Thursday, 5 March 2015

Romoss Solo 5 10,000mAh Power Bank Review

Charging my ASUS Zenfone 5 with my Romoss Solo 5 10,000mAh Power Bank
I have been on the market for a powerbank ever since I bought my ASUS Zenfone 5 last October 2014, because, even though the Zenfone 5 has a slightly higher capacity battery life (2110mAh) compared to, let's say an iPhone 5s (1560mAh), it still drains a good deal within the day, especially that I am still a Senior Medical Intern in the hospital where I call up the Residents in the department that I am currently rotating in, search online for some answers the Consultants would ask me, or when the going gets tough and I need a little break, I would play some emulators on my phone.

At first, I would just find a free socket in the hospital and charge my phone, but everyone knows, that finding a free socket is like finding a needle in a hay stack. To a point where I even thought of buying an extension cord that had multiple sockets and name it "iShare" to share the sockets for charging. And that's where the real problem comes to play.

Charging is obviously a long process; and being a Senior Medical Intern, I am up and about, and can't stay behind in one place too long, thus if I really need to charge my phone in one place, I have to leave it behind to accomplish some tasks in the hospital, risking my phone getting stolen, missing messages and calls. Not good indeed.

So, I knew I needed a powerbank. But I didn't want jsut any powerbank, I wanted something that looks professional, clean, compact enough to be placed in my pocket, able to charge my devices while I am also charging the power bank itself, and have the USB ports on the top/bottom ends as to not hinder me placing it in my pocket while charging my devices.

At first, I saw Logan from TekSyndicate and Jerry AKA Barnacules (look for both of them at YouTube) use Vivis Knight V3 13,000mAH power bank, but living here in the Philippines, I haven't stumbled upon such a sleek looking power bank. Thus, I had to search for an alternative.

Vivis Knight v3 13,000mAh

Most power banks, sorry to say, that I have seen here, which I will name and show pictures of just a few, looked like a toy; not professional looking, or doesn't fit any of the parameters I sought after.

Millerton Power Banks

Mi Power Banks

Then, I found Romoss.

Romoss Solo 5 10,000mAh Power Bank

From left to right: Micro USB for charging the power bank; power button;
LED indicators (each light represents 25% of battery life); and Dual USB output (top 2.1 A and bottom 1 A)

It was a love at first sight for me when I laid my eyes on the Romoss Solo 5 10,000mAh power bank; it was white, just like my ASUS Zenfone 5; it was clean and professional looking, no odd shapes or the like; it had dual USB charging outputs, on top mounted; it can charge my devices while the power bank itself was charging; and being 10,000mAh, for PHP 1,000, I can't go wrong.

Sure the have been 30,000mAh knock offs, but something like a power bank, buying cheaper, higher capacity knock offs, won't assure me of a long life span, and potentially being a bomb in my pocket. Better to be safe, buying a little more expensive, longer lasting, lower capacity one, than gamble on a knock off.

At this point of writing this review of sorts, I have had it for 3 weeks now. I decided to postpone this review so I can have real world tests, while I was still rotating in the Department of Psychiatry in Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, and give my honest opinion on it, instead of writing a review at the peak of my euphoria; yes, I am always too psyched about getting a new gadget that it blinds me while reviewing products.

Upon purchasing this product in the mall, my Zenfone 5 was around 5% of battery life left, so I was fortunate and happy to have opened the box and found the power bank still has juice in it for me to charge my phone immediately after purchasing it. So I had my first real world test in the mall, charging on the go, while looking for my friends so we can have dinner together. It charged my phone to full battery ~30-45mins, I found my friends, had dinner, and to my surprise, still had over 75% of juice left in my power bank (as indicated by the 4 LEDs after charging my phone; of course, even if the 4 LED signify 100%, I have already charged my phone to full, hence it is not 100% full, and also not less than 75% full. Math.)

