From a small rectangle feature phone to high-resolution screens, smartphone technology has evolved leaps and bounds, but the issue of battery runtime is still at bay — a smartphone that lasts longer on a single charge. With power-draining 2K displays and high-end chipsets, most of the digital age smartphones deliver in the stamina of a day under light-to-moderate usage scenarios and even less than that if one is a power user. Reason enough to always carry a compact charger all the time. One never knows when they might need to recharge their smartphone or tablet.
Ambrane's latest WP-11 power bank rated at 10000mAh is small enough to fit into most pockets or backpacks to keep devices juiced up on-the-go. However, it comes at a steep price of Rs 2,999, but for a reason — rugged build and a waterproof body that will ensure its use in almost any scenario.
The 10000mAh WP-11 power brick may be just enough to top up your phone's battery around twice or three times, but it's saving grace is the design built around the battery itself. The rugged power bank is built well and offers a modest amount of grip while still being slick enough to slide in and out of a bag. For a power bank, it feels light. The power bank features a rubber outer shell and comes with nine layers of advanced circuit chip protection to ensure it doesn't fry your devices. It is IP67 and BIS certified, which is impressive.
A peek at the lower side of the power bank and you will find a micro USB for charging the power bank and a female USB Type A output port hidden underneath a flap. This flap secures the ports from water and dust too. A power button is found just around the corner, and four LED indicator lights neatly hidden below the translucent body that emits light denoting the status of the power reserve in the bank. A built-in LED flashlight is also provided, that is handy as an emergency light when in the dark. Plug in your phone and it starts charging immediately with the LED indicators blinking accordingly to reflect the status of the charge (each LED represents 25 per cent of power remaining on the bank). The top has a unique tower-shaped (or shaped like a cap) with a cut in between that helps you strap the unit to a backpack. The shape of the power bank is designed to look more like a rugged water flask.
However, sadly, we did find the build quality a bit below the sun. The unit we received was a bit off as the glue sealing the internals of the power bank was not affixed properly and gave way when we opened the port flap for the first time. While this can be ignored as a factory defect, it should not be the usual case. Ambrane should take this feedback and ensure their products are checked well for quality especially when this one is considered as waterproof.
Sadly, there just one USB port that provides 5V up to 2.1A. This is disappointing, considering the price you shell out for the power bank since most power banks today sport at least two output ports, and some even go to the extent of a fast charging option.
Charging smartphones with the WP-11 is as usual. We were able to charge smartphones such as OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, iPhone 7 around three times on average and an iPad around two times with each charge taking around one and a half hour. Recharging the power bank itself doesn't take terribly long either, however, it will depend on the charger you are using to fill her up.
To sum it up, the Ambrane WP-11 power bank packs enough juice to recharge a phone around three times or three phones in total. However, the tiny rugged charger didn't earn brownie points, as it fails to offer features that usual power banks offer in half the cost — namely dual output ports and/or a fast charging port.
The Ambrane power bank is available for a price of Rs 2,999, which seems steep when compared to competitor brands, but demands the price just for its rugged and waterproof build, which is IP67 certified.
Update: The unit that we received for a review unfortunately had a manufacturing defect where the build was partially damaged. Ambrane sent across a replacement review unit that exhibited no issues with regards to the build quality. The build quality seems rugged, and not as described in the initial review.