NITECORE NB10000 Power Bank Review
The NITECORE NB10000 Power Bank competes with similar 10,000 mAh power banks in performance, though its lower weight and slim size make it easier to pack.
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- Lightweight and small for a 10,000 mAh power bank
- Supports simultaneous use of both ports
- Low current mode handy for trickle charging low-power devices
- LED indicators look only halfway full when unit’s fully charged
- Sharp corners can catch on loose fabric
- Only rechargeable via USB-C
There are so many power banks in the market that it’s sometimes easy to forget they’re all built differently. Look a bit closer, though, and you’ll begin to see the nuances. Take, for example, size and capacity. For a given capacity, each model from each brand can differ wildly in size. Because the truth is, size and capacity are two different things, and it’s up to brands how to balance the two while keeping other features in mind.
In this review, we’re looking at a very good example of how this works out. Specifically, how a power bank can be so small and lightweight while packing so much capacity.
NITECORE’s NB10000 doesn’t look too impressive right out of the gate. It has two ports, a power button, and a slim carbon fiber body. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this power bank is only 6,000 or 7,000 mAh. It’s actually a 10,000 mAh unit, however, and at just 150 g, it’s one of the densest power banks we’ve tested, at the cost of the extra frills found with some other power banks.
We’ll start with a tour of the hardware features around the outside. Up at the top are two USB ports—one USB-A and one USB-C—and a physical power button with embedded LED indicators. There are four LED indicators in total, with the one on the far right indicating when it’s in low current mode, while the rest indicate charge status. It’s a pretty basic setup, visually speaking, but the NB10000’s updated version 2 does have yellow accent coloring around the ports.
Reading the LEDs can be somewhat confusing since they are all located on one side of the button, and only three of them indicate charge level. We sometimes get the wrong impression that the unit is only half-full since three LEDs only span half the length of the button. It’s not, though, and we had to get used to this odd design choice to avoid overcharging the unit. You can also double-tap the button to turn off the LEDs altogether.
Charging the NB10000 is done through the USB-C port. This port supports two-way USB Power Delivery (18W input and 20W output on the newest version). Meanwhile, the USB-A port only supports 18W output. Both ports, however, support Quick Charge 3.0. If you decide to use both ports simultaneously, the output is capped at 15W (5V3A). You can also charge the NB10000 while using it to charge another device. All in all, it’s a fair amount of charging functionality for a power bank of this size.
As for the low current mode, that’s designed for low current devices like smartwatches and wireless headphones—devices that generally don’t require a ton of power. To activate, simply tap and hold the power button.
As the name suggests, the NB10000 has a mAh rating of about 10,000. Doing some rough back-of-a-napkin math, that’s worth about three charges for either a Samsung Galaxy S22 (3,700 mAh) or Apple iPhone 13 Pro (3,095 mAh). If you’re toting a higher-end device, that’s two charges for a Galaxy S22 (4,500 mAh) or iPhone 13 Pro Max (4,352 mAh).
Your mileage may vary since power transfer isn’t a hundred percent efficient in the real world, but you can get quite close. NITECORE is quite conservative in their own estimates, only quoting two charges for an iPhone 13 Pro and 1.5 charges for a Huawei P50 (4,100 mAh).
The most impressive feature of the NB10000 has to be its size. We’ve seen plenty of power banks smaller than this, but none really match it in terms of power density. We’ll get to the comparisons later. For now, see how it packs easily into our tech pouch.
It’s an easy fit even for an already-packed tech pouch such as ours. The only problem is how the NB10000 is shaped: it’s a very boxy power bank. Its corners are relatively sharp, and they can catch on soft fabrics or loose threads. Think of stretchy mesh typically found in tech pouches, loose shirts, and worn-out pants s—these will probably snag on the NB10000 sooner or later.
On the other hand, we like that NITECORE pretty much went as minimal as possible with the NB10000’s design. There are no frills like a curvy chassis or shiny trim added solely for the sake of styling. Yes, the body is carbon fiber, but that’s as much about keeping the weight down as it is about the looks. Plus, it is IPX5 rated, so it also has good water resistance.
For the record, we’re not quite fond of how the carbon fiber finish looks, but it is what it is.