After dinner, we went back to our rooms in PMA, right next to the mall, and just for a few chuckles, I had one of those octopus/squid/tentacle cord thingies (simply a USB split to lightning, micro USB, and a proprietary Samsung connector) to see if it can charge a multitude of devices at once. It did!

Surely it will charge them slower than normal, because the outputs will be split equally to the number of devices charging in that one USB output, it is just nice to know, it can work.

Still didn't charge my power bank upon going to Veterans the next day for my 8am-5pm shift, I charged both my pocket WiFi and phone during that period and was surprised to see by the end of my shift, I still had around 25-50% left in the power bank. Remember, this is uncharged upon purchase, this is still the juice left upon opening the box.

I would usually tell all my friends to fully discharge any device before charging them, and if charging, they must fully charge it to 100%, and not interrupt it in the middle of charging (of course, this can't always be followed, but at least try enough times to avoid doing otherwise). I had to break my rule, still having between 25-50% left in the power bank I decided to charge it up.

I had around 5 more days in Manila, and wanted to see how it will go for the rest of my stay in Manila, with a fully charged one.

Get your pen, papers, and calculators ready children! We have a pop quiz in math!

NOW! Remember my phone has a 2,100mAh battery, and the Romoss Solo 5 is around 10,000mAh capacity. So I should have at least been able to charge my phone up to 4 times and still have 1,600mAh for emergency charging or have it used for charging my pocket WiFi a number of times. And I usually charge my phone once a day depending on its usage. Well, it did just that alright, it charged my phone for 5 days (the last charge, I got to charge my phone up to 75%), next thing I knew, I was home here in Pampanga, charging my drained power bank that I charged 5 days prior.

Very impressed.

It did what it said it would do.

One thing I was worried about was that if my phone was 100%, the power bank would notice that, and stop charging immediately; this would of course, make my phone, that is still plugged in the power bank, start to drain, and I was worried that if it goes to 99%, the power bank would power on again. Hence, and endless cycle of charging and discharging, fluctuating between 100% and 99%. Others would say "Why not just unplug it when it's 100%", sure, but I will not always look at my phone charging every so often when I am busy even if it just in my pocket.

Thankfully, this device doesn't power back on when it is asleep. You have to push the power button to wake it up and charge.

Most power banks I hear, automatically searches for devices that may be plugged in, so you need not power it on; it will charge automatically as soon as you plug the device in. For me, this is bad, because what I mentioned above, the fluctuations in charging and discharging, plus, the power bank is still technically awake, searching for possible connected devices, this drains the power bank's charge as well.

So, I like still having to push a button once my power bank goes to sleep; this saves battery charge on the power bank itself. Good job Romoss!

Like I mentioned earlier, you can charge 2 devices thanks to the dual output (and more if you have the splitter USB things), and it didn't have a slower charge on my devices, seeing as the dual output have their own power output (2.1 A and 1A, respectively).

Charging the power bank when fully drained does take a while, probably around 4-6 hours; it becomes slower to charge the power bank when I am simultaneously charging the power bank and have my phone connected to one of the outputs. In fact, my phone was also charging slower in that regard. Understandable since the USB AC Adapter usually are 5V, 1.35A, so it is split when I am simultaneously charging.

The power bank has significant weight to it, but not so heavy that it is a hassle to bring around with you in your pocket. I say you can bring this in your pocket, but looking at the above dimensions, not all pockets would accommodate this obviously. I have no qualms, because I have a white coat that I need to wear for work, and it has large pockets for whatever a doctor would need.

Build quality is amazing! Mostly metallic, with some portions being plastic. Sure, with the weight it has, if you drop it, it will dent, but I believe it will still work.

As a summary, I love this power bank. It looks professional and clean, it does what it says it would do, and it is built well. I would recommend this brand to anyone! In fact, I got 3 of my friends to buy the exact same power bank, and I will continue to persuade any of my friends who are looking for a power bank to buy from Romoss.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this!