system would export-limit my solar to zero at times of negative pricing, preventing me from losing money.

Then, abruptly, Amber Electric emailed me to say something had broken with SolarEdge’s API, and my system had lost its zero export function. Full functionality was restored in early December.

My Battery Refused To Export At Full Throttle

While gathering information for this article, I noticed during a recent “grid event” my SolarEdge battery, with 5kW power output, was not exporting to the grid at this rate to maximise my savings – it was only hitting a peak of under 2kW, as this data export Amber provided shows:

The blue vertically highlighted section shows a peak pricing period when discharge should have been ~5kW – but wasn’t anywhere close.

A call to my contact at Amber Electric confirmed this was not normal, and they’re investigating on their end to find out why this is happening.

Maximising savings with Amber is heavily reliant on the discharge power of your battery. Many grid events only last 30-60 minutes – every minute counts. My underperforming battery is costing me significant savings. I hope SolarEdge and Amber can fix this soon!

Show Me The Money

I’ve been on Amber for six months. What did it do for my bills versus a regular electricity retailer?

Before I dive into the comparison, I’ll note i n the last three months, my household has gone from three people to five.

This has naturally increased the energy used. But since this has been over summer when energy is generally cheap, it had a minimal impact on my bills.

My Six-Month Savings

Without further ado – here are my savings over the past six months, as well as a comparison with the same period over 2021/2022 when I didn’t have a battery and wasn’t with Amber:

And here’s what I earned for my exports (for Amber, it’s an average value for the quarter, as the FiT varies daily):

As you can see, my spring bill on Amber, compared to Origin, was a solid credit. This is because I didn’t have a battery in spring with Origin, and I had days where I’d use more energy for heating.

While on Amber, I had a battery to keep my grid imports lower and had some ‘grid events’ (like the 100 day in late August), which gave me a good credit. There were also opportunities to top up my battery from near-zero (or negative) grid prices.

My summer bill on Amber was 25 versus a credit of 145 with Origin. This is for a few reasons:

  • The number of people in my house went from three to five – increasing usage and decreasing exports.
  • The median feed-in tariff for summer was approximately 8c/kWh versus 15c/kWh with Origin – meaning my exports made me less money. Note that Origin is currently offering an 8c FiT – so if I was still with them, my credit would be roughly half.
  • There were many days in summer when electricity was really cheap on Amber. When grid electricity is cheap, your savings from solar power are lower.
  • Amber Electric has a higher daily supply charge (~1 versus 85c with Origin) and had a monthly membership fee of 15. Without the membership, I would have been in credit.

Overall – was I better or worse off by joining Amber Electric? I more or less broke even.

Amber Was Kind Enough To Provide Me With Internal Data

While talking with Amber about my battery’s power output issue, I asked if they could provide me with data for other users’ savings, broken down by state. I collated it all here:

Most of the savings generated by Amber come from the autumn/winter period when wholesale energy are more volatile.

While keeping in mind past performance is not a predictor of future performance, the Eastern states seem to benefit the most from being on Amber Electric. Victorians get the short end of the stick.

A special mention goes to people in the Ausgrid network area (Sydney/Newcastle), as they get to double-dip. Amber customers on the Ausgrid two-way trial tariff get to add Ausgrid’s 27.8c/kWh bonus FiT on top of Amber’s wholesale FiT during peak hours (2-8pm), turbocharging their earnings.

My Predictions For The Next 6 Months

Being with Amber was an interesting experience. You spend more time managing your home energy compared to only having solar panels.

With solar power, all you need to do is try to maximise energy use when the sun is out. Not too hard.

With Amber Electric, it might be the case that energy will be lower outside of daylight hours and you’ll benefit more from running appliances earlier or later in the day. And then, when wholesale spike to 10/kWh at 7 pm and your battery is flat, you may seriously consider turning the power off to your house to avoid being slugged.

It’s a great feeling to crank up your big appliances like the air-conditioner when electricity are negative and get paid to use electricity. It’s not the best feeling to sit in a sweltering house, hiding the aircon remote from your mother-in-law because are spiking and it’d cost 50 to run it for an hour.