Now’s the part where we actually see how the NB10000 stacks up against the competition. We’ve gathered two power banks with a size or capacity, namely the Anker PowerCore Lite 10000 mAh and the Satechi Quatro Wireless Power Bank. We’ve also thrown in the Futurizta Tech Pixy Mini, one of our go-to power banks due to its exceptionally compact size.
NITECORE NB10000: 10,000 mAh / 150 g = 66.7 mAh/g Futurizta Tech Pixy Mini: 5,000 mAh / 98 g = 51.0 mAh/g Anker PowerCore Lite 10000mAh: 10,000 mAh / 216 g = 46.3 mAh/g Satechi Quatro Wireless Power Bank: 10,000 mAh / 268 g = 37.3 mAh/g
The figures speak for themselves, with the NB10000 being the clear winner in terms of sheer power density. Of course, the other battery banks have their merits in extra features the NB10000 doesn’t have. For example, while Satechi’s Quatro may come off as the worst, it also features two wireless charging spots.
Features-wise, the NB10000 does come off a little modest. Save for the low current mode, it doesn’t boast blazing fast wired charging speeds, nor does it have wireless charging. There are no built-in flashlights, nor is there a digital readout. You’ll be hard pressed to find branding even—and that’s okay.
For straight-up packing as much power as you can while minimizing space occupied, the NB10000 is a clear-cut winner in our book. Sure, the sharp corners and carbon fiber finish may be cons, but its charging potential is a compelling selling point for any digital nomad.
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How to Choose the Right Power Bank?
For a longer trip, you may want to choose a power bank with a higher mAh and wattage. Power banks with higher mAh can last for more charge cycles before needing a recharge themselves. This is especially helpful for trips that have a long travel time where you may not have guaranteed access to wall outlets to power your devices.
We recommend anywhere from 20,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh and 65W to 100W for trips with extended travel time. This level of charging capacity helps give you peace of mind during travel (which is already stressful as it is) and guarantees that you will not have to rely on wall sockets for your devices or for a recharge to your power bank.
For a shorter trip, you may not need as much mAh and wattage in your power bank. We recommend a range of 6000 mAh to 10,000 mAh and 20W to 45W for trips with a shorter travel time. These types of power banks hold plenty of energy to guarantee 1 or 2 full charges to your smartphone without needing to be recharged. That should be plenty of power to get you to your destination and within reach of a wall outlet.
Devices are particularly important during business trips. You may need your phone to link up with colleagues and your computer to get tasks done. For that reason, you may want to choose a power bank that has a high mAh to last multiple charging cycles, and that can power a variety of devices.
We once again recommend a 20,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh and 65W to 100W power bank for business trips. It may also be useful in these cases to have multiple power banks dedicated to each of your devices. Our Baseus Blade Laptop Power Bank has a charging capacity of 20,000 mAh and 100W, making it an excellent source of energy for your laptop while your phone is linked up to another portable charger.
When it comes to parties and small day trips, you will not need a portable charger with a huge charging capacity. We once again recommend a range of 6000 mAh to 10,000 mAh and 20W to 45W. Our Baseus Magnetic Foldable Power Bank, with a 10,000 mAh and 20W capacity, is particularly convenient for parties and other outings thanks to its ability to fold up and be used as a kickstand. Easily stored in your. it utilizes a magnetic connection to secure strongly to your device, providing a fast charge without interrupting your device usage.
All You Need to Know About Power Bank
Power banks allow you to charge your devices on the go. With a power bank in hand, you can juice up and continue to use your devices without worrying whether or not there will be outlets nearby to keep you going.
Power banks, also known as portable chargers, operate in a similar fashion to your bank account, hence their name. They act as a storage facility for energy. You can use the electrical energy stored within your power bank to charge your devices anytime and anywhere. This is largely thanks to a special type of circuit contained within the power bank itself that controls the flow of energy.
The process is really quite simple and consists of 3 parts: energy absorption, energy storage, and energy release.
Before you head out on any excursion, whether it’s a business trip, a day out with friends, or any other instance where you may find yourself without ready access to outlets, charge up your power bank through an external power supply like a wall socket. The energy will be stored within the portable charger in a chemical form, ready to be passed into your device at any moment when it is connected to the charger via an output port.
