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Friday, September 27, 2019

The Belkin Pocket Power 10k Is Nice, but Buy it On Sale

The Belkin Pocket Power 10K on a desk.
Andrew Heinzman

The Belkin Pocket Power 10K is a solid portable battery. It’s fast, slim, and well-built. But without a USB-C port, its $40 price tag feels unjustified, and I’d only recommend buying it on sale.

Before we get into it, I should mention that the Pocket Power routinely goes on sale (in fact, it’s $10 off on Amazon right now). For me, this is the battery’s saving grace. It’s worth $20 to $30, but it sure ain’t worth $40.

The Pocket Power Is Nice, but That Doesn’t Justify the Price

The Pocket Power 10K is a mix of decent features and specs. It certainly isn’t “the best” at anything, but it outdoes most power banks in some way. Sadly, that doesn’t justify a $40 price tag.

Let’s start with the Pocket Power’s size. It’s only 4.9 inches long and half an inch thick. It’s not the smallest 10,000 mAh battery on earth, but it’s slimmer than most of its competition.

The Pocket Power 10K next to a RAVPower portable battery.
The Pocket Power 10K next to a RAVPower portable battery. The Pocket Power is much smaller and sturdier. Andrew Heinzman

And then there’s the build quality. Its plastic casing is nothing special. But it looks nice and feels a lot sturdier than other portable batteries. It certainly doesn’t feel as “cheap” as the 22,000 mAh RAVPOWER battery that I own, which says a lot (I bought said RAVPOWER battery when it was about $55).

And of course, there’s the charging. You know, the thing that this battery is made for. The Pocket Power has two USB-A ports. It can use these ports to charge two devices at 12 watts simultaneously. That’s not terrible, but most new phones charge at around 18 watts.

The Pocket Power itself charges at 10 watts via Micro USB port. That’s pretty slow, but it’s not a big deal if you charge the Pocket Power overnight (if you’re in a rush to charge it, you’re screwed).

Technically speaking, these charging rates are what you’d expect from good USB-A and Micro USB ports. They’re fine for what they are. But they’re not fine for $40. If you’re shopping for a battery of this capacity, $40 should get you some 18-watt USB-C ports.

I Really Wish the Pocket Power Had USB-C

This would’ve been a badass portable battery a few years ago. But without USB-C, the Pocket Power is technically out of date. It can’t reach the full charging potential of new phones, and it’s inconvenient if you’re trying to switch to the latest USB format.

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