But once you average out the good and bad days and factor in the higher daily supply charge and monthly account fee, I broke even on savings with Amber versus Origin (or any other electricity retailer).

As Autumn begins, days shorten, average daily solar outputs drop and inclement weather becomes more frequent, I expect more wholesale price spikes – and thus more significant savings.

The chart I shared above showing Amber’s internal data for average FiTs by month, suggests late spring/early winter is the biggest opportunity to make money.

In September, I’ll follow up on this post to review a full year of being on Amber Electric. Stay tuned to see if my predictions are accurate.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Been with them 18 months now, last 9 with a battery, not really any benefit in Vic since the gov intervened and went back to somewhat normal. In that time there was 1 event where power was over 1 kwh, and their system had a bug and no one could take advantage, to their credit they are crediting 2 months of their monthly fees. Otherwise our monthly bill is around 30 to 40 as the wholesale power are cheap during the day sending the Solar FiT into negative, so we are paying to put solar into the grid. Its only 1 or 2 a day, so it slightly annoying knowing that I’m only pulling an average of 30kwh from the grid for the month and the rest of my solar is getting put back in. Its a price we pay for trying to be better with our usage. I’m trying to ride it out knowing the cheap power can’t last forever, but its getting harder knowing that I could be leveraging a positive feed in rate from another energy company and easily be in credit quite quickly, especially with everything else going up around it. Amber for batteries isn’t helping when the are like they are. There are very minimal automated feed in events when the power goes to 30 or 40c to offset the days solar tax. I can’t even curtail the power with the Powerwall as there is too much generation at times, so its not possible to go off grid either, only to be fixed by purchasing another Powerwall. So like the author I’m interested to see if there is a turnaround in the pricing. On the other side of that along with the author we are the lucky few able to ride out price spikes and higher prices, whilst those without solar and storage are going to cop it hard.

I believe, as you say, the battery makes all the difference. Amber was nice enough to provide me with 12 months of pricing data (import / export) in 30minute chunks, which I could then compare to my downloads from current supplier – AGL. It turned out for me, with 10kw Solar / 8kw inverter (no battery), and an EV which mostly charges at home using ChargeHQ, that Amber would be significantly more expensive. Note that this is using actuals from the past 12 months – perhaps with Amber our behaviour would change to maximise any benefit. However – to change to Amber the whole household has to get behind it. Try telling a wife and 3 children without the same level of interest that running the aircon right now would cost 50… my judgement in choosing Amber would be questioned, no matter the preceeding benefits!

With this “broken” limit, it is as easy, as use dry contact relay (such as Shelly 1) to clamp DRED to 0 or use contactor on inverter output which will do even better – it will stop PV entirely so that whole load will earn on negative price.

Interesting. We’ve been with Amber for a few years now. We only have 6.6 kilowatt of PV and an EV, But no house battery yet to be able to participate in energy trading. That will come later in the year after a switchboard upgrade etc. The advantage of having an EV with Amber is crazy- cheap on Sundays in particular and often Saturdays too so we can fully charge for about 2 to 4 on most weekends. For about 300 km of weekly commuting. Grid power for between 2 8 C/kWh are common between 10 3 on the weekends. The winter evening freak me out a bit, so we tend to use our wood heater to avoid the high evening prices. Once we get a battery we will be using our far cleaner reverse cycle air conditioner for heating. We are on Ausgrid so hopefully they will still have the special offer by the time we get our battery.

Ian, To this southerner, your winter evening cost exposure seems much more real than the “50/hr aircon” scenario. If the PV array size is fit for purpose, then the aircon should always be self powered on hot sunny days, I figure. Is it that it’s also used in summer rain (negligible insolation) in the deep north? If it’s been hammering during the day, can it be needed at night? (That’s what insulation and internal masonry are for, at least in my recently completed build, admittedly off-grid,where this stuff is serious.) Here in the Dandenongs, I use about 10 tonnes of firewood p.a., so it’s handy to have 200 Ha of forest (out in Gippsland), a chainsaw, and a ute. When it comes to heating, there’s no better solar energy battery than CO2 neutral firewood. Even the wood ash is great for lawns and pasture, helping grass outcompete weeds like Capeweed. (OK, down in suburbia, electrostatic particle precipitators would be advisable if used widely.)