A fast charging power bank is exactly what its name implies: a portable charger that can juice up your devices at a much faster rate than simple wall chargers. These power banks utilize a higher voltage and essentially increase the number of watts being pumped into your device to charge it up more quickly than average.
Wireless power banks are extremely convenient for those who hate traveling around with tons of wires. Rather than getting all tangled up in wires every time you need to charge your devices, simply rely on a wireless power bank. Though they do require a USB to charge themselves, these handy gadgets have the ability to charge your devices through contact alone, with no wired connection required. Battery cases that attach to the back of your phone are one common example of wireless power banks.
To understand the question, we first need to take a look at mAh. The unit mAh is also known as a milliamp hour, and it refers to the charging capacity of a power bank. It indicates how much energy can be transferred from your power bank to another device over time. And, of course, the higher the mAh of a power bank, the more energy it can provide.
Today’s average smartphone has a battery capacity of 2,800 mAh. With that number in mind, let’s break down the charging output you can expect from these common types of power banks:
- 6000 mAh: 2 full smartphone charges before power bank recharge required.
- 10,000 mAh: About 3.5 smartphone charges before a power bank recharge is required.
- 20,000 mAh: 7 full smartphone charges before power bank recharge is required.
- 30,000 mAh: Nearly 11 full smartphone charges before a power bank recharge is required.
The lifespan of a power bank may vary depending on various factors, such as quality, build, battery capacity, type of battery, and how the power bank is used. The average lifespan range for a power bank may be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years or 300 to 1000 charge cycles. It’s important to remember that charge cycles are likely the most accurate representation of lifespan. This is because some may use a power bank more frequently than others, making years an inaccurate depiction of the lifespan that does not factor in usage.
To increase the lifespan of your power bank, remember to take good care of it. Here are a few useful tips to help you make the most out of your portable chargers:
- Do not use a power bank to charge your devices above 80%.
- Do not leave power banks in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
- Do not let your power bank reach 0%.
- Do not bring your power bank in contact with liquids of any kind.
With power banks and other types of batteries, the first thing you need to worry about in terms of wattage is the watt-hour. Watt-hours indicate how much energy you can get out of a battery and the rate at which that energy will be transmitted from the power bank to your device.
The second thing to worry about when it comes to wattage in your power bank is the overall energy capacity. Oftentimes, the wattage of a power bank refers to its maximum charging output. This may be higher or lower depending on how the power bank is being used. When used as a means of gaining energy from an external source, the maximum wattage output may be higher than when it is used as a power bank on its own. So, if you used a dual 45W power bank, you might expect the energy output to reach up to 45W when used as a charging station from an external source and up to 30W when used as a standalone power bank.
If you’re wondering how to charge your power bank, we’re here to help you there too. To juice up your portable charger, simply connect it to an external power source like a wall socket, just like you would with your devices. This will allow it to absorb and subsequently store electrical energy to then be transferred to your device of choice later on when needed.
RS Recommends: The Best Small Power Banks For Travel
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If you still leave home without a small power bank or portable charger — you’re packing your everyday carry wrong.
There is no move more cringe-inducing than stretching your whole body across the bar, phone on three-percent battery in hand, and saying to the bartender, “Excuse me, can you plug this in behind you?” In the very best-case scenario, the bartender does have a charger and keeps your phone in phone-purgatory behind the bar and you have to get their attention every time you want to check your emails. Worst case, they direct you to the cash-operated phone charging station in the corner.
You need a small power bank. And not just for dead phones.
The best portable chargers and power banks can boost a wide range of electronics including your laptop or tablet. They come in handy if you’re out of range of a wall outlet, if you’re camping in the great outdoors, or if you’re working remotely from a library or cafe. They’re also great for road trips or plane rides, where you may not be able to plug in to charge your devices.
What Are The Best Small Power Banks?
Capacity: First and foremost, make sure the portable charger you use has the capacity to fully charge your device in one go. So take into consideration what devices you’re going to need the charger for, and for how long you’re going to be away from an outlet and will need it. Check the power bank for mAh (milliamp hours), and compare it to what you really need, whether that’s a small 3,000 mAh battery (great for phones), or a robust 20,000 mAh model (powerful enough for laptops).
