Readers who have read my reviews here at Gear Diary or over on my site know that I travel. A lot. The bulk of my career has seen me travel to every lower 48 state and to many other destinations around the globe.
I’ve never minded it, as it has let me see new people and places over the past 20 years. But as technology has become more-and-more a part of my travel life, so too has the number of charges and cables required to go into the backpack before I head to the airport.
A few weeks ago, the team over at Omnicharge sent us the Omnicharge Omni 20 power bank to review. This 20,400mAh pack isn’t just your normal, run-of-the-mill power bank. Far from it. It is the single most comprehensive power bank I have ever used or reviewed. It can literally charge anything you have with you, thanks to the huge number of ports or connecting cables that come with it. You can even plug in your laptop via the AC connector.
If you are looking for a one-stop device to charge all the things in your bag as you travel, the Omni 20 should be on your shortlist.
Specifications & Form Factor
The first thing that you will notice when you unbox the Omni 20 is the physical size and weight. The weight shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, so I’m going to dismiss that early. If you have ever picked up a 20,000mAh power bank from any manufacturer, the weight of the Omni 20 isn’t going to feel over-the-top. The dimensions of the Omni 20 are 5.0 x 4.8 x 1.1 inches or 12.7 x 12.2x 2.7 cm in new money. It weighs in at 1.4lbs or 630g. As you can see from the dimensions and the photos of the Omni 20 in the gallery at the end of the review, it is somewhat squarish in design but has a nice taper both top and bottom at each corner. The plastic shell of the charger has a slight roughness to it that gives you good tactile feel as you hold the device and gives you a sense of not being slippery.
On the front side of the charger is where you will find the power button, OLED display, USB/AC selector and two USB-A ports, the bottom of these two ports supporting Quick Charge 3.0 technology. On the left side, you will find a traditional AC female port that will either be for US configuration or EU configuration depending on where you purchase your Omni 20. Here you can plug in a device using its standard AC plug to charge that device. Finally, on the right side, you will find the bullet adapter port. When you get your Omni 20, it comes with an array of DC-bullet style cables to charge a wide range of devices.
Internally, aside from the 20,400mAh battery, there is a cooling fan to keep things nice and cool on the inside as you are using the Omni 20.
OLED Information Panel
A unique feature of the Omni 20 is the OLED information panel found on the front side of the charger. Here you will find a wealth of information about the performance of the charger as well as remaining battery life left. It is here too that you will go through and make any configuration changes to the charger that you need to make. This small panel makes a big difference when you compare this product to other chargers. Not only are you able to see the battery life, but also things like how efficient the charging of your devices is happening thanks to the voltage indicators. You can also check the internal temperature of the power bank to assure it isn’t overheating (although the cooling fan will automatically start if it is getting too warm).
Changing the settings of the Omni 20 is also done through the OLED panel and using the power button and USB/AC rocker to change settings. To enter the settings mode, quickly press the power button twice and the OLED panel will change over to the settings page. Now, using the USB/AC rocker, navigate to the different settings. You can adjust the voltage out of the DC-bullet port, enable or disable the USB ports, the AC port, and adjust general settings such as if the cooling fan is automatically started if needed, automatic shutdown times and timeout for the OLED panel.
While the OLED panel does make the Omni 20 somewhat unique, it is also a necessity. Omnicharge has built a product here that can charge just about anything so you will need to have some of these finer settings, especially on the DC port, so you don’t damage your device.
Using the USB Ports
As you would expect, the two USB-A ports on the Omni 20 are pretty straightforward to use. Assuming you have not disabled them (by default, they are enabled), simply plug a device into the power bank and it will start charging it. Charging times will vary of course depending on the device and if you are using the Quick Charge 3.0 port to charge compatible devices.
For this review, I tested charging of my Google Pixel XL, my 2017 iPad, and my wife’s iPhone SE. All three devices were charged efficiently in my testing and the Omni 20 remained cool during charging. I did note that when I was charging both my Pixel XL and iPad at the same time, the cooling fan kicked on briefly.
Using the AC and DC-Bullet Ports
Let me give you the TL;DR answer on the AC port. Yes, you can charge your MacBook Pro with it. Yes, you can charge your Chromebook with it. And yes, you can charge your Surface Pro with it.
The idea behind the AC port is very much an emergency backup situation. Clearly, it is faster to charge your laptop via a true AC socket but if you are on the go where access to AC is just not there, you can charge your laptop with the Omni 20. In my testing, I was able to charge my 2016 MacBook Pro 15″ and my Acer Chromebook 14 with no problem.
As you would imagine, using the Omni 20 to charge these big devices gives the battery of the power bank an absolute flogging. Generally speaking, on my MacBook Pro, I got about 1:35 minutes of life out of the power bank and about an hour more when charging my Chromebook. This is opposed to the 75+ hours of life I could get out of it if I plugged in my fully charged Pixel XL and used the Omni 20 as the main battery. Again, think emergency use only.
As for the DC-bullet port, this port is both an input and output port. The input is so you can recharge the Omni 20 itself. The port is auto-sensing so it knows if you are plugging in to charge or to power up a device. As for output, the port can range from 1-24V and you have an array of connectors of various sizes to charge your DC port devices. The thing to be careful with is that you need to make sure you check the voltage of your device before you plug it into the DC port with the adapter. If you overdo it, you could damage your device.
Having used the Omni 20 for several weeks now, I have to say it is one of the most impressive power banks I’ve used. I am able to get multiple full charges of my Pixel XL using it, and I’ve even used it as a backup battery for my Chromebook when traveling. It works exceptionally well and frankly, has replaced several smaller power banks I had been carrying with me. I simply don’t need them as this one does everything I need, plus more, in one package.
Conclusion & Recommendation
You’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of the Omni 20 from Omnicharge. It is an excellent, well-designed product that performs beyond expectations. It is likely the most versatile power bank on the market that is in this compact size and has a huge amount of flexibility on the types of devices you can charge with it. The fact that I have one power bank that can charge my Chromebook and my Pixel XL makes it a winner for me. I suspect, especially those of you who travel, you will find it the same for you.
The Omnicharge Omni 20 is available directly from the manufacturer for $249 (Omni 20 only) or $299 as a complete kit with the various charging cables and DC Port Adapters. You can also find it at other retailers including Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Battery performance, multiple charging ports, pass through charging, OLED display
What Needs Improvement: Nothing!