Aukey 30,000mAh Lightning Power Bank review

The Aukey 30,000mAh Lightning Power Bank stands out for three reasons: first, it has an insanely high capacity of 30,000mAh; second, it supports Quick Charge 3.0 for stupidly fast recharging of compatible devices; and third, there's a Lightning input that makes it easier for iPhone and iPad users to use and refill the power bank without needing to carry two cables. It's available from Amazon UK at a fantastic-value £29.99 (or $44.99 from Amazon US). Also see: Best power banks 2016

Also see: Best Power Bank Deals

Let's start with that capacity, then. At 30,000mAh you can reasonably expect around 20,000mAh to be available to your devices. The industry-standard energy efficiency lies somewhere between 60- and 70 percent, and Aukey makes no claims for having achieved anything greater here. In real-world terms, that means you could charge an iPhone 7 from zero to 100 percent 10 times. And you could refill a Galaxy S7 six- to seven times. 

If your needs are great then that will sound appealing. However, this huge capacity has a couple of down sides. The Aukey Lightning Power Bank weighs in at a chunky 580g, and its bulky 150.5x84x29mm plastic casing will make a noticeable impression on your luggage. You should also consider where you'll be using the power bank - if you're going abroad then you'll need to check with the airline that it is comfortable with you carrying such a high-capacity power bank onboard.

According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), passengers may carry a power bank up to 100Wh in their carry-on luggage, which equates to 27,027mAh. Anything between 101- and 160Wh is allowed onboard at the airline's discretion, and anything greater than 160Wh must be declared as dangerous goods. Two power banks per person can be carried in hand luggage, so if you really do need a large amount of portable power you may well be better off carrying two slightly smaller power banks. Also see: How to charge your phone's battery faster 

A power bank's Wh rating is calculated by multiplying the mAh figure by the nominal voltage (usually 3.7 for lithium-ion batteries), then dividing that by 1,000. That means the Aukey 30,000mAh power bank has a Wh rating of 111.

Potentially more problematic if you aren't too bothered about flight restrictions is the fact there is no way of knowing how much of that capacity is available. Ideally we'd want to see an LCD screen on a power bank of this size giving a percentage readout of what remains inside (although admittedly not at this price), and at very least a series of LEDs that can flash up to give you a rough idea. Here, nothing. And that is an enormous oversight. This is a hardcore power bank, and imagine lugging it about only to go to charge your phone and find there's no juice left. We'd be furious. See all power bank reviews

It's by no means all bad, of course. If you have a Quick Charge-compatible smartphone or tablet then you'll be able to take advantage of super-fast charging speeds from the Aukey Lightning Power Bank. Even if you don't there's a second USB output that offers fast charging at 2.4A (12W). Both support AIPower, which is clever device-recognition technology that will deliver only so much power as your device requires. It's seen on most power banks these days, of course.

Qualcomm yesterday announced Quick Charge 4, but we won't see that appearing in devices until the first half of 2017, and even then only in flagships. So for now the Quick Charge 3 offered by this power bank is the best you can get. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life

Quick Charge 3 is backwards-compatible with Quick Charge 2 and the original Quick Charge. While the initial standard can charge a device up to 40 percent faster than a standard charger, and Quick Charge 2 up to 75 percent faster, Quick Charge 3 is able to charge a device a staggering four times faster than a conventional charger.

We've seen some power banks that can also support Quick Charge 3.0 on their inputs, though the Micro-USB input here operates at 2.4A (12W). That's still pretty darn fast, though we're disappointed to find Aukey does not recommend simultaneous charging and discharging, aka passthrough charging.

The Micro-USB input is one of two inputs on this power bank, with a Lightning input also offered for iPhone and iPad users so they don't need to carry multiple cables. It's convenient, but given the two inputs provided are Micro-USB and Lightning you can imagine our surprise to find the supplied cable was of the USB-C variety. To be fair to Aukey most new flagships will support USB-C rather than Micro-USB, and this will increasingly be the case over the coming year, but right now all those with Micro-USB- or Lightning-connected phones will need to supply their own cable.

As we mentioned earlier, this is a plastic power bank - and that doesn't come as a huge surprise at this price. It's a chunky slab with chiseled edges, which do make it feel slightly more comfortable to carry than it otherwise might, but in the main its design approach is basic, no-frills fare. There's a now fairly old-hat LED flashlight, which is operated not with a double-press of the power button as is usually the case but a long-press. There's no carry case provided, but it feels relatively sturdy and comes with a generous 24-month warranty.

The no-frills theme continues with no support for auto-on. When you connect a mobile device to charge you will need to press the power button to kickstart the power bank.

Read next: Best desktop chargers 2016.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Aukey 30,000mAh Lightning Power Bank: Specs

  • 30,000mAh (111Wh) power bank
  • 2x USB outputs: 1x Quick Charge 3.0, 1x 5V 2.4A (12W), both with AIPower
  • 5V/2A (10W) Micro-USB input
  • 5V/2A Lightning input
  • LED flashlight, no passthrough charging
  • no auto-on
  • no carry case
  • 150.5x84x29mm
  • 580g
  • 24-month warranty
  • 30,000mAh (111Wh) power bank
  • 2x USB outputs: 1x Quick Charge 3.0, 1x 5V 2.4A (12W), both with AIPower
  • 5V/2A (10W) Micro-USB input
  • 5V/2A Lightning input
  • LED flashlight, no passthrough charging
  • no auto-on
  • no carry case
  • 150.5x84x29mm
  • 580g
  • 24-month warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Aukey offers brilliant value as a high-capacity power bank, but it may be too high in capacity for some users - some airlines might not let you carry that much portable power in hand luggage, and apart from anything else this power bank is really quite heavy. We like the Quick Charge 3.0 support, plus the Lightning input for iPhone and iPad users, but in other respects the Aukey has few advanced features.

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