Size: The idea behind the portable charger is that it should be, you know, portable. So don’t forget to think about the size and weight of the power bank when shopping around. Are you carrying a bag or do you want something to slip in your back ?
Compatibility: Keeping in mind what kind of device you need to charge, and how many devices you’ll want to charge at once, which will make a difference when shopping. All of our chargers work with both iPhones and Androids, though be sure to note the type of cable you’ll need to connect to your device.
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Keep in mind the power bank itself will need to be charged up after it juices your devices. The best power banks can dispense enough charge to power up a phone 2-3 times, or fully charge a laptop once. After that, they will need to be plugged in to recharge, a cycle that could take a few hours.
Anker PowerCore Fusion 10000
If you only need something to quickly power up your phone while you’re out and about or in an emergency,we like Anker’s PowerCore Fusion.
The 5,000mAh battery can fully recharge an iPhone 12 Pro once, and its ultra-fast USB-C power can charge it from 0 to 50% in about 30 minutes. The PowerCore Fusion also has a USB-A port, so you can charge two devices at the same time.
We like Anker’s PowerCore Fusion because it has a power plug built into it, so you don’t have to carry around a separate power adapter to charge its battery. You can also use this model to charge your devices while it’s connected.
It may not have the highest battery capacity, but the PowerCore Fusion’s convenience more than makes up for that.
Mophie Power Boost Mini
At four inches long Mophie’s Power Boost Mini is the smallest battery pack we’re recommending, and a great pick if size is your main concern.
The Power Boost Mini has a capacity of 2,600mAh, so you should expect it to extend the life of a typical smartphone by three or four hours. This is a battery pack to keep in your during a night out, not an international flight.
The Power Boost Mini has a single USB-A port, so you can plug in a phone or tablet, and a MicroUSB port for charging. Four LEDs on the side of the battery pack indicate how much juice it has left, so you can know when to charge it.
It may not have as much power as the other battery packs we’re recommending, but its small size makes it the best choice if you don’t want to feel weighed down by your tech.
Nimble Champ Portable Charger
Nimble’s Champ Portable Charger is the smallest battery pack we’ve ever tried but doesn’t skimp on any features.
The 10,000mAh battery can fully charge an iPhone and has two USB ports, so you can top up two gadgets at once. The battery supports Quick Charge 4.0 technology, which it says can charge devices up to three times faster than normal.
We’re recommending Nimble’s Champ because of its performance, but it’s also the most eco-friendly pick in our guide. The power bank’s case is made out of 72.5% post-consumer plastic, and its packaging is completely plastic-free.
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If you want a fast-charging battery pack you can feel good about getting, Nimble’s Champ is the clear choice.
AUKEY 20000mAh USB-C Power Bank
AUEKY’s USB-C Power Bank is the most fully-featured small battery pack we recommend, and is basically the Swiss Army Knife of on-the-go charging.
At 6.26-inches long it’s the largest battery pack we’re recommending, but it’s still small enough to fit comfortably in the front of a backpack, or inside a purse. It has a 20,000mAh capacity, which AUKEY says can fully recharge an iPhone XS over five times. It has a USB-A port and a USB-C PD (power delivery) port, which can output up to 18W (Watts) of power.
The USB-C PD port allows you to fast charge an iPhone or Android Phone, or extend the battery life of a larger gadget like the Nintendo Switch. You can use both ports to charge two devices simultaneously.
Besides being a traditional battery pack AUKEY’s USB-C Power Bank is also a portable wireless charger. You can set your device on top of the battery to use it as a charging pad, or prop the battery up using its built-in kickstand to use it as a wireless charging stand. It can output up to 10W of power as a wireless charging pad, which means it can charge an iPhone or Android phone at full speed. You can use this battery pack’s wireless charging feature while your phone is in a case, but it will slow the charging speed down.
I’ve tested this power bank for myself, and all of these features work very well. It’s rare to find a single charging gadget that supports wireless charging, fast charging, and multi-device charging, but AUKEY’s USB-C Power Bank manages to nail all three with no obvious downsides. It may be a little bigger than the other battery packs on this list, but its features more than make up for it.
