I test a lot of external batteries which are also known as battery backups, power banks..etc for mobile devices. What these devices do is store extra power so they can supply your smartphone or tablet with some additional power which extends the usage time or charges your device when you have no access to an outlet to plug your device in.
The RavPower Dynamo On-The-Go Power Bank is the only one that I reviewed so far that comes with a built in LED flashlight which is a nice little touch for helping you find your keys or finding something in the dark and adds a little extra functionality to what is otherwise a typical 5,600mAH powerbank with one exception. It is one of the smallest form facter powerbanks I have also ever tested, and most power banks are big rectangles, where this one is about 1/2 the width of a cell phone and just thicker. It means it will fit in your pocket better than most external batteries and it comes with a range of adapters to help charge your iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, PlayStation Portable, or other mobile device.
Like most external batteries the RavPower Power Bank has an indicator at the top of the device showing you how much power it has remaining as well as showing you when it is charging by blinking the level indicator light.
The RavPower smudges really easily with fingerprints like other black shiny external battery packs if you care about that thing, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I also noticed that it seems to charge the iPad 2 that I had tested with pretty fast adding 2% battery in only about 5 minutes initially.
Overall I was able to extend my iPad battery life by at least 4 hours while playing Kings Bounty constantly and my battery not going down more than to 74% since I was 100% when I started and played non stop. Usually this game can kill my battery from 100% to less than 20% in 2 hours or so as it is pretty graphic intensive.
The RavPower Power Bank has a MicroUSB input for charging, but comes with it’s own adapter that you can use to plugin in various USB devices for the product, or use it to charge your RavPower External Battery pack, it comes with an A/C wall outlet adapter that plugs into USB so this can be a multi-purpose adapter that serves for your other mobile devices as well.
Overall I would have to say I was pretty pleased with the device and it performed as well as I could expect from a 5,600mAH external power bank. It only has 1 USB output and can charge only 1 device at a time, but it does charge pretty quickly for it’s capacity and it is smaller than all of the other 5,600mAh power banks I tested in terms of width, so it is thicker but about 1/2 as wide, being more like a stick than a brick which means it slips in your pocket easier than other external battery packs.
The flashlight features was a bonus if you happened to keep it in your pocket as it can easily do and need a quick light to look for something in a hurry, it isn’t overly powerful but more than sufficient to help you find the right key, or find something you dropped really quick.
Now on to the concerns and issues
A/C Adapter burn out
Within several hours of charging the device the little white A/C adapter that you plug into the outlet and then plug the USB cable into to charge the RAVPower Power Bank started smoking, first I heard a pop come from under my desk, then smoking and I thought a fire was starting. It didn’t break the Power Bank or damage anything else, but this causes questions and concerns about the quality and reliability of the parts used. The Power Bank from my testing was fine, but the A/C Adapter definitely was a risky component. I don’t know if my review copy was a fluke (remember it gets to be 119 degrees here and products get overheating issues in shipping where it can be 150+ degrees in the back of a delivery truck) or if this is just an example of cheap parts being used (more likely the case). Either way, I wanted to disclose that I liked the Power Bank itself and it worked fine and I had it plugged into my iPad 2 several times over the course of several day without issue.
As a result I removed a whole * from the product as a result of the reliability/AC Adapter issue.