In October last year I booked a new system and battery to replace my old 2.4kw Talked to Amber at the time about Sungrow batteries and was told by the new year they would be good to go. Well your piece on Amber is wrong about Sungrow. Hear we are in mid March and still not up and running. Negative and can not empty my battery.

Last month when I spoke to Amber, they provided me with internal documents saying Sungrow integration is coming this month (March). I will double-check with my contact and amend my post if necessary.

Electricity pricing is complicated. The wholesale price is a minute by minute number which has peaks and negative too…. This is one of the reasons none of us can do any sort of true analysis. You have to keep on studying the numbers and then make a gut decision based on them. Or call it a best fit SWAG(Scientific wild-ass guess) decision. The Amber scheme sounds great, but has costs associated and of course those costs can change too if the company was say sold to a big power company as has happened previously with many independent electricity resellers who offered good electricity being bought up and then the pricing structure changing. As Jonathon found at the end of the comparison, the savings/ benifit of having an externally managed battery were marginal. But what’s not mentioned is that had the power outages where he was paid large amounts lasted longer, his battery would have been flat and might have lost the contents of say his freezer. There’s also no mention of the lifespan decrease by allowing your battery to be used harder than it would be normally. This also has a cost. To me the advantage of a battery is that I have backup in the event of a power failure. Norm

I was with Amber for about 6 months. Initially with a 5kw system and later with a 10kw system and Solar Edge battery. If you are a big energy user the Amber wholesale can be very cheap at times, useful for EV charging. However as I moved to a larger solar system with battery, I became a net exporter and my primary interest became Feed-in-Tariffs. At times Ambers FiTs can be high but overall my average FiT was less than 10c/kWh. I am in the Ausgrid network but no real benefit (as Johnathon’s article suggested). On the weekends Ambers FiT is often negative. Solar Edge works well with Amber SmartShift as it automatically reduces solar production during negative FiT periods. To get the best FiT you usually need to drain your battery at night or during spike events, leaving your battery with little or no power for the house. Sometimes you have to buy power the next day, defeating the purpose of exporting. The Amber software is still a bit clunky and is a work in progress. Having had my battery drained by SmartShift for as little as 4c/kWh in a spike event, I found the returns to be unpredictable. I’ve now switched to Powershop. In NSW they have a fixed 13c /kWh FiT. I didn’t join their VPP as I prefer to keep all the power for self consumption. I think eventually all power companies will operate like Amber once the solar market becomes saturated. Negative FiTs will be standard. But for now I try and get the highest FiT on offer.

Hi all Interesting reading all these Комментарии и мнения владельцев, makes great reading. I’m in Ausgrid’s network, with a 10kW inverter and a recently installed 10kWh battery, both by SolarEdge. My current retailer is Origin, FIT 10c/kWh for first 14kWh per day, then 5c/kWh for the rest. I called up Origin to say that I’m looking at switching retailers and they’ve improved my FIT to 12c/kWh for first 14kWh per day, a slight improvement. I’m still not sold on this Amber thing, it does not sound like a clear winner, otherwise we’d all be jumping at it, is my conclusion (for now)! An EV is next on my wish-list

