The iHarbort offers excellent value for money, but the OnePlus Power Bank has the edge. If you use an iPhone or iPad or are simply not a OnePlus fan you may well prefer this device’s design, plus the fact free delivery is available from Amazon when you spend £20. Neither of these devices can match the smaller 5000mAh iHarbort, though, which is not only the cheapest power bank we’ve ever reviewed but far more easily portable.
iHarbort offers excellent-value power banks for phones and tablets, and its 10,000mAh power bank is a steal at a OnePlus Power Bank-matching £13.99 ( Amazon). We find out how it stacks up in our iHarbort 10,000mAh Power Bank review. Also see: Best power banks 2018.
Don’t assume this iHarbort is identical to the smaller PC Advisor Recommended award-winning iHarbort 5000mAh power bank, but with higher capacity. Despite the fact it is necessarily larger, given the increased capacity, it also features dual-USB outputs and a chunkier design.
It’s still reasonably attractive, mind, and like the smaller version is available in black, silver or gunmetal grey aluminium alloy. There’s no carry case supplied in the box, but the iHarbort feels tough and durable, and comes with a generous 18-month warranty. Also see: Best MiFi 2016.
With dual 5W- and 10.5W outputs you can charge two devices at once, yet the power bank’s maximum output matches that of its little brother at 10.5W. This means with two devices attached neither will benefit from the faster 10.5W output. iHarbort specifies the same clever device- and battery-recognition technology, which allows it to deliver the optimum charge. It also says it charges fast at first, then slows down once the battery gets increasingly full, apparently prolonging the life of your battery.
The killer difference for us, though, is the fact this iHarbort is unable to fill both its own battery and that of an attached device at once (passthrough charging). Add to that the fact its Micro-USB input is rated at just 7.5W in comparison to the 5000mAh power bank’s 10W, and it’ll take significantly longer to fill, too. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
Exactly how long it will take to charge this power bank depends on your charger – one is not supplied in the box, which is standard practice, but you can use that which was sold with your phone or tablet. If you use a 7.5W mains adaptor you’re looking at around 6- to 7 hours, 9- to 10 hours with a 5W charger, or 18- to 20 hours when charged over a PC’s USB port (2.5W).
That’s not to say this device has no merit. Compared to a power bank that currently sits in second position in our best power banks group test, it doesn’t stack up so well; compared to rival-capacity power banks the iHarbort offers fantastic – if not unrivalled – value at £13.99.
At this capacity, you’re typically looking at spending around £20- to £30. The only other power bank we’ve reviewed to come in at such a low price for 10,000mAh is the OnePlus Power Bank (although with that device you’ll pay an extra fiver in shipping costs).
Whereas the OnePlus Power Bank has a very distinctive design and almost carpet-like feel to it that falls in line with the OnePlus One phone, the iHarbort is simply a rectangular box with rounded edges. It’s a bit smaller in both length and width, but heavier. So while it will fit in your pocket, at 262g the iHarbort may well pull down your trousers. Also see: How to charge your phone or tablet faster.
The OnePlus Power Bank will charge faster from its 10W input (in around 5.5 hours with a 10W mains adaptor), and both its dual-USB outputs are fast-charging ports, although it is limited in the same way as is the iHarbort: the device’s maximum total output is restricted to 10W.
iHarbort claims 70 percent efficiency for its power bank, which means of the 10,000mAh advertised capacity you’ll see around 7,000mAh. This is normal, with some energy lost through heat generated and voltage conversion, and while some power banks can offer up to 90 percent efficiency many more offer just 65 percent.
With that much power to hand we could charge our Samsung Galaxy S6 (2550mAh battery) a little under three times. An iPhone 5s fares much better, with its smaller-capacity 1560mAh battery drawing four and a half charges from the iHarbort.
In common with its little brother the iHarbort supports auto-on and auto-off, which means you don’t need to mess around with fiddly power buttons or watch it like a hawk to ensure no power is wasted when your phone has finished charging. The power button here is used only to activate the four LEDs, which show at a glance how much power remains. We prefer to see LCD screens that give a more accurate reading, but at this price that would be unreasonable.
A common feature in power banks is to have a built-in LED torch. We’re not convinced by their value, and clearly neither is iHarbort: one is not included.
Also see: Best desktop chargers 2015.
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iHarbort Power Bank MS031 10,000mAh: Specs
- 10,000mAh lithium-polymer power bank
- 1x 7.5W (5V, 1.5A) Micro-USB input (cable supplied)
- 1x 10.5W (5V, 2.1A) USB output
- 1x 5W (5V, 1A) USB output
- max output 10.5W
- no passthrough charging
- no carry case
- four-LED status system
- 18-month warranty