DX Power Ar­mor DX0001 10,000mAh

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

Choos­ing a power bank can be dif­fi­cult, given the sheer num­ber of op­tions avail­able, but if you re­quire a rugged power bank your choices are more lim­ited.

We like this 10,000mAh Ar­mor power bank from DXPower, which costs £23. It’s also avail­able in a 6000mAh ver­sion for £15.

The Ar­mor is rated IP67, which means it’s shock­proof, dust­proof, and pro­tected in 1m of wa­ter for up to 30 min­utes. Note that in or­der for it to be wa­ter­proof the flap that cov­ers the ports must be tightly closed, which means it is pro­tected from the el­e­ments only while it’s not in use. This won’t be a dif­fi­cult feat to achieve, though – you need to give it some mus­cle just to open the tight-fit­ting flap.

Pro­tect­ing the ports from wa­ter with a plas­tic and rub­ber seal is the same ap­proach as that used by the EasyAcc Rugged Power Bank, which is not only more ex­pen­sive than this DXPower de­vice but sig­nif­i­cantly larger and heav­ier. That’s be­cause it of­fers dou­ble the ca­pac­ity at 20,000mAh, so more charges for your con­nected de­vice.

We’ve seen sev­eral Ama­zon ven­dors list­ing what ap­pears to be an iden­ti­cal power bank to this DXPower Ar­mor – al­beit in dif­fer­ent colours – though they all pub­lish a slightly dif­fer­ent spec­i­fi­ca­tion and price. One of those ven­dors men­tions an ef­fi­ciency rat­ing of 88 per­cent, though we be­lieve the Pana­sonic cells in­side this bank are closer to the in­dus­try stan­dard of around 65- to 70 per­cent.

This means from a 10,000mAh bat­tery you would re­ceive around 6500- to 7000mAh us­able charge. And this falls in line with DXPower’s claims that the Ar­mor can of­fer 3.5 charges to an iPhone 7 (6860mAh), two charges to the Gal­axy S7 (6000mAh) and one full charge to an iPad mini 4 (5124mAh).

The Ar­mor has a cool-look­ing tough de­sign, with a rugged black and green ABS and PC en­clo­sure that fea­tures fin­ger grips all the way around and is said to of­fer high tem­per­a­ture re­sis­tance. Though you’ll need it only to keep to­gether the bank and ac­ces­sories, such as ca­bles, a carry case is also pro­vided in the box.

This is one of sev­eral nice touches: you also get a com­pass that clips on to a cara­biner clip, which it­self at­taches to a Vel­cro strap. This fits through a cir­cu­lar pro­tru­sion at the top of the bank, though if we’re hon­est we would pre­fer the de­sign with­out this.

Given its tough cas­ing we’re sur­prised by how com­pact the Ar­mor is for a 10,000mAh power bank. Weigh­ing in at 200g and mea­sur­ing 101x64x27mm, it’s re­ally not much larger than some non-rugged 10,000mAh banks we’ve seen. If you want a truly com­pact power bank, then a rugged model is not it, of course. You can switch down to the 6000mAh model, but you’ll likely get only one full charge for your smart­phone (two if it’s an iPhone).

De­spite hav­ing enough power to charge two phones, the Ar­mor has just the one USB out­put. This is a fast-charg­ing port, rated at 5V/2.1A (10.5W), though you can find faster ports that sup­port Quick Charge. The Mi­cro-USB in­put is sim­i­larly spec­i­fied at 5V/2A (10W), and with a com­pat­i­ble charger this bank should be full in around five- to six hours.

A plus side when it comes to charg­ing is the DXPower Ar­mor’s sup­port for passthrough charg­ing. This means you can con­nect a phone or tablet to its USB port and charge that de­vice while the power bank it­self is charg­ing from a mains power out­let. The process will clearly take longer, but it means you need only one power out­let to charge both de­vices, and won’t need to keep an eye on when one is full to swap over to charg­ing the other one.

Charg­ing is au­to­matic, so you sim­ply plug in a phone or tablet and the Ar­mor gets to work. There is a power but­ton on the side of the case, but this is used purely to ac­ti­vate the built-in LEDs to see at-a-glance how much power re­mains or to turn on the LED flash­light. The lat­ter may be handy if you’re camp­ing.

Once charg­ing is com­plete, the Ar­mor will au­to­mat­i­cally stop charg­ing your phone or tablet, which means no un­nec­es­sary power is wasted and no dam­age can be caused to your de­vice’s bat­tery by over­charg­ing it. In that re­gard, the DXPower Ar­mor bat­tery builds in all the usual safe­guards against over­charg­ing, short-cir­cuit­ing and so forth, though you still shouldn’t leave it plugged in in­def­i­nitely.

You can con­nect a phone or tablet to its USB port and charge that de­vice while the power bank it­self is charg­ing from a mains power out­let

Ver­dict

A good-look­ing, mid-ca­pac­ity rugged power bank that will fit neatly into the pock­ets of cam­pers, hik­ers and other out­door­sie-types. It’s a shame that the DXPower Ar­mor is wa­ter­proof only when it’s not in use, but this is a crit­i­cism we could level at most – if not all – ‘wa­ter­proof’ power banks. Marie Brewis

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