Hardware

Review: Powermonkey Discovery portable charger

The battery capacity of the Powermonkey Discovery portable charger is a major plus.
The battery capacity of the Powermonkey Discovery portable charger is a major plus.

In this digital age where we are always on the move and looking to always be connected, portable chargers are becoming a necessity. Most of us can ill-afford the frustrations of running out of battery life, especially on smartphones.

To ensure consumers are always on, several manufacturers have come up with some innovative portable chargers. ITWeb recently reviewed the Powertraveller Powermonkey Discovery 5V portable charger. This gadget proved a worthy accessory, especially for today's busy professional.

Look and feel

The Powermonkey Discovery comes in a stylish aluminium housing. Weighing only 107 grammes, the gadget is not burdensome to carry around - it can also easily fit into a pocket if need be. It measures 46mm x 13mm x 114mm.

On the top edge of the Powermonkey Discovery sits the on/off button, and next to the button is the Micro USB port. On the opposite end is the USB port. It also has six LED lights which show the charge.

It comes with a USB to Micro USB cable, tips pouch as well as a user manual.

Usability

Using the device proved hassle-free. To turn on, press and hold the on/off button for three seconds and the green LEDs will scroll from left to right and stop with one LED indicating the charge remaining.

However, it is advisable to turn off the Powermonkey Discovery when not in use to conserve the power. To switch it off, press and hold the button for three seconds as well.

For charging it, when the unit is off, click the on/off button briefly. The green LEDs will illuminate and the number of lights indicate the amount of charge remaining. If the far left turns red, the Powermonkey Discovery is drained.

The unit can be charged using a 5V USB output device like a laptop or wall plug with USB socket. The only disappointment here is a full charge takes about seven to eight hours, meaning the only ideal time to achieve this is probably at night. When fully-charged, the LED light will be green on the far right.

For charging a device, you connect the cable and connect to the device. Once, the device is fully charged, switch off the unit. It is not possible to recharge the discovery while charging your phone at the same time.

Battery capacity

Pros: Battery capacity
Cons:
Price
Weight:
170g
Dimensions:
46mm x 13mm x 114mm
Battery type:
Lithium-ion polymer
Battery capacity:
3 500mAh
Output voltage:
5V Micro USB 500 mA
Input:
5V 0.6A - 2A max
Power:
13Wh
Price:
R900
Rating:
8/10

The Powermonkey Discovery has a battery capacity of 3 500mAh and its chemistry includes Lithium-ion polymer. According to the manufacturers, the battery's lifecycle is more than 500 times, something we could not test because of the limited review time.

Nonetheless, when fully charged the Powermonkey Discovery was capable of fully charging my HTC One M9 smartphone. However, on the second time, it managed only 10%.

Verdict

Portable chargers are nothing new today and I feel it's small details that matter in the market. Retailing at R900, the Powermonkey Discovery can be a bit too expensive for South Africans, especially considering that some low-end smartphones are retailing for almost the same and some even cheaper.

However, the capacity of the device is a major plus. If you know you are one of those likely to spend some time away from the mains, it's a good investment.

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