It’s relatively expensive, slow to refill its own battery and comes without any advanced features, but we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this charming hand-finished wooden power bank on style grounds alone. Just be careful not to let the Carved Wood Power Bank get too hot.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Carved Wood Power Bank
A charming, stylish and hand-finished wooden power bank, the Carved Wood Power Bank is able to keep your phone and/or tablet topped up for extended periods away from home. We review the Carved Wood Power Bank 12000mAh. Also see: Best power banks 2018.
Carved is perhaps better known for its gorgeous range of real-wood phone cases for popular phones such as the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7, but it also lists phone accessories, including hand-finished docks and power banks. The Wood Power Bank is available direct from Carved.com in 8000- and 12000mAh capacities; we reviewed the 12000mAh model.
Carved is a US company based in Indiana, but ships to the UK for $3.99. In total you’ll pay $63.98 for the 12000mAh Wood Power Bank, which converts to around £43.98 at the time of writing. (The 8000mAh model works out at $43.98 or £30.23 with shipping.) That is verging on expensive for a 12,000mAh power bank, but its quirky wooden design makes it worth the extra cost. Also see: Best MiFi 2016.
(The Wood Power Bank is currently out of stock at Carved.com but should be back in stock shortly.)
Carved doesn’t specify the type of wood that is used to encase the power bank, but it looks very much like Sapele, which is a bit like Mahogany with its reddish-brown timber. However, since the power bank is made from real wood, which is a natural, organic material, no two power banks Carved ships will ever be identical.
The wooden finish is beautiful, and tiny imperfections such as the unfinished edge around the four-LED panel add to its charm. The top and sides have been carved out of a single block of wood, with a bottom panel (necessary to get the electronics inside) lying completely flush with the rest of the case and held firmly in place. Small details, such as the wooden button that is pressed to begin charging (there’s no auto-on) or show how much power remains, and the expertly finished cutouts for USB connectors, all add to the appeal. Also see: How to charge your phone’s battery faster.
A down side of using wood – and especially thin wood such as this – is that it begins to twist when it gets hot. Already the Carved Wood Power Bank rocks ever so slightly when placed on a flat table, and we wouldn’t want to risk making it worse by leaving it in direct sunlight. (Then again, we probably wouldn’t want to leave any power bank in direct sunlight on a particularly hot day.)
We might have complained that the 5W (5V/1A) Micro-USB input is slow for a high-capacity power bank such as this, especially given that the Wood Power Bank does not support passthrough charging (the ability to charge both it and a connected device from a single mains power outlet), but actually we think reducing the amount of heat generated by charging the power bank slower is probably a good thing. You can expect the 12000mAh model to recharge in between 12- and 14 hours, and the lower capacity 8000mAh bank to recharge in eight- to 10 hours. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
And anyway, it might be fairly slow to refuel, but the Carved Wood Power Bank offers fast charging for your phone. One of the two USB outputs, denoted with a lightning flash etched into the rear, is rated at 10W (5V/2A); this is hardly Quick Charge 3.0, but it will charge your device faster than many chargers shipped with phones these days. The second USB output is a slower 5W (5V/1A) output.
Rated at 12,000mAh, you can reasonably expect between 65- and 70 percent to be available to your power-hungry gadgets, which is the industry standard for power banks (some energy is lost through voltage conversion and heat generated). That’s around 8,000mAh, which would fill a Samsung Galaxy S7 three times, or an iPhone 6s four and a half times; to work out how many times it would charge your own phone simply divide 8000 by its battery capacity.
The Carved Wood Power Bank is supplied with a burlap bag that doesn’t just protect it in transit but adds even more style.
Read next: Best desktop chargers 2016.
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Carved Wood Power Bank: Specs
- 12000mAh power bank
- wooden case
- 1x 5W (5V/1A) USB output
- 1x 10W (5V/2A) USB output
- 1x 5W (5V/1A) Micro-USB input
- four-LED status system
- burlap carry case
- no auto-on
- no passthrough charging
- no LCD screen
- no torch
- one-year warranty