I NIU Portable Charger
If you’re looking for a budget pick that doesn’t compromise on power or features, go with the I NIU Portable Charger.
It’s extremely thin and light, weighing just seven ounces, meaning you can carry it with you while you travel or when you’re commuting for work. It’s also got a 10000mAh power capacity, putting it on par with some of the pricier power banks on this list. This is enough capacity to fully charge up an iPad Air at least once, according to the brand.
You’ve also got both a USB-C input and output, allowing you to easily charge up any devices that may require that. There are also two other USB ports built-in, allowing you to charge up to three devices at once. You’ll even get a travel pouch as well as a USB-C cable to help you charge on the go.
The 6 best small power banks
Whether you’re away from home for travel, work, or play, the best small power banks can keep your go-to devices charged without taking up precious space. They come in a range of battery capacities and compact sizes (some are tiny enough to stash in your ), so you can find a model that best suits your needs.
Broadly speaking, a power bank’s size is related to its electrical capacity, which is measured in milliamp hour (mAh). In small models, power bank capacity can range from 5000mAh to over 25000mAh — the higher the mAh, the more times the power bank will be able to charge your device. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll get fewer charges for bigger electronics like laptops and more charges for simpler devices like smartphones. Of course, the power bank itself must first be charged before it can power your devices, and the larger the capacity, the longer this can take. Essentially, you’ll be looking at a charging time of 2.5 to 12 hours, depending on battery capacity. At minimum, you’ll want a power bank that can charge a smartphone completely, with extra battery to spare.
As far as portability, large-capacity power banks are about the size of a smartphone, but if that’s more room in your desk or bag than you’re willing to spare, you can opt for slim, lightweight styles that are small enough to stick in your Note, however, that compact power banks are best saved for quick boosts rather than multiple full charges for different devices, as the mAh will be lower.
In general, small power banks come with one or two USB output ports, so think about how many devices you want to charge. While most small power banks come with the micro-USB cable required for charging them before you head out, in most cases you’ll need to supply the wall plug, as well as your device’s charging cable.
After diving deep into power bank reviews and comparing sizes and specs, I’ve rounded up the best small power banks below, so you can charge your device in a pinch.
The overall best
Boasting an ultra-high 4.7-star overall rating after more than 67,000 Amazon reviews, Anker’s PowerCore 10000 power bank has a capacity of 10000mAh and one of the smallest footprints on this list — more compact than a deck of cards. According to the brand, it can supply an iPhone X with 2.4 charges, an iPhone 8 with 3.6 charges, and a Galaxy S9 with 2.2 charges. When the power bank itself needs to be charged up, you can get a full battery in about 4.7 hours. It has a single USB port for charging one device at a time and four small LED lights that display the percentage of power remaining. Included with the power bank are a micro-USB cable and a travel pouch, but you’ll need to supply your own cable if your device requires a different hookup. Weighing just 6.35 ounces, it offers the best combination of power, portability, and reviewer approval.
A reviewer wrote: “I have to say I am genuinely impressed with not only how well it worked but how FAST it charged my iPhone XR! I was not expecting it to charge so quickly, I had about maybe 10% or so left, plugged it in, and within about maybe 30-45mins. maybe an hour or so I had a completely full charge! And the power bank still had enough for I believe another 2 full charges to go.”
Also from Anker, the PowerCore 5000 has a cylindrical design that’s a bit bigger than a roll of breath mints, making it a highly portable power bank option. Designed with a single port, it can power up one device at a time, and according to the brand, the 5000mAh capacity can supply an iPhone X with 1.3 charges, an iPhone 8 with 1.8 charges, and a Galaxy S9 with 1.1 charges. The power level is indicated by three small LED lights, and a micro-USB cable and pouch are included. When the power bank runs out of battery, it’ll take approximately 2.5 hours to recharge it.
A reviewer wrote: “Use it for compact charging (purse or ). I own a larger Anker model which is also great but you can’t beat this for the compact dimensions. Highly recommend for easily carrying around.”
