Recently Dutch company Xtorm got in touch to offer some mobile power accessories for us to review. We accepted, and they sent out the subject of today’s review: the XB202 Power Bank Discovery 17,000.
This power bank has an impressive 17,000mAh capacity and supports USB-C charging up to 5V / 3A, as well as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard. It has three charging ports in all, including two full-size USB and USB-C, and comes with both a USB-C cable and a Micro USB cable, the latter of which attaches magnetically to the power bank.
Let’s put it to the test!
|Input||5V / 3A USB-C|
|Output||2x USB 5V/2.4A 1x USB-C 5V/3A
Maximum total: 5.4A
|Features||Charges USB-C laptops
Quick Charge 3.0 (5V ~ 12V)
|Includes||Removable Micro USB cable
|Dimensions||135 x 81 x 23 millimetres|
The XB202 has a simple but attractive rounded rectangular prism design. It’s coloured grey top and bottom, white on the sides.
On the top we have the Xtorm logo and a power button.
The bottom shows the battery’s capacity and input/output stats in an easy-to-read format. This is important for going through customs, as some countries are very particular about which power banks they allow onto airplanes.
There’s a removable Micro USB cable on one side, which magnetically attaches in position to ensure that you can always recharge Micro USB devices.
There are two dedicated outputs, both full-size USB, one of which supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. This will allow fast charging on many smartphones that use Qualcomm or Exynos processors. There’s also a USB-C port, which can be used to charge the power bank or recharge USB-C devices. This includes phones, tablets and even laptops.
There’s a little fabric flag sticking out of one side, which is kind of annoying. The other sides are blank, so let’s move onto testing!
We tested the Xtorm power bank with a range of devices: a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone (Micro USB), a Galaxy Note 8 (USB-C) and an XPS 15 9560 laptop (USB-C). Here’s what we found.
for Micro USB devices
The Galaxy S7 Edge is the ideal companion for the Xtorm XB202, as it supports Qualcomm Quick Charging and it uses Micro USB. That means we can charge the phone at full speed (tick) and use the magnetically attached Micro USB cable to do so (tick).
Charging via the XB202 is fast and easy, as you would expect, although the short length of the attached cable means that you’re putting a bit of stress on the USB port. This resulted in some creaks and groans from the charger during use, and which hopefully isn’t a sign of an imminent breakdown. You could of course use a longer Micro USB cable, but that makes the built-in one somewhat useless.
for USB-C smartphones
The Note 8 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge standard via USB-C, so the full-size USB to USB-C cable provided was perfect for recharging the Note 8. We plugged it into the Quick Charge port, and the Note 8 dutifully began charging at full speed (and we got the ‘fast charging’ message on screen.) Plug the USB cable into the other full-size port without the Quick Charge label, and we’re back to standard charging speeds.
With a USB-C to USB-C cable, you also benefit from faster charging speeds, and we get the familiar ‘fast charging’ notification on screen. There doesn’t appear to be a difference in charging speeds between using the XB202’s USB-C port or its full-size USB-A port, so you can use whichever is more convenient. Awesome!
for USB-C laptops
In our testing, we found it impossible to charge the XPS 15 9560 laptop out of the box. You only get a USB-C to full-size USB cable, not the USB-C to USB-C cable you actually need. We tried using the provided USB-C cable with a full-size USB to USB-C adapter on the other end, but the laptop didn’t recognise any incoming power (and Windows stated that the laptop was unplugged and discharging). We ordered a USB-C to USB-C cable to see if this would fix the issue, and unfortunately it did not. However, we could use it to connect the Note 8 to the XPS 15 laptop, so at least it didn’t go to waste.
While we couldn’t charge our XPS laptop with this portable charger, we’ll call this “inconclusive” rather than an outright failure. This is because the XPS 15 draws quite a bit of power while it’s on, and even on mains-powered USB-C docks it will slowly discharge over time. On less demanding laptops, like the MacBook or PixelBook, we expect that USB-C charging would work as anticipated. We don’t have another USB-C laptop to test this with, so we’ll have to leave things there. (If anyone wants to send us a MacBook, feel free!)
The XB202 is a fully featured portable charger with some nice features and considerable power on tap, but a few minor flaws — like the curious inclusion of a Micro USB cable over a USB-C one — prevent it from being the ultimate power bank that it could be. Hopefully we’ll see these fixed in the next iteration!
You can buy the XB202 from Amazon via the links below.
If you’d prefer an alternative, RAVPower’s 26800mAh USB-C portable charger supports USB-C Power Delivery and is about 33% cheaper. However, its design is less pedestrian and it doesn’t seem to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.