I’ve purchased two types of power bank over the last year. I returned one after a week, and the replacement broke immediately as well. I kind of gave up on them, until I won one as a door prize. I thought, “Hey, great! This is a fairly expensive looking kit. It even comes with a bag. This one will probably work just fine!”

Nope.

For the record, I’m using the Pocket Juice 10,000 mAh by tzumi. It worked beautifully for maybe ten charges, and then stopped charging. The previous unit was a cheap, impulse buy that I’ve already disposed of.

So why do power banks break so often, and so easily? In my opinion, it’s for two reasons:

  1. Cheap, poorly made batteries combined with cheap, poorly made electrical components
  2. Poor QA by the company in an effort to push their product to market before it’s properly tested

A poorly made battery will take a few charges, and charge your devices a few times, after which, it will simply stop responding to charging. At the moment, my Pocket Juice is showing a single bar out of four and it’s been charging for two days. I keep unplugging it and plugging it back in, to no avail. To its credit, it is still charging my mobile phone – it’s just not taking a charge at all.

So why go to the trouble of creating a cheap product, manufacturing and then shipping it, only to have it break? Because it’s an easy way to make money for people overseas. We import shoddily-made products from China on a regular basis because they’re cheap, and people will buy them. When the product gets so many bad reviews that it’s not selling anymore, they just change names, make a new website, and repackage the old products with the new brand. They use the same battery supplier because they’re cheap, and just go round again, and again, until the technology improves so much that a competitor can outmatch them on price with a better, more stable product.

At that point, they just move on, and find another way to make money with whatever new gadget is currently hot.

Have a look sometime at some consumer testing done on these power banks and you’ll be amazed by the bald-faced lies you’re being fed. These so-called 10,000 mAh, 5V/2A banks will test out at anything but. And that means these products can actually be quite dangerous.

Please use caution and check reviews before you buy one of these things. Always make sure it’s compatible with your device, and never let it get too hot.