The best for charging 2 devices simultaneously
With a capacity of 20000mAh and two output ports, Anker’s PowerCore Essential 20K power bank can charge two devices simultaneously — and it’s earned a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating after 48,000 reviews, making it a top pick for a multi-device power bank. There’s a micro-USB output port and a USB-C output port, and when used as a charging solution for a single device, it can provide an iPhone XS with five charges, an iPhone 11 with four charges, a Galaxy S10 with almost five charges, and an iPad mini 5 with 2.5 charges. The power bank itself recharges within about 10 hours, and the battery level can be checked by pressing a button. Though it weighs considerably more than some of the other power banks here, it’s about the size of a smartphone, and each unit is drop tested from 1 meter to ensure durability.
A reviewer wrote: “This is the third Anker portable charger I have purchased and again I am happy with this. I like the dual charging port feature, I can charge two phones or a phone and a tablet at the same time. The charging time is fast! And with the portable fully charged I can use this for days before recharging it again. I always take this with me whenever I go on trips- always good to have a reliable portable charger handy! Definitely recommend this.”
The best power bank with a digital display
With INIU’s portable power bank, checking your battery level is as simple as glancing at the numerical LED readout. Another powerful option, the 20000mAH capacity power bank can be used to fuel accessories and devices of all sizes, and it can supply a Galaxy S20 with 3.4 charges, an iPhone 13 with 4.3 charges, and an iPad mini 4 with 2.7 charges. It has two output ports plus a USB-C input/output port, which means you can charge up to three devices at once. Of course, with that kind of power capacity, you’re looking at a power bank that’s a bit bigger and heavier than other options featured on this list. That being said, there’s a built-in flashlight for even more convenience. This pick recharges itself via an included USB-C cable, with a charge time of about 12 hours, according to a reviewer.
A reviewer wrote: “We took this camping, and it held a charge for days. We were able to charge our phones several times. The percent power display was incredibly useful. Highly portable and TSA compliant.”
The most battery capacity
If you’re looking for the most charging power, Ekrist’s high-capacity power bank can hold 25800mAh, which the brand claims is enough to fully charge any smartphone four to eight times and an iPad Pro two to three times. While this number will vary between manufacturers and devices, one Galaxy 8 owner that reviewed the Ekrist claimed that 50% battery capacity remained after charging their device four times. The power bank has two USB output ports and one micro-USB input port, and it comes with a micro-USB cable. When it’s time to re-up the battery, it’ll take about eight to 10 hours to recharge the power bank.
A reviewer wrote: “I’ve owned this less than a month and it has quickly become a necessity in my daily life; fitting nicely into the side of my backpack. The value for what you’re getting is well worth it when compared with other models that are older, more expensive, and less mAh. Average battery cycle will give me multiple full phone charges and only needs a charge about once a week, give or take.”
The best solar power bank
If you’ll be away from a reliable power source or want a backup in case the electricity goes out at home, this is the best small solar power bank to help keep your devices charged. It has a capacity of 12000mAh, which can be charged up quickly via USB-cord (best for regular use), but you can also rely on the solar power function as a backup in a pinch or to top it off as needed. (Keep in mind, also, that smaller solar panels like the one found on this unit mean the power bank itself will charge more slowly in the sun, so you’re trading some power for the compact size.) The brand states that the power bank can charge five devices simultaneously, and it has four built-in cables: a USB cable, a micro-USB cable, a type-C cable, and a Lightning cable.
According to a reviewer, when fully juiced, the power bank can charge an iPhone SE three to four times, but the brand doesn’t give details on how many times it can charge any other phone or tablet models. Note, also, that there’s no mention of how long it takes to fully charge the power bank via wall outlet or solar power.
In addition to its functionality as a charger, the bank features an LED that works as a small flashlight.
A reviewer wrote: “This is a great little charger. It charges fairly quickly via USB cable and has the added benefit of solar charging when stuck in a rut. This feature makes it great for travel. Its a nice compact size and it comes with four handy cables already attached. I can hang it on my backpack while hiking and it’ll charge. I can leave it on my cars’ dashboard while driving and it’ll charge. When I’m sitting at home and I’m too lazy to plug it in to the wall, I just place it near a window and it charges. Solar charging isn’t very quick but its definitely a nice addition!”