10000, amber10, portable, power, bank, amber

A single battery on the wall, is not enough. If you are largely discharging that once ( or even twice) a day, the economics simply do not add up. Even with demand pricing FIT(feed in tariff) prices. Its simply tricky economics. The same tricky economics that the electricity companies have used to make any plan that you sign up to difficult to understand and completely dependent on how exactly you are using electricity. As a solar user, I don’t really care how easy it is for the installer to install something other than the additional cost for that difficulty. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the Tesla Powerwall is a quality piece of kit that integrates seamlessly on the whole. However, every Powerwall has a built in inverter. You are paying for that every time at premium price. I can purchase batteries at retail for roughly half the price of a Powerwall of the same capacity. This is important when you start increase your battery storage capacity beyond a single Powerwall capacity. Which you would want to do to decrease the daily discharge level. If I discharge to 80% daily I get a life for the storage based on that discharge level. If I discharge by only 20% daily my lifespan goes up not by a factor of 4, 80/20=4 but by a factor of roughly 25. So 6 times better than you would expect. Even more in fact as the rate of discharge for the increased battery storage is reduced too. This is from the DOD cycle life quoted here. https://www.powertechsystems.eu/home/tech-corner/lithium-iron-phosphate-lifepo4/ To me, it’s important to educate all users and installers on the economics of scale. As you scale up, your economics get better not linearly, but exponentially. For this reason, a bunch of batteries that give me 3 to 5 days total usage and an inverter that supplies the demand power I require for my needs is always going to be financially better than a premium cost of a single underspecified power wall solution for my needs. A designed solution

Really good conversations and information. As I read it all seems to be retrospective with a lot of constraints and/or failings. Surely by now, the like if amber would have simulated models with data input, likely able to provide feedback for an optimised solution. I get the many variables, but perhaps averaging helps that, or what about a feature that is able to remove the top and bottom 5% of spikes, peaks and troughs. To make any decisions, I think what I need is a forecast based upon my historical data, matched to the actual market for tge same period. If this could provide a comparison it might be a simple choice. I think there is scope to enhance your future situation through toggling solar feed in and battery size, and electricity consumption. We are Smart enough to see the potential, but don’t leave us to guess what system size or features. Help us optimise our choice for best advantage. I have a 21 kW A/C, 2 solar systems ( 4.5 and 6.6kw respectively) and feed up to 70kw into the grid on a good day, but no battery (yet). I could turn my A/C on and chew my entire solar, plus a battery possibly plus grid…. so how do I optimise that? Come on amber… be proactive and help me decide by clear evidence for my situation. I’m keen but cautious.

Maybe a new A/C first if it uses that much. My inverter A/C uses around 1kw and cools my 60’s upgraded home. You are right about the averaging with Amber. I have a smaller system with a 16kw battery and can only sell about 25 on a good day. But not buying anything in.

Hi Jonathan For the export limiting to be available on solaredge inverters, do you need a separate modbus energy meter or do the newer energy hub inverters have this included in the inverter? Amber have advised this is required but also my installer has informed me our inverter has one inside – so very confused. Awaiting some clarity from Amber at the moment. I am in SA and want to understand this a bit better as I think our systems are very similar and your experience will be beneficial to know if I do need anything extra installed.

AUKEY Wireless 10,000mAh Power Bank with 18W PD PB-Y32 Review

This new power bank from AUKEY is a jack-of-all trades: not only does it provide normal USB 5V ⎓ 2.4A charging as you would come to expect from most power banks, it also has a built-in wireless Qi charging pad, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 output and 18W Power Delivery output!

Design

The AUKEY PB-Y32 is a multi-textured power bank, feature smooth plastic around most of it with a soft, tacky surface on top to help hold your phone in place while charging on the wireless Qi pad. On the front of the power bank is a regular USB-A output, a USB-C input/output port, and a Micro USB input. There are also 5 LEDs: The first LED beside the Micro USB port is an amber light indicating that wireless charging is enabled. The other 4 white LEDs indicate the power remaining in the power bank. The dimensions of this power bank are 5.67″ x 2.64″ x 0.67″ and it weighs 8.01 ounces.

