We are in a transitional phase as micro-USB and Apple's proprietary Lightning ports are being phased out and being replaced by USB-C. And that means many of us are caught in the position of needing to carry multiple cables for different purposes. Belkin has provided a great solution with their Universal Cable. Coupled with its Pocket Power battery, you'll rarely be caught without a charging and synching solution.
What Is It?
The Pocket Power is a 5000mAh battery that delivers power to smartphones - it's not suitable for laptop charging.
The Universal Cable offers micro-USB, USB-C and Lightning connectors through a simple set of adaptors that are cleverly connected to the main cable so they can't be lost and can be conveniently stashed when not needed.
Pocket Power Specifications
|Output and Input||5V 2.4 amp total output and 5V 2.0 amp total input|
|Size and weight||123 x 64 x 13mm, 131g|
|Other||Plastic casing, $2,500 Connected Equipment Warranty, LED battery level indicator|
Universal Cable Specifications
|Connectors||Lightning, USB-C and Micro-USB devices|
Portable chargers are commonplace these days - there are vending machines for them at shopping centres - so it's tough to differentiate them. The Pocket Power I tested - there's a higher capacity 10,000mAh version as well - passed the most important test for a device like this; it just worked. I charged a couple of different smartphones with it and had no hassles. The small LEDs on the side make it easy to check how much juice is left in the battery and the device is light and slim.
Similarly, the Universal Cable worked perfectly for charing my iPhone, a Kindle and the Huawei Mate20 Pro I'm currently testing. Having all the different attachments conveniently attached to the main cable means I'm not fumbling around my bag looking for adaptors and I can now carry one cable for everything instead of three, further reducing the clutter in my laptop bag.
I can't see anything to criticise with either of the products. But one improvement I'd like to see is the ability to wirelessly charge the Pocket Power. Now that Qi-compatible charging solutions are common, being able to sit the charger on a charging base or use it to wirelessly charge devices would be really handy.
Should You Buy It
Both products are well made and do exactly what they're designed to do.
The Belkin Pocket Power 5K Power Bank retails for $39.95 and comes in silver, rose gold and black.
The Universal Cable with Micro-USB, USB-C and Lightning Connectors also retails for $39.95. It only comes in black.