It’s been awhile since we last reviewed a Powerpod portable battery pack, but the Australian-based companyÂ hasn’t deviated from its mission to keep your devices powered up during your trips away from home and from continuous power supplies. This time we’ll be looking at the Powerpod Escape, a 10,400mAh battery pack that Powerpod is now offering for trips that might last a little longer than an overnight or weekend stay – let’s check it out.
What’s in the box
Inside the box, it’s a pretty simple affair – you’ll be getting everything you’ll need to get started with the Escape, including the battery pack itself and a microUSB cable that can be converted to a 30-pin Apple plug or a firewire connector which makes it ideal for not only recharging your smartphone but cameras and iPods as well.
On the battery pack itself, you’ll find the microUSB input which charges at 1A, and two outputs, one which outputs 2.1A and the other 1A – a relatively standard layout for the average portable battery pack. Above the outputs, there’s also a thin strip of four LEDs which will let you know how much charge you have left in the battery pack. The Powerpod Overnighter that we checked out before also had a brighter LED which could be used as an emergency flashlight – I’m a bit disappointed the Escape doesn’t have this as well.
How does it perform?
In terms of pure battery charging performance, the Escape does exactly what it says on the box – it will charge your devices with a minimum of fuss and will have you up and running again very quickly. I didn’t encounter any hiccups or issues when recharging with the Escape which is a very good thing when you’re relying on a battery pack to maintain your connection to the outside world.
More quantatively, I was able to recharge my phone from 33% to 96% in just over an hour – at its peak recharge rate, you can expect about 65-70%/hr recharge out of the 2.1A output, a very respectable and reliable figure. This performance was very repeatable and the 10,400mAh battery should have enough juice in it to recharge most every device 2-3 times before needing to be recharged. For those interested, this data was collected using Battery Monitor Widget, available for free from the Play Store.
Just on recharging the Escape, the input is rated at 5V/1A which is a little slow, but thankfully the capacity isn’t too large – 10,400mAh should be able to fully recharge after a night plugged into mains power.
What I don’t like about the Powerpod Escape
In terms of physical usability, I found the Powerpod Escape a little bit unusual. Most portable power packs are flat and rectangular – the Escape is anything but that. While it vaguely retains the common form factor, it is rounded around the edges in what can only be described as a whiskey flask shape. As a result, the Escape is actually really great to hold in your hand (like a whiskey flask). Unfortunately though, this makes it somewhat of an interesting shape when charging your device – more often than not, I rest my phone on top of my battery pack while it charges back up, however with the rounded surface of the EscapeÂ makes that a little more unstable. It’s definitely not a dealbreaker, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just interesting to me that the Escape would feel more at home in my hand than it would be sitting on a table. And really, if I’m nitpicking about design features like that, youÂ can probably guessÂ I don’t have anything of substanceÂ complain about.
What I like about the Powerpod Escape
There are, however, some design touches that I do like, for instance the main button for checking battery charge – I really like the fact that it is sunken into the face of the device so as not to get any unintentional presses while in your hand or in your bags. I also like that it’s relatively unassuming in appearance – the Escape at first glance doesn’t look that much like a battery pack (more so if you get it in silver or black), which is good or bad depending on how you look at it.
The build quality of the Escape is also top notch. It’s constructed really well with no loose parts inside or outside and the exterior of the battery pack is almost rubbery and looks like it will repel all manner of dirt and survive quite a bit of hardship – it’s always good to know that your battery pack can survive just as much as you can.
If you’re after a solid battery pack that has minimal fuss about it, look no further than the Powerpod Escape. It perfectly fits the bill for a power bank that will get you through a camping trip or a weekend away and survive it too. The price tag is a bit imposing at $69.95 AUDÂ -Â in the Australian retail market, that’s just about normal, but to outsiders the price might seem a bit steep. However, while you might be able to get something a bit cheaper online, you’ll likely sacrifice the build quality that the Escape gives you. And really, when your next charge up is a question mark, is quality really something that you’d take a chance on?
And after all this time, Powerpod is still offering all its battery packs from vending machines all over Australia – hit the link here to see if there’s one near you.Â For more details about the Powerpod Escape, take a look at its product page here. To learn more about Powerpod, you can visit its main website here.
Gallery of photos
- Solidly made
- Reliable charging performance
- Weirdly shaped
- A little expensive