Features

  • Qi wireless charging: Tapping the power button once will enable the Qi wireless charging pad located on the top of the power bank. An amber LED will light. Initially, the wireless charging pad will output 5W and if no other devices are connected to the power bank (and your phone supports it), the charging will increase to 7.5W or 10W. If no Qi device is detected, the wireless pad will automatically turn off after 15 seconds. Please note that the power bank cannot accept an incoming charge from another Qi wireless charging.
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0: The USB-A port can output up to 12 volts if a compatible Quick Charge device is connected. Otherwise, it will output the normal 5V ⎓ 2.4A standard for phones and tablets.
  • USB-C Power Delivery: The USB-C port can output up to 12V ⎓ 1.5A to support fast charging of compatible devices, such as an iPhone 8 or newer.
  • Low-Current Charging Mode: Many Bluetooth headphones and some smaller device such as fitness trackers may draw so little power that most power banks don’t detect them and stop charging prematurely. You can enable a “Low Current Charging Mode” for such devices so that the USB port stays on. To enable this mode, hold down the power button for 2 seconds until you see one of the LEDs turn green. This mode automatically turns off after 2 hours.
  • 10,000mAh capacity: Enough to charge many smartphones 3 to 4 times via wired charging (wireless charging is less efficient on all chargers).

Performance

The power bank can output up to 18 watts via the Power Delivery USB-C port, which I found to be cable of charging my Dell Chromebook. This can also be used to charge other devices such as an iPhone 8 or newer (with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, not included) or other USB-C devices such as the Nintendo Switch.

As you can see in the photo below, the power bank was able to deliver 18 watts (approximately 9V ⎓ 2A) to my Dell Chromebook. This can effectively charge compatible laptops when the laptop is powered off, but may not be enough power to charge and use the laptop at the same time depending on what you’re doing on the laptop while it is on.

Technical Specs

USB-C Input: (18W Power Delivery 3.0) 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓2A

USB-C Output: (18W Power Delivery 3.0) 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓2A, 12V⎓1.5A

USB Output: (Quick Charge 3.0) 5–6V⎓3A, 6–9V⎓2A, 9–12V⎓1.5A

With an impressive feature set including wireless Qi charging, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and Power Delivery (18W), the AUKEY power bank packs a lot of charging options in a small, lightweight power bank.

How Much mAh Do I Need in a Power Bank

Two major factors that must be considered when deciding how much mAh (power) you need in a power bank are usage and time. If you use your phone as much as the rest of us, then you are well aware of the woes of a drained battery. Nowadays, it is essential to have a portable charger readily accessible in order to skip the annoyance of searching for an available AC outlet.

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Whether you refer to them as portable chargers, power banks, fuel banks, power cells or back-up charging devices, one thing remains, they are a reliable source of reserve power.

But how much mAh in a power bank is too much, or worse, not enough?

With that question in mind, we are going to help you narrow down your search to a portable charger that fits your particular lifestyle and power needs.

What is mAh?

Like we have mentioned in a previous portable power bank article, battery capacity is rated by milliampere hours (mAh), which is “the amount of capacity needed to let one milliampere of electrical current flow for one hour.” The more mAh, the more power a battery pack has to keep charging your mobile devices.

But what kind of portable charger works best for you?

We recommend you decide early on what you will be using the power bank for and what type of power user you are. Will you use the extra juice to occasionally top off your phone (light) or do you need a power source to set up a remote office (heavy) to get ahead of some work while on vacation?

Once you are aware of your use cases, you can weigh the options.

Light

If you are just the occasional power booster, a more compact and lower capacity power source is right up your alley. Anything from the 5000-2000 mAh in a power bank will work best for you, but you must remember you will more than likely not have multiple options for power included with a smaller device.

Heavy

If you need a higher capacity power source for a longer period of time, a portable power bank with a large mAh such as 40,000 mAh is the safest bet. With this option you do run the risk of sacrificing portability, so you must plan how you can store it for easy accessibility.

Nowadays, there are a variety of portable battery banks on the market that can easily fit in your backpack and offer multiple sources of power such as AC outlets and USB charging ports.

Conclusion

Whatever power capacity you need in a portable power bank, you can be sure there is a variety of options out there that will suit your needs. The next time you are browsing, don’t forget to ask yourself what kind of user category you fall into. Having an idea of how much power bank mAh you need will make the selection process pain-free.

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